History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace

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  History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace 
Selected Articles from the History of World War II 1939–1945 in 12 volumes.
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Formation of the main focus of the World War

1. Fascist coup in Germany

The world economic crisis that began in 1929 laid bare all the contradictions of imperialism and led to an unprecedented aggravation of the political situation both within the capitalist countries and in the international situation. The aggressiveness of imperialism and its striving to find a way out of the existing situation on the paths of preparing and unleashing a new world war have intensified.

Germany occupied a special place in the system of imperialism. Its industry was rapidly recovering during the ten post-war years. By 1929, its level had risen by one and a half times compared to the pre-war level. Germany produced nearly 12 percent of the world's industrial output {371} . The role of monopolies has increased in the economic and political life of the country. The concerns of Krupp, Flick, Siemens, Steel Trust, IG Farbenindustri, and AEG have reached gigantic proportions. The process of concentration of industry was accompanied by the centralization of banking capital in the hands of Deutsche Bank, Dresdener Bank, Donat Bank and a few others.

The high concentration of capital and the enormous industrial capacity of Germany's industry meant that it was deeply affected by the economic crisis.

The crisis has engulfed all sectors of the country's economy. During 1929-1933. its industrial output index fell by more than 40 percent. The industrial crisis was accompanied by a financial and credit one: in its first two years alone, more than 200 small and medium-sized banks {372} went bankrupt . The economic crisis developed into a crisis of the entire political system of imperialism. Germany became the center of contradictions in the imperialist camp.

The crisis dealt a heavy blow primarily to the German working class. The reduction in production led to the fact that almost half of the industrial proletariat of the country (8 million people) was left without work {373} . As the American publicist G. Knickerbocker noted in 1932, Germany "has broken the world record for wage cuts" {374} . [112]

The intertwining of the industrial crisis with the agrarian crisis also worsened the position of the peasantry. The middle strata, especially numerous in Germany, were also ruined - artisans, handicraftsmen, shopkeepers. The situation of the German people was further complicated by the fact that they were under the yoke of not only German, but also foreign capital, as they paid reparations and interest on debts and loans.

Under these conditions, the working class came out resolutely in defense of its political rights. A revolutionary crisis was growing in the country. In the autumn and winter of 1929/30, strikes of protest took place in Berlin, Saxony and other places in Germany, which were brutally suppressed by the government {375} . On August 24, 1930, the Central Committee of the KKE addressed all the anti-fascist and democratic forces of the country with a program for the national and social salvation of the German people.

During the period of an acute political crisis in Germany, the leaders could no longer govern the country by the old methods - through the hands of the Social Democrats, to pursue a policy of overcoming the crisis at the expense of the working people. Unable to contain the growing influence of the communists, the bourgeoisie began to increasingly apply terrorist methods of domination and speed up the militarization of the country.

Fearing a revolutionary explosion in Germany, international reaction came to the aid of the German imperialists. In 1929, instead of the Dawes plan for reparations, a new one, the so-called Young Plan, was developed, which facilitated the flow of capital into Germany and provided for a reduction in reparations levied from it. In fact, they were soon abolished, as was the entire system of control over Germany established by the Treaty of Versailles. German imperialism regained full economic and financial sovereignty. The adoption of the Young Plan was accompanied by an anti-Soviet campaign. Under the flag of anti-communism and anti-Sovietism, a united front of German and international imperialist reaction was created, with the aim of liquidating the remnants of the Weimar Republic and establishing a regime of open terrorist dictatorship of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

The fascist party, with its anti-communist, chauvinist, and revanchist domestic and foreign policy, increasingly attracted the sympathy of German finance capital, which saw it as a tool for cracking down on the workers' movement and preparing the country for an aggressive war. In 1929-1930. German monopolists began to draw closer to the Nazis. The magnates of the Rhenish-Westphalian heavy industry E. Kirdorf, F. Thyssen and A. Vogler, and previously associated with the Nazis, set a course to strengthen this party. In February 1930, the Ruhr Coal Syndicate in Essen obliged each of its members to contribute seven pfennigs from every ton of coal sold to the coffers of the Fascist and German National People's Parties and other reactionary organizations in order to support "national interests" {376}. Numerous German princes and barons, large landowners, foreign monopolists, such as the English oil magnate G. Deterding, the American automobile king G. Ford, and others also provided similar support to the fascist party.

On September 23, 1930, the attache of the American embassy in Berlin, D. Gordon, reported to the US Secretary of State G. Stimson: “There is no doubt that Hitler received significant financial support from certain large industrialists ... The facts that have become known in recent days give the impression that important financial [113]circles - albeit not to the extent previously reported - exerted and are exerting pressure on the chancellor and other members of the cabinet to undertake an experiment with the participation of Nazis in the government (it can be assumed that the Social Democrats, as a price for their active cooperation with the government will insist on conditions that are unpleasant for financiers). Just today I heard a rumor from a source, usually well informed, that the various American financial circles represented here are very active in the same direction .

With the help of funds received from the monopolists, the Nazis created their branched party apparatus, printed and distributed numerous newspapers and leaflets. These funds were also used by them to expand the terrorist organizations of the Nazi Party - the SA and SS, which increasingly zealously participated in the massacres of the revolutionary workers' movement.

On March 30, 1930, due to the aggravation of class contradictions in the country, the cabinet of G. Müller was replaced by the government of the block of bourgeois parties headed by the leader of the right wing of the Catholic Party of the Center G. Brüning, which included proxies of the monopolies and Junkers. The Brüning government did not take into account the opinion of the Reichstag and, in fact, being a “presidential cabinet”, ruled the country with the help of “emergency decrees” on reducing wages for workers and employees, introducing new taxes on workers and reducing the taxation of capitalists, reducing unemployment benefits and social insurance. As a result, in 1929-1932. the average weekly wage of a German worker was halved, and the total amount of wages and salaries paid by employers fell from 44.5 billion to 25.7 billion marks.{378} , which barely provided for the half-starved existence of the unemployed himself, not to mention his family.

Taking advantage of the tragic situation of millions of working people, the National Socialists launched a propaganda campaign on an unprecedented scale under revanchist, racist, chauvinist slogans. They promised: to the workers - to eliminate unemployment, to the peasants - to prohibit the sale of land at auction, to shopkeepers - to close large department stores, to artisans - to reduce the prices of raw materials and set higher prices for their products, and to everyone - to abolish "percentage slavery". The Nazis stopped at nothing. In an effort to win women over to their side, they put forward the cynical slogan: "Every woman will get a man, only let Hitler come to power" {379} . Nazi agitation had a strong corrupting effect.

The fascists made extensive use of bourgeois-democratic freedoms for their own purposes. “We are going to the Reichstag,” said Goebbels in 1928, “in order to equip the arsenal of democracy with its own weapons. We become deputies in order to paralyze the Weimar spirit with its own help. If democracy is stupid enough to give us free tickets and subsidies for this disservice, then that's their business. Any legal way is good for us to turn the current situation around... We come as enemies! We come as a wolf breaks into a flock of sheep” {380} . [114]

Fascist terror intensified. The SA detachments actually turned into a real army of up to 300 thousand people. More than 60 percent of it was made up of people who had been deprived of work and earnings for a long time. Many of them were transferred to the barracks, which gave them food and shelter. Well-armed detachments, which included criminals, organized bloody battles in the streets, disrupted rallies and meetings of communists, and killed anti-fascists. The Nazis managed to lure into their networks a significant part of the students, the petty bourgeoisie, all kinds of declassed elements, employees and backward layers of the working class, therefore, in the elections to the Reichstag on September 14, 1930, they collected 6.41 million votes, almost 8 times more than in 1928

The bigwigs of finance capital welcomed the success of the Nazis in the elections and gave them even more support. For their part, the Nazis began to more actively seek the support of the monopolists. As the head of the fascist press O. Dietrich wrote, “in the summer of 1931, the Fuhrer decided to enlist the support of the leading representatives of the German economy in order to destroy the existing government system ... In the following months, the Fuhrer traveled all over Germany in his Mercedes, everywhere arranging secret meetings with authority figures" {381}. One such meeting took place on 19 June 1931 in Munich between Hitler, the monopolist Stinnes and the Nazi Gauleiter Wagner. Soon Stinnes, in a letter to Hitler, expressed his admiration for the "project for the expansion of German living space in the east" and recommended that the Soviet Union and the countries of South-Eastern Europe {382} be chosen as the first target of aggression .

On October 11, 1931, a conference between Hitler and the leaders of other fascist organizations took place in Harzburg, in which the former director of the Reichsbank Schacht, the magnates of capital Thyssen, Flick, Krupp, Pensgen, Hugenberg, General Seeckt and German princes took part. Schacht, in his memoirs, tries to belittle the significance of this gathering, which received the name "Harzburg Front". He claims that "this front never existed" {383} . In fact, it was then that German reaction created a bloc of Hitlerites with generals and junkers and developed a plan for the transfer of power to the fascists {384} .

On December 9, 1931, Thyssen and Vogler met with Hitler at the Kaiserhof Hotel in Berlin {385} ; in mid-December 1931, the East Prussian nobility demanded that President Hindenburg transfer power to Hitler {386} .

So that the monopolists would not be afraid of some of the demagogic anti-capitalist provisions written in the program of the Nazi Party adopted in 1924, the Nazis revised it and introduced a number of changes {387} . The demand for the nationalization of concerns, syndicates and trusts was replaced by an obligation not to encroach on private property, including large industrial enterprises. In January 1932, Hitler announced this to a meeting of the largest monopolists, held in Düsseldorf. Those present enthusiastically accepted Hitler's statement about his intention to "extirpate Marxism in Germany" and conquer "living space", since his speech fully expressed the aggressive aspirations of the kings of German heavy industry, the financiers [115]and junkers. To ensure world domination, Hitler planned to create a multimillion-strong army, which would require a huge number of guns, tanks, and warships to equip. Such a plan made a deep impression on the assembled industrialists, and as a result, large sums from the safes of heavy industry tycoons flowed into the cashiers of the National Socialist Party.

The question of giving Hitler the powers of the Reich Chancellor was resolved. But behind the scenes there was a desperate bargaining: under what conditions should the Nazis be admitted to power? The Reichswehr command also joined in the bargaining, which sought, using the National Socialists as a support, to keep the government in its hands. The Nazis demanded full power. Later, at the 7th Congress of the Communist International, G. Dimitrov said that "fascism usually comes to power in a mutual, sometimes sharp struggle with the old bourgeois parties or with a certain part of them, in a struggle even in the fascist camp itself ..." {388} .

In May 1932, under pressure from financial and junker circles, especially the "masters' club", which united 300 of the richest families in Germany, the Brüning government resigned. Baron von Papen was appointed Reich Chancellor, and prominent representatives of industrialists and bankers entered his cabinet as ministers: General Schleicher, Baron Neurath and others. The creation of such a government opened the way for the Nazis to power. The danger of fascism was growing rapidly. The Nazis intensified their bloody terror against the working class and democratic organizations.

The Communist Party of Germany called on the working people and all the progressive forces of the nation to rally in the "Anti-Fascist Action" movement. Fascism could be stopped. By the summer-autumn of 1932, the struggle of the German people against the Nazis had become so strong that the influence of the Nazis began to wane.

At that time, with the unity of the working class that the communists called for, it was still possible to break the back of the fascist beast. But the leaders of the Social Democracy rejected all their proposals and pursued a policy of "lesser evil", which provided for the support of bourgeois governments, which exercised power through emergency decrees, ostensibly to prevent the establishment of a fascist dictatorship. In the presidential elections of March-April 1932, they called for Hindenburg, the henchman of the monopolies, agrarians and militarists, to vote. But if the Communists said: "Whoever votes for Hindenburg votes for Hitler, whoever votes for Hitler votes for war" {389}, then the Social Democrats declared: "Whoever chooses Hindenburg beats Hitler." As a result of the vote for Hindenburg, 18.6 million votes were cast, and he became president. Hitler collected 11.3 million votes {390} .

In July 1932, the Prussian constitutional government was dispersed, which was a further step towards the fascisization of the country. However, the Social Democrats reacted passively to this as well. When the communists offered to organize a general strike, they refused. The Social Democracy surrendered the Weimar Republic to the Nazis without a fight. She not only "overlooked" fascism, she actually cleared the way for it. After the silent resignation of the Social Democrats from ministerial posts in Prussia, the Nazis realized that there would be no resistance on their part.

The only completely consistent fighter against the fascist danger was the Communist Party of Germany. Under conditions of severe [116] persecution in the country from September to December 1932, there were 1,100 strikes, many rallies with the participation of the Communists {391} . The membership of the Communist Party grew from 125,000 in 1928 to 360,000 by the end of 1932 {392} .

In the elections to the Reichstag in November 1932, about 6 million votes were cast for the Communist Party (every sixth voter); she acquired 100 mandates.

The growing influence of the communists seriously worried the bosses of the German and international monopolies. On November 11, 1932, Thyssen advised the manager of the affairs of the union for the protection of joint economic interests in the Rhineland and Westphalia, M. Schlenker, to give Hitler all possible support. The leaders of monopoly capital saw that the bourgeois parties in power were incapable of averting the impending revolutionary crisis, and they took measures to eliminate differences over the composition of the future German government. Some monopolies demanded the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor, others insisted on the creation of a coalition government, the leading role in which would belong to the leaders of the old reactionary party of monopoly capital and the Junkers - the German National People's Party - headed by Hugenberg. But the Nazis

In mid-November 1932, 17 large industrial and banking magnates sent a petition to President Hindenburg demanding the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor, and Schacht informed the latter {393} . At the same time, Hitler's adviser on economic issues, Kepler, who was closely connected with the German monopolies, informed the banker K. Schroeder that a complete agreement had been reached on the creation of a government headed by Hitler. At the same time, the former crown prince addresses Hindenburg twice with letters and insistently advises him: “Before it is too late, take, Your Excellency, the greatest historical decision: empower Hitler now to form a government ...” {394}. In his second letter of December 2, 1932, the crown prince quite frankly defines the cherished goal of this whole action: "A distinct national front against the left will be created" {395} .

On December 3, 1932, a government was formed headed by General Schleicher, a confidant of the leadership of the Reichswehr. E. Telman foresaw that the new government would play the role of a kind of springboard for the establishment of a fascist dictatorship. Indeed, in the days of Schleicher's chancellorship, German imperialist reaction completed the behind-the-scenes preparations for the transfer of power to the Nazis.

On January 4, 1933, secret negotiations between Hitler and Papen took place at Schroeder's villa, near Cologne, and on January 7, a new meeting, about which Kirdorf wrote: “For the last time before the seizure of power, the leaders of the economy met in my house with A. Hitler, R Hess, G. Goering and other leading persons " {396} . The owners of metallurgical concerns and bankers made the final decision to transfer power to the Nazis. [117]

The conspiracy to rule the monopolies with the Nazis was accompanied by the intensified terror of the fascist gangs, the murders of anti-fascists, the destruction of demonstrations and rallies of workers, as well as the premises of democratic organizations. The Communist Party of Germany continued its selfless struggle against the growing danger of the fascists coming to power. At the beginning of January 1933, the KPD called for a mass demonstration of protest against the Schleicher government, the intolerable plight of the working people and the fascist terror. Hundreds of thousands of anti-fascists in the most important industrial centers of Germany responded to the call of the Communist Party.

But German imperialism stubbornly pursued the course it had adopted. On January 28, 1933, President Hindenburg resigned Schleicher and instructed Hitler to form a new government. So on January 30, the fascist party seized state power. A terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinistic, aggressive circles of finance capital has been established in Germany.

M. Gorky wrote in 1934 about Hitler’s coming to power: “If the nation that gave the world Hans Sachs, Goethe, Beethoven, the Bach family, Hegel, Humboldt, Helmholtz and many dozens of the largest “masters of culture”, if this nation chooses Hitler as its leader, this, of course, is a fact that testifies to the exhaustion of the creative energy of its commanding class ... ” {397}

January 30, 1933 is one of the darkest days in German history. This is a turning point in the process of the birth of the second world war; from that day began the rapid transformation of Germany into a state of war, which brought innumerable misfortunes to the German people and all mankind. Even such a reactionary as General Ludendorff was able to understand the fatal significance of this event. In a letter sent to Hindenburg on February 1, 1933, he wrote: “By appointing Hitler Chancellor, you betrayed our German homeland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I solemnly predict to you that this man will push our state into the abyss, plunge our nation into an indescribable misfortune. Generations to come will curse you for what you have done." {398}. In another letter to the president, Ludendorff gave the following assessment of the terror that reigned in the "third empire" with the coming to power of the Nazis: "More and more terrible relations are being established in the Reich led by you. The law is being trampled more and more in spite of the chatter about the rule of law and the introduction of a new law. The physical freedom of the Germans has also been trampled in an unheard of way. And where "cultural chambers", or rather, "lead chambers" were created for the German spiritual life, the last remnants of spiritual freedom are buried, which was not even in the Jesuit state of Paraguay, nor in the period of the dark Middle Ages .

The transfer of power to Hitler was not a victory for the "legal opposition", as the West German bourgeois falsifiers of history and memoirists now assert {400} . It was a fascist coup, prepared in advance by a behind-the-scenes conspiracy of the bosses of the German monopolies, financiers, reactionary generals and agrarians, with the secret complicity of the leaders of the right-wing Social Democrats.

German Nazism had many similarities with fascism in other countries. But it was he who became its most brutal and misanthropic form, which is characterized by: a special zeal for the fulfillment of the social order of the monopolies; the close union of Nazi Fuhrers with monopoly capital; furious anti-communism, outright chauvinism, policy [118] of bloody terror; all-round feverish preparations for a world war in the name of achieving the main goal - world domination, the elimination of capitalist competitors and the liquidation of the class enemy - the Soviet Union.

The Hitlerite state, the so-called "third empire" {401} , is the most gloomy offspring of monopoly capital. The fascist dictatorship was called upon to ensure the restoration of the military-industrial potential of the country in the shortest possible time and most effectively and prepare it for war not only materially, but also morally: to awaken base instincts, to fool millions of soldiers, turning them into automatic machines capable only of robbing and killing.

If the Italian imperialists at first wanted to turn the Mediterranean into an "Italian lake" and create an empire in Africa - they could not count on more with their limited opportunities at that time - then in Germany the situation was different. The high concentration and centralization of production and capital, the exceptional aggressiveness of its bourgeoisie, which grew up on the soil of the predatory traditions of Prussian militarism and immeasurable national arrogance {402} , the long-standing dream of securing a "place in the sun", finally, the thirst for revenge brought to the level of hysteria - all this gave rise to plans for an unprecedented aggression in history.

For modern reactionary historiography, which seeks to relieve the imperialists of responsibility for preparing and unleashing the Second World War, the assertion that the German monopolies had nothing in common with the Hitlerite government has become a stereotyped device. One of the representatives of this historiography, K. Stechert, wrote: “The widely held opinion that large German industry supported the Nazi party is objectively wrong” {403}. A similar thesis was formulated somewhat differently by the West German historian G. Jacobsen, who believes that the fascist dictatorship, like the war, was an improvisation of Hitler alone. “I deliberately confine myself ... to the personality of Hitler,” he said, “because in him and in the decisions he made mostly independently and autocratically one should look for one of the most important keys to understanding the beginning, course and results of this global war” {404} . The same opinion is shared by the West German historian G. Michaelis, who claims that the Second World War is "one of the most grandiose improvisations in history" {405} . Consequently, he is trying to deny that the German monopolists and their henchman, the Hitlerite Party, prepared the war in advance and comprehensively.

Historical facts, not to mention elementary logic, completely refute the concept of the advocates of German imperialism, who, in fact, continue the line of official propaganda carried out in Germany during the years of the fascist dictatorship. Germany was portrayed as a "state of the whole people", headed by the Fuhrer, who supposedly personified the interests of the German nation. In reality, the Fuhrer expressed the interests of monopoly capital - the true ruler of the "third [119] empire." It was the monopolies that determined the domestic and foreign policy of Germany, and the Nazis in the final analysis only carried out their social order.

The head of the decartelization department of the American military administration in West Germany, D. Martin, described the role of monopolies in fascist Germany as follows: “Pre-war films depicted the Nazis marching at the Prussian step as absolute masters of Germany. It is worth, they say, Hitler to command, and the most powerful rulers of Germany of the pre-Nazi period rush to carry out his orders, fearing possible reprisals. But after we got acquainted with the archives at Villa Hügel and questioned Alfred Krupp and the directors of his factories, not a trace of this impression remained. Hitler and his party were never allowed to forget that they owed their rise to power to the industrialists and that they could only succeed with the help of the industrialists .. However, even this assessment cannot be considered complete. The relationship of monopolists with the Nazis was not limited to the provision of assistance. There was something much more going on here. It consisted in the fact that the Hitlerite party carried out the will of monopoly capital and was its faithful instrument, an instrument of terror, war, and extreme inhumanity. Of course, this does not mean that the leaders of German fascism were weak-willed clerks of the capitalists. The regime they established served the interests of the monopolies and had a definite class purpose, which might not coincide with the private aspirations of individual monopolists. Hitler's leaders tried to reconcile the interests of various monopoly groups, often at odds with each other, and showed initiative in the search for such solutions,

The fascist dictatorship, having achieved an unprecedented concentration of power in the hands of the state apparatus, at the same time increased its dependence on the monopolies, as a result of which their oppression over the masses of millions of working people increased to the extreme.

The most active role in determining the policy of the Hitlerite government was played by such "whales" of industrial and financial capital as Schacht, Krupp, Thyssen, Schroeder, Rechling, Flick, Rechberg and others. All of them maintained the closest relations with the fascist leaders and, in their numerous memorandums, expressed to them proposals for carrying out certain measures in preparation for the war. A close relationship with Hitler was established, for example, by the "Imperial Union of German Industry", headed by Krupn. On March 24, 1933, the union sent a loyal letter to Hitler, in which he assured of his readiness to do "everything in his power to help the government carry out the difficult tasks that confronted him" {407}. The government, in turn, helped the industrialists' union with all the means at its disposal.

The monopolists exerted a decisive influence not only on the determination of the domestic and foreign policy of the Hitlerite government, they supported it morally and materially. Large sums of money were regularly transferred to the cash desks of the Nazi party even after the establishment of the fascist dictatorship. In June 1933, the "Reich Association of German Industry" (as the union was renamed) established "the fund [120] of Adolf Hitler from the donations of the German economy." All members of the association were obliged to systematically transfer funds to the current account of this fund, the chairman of the board of trustees of which was Krupp, who personally contributed 12 million marks {408} in the prewar years . In total, during the fascist dictatorship, the Nazi Party received about 700 million marks through the Hitler fund {409}.

Hitler's deputy for the Nazi Party, R. Hess, in a secret circular explained the significance of the fund for internal activities of the fascist elite: the fund will provide, on the one hand, "the imperial leadership with the funds necessary for the SA, SS," Hitler Youth "and other organizations", and on the other - will give "entrepreneurs participating in the fund the confidence that their work to restore the German economy will not be hindered." "Restoration" was understood as the revival of Germany's military power and its preparation for an aggressive war.

Many monopolies subsidized the activities of the Nazis directly. For example, the IG Farbenindustry concern from 1933 to 1939 transferred more than 580 thousand marks to the political leadership of the Nazi Party, 512 thousand marks to the SS, 258 thousand marks to the SA, 639 thousand marks to the pilot corps, etc. Each perfect The territorial seizure by the German fascists was accompanied by abundant donations from the monopolists. On the eve of Munich, the IG Farbenindustry concern "donated" 600,000 marks to the "help" fund for the Sudetenland {410} .

The close cooperation of the Nazis with the monopolists was also manifested in the fact that important government posts, especially in the field of economics, were given to the leaders of the largest concerns. In August 1934, Schacht, the head of the Reichsbank, who was closely connected not only with German, but also with American and British financial capital, took the post of Minister of Economics {411} , turning in fact into the financial and economic dictator of Germany. Thyssen and Reinhardt became state councilors in Prussia, and they controlled those areas in which the industrial enterprises belonging to them were located.

The Hitlerite government created a whole system of subordinating the entire economy of the country to the monopolists. On July 15, 1933, the General Council of the Economy was established, which was run by the cannon king Krupp, the industrial magnate Rura Thyssen, the general director of the Steel Trust factories Vögler, the electric king Siemens, the largest banker and financial intermediary between Hitler and the American banks Schroeder, chairman of the supervisory Council of the Commercial Bank Reinhardt, General Director of the German Potash Syndicate Dean, President of the Central Association of Banks and Banking Enterprises Fischer. This body could rightly be called "the real government of Germany" {412} .

On February 27, 1934, the law “On the preparation of a new organic structure of the German economy” was issued, in accordance with which 6 imperial economic groups were created (industry, energy, banks, insurance, crafts and trade). They were subject to 31 branch and about 300 special groups and subgroups {413} , which became the only representatives in their branches. Every entrepreneur was required to join [121]to one of them. In this way, representatives of the leading concerns took control of the entire economic, financial and political apparatus of fascist Germany, subordinating the socio-economic life of the country to their dictatorship. The imperial economic chamber and economic chambers in the provinces (18 chambers) created on the basis of the law had great powers in the distribution of orders and raw materials. Germany was, moreover, divided into military-economic districts.

The practice of the Führer, introduced by the law “On the regulation of national labor” of January 20, 1934, was increasingly used in the economy. Entrepreneurs were given virtually unlimited power. The law established that the entrepreneur is the "Fuhrer" of the enterprise and the workers are obliged to remain faithful to him, based allegedly on the commonality of their production interests. The complete autocracy of the capitalist over the workers was legalized, who, in fact, became forced slaves.

On June 26, 1935, the imperial law "On Labor Service" was adopted, which was of great practical importance for preparing Germany for a new world war. It was a definite addition to the universal military service and obligated every young German to work for a year on the construction of military facilities before being called up for active military service.

The alliance of the Nazis with the monopolists was reinforced by the fact that the fascist leaders themselves became owners or co-owners of big capital. According to Thyssen, at the time of the seizure of state power, the fascist rulers had nothing but debts, but very soon, after 1933, they became millionaires. They did not spare any means for their whims, especially if the costs were covered by the state treasury. The personification of wastefulness and embezzlement of the "Third Reich" was Goering. This high-ranking fascist was both Prime Minister of Prussia and Minister of Aviation, Chairman of the Reichstag and General Inspector of Forests and Hunting. The total amount of Goering's annual remuneration was about 2 million marks. Besides, he received huge incomes from the state concern Hermann Goering's Imperial Works and from other sources. As the head of the government of Prussia, he disposed of it as his own fiefdom, distributing state lands to his close associates. Thyssen wrote about Goering: "What belongs to Prussia belongs to him"{414} .

Hitler - Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor, Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht - made millions from the sale of the book "Mein Kampf", which was distributed by force. He became a co-owner of the fascist publishing house Eyer, which subjugated all others. Only from the publication of daily newspapers the publishing house received about 700 million marks a year in net profit, a significant part of which went to Hitler. He enriched himself and encouraged his close associates to this, saying: "Let them do what they want, as long as they do not allow themselves to be covered on this."

The chief executioner of Nazi Germany, Himmler, profited from the robbery of repressed anti-fascists and the confiscation of property of Jews. He patiently waited in the wings and made the appropriation of public and private values ​​in the occupied countries, the property of innocent victims of fascism destroyed in death camps the main source of personal enrichment.

The head of the "German Labor Front" Ley enriched himself by robbing trade union funds and contributions from workers and employees to the fund of the "labor [122] front." He expressed his life "philosophy" with the words of a tabloid song: "Pick the roses before they fade!"

Goebbels appropriated millions of marks from the press, radio and film funds he controlled. The "black fund" of his ministry, notes Thyssen, amounted to about 200 million marks a year {415} .

Ribbentrop previously had a large fortune, and when he became Minister of Foreign Affairs, he began to enrich himself with even greater zeal. He was the first among the Nazi leaders to prefer "just in case" to place his capital abroad. The American journalist Knickerbocker calculated that only six or seven Fascist leaders had deposited about 1.5 billion francs {416} in foreign banks by the beginning of the war .

The German military played an important role in the rise of the Nazis to power. Many bourgeois historians usually hush up or even try to deny this sinister role of the militarists.

The close alliance of the Nazis with the generals was formed immediately with the advent of the Nazi Party. The fascist coup of 1933 was carried out with the active assistance of the President of Germany, a military leader of the First World War, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hindenburg.

Bourgeois historians, as a rule, emphasize some of the strife between the Reichswehr command and the Nazis in the 1920s. They write at length about the "vacillations" of the leaders of the Reichswehr, Generals Schleicher, Hammerstein-Equord, Adam, Bredow and Busgpe, during the anxious days of January 1933, when the crisis of the Schleicher government came.

Of course, there were differences between the top of the Nazi party and the leadership of the generals, and at times they escalated and led to mutual attacks in the press. But they did not go beyond the "family quarrel" and touched on some issues of a tactical nature, especially which of them should play the first fiddle in the system of dictatorship of the imperialist bourgeoisie. The leadership of the Reichswehr sought to subjugate the Nazi movement, "tame" its extremely ambitious, unscrupulous Fuhrers and use their mass base, especially the strike force - assault squads, in the interests of preparing for war. However, Hitler and his inner circle were not satisfied with secondary roles, they rushed uncontrollably to power, and as the National Socialist Party turned into one of the most influential political forces, their appetites increased.

Realizing that without the help of the Reichswehr they would not get power, the Nazis were looking for the most acceptable form of agreement with its leadership. The Nazi Party and the Reichswehr have long been united by the common goals of preparing for total war, anti-communism and revanchism.

With the aggravation of the economic and especially political situation in Germany, the question specifically arose of the methods and forms of attracting the Nazis to participate in the government.

Already in December 1930, General Seeckt, who was still influential in militaristic circles, stated in the press: “When asked whether the participation of the Hitler Party in the government is desirable, I answer with an unconditional “yes.” It is not only desirable, but, moreover, necessary” {417} .

In subsequent years, the leaders of the Reichswehr repeatedly negotiated with Hitler regarding the involvement of the Nazis in the imperial government. In August 1932, the Minister of the Reichswehr Schleicher, during [123] regular negotiations with Hitler, agreed in principle with his demand for the post of Reich Chancellor (hoping to retain his post) and, after the meeting, strongly persuaded President Hindenburg to appoint the Fuhrer head of government. In January 1933, Schleicher, being no longer only Minister of the Reichswehr, but also Chancellor, again entered into negotiations (through intermediaries) with Hitler and, together with his supporters, the top leaders of the Reichswehr, Generals Hammerstein-Equord, Bussche and Bredov, spoke in favor of Hitler's candidacy as the only way to solve the government crisis{418} . But it turned out that they were already bypassed by more active adherents of the Nazis. Hitler received the post of Reich Chancellor, General Blomberg became Minister of the Reichswehr, and Schleicher and his supporters were dismissed without any resistance. Having lost the race for the highest command positions in the Nazi state, they were forced to give way to more reactionary and sly generals, such as Blomberg, Reichenau, Keitel, who made a dizzying career under Hitler.

The Communist Party of Germany strongly opposed the coming of the Nazis to power. It launched a selfless struggle against the established terrorist regime.

On January 30, 1933, at the same time that the SA detachments were holding rallies and torchlight processions in honor of the Hitler government, the Central Committee of the KPD called on the SPD and the Christian trade unions to hold a joint general strike aimed at overthrowing the new government, and defined it as " government of an open fascist dictatorship ... a rude and undisguised declaration of war on the working people, on the German working class.” The Communist Party warned: "Shameless wage cuts, the unbridled terror of the brown deadly plague, the trampling of the last meager remnants of the rights of the working class, the shameless course towards the preparation of imperialist war - this is what we will experience in the near future" {419}. According to the KKE, the persecution launched by the fascists against the communists was only a prologue to the destruction of all workers' organizations. "A bloody, barbaric regime of fascist terror hung over Germany" {420} . The Central Committee of the KKE called on all workers, regardless of their party affiliation, to create, together with the communists, a united front of struggle for the overthrow of the Hitlerite government and to win over the rest of the workers—the peasants, the middle class, and the intelligentsia.

The board of the Social Democratic Party rejected the appeal of the German Communist Party of January 30.

On February 7, 1933, at an illegal meeting of the Central Committee of the KKE, E. Thalmann described Hitler's government as an open fascist dictatorship. “In the person of Hitler, the Reich Chancellor was a man who made the war against the Soviet Union at the forefront of his foreign policy” {421} . Telman called on party members and its activists to use a variety of forms of resistance to the Nazi regime.

Thus, from the first days of the existence of the fascist dictatorship, the Central Committee of the KKE correctly assessed the class character, as well as the aggressive essence of its foreign and domestic policy. As an immediate goal, the leadership of the KKE put forward the overthrow of the fascist dictatorship by a united front of the working class and its allies. Members of the party organizations of the KKE, in leaflets and speeches to the workers of enterprises and residents [124] of cities, revealed the goals of the Nazi regime and called for fighting against it.

In late January-February, communists, social democrats, trade unionists and other opponents of Nazism organized joint demonstrations and rallies, demanding the overthrow of the Nazi government. Such performances took place in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Wuppertal, Dortmund, Cologne, Hamburg, in many cities of Thuringia, Mecklenburg and Pomerania. On the evening of January 31, 10,000 communists and other anti-fascists from Stuttgart, after a rally organized by the KPD, marched through the streets of the city. In Kassel, the communists and the railway workers, who were under the influence of the Social Democrats, disrupted the torchlight procession of the SA detachments. On February 19, 20,000 Leipzig workers belonging to various parties and public organizations gathered to protest against the coming to power of the Nazi government. On February 23, Wilhelm Pieck spoke to thousands of Berlin workers at the last open rally of the KPD at the Sports Palace. In his speech, he called on the German working class to form a united front against fascism.{422} .

The facts refute the fabrications of the reactionary Anglo-American and West German historians that the German working class meekly submitted to the fascist dictatorship and "lost its fighting spirit overnight." Under the most difficult conditions, many German workers waged a struggle against the fascist dictatorship. However, the joint actions of the working people did not take on a mass character. It was not possible to achieve practical unity of the working class. The leaders of the SPD and the General Association of German Trade Unions sabotaged the creation of a united front. On February 7, at a rally in the Berlin Lustgarten, attended by 200,000 workers, including many communists, the social democratic leaders who led the rally did not allow the representative of the KPD to read out the appeal of the Central Committee of the KKE to the leadership of the SPD, which spoke of the need for unity of action of all working class. In Dortmund, the head of the city police, the Social Democrat K. Zergibel, sent police units against the anti-fascist demonstration organized by the communists and ordered the arrest of its participants. Police chiefs - Social Democrats took repressive measures against the anti-fascist activities of even members of their own party.

Deciding not to negotiate with the KPD and to take a wait-and-see attitude, the SPD leaders pretended that they were only choosing the right moment to "rush into the fray". In fact, the right-wing leaders of the SPD abandoned the fight against fascism and continued to take positions of militant anti-communism. They in every possible way restrained the anti-fascist activities of members of their party and organizations under its influence, trying to prevent the unity of action of the working class, the main force in the struggle to overthrow the fascist dictatorship, opposed the holding of a general strike.

The leaders of the General Association of German Trade Unions took the same negative position. "Don't let them drag you into hasty actions and pernicious actions," {423} they urged the workers in a leaflet published on January 30th.

Some representatives of the intelligentsia and bourgeois parties warned of the danger that the fascist dictatorship [125] brought with it to the German people. The bourgeois publicist K. Ossietzky, speaking at the last legal meeting of the Berlin group of the Union of German Writers in February 1933, said: “I do not belong to any party. I fought on the side of all currents, more often from the right, but sometimes also from the left. Today we must understand that everyone on the left is our allies. The banner under which I stand is ... the banner of the united anti-fascist movement” {424} .

The attitude of the so-called moderately bourgeois parties towards the Hitler government was determined by anti-communism. Their leaders saw in fascism only the enemy of the communists, whom they also considered their enemies. By adopting a conciliatory position towards the Nazis, they prepared the way for the defeat of their parties.

The situation developed in such a way that both the Social Democratic and the bourgeois parties did not oppose the fascist coup. A significant part of the population was misled and supported the Nazi regime. Some part of the German people took a wait-and-see attitude. In the early days and months of the Nazi dictatorship, the number of active fighters in the resistance movement was negligible.

The seizure of power in Germany by the Nazis is not an accidental phenomenon. The fascist dictatorship was not a power which, according to many bourgeois falsifiers of history, allegedly stood above classes. It was one of the forms of political domination of the monopoly bourgeoisie. “In the face of the Hitler Party,” write historians of the German Democratic Republic, “power was taken by the party that, by its adventurism, its terror against the masses of the people, its rabid revanchism and anti-Sovietism, and its unbridled national demagogy, most of all corresponded to the class interests of the most reactionary groups of German finance capital. . Fascist domination was an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and imperialist elements of German finance capital.{425} .

2. Punitive and intelligence agencies are a tool for strengthening the fascist dictatorship

The restructuring of the state apparatus of fascist Germany was of paramount importance for the establishment and consolidation of the open terrorist dictatorship of monopoly capital. The main elements of this restructuring were: ensuring the monopoly position of the National Socialist Party; the rejection of bourgeois-democratic methods of activity and the transition to openly violent, repressive methods; "cleansing" the state apparatus of democratic elements who are in opposition or who, in the opinion of the fascist leaders, are able to become in opposition to the course pursued by them; a sharp increase in the role of punitive and intelligence agencies; changes in the structure, competence and relationships of state bodies, which destroyed all bourgeois-democratic state-legal institutions established by the Weimar constitution{426} (rights [126] of parliament, autonomy of the lands, local self-government, bourgeois legality, etc.).

Direct restructuring of state bodies was carried out from the end of March 1933 to the beginning of 1935. At this time, the main links of the state apparatus were created and all the foundations of its activity were determined. Among the most important legislative acts that formalized the state system of fascist Germany were: the law of March 24, 1933 "On the Elimination of Poverty of the People and the Reich" (the law on granting emergency powers to the government); the law of July 14, 1933 "Against the formation of new parties", which punished as a serious crime attempts to create other (except National Socialist) parties; the law of December 1, 1933 "On Ensuring the Unity of the Party and the State"; the law of January 30, 1934 "On the new structure of the state" (on the liquidation of the autonomy of the lands); law of August 2, 1934 "On the Supreme Head of State";

As a result of the restructuring of the state apparatus, it was rapidly merging with the monopolies and the National Socialist Party.

The supreme power was concentrated in the hands of the fascist government, primarily Hitler, who received the new title of Fuhrer of the fascist party and state, in practice equal to the titles of Caesar, Emperor.

The turn from bourgeois democracy to fascist dictatorship entailed major changes in the system of punitive and intelligence agencies and a general increase in their role in the mechanism of the state. The system of punitive and intelligence agencies included organizations of the National Socialist Party: SA, SS and SD {427} .

The fascist government announced the full support of the assault troops, elevated them to the rank of auxiliary police and declared the unity of goals of the state and the SA. Thus, the newspaper "SS" of January 6, 1934 wrote: "New Germany could not exist without the fighters of the SA ... What has been done so far, namely the seizure of power in the state and the destruction of all ... followers of Marxism, liberalism, the annihilation of these people is only a preliminary task ... to the fulfillment of ... big: National Socialist tasks ... ” {428}

The SA became the most important weapon in the fight against the anti-fascist movement, the fascist leadership forbade the police to interfere in the actions of the assault squads, giving them complete freedom. On March 3, 1933, Goering, speaking of the massacres of the storm troops with the communists, said: “I am not going to administer justice. My task is only destruction and annihilation... I will fight not for life, but for death... with the help of... brown shirts» {429} .

Assault detachments occupied a significant place in the system of punitive organs. “Internal political opponents,” said Goebbels in 1935, “disappeared not for some secret reasons unknown to anyone. No, they disappeared because our movement had the most powerful weapons in the country, and these most powerful weapons were the SA detachments” {430} . [127] A special place among the punitive organs of fascist Germany was occupied by SS detachments (in 1933 there were 52 thousand people in them). They carried out "guarding the internal security of the empire" {431} .

The Nazi leadership, having eliminated any framework that limited the activities of punitive organs, used them to carry out open and unlimited terror. The order of the Minister of the Interior Frick stated: "The Reichsführer SS and the Chief of the German Police may take the administrative measures necessary to maintain order and security, even if they go beyond the legal limits of administrative measures" {432} .

After coming to power, the Nazis rebuilt the police system, affecting all aspects of its organization and activities. The main task of the police was to carry out mass terror and physically exterminate communists and anti-fascists.

In a special order on the use of weapons by the police, issued by Göring in February 1933, it was stated: “Police officials who, in the performance of their duties, use weapons, I will provide protection, regardless of the consequences of using weapons. On the contrary, anyone who shows false kindness should wait for punishment in the service. Any official must always remember that failure to take measures is a greater offense than a mistake made in taking them” {433} .

The fascist party-state elite completely subordinated the system of judicial bodies to their arbitrariness, turning them into a weapon of terror against communists and anti-fascists.

To consider cases of a "political" nature in the territory under the jurisdiction of the regional (zemstvo) court, "exceptional courts" were created. The simplified order of legal proceedings turned them into operational bodies for reprisals against anti-fascists.

How "exceptional courts" were created in Nazi Germany can be seen in the example of the so-called "People's Court", established on April 24, 1934. This court was created by the Chancellor (on the proposal of the Minister of Justice) of two members and three assessors to deal with cases of high treason, which had previously been considered by the imperial court. The order of proceedings in the "people's court" essentially did not differ from that adopted in the other "exceptional courts".

The Nazi Party Congress held in 1935 officially proclaimed the final rejection of the liberalist starting point of the old criminal legislation "no punishment without law" and established the principle of "punishment for every offense" {434} , meaning in practice the justification and justification of any barbaric methods fascist justice and the entire system of punitive organs aimed at the destruction of people who are not pleasing to the Nazi regime.

Endemic terror, total surveillance, comprehensive fascist propaganda turned Germany into a monstrous barracks, and most Germans into obedient creatures, over which the spirit of Hitlerism hovered. The police, the Gestapo, the Goebbels department did everything to ensure that this spirit became the soul of everything in the "Third Reich". The American writer Upton Sinclair, summing up the arguments of one of the leaders of fascist Germany - Goering, expressed anti-human, anti-social [128]Nazi aspirations: “We have specialists in all fields of knowledge, and for years they have worked out ways for us to break the will of those who stand in our way. We have studied the body of man, his brain and what you like to call the soul, we know how to deal with it. We will put him in a specially designed cell where he will not be able to stand, sit or lie down without experiencing discomfort. Bright light day and night will blind his eyes, and if he forgets for a second in a dream, then he will be pushed aside by the watchman assigned to him. A certain temperature will be maintained in the cell - not so low that he will die of cold, but quite suitable to turn him morally into an obedient lump of clay ” {435} .

The role of the intelligence organs in suppressing the resistance of the exploited masses and in carrying out the aggressive foreign policy plans of German imperialism increased substantially. In order to achieve their goals, the fascists brought intelligence to the fore among other links in the state mechanism. The creation of a new intelligence system became the most important practical task of the Nazis. This was explained by the fact that total espionage most fully corresponded to the plans of the monopoly bourgeoisie and to the very essence of the fascist dictatorship, exceptional in its reactionary and aggressive nature.

Plans for the creation of an intelligence system were discussed in Munich at a meeting of the top of the Nazi Party as early as mid-1932 {436} . After the fascists came to power, these issues were put in a number of priorities.

The reorganization of the German intelligence apparatus was an integral part of the overall process of fascisization of the political superstructure, in particular the state apparatus. It was based on the same principles that characterized the organization and activities of the entire state apparatus of Nazi Germany: totality, unbound by law, etc.

The creation of the fascist intelligence apparatus took place in 1933-1935. by reorganizing intelligence of the Weimar period and the formation of new services. During these years, the main links of the intelligence apparatus were formed, the most important fascist principles of its organization and activity were quite clearly manifested.

The fascist leadership assigned a special role to the political police in the state intelligence system. As a result of a number of measures, the political police was turned into a widely branched, centralized apparatus endowed with punitive functions.

In April 1933, by decree of Goering, a state secret police (Gestapo) was created in Prussia. It was declared the highest police authority, subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior and was supposed to solve the tasks of the political police {437} . Subsequently, the Gestapo turned into an exceptional body in its position. According to Goering's decree of November 30, 1933, the Gestapo was subordinate only to the Prime Minister of Prussia. In March 1934, the district departments of the Gestapo separated from the local authorities and gained independence from all other state bodies. At the same time, the governing bodies of the general police were obliged to act in accordance with the directives of the Gestapo {438} . In the future, the Gestapo became one of the departments of the main department of imperial security in Germany. [129]

In the struggle against the vanguard of the working class and the anti-fascist forces, the Gestapo, on the basis of the decree of President Hindenburg of February 28, 1933, widely used the preventive arrest and imprisonment of communists and progressives in concentration camps.

The activities of the Gestapo were nothing more than legalized arbitrariness and reprisals. The Gestapo threw into concentration camps not only communists and anti-fascists, but also people who were not pleasing to the Nazi regime, all dissidents for their subsequent physical destruction or turning into slaves.

One of the "old" intelligence agencies of Germany, the counterintelligence department of the War Ministry (Abwehr), headed by Admiral V. Canaris, was called to the service of the Nazis. Back in the pre-fascist period, this department began to deal not only with counterintelligence, but also with intelligence. By 1935, the Abwehr had become the main intelligence center of the fascist state, designed to conduct espionage and commit acts of sabotage and terrorist acts in the USSR, as well as in capitalist countries.

The Abwehr created its agent network in the state apparatus, various public organizations in many countries, as well as in army headquarters (even in intelligence and counterintelligence agencies). Thus, an employee of the Austrian military intelligence, Colonel Lahousen, was in fact an agent of Canaris and, on his instructions, prepared the Anschluss of Austria.

The Abwehr worked closely with the intelligence services of the countries allied with Germany - Italy, Spain, Japan. Its head, long before the Second World War, under the pretext of fighting communism, was establishing ties with the British (Intelligence Service) and American (CIA) intelligence services.

The Abwehr had its own units in military districts and strategic centers, in allied and neutral countries, as well as in reconnaissance and sabotage schools that trained agents.

Preparing for an aggressive war, the fascist leadership significantly strengthened and expanded the activities of its intelligence and counterintelligence. At the same time, the Abwehr played a large role. It was he who began to collect information about the military-industrial potential of other states.

In 1935, Hitler instructed the Abwehr to obtain espionage information about the defense power of countries, primarily the Soviet Union, against which military attack plans were being developed. Hitler's intelligence was interested in the strategic and mobilization plans of the country, the location of government agencies, defense enterprises, telegraphs, power plants, railway stations, sea and river ports, arsenals and warehouses, the number of rolling stock and the passage of goods, the defense system of border areas, etc.

In Germany, apart from the Abwehr, there were other, non-state intelligence agencies. In 1933-1935. their number increased significantly, and they gained great weight, becoming an integral part of fascist intelligence. The most important place among them was occupied by various organizations of the National Socialist Party.

The overall management of the intelligence apparatus of various departments was concentrated in the joint communications headquarters. It was headed by the fascist bosses Hess (chairman), Goebbels, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Bole, Bormann.

In April 1933, a foreign policy department of the National Socialist Party was created in Berlin, headed by Rosenberg. The department supervised all foreign policy actions of the fascist party and the German government. At the same time, on a large scale [130] , the replacement of responsible officials of German diplomatic institutions abroad, primarily in London, Paris, Rome, Warsaw and Moscow, was carried out [130].

To strengthen intelligence activities against the Soviet Union, the Rosenberg department sent its permanent secret representatives to Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov and Magnitogorsk. In addition, recruitment activities were carried out in relation to employees of individual German firms, in particular the Otto Wolf firm, which had an agreement with Soviet economic institutions.

With the organization of the foreign policy department, Rosenberg received great powers to expand his agents in the south and east of Europe. Under the leadership of this department, a special Ukrainian committee operated in Vienna, which conducted propaganda on “Ukrainian affairs”, established contacts with Ukrainian nationalists on the territory of Ukraine and in the centers of Ukrainian emigration, mainly in Warsaw, Paris, Prague and Belgrade. A special intelligence bureau was also created in Vienna, whose tasks included conducting intelligence against Soviet Ukraine, as well as establishing contacts with pro-fascist organizations in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. A similar agency for reconnaissance in the Balkans and in the Soviet Union also operated in Hungary.

Attaching particular importance to the organization of subversive activities on Soviet territory, Nazi intelligence used every opportunity to carry out espionage, sabotage, and anti-Soviet propaganda.

Under the flag of the chauvinist idea of ​​the unity of the German nation, the Nazis intended to subjugate all Germans on the globe to their influence, believing that they should serve the interests of Germany alone. Proceeding from this, Hitler's intelligence launched active work to establish contacts and involve Germans who had migrated from Germany and lived in the Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Volga region, Central Asia and other regions in subversive activities against the USSR. Under the guise of helping the settlers, the department of foreign Germans, created at the direction of the National Socialist Party, and the fascist intelligence agencies systematically sent parcels and money transfers from Germany to the USSR in order to recruit new agents.

Infiltrated agents of the Abwehr and the Gestapo sought out politically unstable persons among the recipients of postal items from Germany to carry out subversive actions. In order to involve Soviet citizens of German origin in espionage work, the intelligence services of fascist Germany acted by all means available to them: blackmail, threats, bribery, etc.

The German embassy in Moscow, diplomatic missions and other representations actively participated in the collection of espionage information. German intelligence diplomats involved in espionage against the Soviet Union many employees of the diplomatic missions of Austria, Turkey and some other capitalist states, representatives of various firms, joint-stock companies and other organizations involved in the construction of new enterprises on the territory of the USSR.

To recruit agents and organize reconnaissance and subversive activities on the territory of the USSR, the Nazis used Germany's business connections. It was for these purposes that the Russian committee of German industry was created in Germany, headed by the experienced intelligence officer Chunke. Employees of German commercial and industrial institutions located in the USSR were carefully selected, underwent special [131] intelligence training, and only after that they were sent for "commercial" activities in the Soviet Union.

One of the legal covers for the fascist agents was the supreme church council - the governing body of the Lutheran church, which maintained contact with the pastors who were in the USSR. From some of them, intelligence received information about the economy and political situation in the Soviet Union. German intelligence actively used the Germans - preachers of sectarian groups (Mennonites and Adventists) that existed in Moscow, Leningrad, the Volga region, the Central Asian republics, Azerbaijan, the Ordzhonikidze region. Fascist intelligence agencies completely subordinated to their influence the centers of Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian bourgeois-nationalist organizations located in Germany.

The exposure of agents of the German intelligence services abandoned in the USSR showed that the fascist scouts sought to obtain information not only about the quantity and quality of weapons and military equipment, but also about strategic points and approaches to them, terrain, bridges and crossings; this indicated that German spies were collecting the data needed to develop a plan to attack the Soviet Union.

The process of creating a fascist total reconnaissance apparatus and the process of forming the Wehrmacht proceeded in parallel, in mutual connection. They were basically completed by 1935. A huge number of institutions and organizations were involved in intelligence activities, and mass agents were created at home and abroad. However, in its activities hostile to the USSR, the German intelligence service suffered a complete defeat.

3. The transformation of Germany into a state of war: political and economic preparations for aggression

With the advent of the Nazis to power, feverish preparations for war unfolded, which became the main content of the activity of the German fascist state. The domestic and foreign policy of Nazi Germany, its economy, official science and culture, the system of primary, secondary and higher education, sports, the entire gigantic propaganda machine were aimed at forced militarization of the country. What the German communists warned about, their leader E. Telman, even before the Nazis seized power, was confirmed: “Hitler is war!”

The facts completely refute the fiction of the reactionary bourgeois historians, that in his policy Hitler always improvised and was drawn into the war against his will. In fact, the ruling circles of fascist Germany were preparing for a total war consciously, systematically, at an unprecedented pace, with exceptional purposefulness, diabolical energy. Whereas in Weimar Germany militarization was carried out implicitly, methodically, with a certain observance, at least outwardly, of international treaty obligations, the fascist regime immediately gave a frenzied dispersal of all activities in preparation for aggression—economic, political, ideological, and military.

Having defeated the progressive organizations, and at the same time discarding the bourgeois-democratic institutions and orders as "rotten", which prevented the state from concentrating the efforts of the state on the rapid build-up of military potential, the Nazis unconditionally announced the complete subordination of all spheres of public life to the policy of militarization. The leaders [132] of the Nazi state set out to create the most powerful military machine in the world as soon as possible in order to carry out the crazy plans of establishing the world domination of German imperialism. They openly challenged the centuries-old international legal norms and, as the armed forces strengthened, they more and more resolutely switched to predatory methods of unilateral actions and “fait accompli”.

Having received the powers of the Reich Chancellor, Hitler immediately demonstrated the special attention of the new regime to the Reichswehr. On the morning of January 31, 1983, the day after the formation of the fascist government of "national concentration", he spoke to the personnel of a number of units. On February 3, the Fuhrer detailed the main goals and principles of Nazi policy to the command of the Reichswehr. The confidential program statement meant that the criminal goals and methods of the Nazi Party, long known to the world community through oral and printed speeches of its leaders and pogrom actions of fascist organizations, were now elevated to the rank of state policy of the country, which occupied the second place in the capitalist world in terms of industrial power.

The new Reich Chancellor emphasized that the first goal of the government he headed was “the restoration of political power. All the efforts of the state leadership (of all its departments!) must be directed towards this.” Under the "restoration of political power" he understood the reconstruction of powerful armed forces and the establishment with their support of the political hegemony of the German Empire. “The construction of the Wehrmacht,” the Fuhrer emphasized, “is the most important prerequisite for achieving the goal of gaining political power.”

Hitler defined two main directions in his aggressive policy: "The reconquest of new sales markets ... and, perhaps, this is the best - the capture of a new living space in the East and its merciless Germanization." He justified the need for the latter by the fact that “the living space for the German people is too small” and a “radical change” in the situation is required.

In accordance with the predatory goals, the head of the fascist government defined the main tasks of the Nazi state within the country: “A complete, radical change in the current internal political situation in Germany. No tolerance for views that hinder the achievement of our goals (pacifism). Those who do not mend must be broken. Ruthless eradication of Marxism. Instilling in young people and all the people the idea that only struggle can save us, and before this idea everything else recedes into the background ... Tempering youth and strengthening the military spirit, using all means for this. The death penalty for treason to the country and people. The strictest authoritarian state leadership. Elimination of the cancerous tumor of democracy!” {439}

Declaring the “necessity” of introducing military service, Hitler stressed: “The state leadership must take care, first of all, that those liable for military service are not poisoned by the poison of pacifism, Marxism, Bolshevism, both before being called up for military service and after it.” He called the Wehrmacht "the most important and most socialist organization of the state", making it clear to those who have not yet grasped the essence of National Socialist demagogy, what is the meaning of the Nazis in the term "socialism". Promising the generals that the armed forces would continue to remain “non-political and non-partisan” in the sense that [133] “the struggle within the country is not their business, but the function of the Nazi organizations,” the Reich Chancellor assured that no merger of the army with the SA was envisaged {440} .

In conclusion, the Fuhrer noted: “The most dangerous period is the construction of the Wehrmacht. At this time it will be revealed whether France has statesmen; if so, she will not give us this time, but will fall upon us (in all probability, together with the eastern satellites) ” {441}

Consequently, already at the first meeting with the command of the Reichswehr, Hitler quite frankly and confidentially outlined the essence of the foreign, domestic and military policy of the fascist regime. He did not hide the dangers for the country as a whole that such a policy was fraught with. Nevertheless, the generals and officers not only did not protest, but, wasting no time, launched a stormy activity, and until 1938 the leadership of the Reichswehr was given the opportunity to independently resolve all practical issues of military development. Therefore, the assertions of many bourgeois historians that the German generals until 1937 remained in the dark about Hitler's dangerous plans look completely untenable.

Fulfilling the program outlined before the command of the Reichswehr, Hitler and the reactionary imperialist forces behind him launched an all-round preparation for an aggressive war. First of all, the Nazi leadership took care of strengthening the fascist regime and creating internal political conditions for the preparation and unleashing of such a war.

The eight-volume work "History of the German Labor Movement", created by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the SED, says: "The main task of the Hitlerite dictatorship was to break the strength of the German working class and its allies in the interests of German monopoly capital, junkers and militarists by destroying its Marxist-Leninist vanguard, the Communist Party, to enslave the working class as well as other forces of the people and make them fit for war” {442} .

Immediately after the coup, the Nazis launched repressions against the Communist Party. Goering's order banned meetings and demonstrations of this party. On February 23, 1933, the police raided the building of the Central Committee of the KKE. However, defeating the Communist Party was far from easy: it enjoyed great prestige and the trust of a significant part of the German population. In order to untie their hands and go over to open mass terror, the Nazis decided on a monstrous provocation - to set fire to the Reichstag and blame the Communists for this.

On the night of February 28, 1933, the arsonists gathered in the house of the chairman of the Reichstag, Goering. Through the underground passage, they entered the parliament building and carried out their dirty deed. Soon a government report was published, in which the communists were declared responsible for the arson. Hitler, arriving at the scene, exclaimed in the presence of numerous journalists: “This is the finger of God! Now no one will stop us from destroying the communists with an iron fist!” {443} The Nazi press excelled in its attacks on the Communists, arguing that "the fire should have served as a signal for the start of a terrible all-destroying struggle against the German nation, German culture and the German economy" {444} . [134]

Indeed, a villainous, and, moreover, by no means the last, attack on the German nation, human culture, civilization, organized by the Nazis, was committed. The flame above the Reichstag was the first herald of those fires that soon blazed throughout Europe, marking the path of Nazi aggression.

The circumstances of the Reichstag fire were documented after the war at the Nuremberg Trials, but in the second half of the 60s, West German neo-fascists again began to distribute the Hitlerite version and even propagated it on television.

In this regard, the director of the Institute of History of the University of Bern, W. Hofer, stated: “The arson order came from the highest spheres of the Nazi Party, and it was carried out by a special team of employees of the SS and SA services” {445} . New details of the crime were also revealed. In particular, it was established that when, a year after the fire, a conflict arose between Hitler and the leadership of the fascist assault detachments, the latter made an unsuccessful attempt to transfer information about the organization of the Reichstag arson abroad. This accelerated the defeat of the leadership of the assault detachments and the destruction of the participants in the provocation.

After the Reichstag fire, anti-communism became the official state doctrine of the German Empire. The organizations of the KKE and its activists were subjected to monstrous fascist terror. Hindenburg signed the emergency laws prepared in advance "On the protection of the people and the state", "Against treason to the German people and traitorous actions", aimed at the merciless suppression of any resistance to fascism and reaction. Under the pretext of “protection against violent communist actions dangerous for the state,” seven articles of the constitution were canceled, which fixed elementary bourgeois-democratic rights (freedom of the individual, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, unions, meetings, keeping the secrecy of mail correspondence, telephone conversations) . Introduced searches and arrests without warrants,{446} . A state of emergency was declared in the country. Mass raids and arrests began. On the night of February 28, 1,500 people were arrested in Berlin alone, and more than 10 thousand throughout the country. {447} On March 3, the Nazis seized the leader of the Communist Party of Germany, E. Thalmann.

Many leading figures of the KKE were destroyed by Nazi executioners during arrest or in concentration camps. The biographies and suicide letters of some of the dead party activists, carefully collected and published in the GDR, reveal their high morale, loyalty to their people and communist ideals {448} . The party was forced to send abroad members of the Central Committee of the KKE - W. Pieck, W. Ulbricht, W. Florin, F. Heckert and other prominent figures.

Undertaking a campaign "for the eradication of Marxism" against the organized workers' movement, the German imperialists wanted to be able to carry out the policy of war without hindrance both within the country and abroad. On March 5, 1933, elections to the Reichstag were held. Despite the ferocious terror, the Communist Party collected 4,848,000 votes5, which testified to the confidence of broad sections of the people in it. However, the Nazis did not allow the Communist deputies to the Reichstag and, violating all democratic laws, annulled their mandates. [135] The Communist Party of Germany was officially banned, and communist deputies who did not have time to escape were arrested.

On March 24, the Reichstag, having crossed out the Weimar constitution, granted emergency powers to Hitler's government. In his hands, in fact, concentrated all the legislative and executive power. Representatives of the bourgeois parties supported the creation of an open terrorist dictatorship. For example, on March 30, 1933, a statement was published by the faction of the Catholic Party of the Center in the Cologne municipality (leader - K. Adenauer). It said: "We welcome the destruction of communism and the suppression of Marxism, carried out now on such a scale that was impossible during the entire post-war period" {449}. At the beginning of August 1934, after the death of Hindenburg, the presidency was abolished, and Hitler officially concentrated all control of the country in his hands. Deputies to the Reichstag were no longer elected - they were appointed by the fascist leaders {450} .

Having come to power, the Nazis set themselves the goal of exterminating the advanced part of the proletariat. The workers' and democratic organizations were crushed. The terror of the fascists was primarily directed against the communists. Of the 300 thousand people who were in the party by the beginning of 1933, 150 thousand were persecuted, were thrown into prisons and concentration camps, tens of thousands of party members were killed {451} . Terror was also extended to the Social Democrats, whose right-wing leaders played such an unseemly role, actually contributing to the establishment of a fascist dictatorship in Germany. In total, 200 thousand people were destroyed throughout the country; about a million languished in prison.

In early May 1933, the Nazis dispersed the trade unions. The so-called "German Labor Front" created by them, which included both workers and entrepreneurs, was supposed to demonstrate the absence of class contradictions in the fascist state. His task was to completely subordinate the workers to the entrepreneurs and to assign them to the enterprises. According to the well-known German economist Yu. Kuchinsky, “in the course of about a hundred days, all the basic bourgeois-democratic rights and freedoms that they had won over a hundred years of hard fighting were taken away and destroyed from the German workers” {452} .

The reprisal against the communists, in the opinion of the Nazis, was supposed not only to strengthen fascism inside the country, but also to ensure the sympathy of the bourgeois West, to put the German imperialists at the head of the reactionary forces in Europe. The conservative press of the democratic states, writes G. Jacobsen, expressed its "respectful understanding of the measures to rally the national front in Germany, and it emphasized above all the defensive actions announced by Hitler against Bolshevism" {453} .

Fascist Germany was gradually turning into an international base for the counter-revolution. In the struggle against the revolutionary movement, the Gestapo collaborated with the police of Austria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and other countries. An international police commission was set up in Vienna, chaired by Himmler. The conferences of this "political police" were attended by representatives of 50 capitalist states. The Nazis [136] established especially close contacts with the police organizations of Czechoslovakia and Poland, which transmitted to embassies and consulates, and sometimes directly to the Gestapo, materials on the foreign activities of German anti-fascists. Characteristically, the Polish police cracked down on those German anti-fascists who warned of an impending German attack on Poland.{454} .

From September 21 to December 23, 1933, a provocative trial took place in Leipzig in the case of the Reichstag fire. The organizers of the fire put on trial an outstanding figure in the international communist movement G. Dimitrov, in whose person the court was to accuse the Communist Party of Germany, the Comintern, the Soviet Union. The Leipzig process was intended to give the Nazis an ideological weapon for the anti-Soviet war.

Against G. Dimitrov, the Nazis mobilized the entire state-police apparatus. Playing the role of witnesses, policemen, spies, provocateurs appeared before the court. Even Goering and Goebbels spoke, who hoped to decisively influence the course of the trial. But Dimitrov, who managed to turn it into a trial of fascism, overturned all the plans of the Nazis. The powerful wave of the anti-fascist movement throughout the world, Dimitrov's courageous and skillful defense of the cause of communism, his exposure of provocateurs and the fascist trial - all this led the Leipzig trial to a shameful failure. The Nazis were unable to prove Dimitrov's involvement in the fire. Recognizing the virtually complete lack of evidence of the accusation, the court was forced to acquit the fearless revolutionary. Fascism suffered a major moral and political defeat.

The Leipzig process, moreover, clearly showed that the Communist Party of Germany is a great force and is fighting against the Nazi regime. Not a single bourgeois party, and with them the Social Democratic party, took the path of resolute opposition to the Nazis. Their deputies of the Reichstag behaved shamefully. On May 17, 1933, when Hitler issued a statement on foreign policy, imbued with a desire for military revenge, they voted in favor of a resolution stating that the Reichstag unanimously supported Hitler's imperial government {455} .

The passivity and even servility of the leaders of the Social Democracy did not satisfy the fascists: they were worried about the presence of workers in the party. That is why, following the communist one, they banned the social democratic and other (except the national socialist) political parties. All the bourgeois parties hastened to declare their own dissolution.

And only the Communist Party of Germany, the Nazis failed to break. Despite heavy losses from the fascist terror, it continued its noble struggle for peace, democracy and socialism even in the deep underground, promptly putting forward new strategic and tactical tasks. The greatest courage and selflessness was shown by the German communists, whose party lived and acted throughout the years of the fascist dictatorship and the Second World War as a truly proletarian party, faithful to Marxism-Leninism. The hopes of the fascist leadership for the complete "unity of the nation" in the war for the world domination of the German monopolies turned out to be untenable. A secret Gestapo circular dated June 3, 1935 stated: “The Communist Party of Germany, which is in an illegal position, not only does not stop its activity, but continues it on a large scale”{456} This recognition [137] of a class enemy is evidence of the heroism of the German communists.

As the true face of the fascist dictatorship was revealed, opposition to the regime arose even in Hitler's assault detachments, reflecting the discontent of the deceived petty bourgeoisie and middle strata. Under the influence of the demagogy and terror of the Nazis, the unsurmounted consequences of the crisis of 1929-1933. the ranks of the SA grew from half a million in 1933 to 4 million in 1934 {457} . Feeling their “strength of numbers”, ordinary stormtroopers and even junior commanders began to talk quite loudly about the need for a “second revolution” {458}. In the middle of 1934 unrest broke out in the SA detachments of Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden, Essen, Dortmund, Kassel, Koenigsberg and Freiburg. The leaders of the SA, led by Remus, tried to use the fermentation for their own purposes. They sought to advance by turning the assault troops into the basis of the regular armed forces. Concerned Hitler, on the pretext of participating in the wedding of Gauleiter Terboven, arrived in Essen, where he turned to Krupp for advice. Having received it, he immediately flew to Munich, from where he gave the order to destroy the leaders of the assault detachments. On the night of June 30, 1934, called the "night of long knives", as well as on July 1 and 2, with the personal participation of the Fuhrer, a bloody massacre was committed against the leadership of the SA. In his speech to the Reichstag on July 13, 1934, Hitler announced that 71 people had been shot. In fact, the number of those killed exceeded 1070,{459} The subsequent "cleansing" of the detachments were removed 200 thousand attack aircraft. Along the way, Hitler settled scores with leaders of the bourgeois opposition and some generals who did not show due respect for the military knowledge of the recent corporal. Among those killed were General von Schleicher, who for a long time was the closest employee of the Hindenburg and headed the German government, as well as General Bredov. Hindenburg was not outraged by the murders, he even sent a telegram of thanks to Hitler for his decisiveness in reprisal against the dissatisfied.

The leadership of the Reichswehr took an active part in the preparation and conduct of the action on June 30th. The Reichswehr was put on full alert and assisted the SS in mass arrests and executions without trial or investigation. The Minister of the Reichswehr ordered to explain to all officers that the "rehabilitation" of the killed generals was out of the question {460} . In this regard, O. Vinzer, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the GDR, rightly noted: “In the name of armament and preparation for war, then, as today, the militarists, whose ideal was and remains the field marshal in the presidential chair, were always ready to take part in any shameful case" {461}. Assessing the significance of this bloody action, one of Hitler's closest henchmen, A. Rosenberg, wrote in his diary: "The NSDAP has cleared its way to complete the creation of the Third Reich" {462} .

With the establishment of the fascist regime, the persecution against the Jewish population of Germany intensified. In 1933-1935. [138] laws were issued forbidding Jews to work in state institutions, to serve in the army; they were deprived of citizenship rights, marriages with "Aryans" were forbidden. Soon the Nazis switched to direct terror, organizing pogroms and inhuman reprisals. Subsequently, the Jews were transferred to the disposal of the SS, the Gestapo and destroyed in the death camps. The Nazis believed that by participating in these massacres, the Germans would become imbued with the consciousness of their racial superiority over other peoples.

In the interests of strengthening the regime and preparing the country for war, the Nazis continuously increased the centralization of the state. Having eliminated all representative institutions and elected positions, they consistently put into practice the principle of the Fuhrer, according to which subordinates were appointed by their superiors and unconditionally obeyed him. At the top of the hierarchy stood the "Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor of the German Empire."

There was a merging of the party and state apparatus. On December 1, 1933, the law “On Ensuring the Unity of the Party and the State” was issued, the first paragraph of which stated that the Nazi Party “is the bearer of the ideas of the state and is inseparable from the state, its structure will be part of the people’s law, and its organization will be determined by the will of the Fuhrer” {463} . Almost all the leaders of Nazi Germany combined state and party positions.

In accordance with the law of January 30, 1934, the rights of self-government of the provinces and lands were abolished, where the posts of imperial governors were established. In some lands, the governor himself headed the cabinet of ministers, in others he had the right to appoint and dismiss the chairman and members of the government, as well as officials and judges. The Nazis divided the country into 32 Gaus (regions), which were headed by Gauleiters appointed by Hitler.

The establishment and strengthening of the fascist regime, the merciless suppression and destruction of progressive organizations and all dissenters, the strictest centralization of the state, the concentration of power in the hands of the most reactionary, aggressive and adventurist forces of German imperialism, ready to do anything in the name of carrying out predatory plans, created the most important state-political prerequisites for preparation and conduct of a total war for world domination.

At the same time, the German imperialists launched the country's military and economic preparations. They took into account the experience of the First World War, when the Kaiser General Staff and the government underestimated the importance of the timely deployment of the military economy, and long before the Nazis came to power (in 1924-1929), with the active participation of American and British capital, they created a military-industrial potential. Therefore, the rise in military production, which was noted after the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship, was a continuation of the previous course, but with the use of new methods and incomparable pace and scope with the previous decade. In the face of Hitler, the German monopolies finally found what they had been looking for for a long time. They knew that back in the autumn of 1931, Hitler had declared: “If I now come to power, I will call the Minister of War and ask him: “What will total armament cost?” And if he demands 20, 40, 60 and even 100 billion marks, he will certainly receive them, and then we will arm ourselves, arm ourselves, arm ourselves to full readiness, and then ... ”When one of the participants in the conversation remarked:“ Then the world will unite again against Germany. You will get the second world war, which you will lose in the same way that we lost the first.”[139] Hitler replied: “I will order to shoot everyone who will let it slip ...” The interlocutor tried to object, but Hitler literally growled: “Shoot, shoot ...” { 464} "a business".

As chairman of the union of German industrialists, G. Krupp presented to Hitler a project for the reorganization of the country's industry in order to accelerate the rearmament of the Reichswehr. His firm was one of the first to start mass production of military products. “Instead of trucks, tanks appeared on conveyors, and thousands of steel blanks harvested in previous years ... began to turn into gun barrels. At the Kiel shipyards, Krupp began extensive construction of submarines, minesweepers and destroyers ... When Goering announced the revival of the Luftwaffe, Krupp was already openly testing a new anti-aircraft gun on the Baltic coast .

Other concerns capable of increasing the production of weapons also received large military orders from the government. Among the monopoly associations, which did a lot for the restructuring of industry already in the first year of the fascist dictatorship, the Flick concern {466} stood out . In April 1933, the head of the largest firm Thyssen, on the direct instructions of Hitler, held a meeting with representatives of the aviation industry, at which it was decided to sharply increase the production of combat aircraft of all types - from single-seat fighters to large bombers {467} . In July 1933, the question of the production of tanks and the choice of the most correct technical solutions was discussed in the development of models intended for mass production {468}. The growth rate of the German military industry can be judged from the data on the production of aircraft. In 1931, only 13 of them were produced, in 1933 - 368, in 1935 - 3183 {469} . These were predominantly military aircraft or such "civilian" ones that could easily be converted into military ones.

The old enterprises soon ceased to satisfy the needs of the Reichswehr. The construction of new ones began immediately. In the first three years of the fascist dictatorship, more than 300 military factories were put into operation, including 55-60 aviation, 45 automobile and armored, 70 military chemical, 15 military shipbuilding and 80 artillery {470} .

Of great importance in the system of measures to create a military economy was the expansion of the raw material base, which was carried out in many ways: exploration and organization of mining within the country, forced withdrawal of non-ferrous metal products from the population, restriction of the consumption of military-strategic raw materials in civilian industries, increased import of it from abroad, the development and implementation of all kinds of substitutes. For all this, already in the first years of the fascist dictatorship, up to 10 billion marks were spent.

The amount of capital investment in military production can be seen from Table 7. [140]

Table 7. Capital investment in the German economy {471}

years All investments (million marks) Including in military production

amount (million marks) interest on all investments

1932     2590 620 24

1933    3150 720 23

1934     6760 3300 49

1935    9040 5150 57

Essentially important in the preparation for the war was the construction of roads of military strategic importance. Some highways, crossing Germany from west to east, provided a quick transfer of troops from one theater of operations to another.

As Todt, who was in charge of road construction, stated at a Nazi party congress, in 1935 120,000 people took part in the construction of freeways. 170 thousand people built other roads. In total, taking into account supplier enterprises, 440 thousand workers and employees {472} were associated with road construction . Expenses for the construction of railways increased from 805 million marks in 1932 to 1,876 million marks in 1935 {473} .

The militarization of the economy contributed to the intensification of the process of concentration of capital and the omnipotence of monopolies. According to the data of the German Statistical Office, at the end of 1935 the share of concerns in the total amount of share capital was: in the coal industry - 82.4 percent, in ferrous metallurgy - 76.6, in the production of electricity - 85.2 percent. Even then, the concerns controlled 85 percent of the total share capital {474}. A particularly large role belonged to IG Farbenindustry, Steel Trust, the General Electricity Company and the Krupp concern. Firms that represented the rapidly developing branches of military production were rapidly gaining strength. Among them, the leading place was occupied by the Krupp concern. The number of its workers increased rapidly and at the end of 1935 amounted to 90 thousand people. The concern was a gigantic complex of metallurgical, machine-building, tank, artillery, automobile, aircraft and shipbuilding plants. Its turnover rose from 191 million marks in 1932/33 to 896 million marks in 1936/37. {475}. During this time, the turnover of the Siemens and IG Farbenindustry concerns doubled, and the Junkers concern increased eight to nine times. The Zeiss concern took an active part in the armament of fascist Germany, which manufactured precision optical instruments, so necessary in artillery, aviation, and on warships.

V. I. Lenin emphasized that “the capitalist economy “for war” (that is, the economy connected directly or indirectly with military supplies) is a systematic, legalized embezzlement ...) {476} . Lenin's words are fully confirmed by data on funding sources [141]the military economy of fascist Germany, which required huge funds from the state budget. The foreign exchange reserves of the Reichsbank were comparatively small. Germany's gold reserve was only about 900 million marks, it was only enough for the first year and a half of the fascist dictatorship, so the main source of funding was an increase in all kinds of extortions from the workers: direct and indirect taxes, forcibly placed state loans, extortions to the "labor front" fund etc. The Nazis also widely resorted to direct robbery of the population and public organizations. So, they seized the cash desks of the disbanded bourgeois parties and the crushed trade unions.

On June 12, 1933, the law “On the Protection of the German National Economy” was issued, which authorized the robbery of persons of “non-Aryan origin” and all those objectionable to the Nazis. According to Mine, thanks to another law ("On high treason"), 100 million marks {477} were obtained .

One of the forms of financing the armaments program was the issuance of government short-term interest-free bills and the so-called "promissory notes for the creation of works." In 1933-1938. was issued for 12 billion marks of "mepho-bills" (bills without real security) {478} . The law "On the Reduction of Unemployment" of June 1, 1933 provided for the implementation of large-scale works using forced labor of the unemployed for a penny remuneration. 4 million unemployed took part in the gigantic military preparations of the first years of the fascist dictatorship. This enabled the Hitlerite government to boastfully announce a "successful" solution to the problem of employment of the labor force and, at the same time, to save large sums of money in the creation of a military economy.

Part of the investment in military production came from the profits of the monopolies, which thus increased their fixed capital. Profits of the largest military concerns grew especially fast. Thus, the net profit of the IG Farbenindustry concern increased from 71 million marks in 1923 to 153 million marks in 1936 {479} . The profits of the Steel Trust rose from 121 million marks in 1934 to 257 million marks in three years {480} . Krupp's enrichment proceeded even more rapidly, and the profits of the concern were in direct proportion to the number of military orders received. Table 8 shows this.

Table 8. Growing profits of the Krupp group {481}

years Number of military orders Profit (million marks)

1932/33 9 7

1933/34 53 12

1934/35 62 60

1935/36 80 91

Direct management of economic preparation for the war in 1933-1935. carried out by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of War. [142] As early as 1933, J. Schacht, the Minister of Economy, organized an accurate accounting of enterprises that were most important militarily. Economic plans were developed for the production of 200 major types of military materials, as well as a plan for preparing agriculture for war. In 1935 ration cards were prepared and sent to the localities. Schacht was worried that they would not become known abroad, because "such an event would be regarded as preparation for the upcoming war and thus as proof of the aggressive intentions of Germany" {482} .

Secretly issued on May 21, 1935, the law "On the Defense of the Empire" introduced the position of Plenipotentiary General for the War Economy, who was entrusted with the leadership of preparing the economy for war, and in wartime, the mobilization of "all economic forces for the conduct of war" {483} . Schacht was appointed to this post. However, his competence did not extend to the military industry, which was managed by the War Department through the military and economic headquarters, headed by Colonel (later General) Thomas. All military-economic mobilization measures were to be carried out by the Plenipotentiary General for the War Economy and the Minister of War in close cooperation {484} .

Along with the rapid development of the military industry, economic preparation provided for: the achievement of autarky {485} in the supply of raw materials; uniform dispersal of industrial facilities throughout the country; an increase in the production capacity of enterprises serving and feeding the war; conducting technical reconstruction and rationalization in militarily important industries {486} .

The German monopolies not only diligently carried out the tasks of the fascist government and the organs of economic preparation for war, but they themselves took the initiative, suggesting to the Nazi leaders measures that soon acquired the force of laws and were strictly carried out. The industrialist Rechling, in a note to Hitler "Thoughts Concerning the Preparation for and Conduct of War," proposed to proceed from the fact that war is inevitable and one must prepare for it "by all means." “The coming war,” he noted, “will be primarily a war of technology...” {487}, without division into front and rear. The monopolists discussed with representatives of the military ministry the use of various weapons supplied by the concerns. The director of the Krupp firm, G. Kupke, consulted with representatives of the Wehrmacht about the preparation of replacement wheelsets for transporting 280-mm guns in order to ensure the transition to the Russian railway track {488} .

In the memorandum of IG Farbenindustry, presented in 1935 to the armaments council of the imperial ministry of defense, it was stated : from the interests of subordination in the future of all productive [143]forces to prepare for the fulfillment of one task - this means creating (naturally, using the experience gained during the war) a new military economic organization that will put all men and women, all production facilities and machines, all raw materials at the service of military production. And all this will be covered by an economic organization subordinate to a strict military leadership. All products of industry, crafts and crafts, as well as agriculture, are in this sense of military importance and therefore must be included in the framework of a comprehensive war economy ” {489} .

IG Farbenindustry was concerned about the shortage of labor that was inevitable in the event of a major war, and advised the Department of Defense to take into account the fact that a skilled worker "in his workplace ... will be able to make a more valuable contribution to the overall defense of the country than his service with arms in hand. The memorandum also proposed that "the preparation of detailed mobilization plans for industrial enterprises, vital enterprises of crafts and trades, as well as for all branches of agriculture, which together, without any exception, are of vital importance ..." {490} . Not only were such plans prepared in the Ministry of Defense, but the barbaric idea was also ripening to force the use of foreign workers in the industry and agriculture of Germany.

In order not to stop the influx of capital and military-strategic raw materials, the monopolists advised Hitler to assure the Western powers of their loyalty to them, which completely coincided with the Fuhrer's calculations. Constantly reminding representatives of the ruling circles of the United States, Britain and France of his hatred for the Soviet Union and plans for war only with it, he sought to take full advantage of their economic and political support.

A new stage in the economic preparation for war began with the introduction of the "four-year plan" for the deployment of military production, which was developed in 1935-1936, and in September 1936 approved by the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. A month earlier, Hitler had issued a secret memorandum on economic preparations for war. It ended with a very definite directive: "1) in four years we must have a combat-ready army, 2) in four years the German economy must be ready for war" {491} . Thus, the date of the unleashing of the world war was already determined - no later than 1940.

4. The transformation of Germany into a state of war: the ideological and military-theoretical preparation for aggression, the development of the armed forces

In the process of preparing for the war, the fascist regime, having created a ramified and powerful apparatus, launched the ideological indoctrination of the population on an unprecedented scale. “After the Nazis came to power,” notes the Australian author E. Bramsted, “their propaganda acquired a total character, it was not limited only to the immediate political sphere, but covered the entire field of cultural activity of the state ... had to penetrate into all pores of society” {492} . In 1933, the Ministry of Propaganda was formed, headed by Goebbels, one of the main torchbearers of the Second World War. [144]

Public education, the press, radio, libraries, museums, theatres, cinemas—the ministry took control of all the means of spiritual culture and placed them at the service of the aggressive policy of the Nazis.

Summing up some of the results of the indoctrination of the German population, Hess said in May 1935: “The impact of new ideas in Germany extends not only to politics, but also to culture as a whole, in the comprehensive sense of the word: art and literature, science and economics, on the country's defense forces and on the labor force, on society and the family. In all its forms, the life of the people is influenced or changed by the policy of National Socialism” {493} .

Considering propaganda as one of the main means of strengthening their dominance and preparing the population for war, the Nazis annually increased the budget allocations to the Goebbels ministry: in 1934 they amounted to 26.1 million marks, in 1935 - 40.8 million and in 1938 G. increased to 70.7 million marks {494} .

Complementing the methods of terror, propaganda was supposed to ensure the complete control of the fascists over the thoughts and feelings of the masses. Dressler-Andress, the head of Nazi radio broadcasting, formulated the main task of propaganda in this way: "Total impact on the people, ensuring a unified reaction to events ..." {495} . Propaganda, Hitler admonished, should be directed "principally to the senses and only to a very limited extent calculated on the so-called reason ... The more modest its scientific ballast, the more it concentrates its attention on the feelings of the masses, the greater its success" {496 } . The Fuhrer was echoed by Goebbels. Propaganda, he wrote, “does not have as its task to be spiritualized ... It should by no means be decent, scrupulous, gentle or humble; its task is to ensure success...» {497}. The Nazis saw the task of all propaganda in a massive ideological and psychological impact on the masses by instilling loud fascist-militarist slogans that expressed the essence of their political and military doctrine: “Germany, wake up!”, “Germany is above all!”, “Down with Versailles!”, “ People, to arms!”, “We will march on!”, “We are heading to the East!”, “We will put an end to communism!”.

The characteristic features of Nazi propaganda were its monopoly position in the country and reliance on the entire apparatus of state violence. In essence, it was about massive ideological coercion. In 1933, one senior officer of the Propaganda Ministry frankly wrote: “The use of force can be part of propaganda. Between force and propaganda lies varying degrees of effective influence on the people and masses: from the sudden attention or friendly persuasion of an individual to crackling mass propaganda, from poorly organized adherents to the creation of parastatal or state institutions, from individual terror to mass terror, from the sanctioned use of force. stronger ... to military coercion to obedience and discipline according to the laws of war" {498}.

The main efforts of Goebbels' propaganda were concentrated on the ideological and psychological preparation of the masses for an aggressive [145] war. At first subtly, and then more and more openly, she inspired the idea of ​​the necessity and inevitability of the struggle for "living space". The German people were declared "a people without space", undeservedly deprived of history. By this the Nazis explained the economic difficulties, the decline in the standard of living of the working people {499} . To the population, especially the landless and landless peasants, they pointed out the "way to the East" as the only possible way to fulfill their hopes.

In 1933, the demand put forward by the German reaction back in the late 1920s to make geopolitics the "geographical conscience of the state" was realized. Geopolitics was elevated to the rank of an official "science", studied at all universities of the "Third Reich". The “Union of Geopolitics” created by the Nazis called in its printed organ: “Do not limit yourself to the framework of a narrow, small space, but think on the scale of great and vast spaces, on the scale of continents and oceans, and follow this path for your Fuhrer! .. To the one who supports the Fuhrer in people's struggle for living space requires not only scope, but also endurance and steadfastness” {500} . What official propaganda still kept silent about - the establishment of the world domination of German imperialism - geopolitics began to openly preach.

To substantiate the "legality" of aggression and the "right" of the fascist state to seize and enslave other peoples, racial theory and national-chauvinist ideas closely related to it were used. Inspiring the Germans that they, as the "chosen people", were determined by "fate" and "blood" to rule, Nazi propaganda brought up an arrogant attitude and contempt for other peoples. Racial theory was repeatedly rebuilt by the Nazis in accordance with the needs of the current foreign policy. Thus, as we drew closer to Italy and Japan on the basis of the joint preparation of aggression, there was a "reassessment" of the racial qualities of Italians and Japanese. The Italians, who the Nazis had previously attributed to the "low-value Mediterranean race", were soon declared "worthy" descendants of the proud Romans, and the Japanese, previously called by contemptuous nicknames, erected on a pedestal of the "chosen race" of Asia, the "Aryans of the East." The attitude towards the Slavs remained unchanged as representatives of the “lower race”, whom the fascist barbarians planned to enslave and exterminate, and to populate their lands with the Germans.

Defining the racial struggle as the main driving force of social development, the Nazis sought to distract the working people from the class struggle. They tried to turn the hatred of the workers and other sections of the working people towards the capitalists into hatred towards other nations. In Germany itself, the Jews, whom fascist propaganda declared guilty of all the troubles of the German people, were to serve as such a "lightning rod".

Racial theory was also used by the Nazis to justify the dominance of fascism and its ideology. In 1933, at the Nazi Party Congress, Hitler declared racial purity the only prerequisite for a “correct” worldview: “A people, racially pure, in accordance with its pure essence, instinctively takes adequate positions in all vital questions ... racial elements, it all depends on which worldview of which of them will prevail in the ideological struggle. The merit of National Socialism, the Fuhrer argued, "above all that it helped to win the worldview, reflecting the instinctive needs of German [146] blood" {501}. In this regard, racist theory was widely used to justify terror, cruel repressions against dissidents. All those who fought against fascism were declared "unclean" in racial terms and, as carriers of a worldview "alien" to the German race, were subject to extermination.

At the Nazi Party Congress in 1935, racial "science" was declared "the most important basis of the National Socialist understanding of nature and human history", "the basis ... of the legislation of the National Socialist Reich" {502} . The chief theoretician of racism, Professor G. Günther, was awarded the "Science Prize" {503} established for the first time by this congress .

The core of the fascist ideology and the main direction of its propaganda was anti-communism. The Nazis portrayed communism and the first socialist state as “enemies of the whole world”, and declared the “third empire” a “bastion of Western civilization”, demanding that it be given complete freedom in matters of armament and organizing a “crusade” to the East. In this spirit, they launched a propaganda campaign not only in Germany itself, but also outside it, trying to influence public opinion in the West, to persuade the governments of European states to support German rearmament measures and plans of aggression against the Land of the Soviets. Nazi anti-communist propaganda was closely connected with diplomacy, which based its calculations on the maximum use of the anti-Soviet sentiments of the ruling circles of England, France, the USA, Poland and other capitalist countries.

Fascist leaders and diplomats assured that Germany was arming only to ensure its own security and protect other European states from the "threat of Bolshevism." So, on December 18, 1935, Hitler told the Polish ambassador in Berlin that his only desire was to prevent "Russia's advance to the West", that he was "for the solidarity of the countries of Europe, but it should not go further than the Polish-Soviet border ... How can associate yourself with Soviet Russia, which is preaching world revolution?” {504}. At the same time, he told his associates something else: “I will have to play ball with capitalism and restrain the powers of Versailles with the help of the specter of Bolshevism, forcing them to believe that Germany is the last bulwark against the red flood. For us, this is the only way to survive the critical period, to deal with Versailles and re-arm" {505} . According to the English sociologist Zieman, the Fuhrer's simple tricks ensured his complete success, for those who wanted to be deceived turned out to be deceived. Anti-communist propaganda convinced Europeans of the acceptability of Hitler's dictatorship and that Germany, a bulwark against Bolshevism, should be allowed to increase its power {506}. In the first months, Hitler was still afraid of the opposition of the Western powers, and this kept him from taking excessive risks, but, convinced of their connivance, he increasingly acted with the impudence inherent in the fascists.


Hitler, who came to power with the sympathy of the US and British monopolists, with the help of which he continued to arm himself, did not at all intend [147] to turn Germany into an instrument of their policy. The German imperialists pursued their own goals: to radically reshape the world, create a grandiose colonial empire, crush capitalist competitors, a socialist state, and win world domination. As a result, the anti-communism of the German fascists was closely associated with racism, geopolitics and other components of their ideology, which was all permeated with an aggressive spirit, “justifying” predatory aspirations in any direction.


The true essence of the intentions of fascist German imperialism was expressed in the idea of ​​"empire". Nazi ideologists argued that the desire to create a "great German empire", "longing for the empire" is eternally inherent in the German people. However, external enemies and strife among the Germans themselves prevented the full implementation of this idea. The "Third Empire" created by the Nazis is finally called upon to accomplish what the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" and the "Second Empire" failed to do. Such “ideas” are saturated, for example, in a book written by the leaders of the “Third Reich” with the odious title “People to Arms!”, especially the chapter “The Fate of the Germans. Longing for the empire" {507}. it quite definitely outlines the main directions of fascist aggression - to the west and to the east. France and Russia were declared eternal and irreconcilable enemies of Germany, who always stood in the way of creating a “great empire” by her. These thoughts were not new, they were developed by Bismarck, and since the appearance of Mein Kampf they have constituted the ideological baggage of the Nazi Party in the field of foreign policy.


The militaristic essence of the Nazi ideology was concentrated in the theory of violence. While glorifying war, she saw violence as the main driving force in human history. The press, literature, and art propagated the miserable and misanthropic "thoughts" of the Fuhrer about the war, expressed by him in Mein Kampf and numerous speeches. In his keynote speech on the attitude of Nazism to the Reichswehr, he stated: “If people want to live, they are forced to kill their own kind ... Not only individuals, but entire nations, as long as they exist in this world, are forced to defend their life rights in the struggle. In reality, there is no difference between war and peace... Struggle has always been and will be, and it constantly requires the full dedication of human strength. Weapons and forms of struggle, means and tactics may change, but the combat use of human lives remains unchanged.{508} Hitler argued that "the rights and claims of the German nation" could only be realized by "means of power politics" {509} up to and including "the use of a sharp German sword" {510}

Propagating such sayings of the Fuhrer, the Nazi press, broadcasting, school, literature, and art planted in the country the spirit of militarism, the cult of soldiery. Prussian military traditions were sung. The German conquerors rose to the shield, and among them especially Frederick II. So, one of the fascist newspapers wrote: “... we need a soldier's heroic understanding of history, which teaches admiration for Frederick the Great for the courage of despair with which he fought against a whole world of enemies, and for what, as Clausewitz says, he felt " the pride of a glorious death." We need an understanding of history that sees [148] the Battle of Tannenberg as a classic example of how the will to win can accomplish seemingly impossible things. We need an understanding of history that teaches that it is possible to overcome fate.” {511}

Even the concept of "socialism" was interpreted by the Nazis in a Prussian-militarist spirit. In a lecture on "The Youth and German Socialism" delivered by Goebbels at the end of 1933, it was proclaimed: "Our socialism is inherited from the Prussian army and Prussian officials. This is the socialism that made possible the Seven Years' War of Frederick the Great and his grenadiers." {512}

Fascist war propaganda parasitized German history and culture. The actions of the ancient Germans during the Great Migration Period, the campaigns of Friedrich Barbarossa, the German knight dogs, the legends of Germanic heroes, the tales of the Nibelungs, and works of art on these topics, such as Wagner's operas, were used to emotionally influence the German population. From the works of the great representatives of German philosophy, science, literature, art - Hegel, Fichte, Kant, Goethe and others - everything was carefully selected and presented in a falsified form that at least to some extent contributed to the preparation of the people for war.

The anti-Versailles campaign occupied a special place in justifying the rearmament of Germany and the aggressive policy of fascism. The Nazis capitalized on the hurt feelings of the German people, generated by the imperialist peace conditions that were imposed on defeated Germany. They directed their main efforts to the struggle for the abolition of those articles of the Treaty of Versailles that hindered accelerated rearmament and tied their hands for aggression. The propaganda campaign was carried out under the demagogic slogans of "freedom", "equality" for the Germans, their "right to self-determination". They understood the liberation of the German state from international obligations, the abolition of restrictions for it in the field of weapons and the annexation of all territories with a German population.

On June 28, 1934, one of the newspapers of the German financial magnates, the Berliner Börzenzeitung, pointedly noted: “It is no coincidence that the Treaty of Versailles, for the first time in the history of peace treaties, does not include a formula in which the belligerents would agree ... on mutual agreement in a lasting peace.” The author of the article concluded that "this world ... binds us only in fact, but not morally." Further, he substantiated the inevitability of "upheavals", that is, war, and emphasized: "The new Germany does not want a mechanical revision, a blind restoration of everything that was," but seeks "the reorganization of all of Europe."

The Propaganda Ministry launched active work in order to mobilize the creative intelligentsia, seeking to use it in the spiritual corruption of the population and the spread of fascist ideology. To carry out these tasks, it involved all its departments (cinema, theater, fine arts, music, literature, radio, higher and secondary education, and others). Prominent representatives of the intelligentsia in each department were filed personal files with detailed information, as well as information from informers about the extent to which the activities of this person met the requirements of the regime. Faithful servants of fascism were encouraged, opponents and hesitators were first summoned to a “conversation”, more like a police interrogation, where they used [149]all means of intimidation and coaxing; The "incorrigible" were sent to concentration camps. Acting in close contact with the Gestapo, the Ministry of Propaganda, in fact, was one of its links. All propaganda efforts were concentrated on poisoning the consciousness of the German people and throwing them into the heat of war in the name of the interests of German imperialism. Clearing the way for fascist ideology, the Nazis confiscated all progressive literature from libraries, bookstores, and from the population. On the streets and squares of cities, primarily at universities and libraries, bonfires blazed, made of books - a precious asset of human thought. Fascist barbarians burned the works of K. Marx and F. Engels, V. I. Lenin, the classics of world literature, and the outstanding works of the German democrats. The Nazis filled the editorial offices of newspapers and magazines, film studios, theaters, radio stations, schools and universities, from which all progressive cultural figures were expelled. More than two thousand prominent scientists, representatives of science and art, including A. Einstein, T. Mann, A. Zweig, left the country, tens of thousands ended up in prisons and concentration camps.

Directing the spearhead of their dirty propaganda against the Soviet Union and the international communist movement, the German fascists created a special body - the "anti-Comintern", which actually became one of the main departments of the Goebbels ministry. According to a secret directive issued later, the Anti-Comintern, for the purpose of disguise, began to act as a private association.

An important place in the ideological preparation of the war was occupied by the so-called "Ostforschung" {513} , which originated in the second half of the 19th century and was associated from the very beginning with the aggressive policy of German imperialism. To justify this policy, theses were put forward about the "cultural and economic mission of the Germans in the East" and the "Slav danger".

A special place among the numerous institutes of the "Ostforschung" belonged to the Institute of Eastern Europe in Breslau (Wroclaw), which was led by G. Koch. In Koenigsberg, these issues were dealt with by the Economic Institute for the Study of Russia and the Eastern States, headed by T. Oberländer, who, like Koch, committed the gravest crimes during the war years. There were Russian and Ukrainian research institutes in Berlin, an Ostland Institute in Danzig (Gdansk), and so on. {514}All of them "studyed the East" mainly in relation to the preparation of the war against the USSR and other Eastern European states. Like other institutions, the institutes not only published numerous books, pamphlets and journals that “scientifically” substantiated the predatory claims of German imperialism, but also advised the organs of the General Staff in planning the war and implementing the policy of occupation. They prepared spies, residents, Gauleiters for the territories planned for occupation. At the opening of the school of the foreign policy department of the Hitler Party, its director Schmidt, in the presence of Rosenberg, Hess, Ribbentrop, Himmler and other Reichsfuehrers, formulated the goals of Germany in the East as follows: “On behalf of the Fuhrer, you will have to work in political, military and administrative positions among the Slavic peoples: Muscovites, Ukrainians[150] Teutonic and Livonian knights, with the difference that they had borders to move east, you don't have them! You are the vanguard of the victorious German race, starting its "drang nach Osten" through the swamps and steppes of the Bolshevik Muscovy. You are the beginning of the great migration of the peoples of the Germanic tribe" {515}


The leadership of the Nazi Party convened a special meeting under the slogan "The fate of Europe is in the East." The Nazi professor Maschke, in his report "The Return of the German East", claimed that the German "drang nach Osten" is only an indicator of the "creative nature of the social forces of the German people" in the past and confirmation that "these forces continue to live in it." In the past, he called the seizure of land in the East "a great socio-political success", the hero of which was "not individuals, but the entire German people, united together" {516} Future aggression against the Soviet Union was presented at this meeting in the false guise of a "people's war ".

Based on the instructions of the Hitlerite leadership, all propaganda organizations in Germany focused their attention on the indoctrination of young people, seeing in them a reserve of the Wehrmacht. They have turned the education system into a tool for instilling hatred for other peoples, contempt and monstrous cruelty towards them. Hitler's leaders boasted that they make wild beasts out of young people. At the Nazi Party Congress in 1935, Hitler declared that the German youth must become "fast as a greyhound, strong as tanned skin, and hardened as Krupp steel" {517}The Fuhrer determined the main stages of fascist "education" that every German in the "Third Reich" must go through: the boy joins the "Jungvolk" organization, from where he goes to the "Hitler Youth". Then the young man goes to the SA, CC or other Nazi paramilitary organizations, serves a compulsory labor service, after which he is drafted into the Wehrmacht. From the army or navy, the young man returns again to the SA, CC and other Nazi organizations. The circle closes {518} All these links of spiritual corruption prepared the youth for the role of cannon fodder for the future war.

The army of Nazi Germany absorbed the spirit of racism and revanchism. The entire system of education prepared the ground for those unheard-of atrocities that Hitler's Germany committed during the Second World War.

In close connection with the ideological preparations for the war was the military-theoretical activity of the German militarists. The president of the German Society for Military Policy and Military Science, General Kochenhausen, wrote: "It goes without saying that research and further development of military-theoretical and military-scientific questions should be carried out within the framework of the National Socialist worldview" {519}

In the works of reactionary military theorists from the period of the Weimar Republic, elements of fascist ideology were manifested: national chauvinism, racism, geopolitics, an apology for dictatorial power, glorification of brute force and war. Almost all German military theorists were supporters of the fascist regime and its ideology, and placed themselves entirely at the service of an aggressive policy. In many of their studies [151] , the idea was carried out that only fascism could solve any military-political problems of Germany. They put forward the slogan of a "strong personality" capable of suppressing the working-class movement within the country by means of a terrorist dictatorship and securing a rear for themselves in a future war. For example, General E. Buchfink wrote back in 1930 that a military dictator must calmly endure the sight of blood {520}. The author gazed with admiration at Mussolini's Italy as "the only state guided by the will of a truly great man, which does not bow before anyone and puts forward its demand for participation in power with increasing force" {521} , that is, the imperialist demand for the redistribution of the world and the establishment of dominance in the Mediterranean.


Such military theorists ideologically prepared the rise of the Nazis to power, and during the period of the "third empire" they competed with each other in attempts to "scientifically" prove that the fascist regime - and only it - fully corresponded to the nature and requirements of the era. Thus, the author of numerous articles on total war, E. Walter, wrote in a military-theoretical journal: “The twentieth century will be called by the coming historian a century of war ... If earlier the world wanted to give war its own order, squeeze it into legal norms, force it to comply with its laws and values, now, on the contrary, he must obey the demands of the war, which has become the unspoken mistress of the century and has pushed the world to a position of truce. This emancipation of war, which is the most important event and feature of the era, requires the final stage: the abolition of the social order, based on the prerequisites of peace, and replacing it with one that meets the requirements of war. The creation of such a social constitution for war is the specific task of the present time...”{522}

The military theorists of fascist Germany considered war as an inevitable and vital phenomenon, explaining it in accordance with reactionary philosophical views. Using traditional religious-mystical, ethical and psychological arguments, they focused on racial-biological, social-Darwinian and geopolitical "explanations" of the war. Common to all theories was the denial of the historical conditionality and class essence of war and the desire to present it as a natural phenomenon, absolutely inescapable from the life of human society. The author of a book on chemical warfare, H. Büscher, wrote: “It is not proclamations and speeches, not treaties and alliances that decide about death and life, about war and peace, but the laws of origin and destruction, which are not subject to human will ... Just as we are not we can avoid death we cannot avoid war either. Life is fraught with the germ of death. This is the fate of all living things... War is fate.”{523} .

Most of the military theorists of the "third empire" sang the war as a struggle for the survival of the nation, as an expression of the ability of a race or people to develop, the right of the strong to destroy the weak. “War is the highest manifestation of human abilities,” wrote General Seeckt. “It is the natural and highest stage of development in the history of mankind” {524} . Fascist military theorists tried to present the preparations for war to achieve world domination as a struggle for the existence of the German people, for the fate of each individual German. [152]

In the struggle, they assured, the victory would be for the Germans as the most powerful, viable race. Furch, one of the prominent theorists of fascist Germany, wrote: "All life is a struggle ... The strong must win, live and develop, the weak ... be defeated, die and not be reborn" {525} .

The fascist-militarist philosophy of war formed the basis of the views of the Nazi leaders and the command of the Reichswehr on the nature of the future war, the methods of its preparation and conduct, and the principles of military organizational development. The theory of total war, developed by German military theorists back in the 1920s as a generalization of the experience of the First World War, served as the core of military doctrine. The military expert of the Nazi Party, K. Hirl, outlined its main provisions in his speech at the National Socialist Party Congress in 1929. In fact, it was a "program statement" of the party on military policy {526}. In the first half of the 1930s, especially after the fascist coup, the development of the problems of preparing and conducting war accelerated. Most German military theorists characterized the future war as total. A kind of generalization and the most characteristic expression of their views on this issue was General Ludendorff's book "Total War", published in 1935.

Under the "total" fascist theorists understood a comprehensive war, in which all means and methods are allowed to defeat and destroy the enemy. They demanded the early and complete mobilization of the economic, moral and military resources of the state. The policy of the state must be entirely subordinated to the solution of this problem. Based on this, Ludendorff demanded "to throw overboard all the theories of Clausewitz" and especially his position on the relationship between war and politics. He argued that in the modern era the essence of both war and politics has changed, that the war undertaken by the monopolists allegedly meets the interests of the people. “War and politics serve the survival of the people, but war is the highest expression of the people's will to live. Therefore, politics should serve the conduct of the war” {527} .

The focus of fascist military theorists was the problem of preparing the country's population for active participation in the war. Ludendorff wrote: "The center of gravity of total war is in the people." His "spiritual cohesion is ultimately decisive for the outcome of this war..." {528} . The main condition for creating the "moral" spirit of the population and the army, theorists considered the strengthening of the fascist-type military dictatorship, and the main methods were terror against democratic and anti-war forces, the widespread use of national and social demagoguery.

They attached no less importance to the advance and comprehensive preparation of the German economy for war. Ludendorff urged the fascist leadership to draw lessons from the experience of the past, foresee in advance the greatly increased needs for the material support of the war and, given the likelihood of the opponents establishing a naval blockade, to ensure the maximum self-supply of the country with military materials and food {529} .

An essential feature of the future war was its destructive nature, that is, the struggle not only against the armed forces of the enemy, but also against his people. “Total war is merciless,” wrote Ludendorff. The Fascist military magazine proclaimed: “The war of the future [153] is total not only in the exertion of all forces, but also in its consequences; in other words: according to the internal logic of total war, the same victory corresponds to it. Total victory means the complete annihilation of the defeated people, their complete and final disappearance from the stage of history” {530} .

The theoretical concoctions of the fascist German militarists emphasized the advantages of rejecting the norms of international law and the customs of warfare. “The more vigorously one of the parties uses the combat means of the new time,” said Buchfink, “the more shamelessly it crosses all the boundaries of traditional ideas about military and international law, the stronger its superiority manifests itself” {531}. The Fuhrer spoke frankly with one of his close associates, Rauschning: “Air raids, unheard of in their massiveness, sabotage, terror, acts of sabotage, assassination attempts, assassinations of leading persons, crushing attacks on all weak points of the enemy defense suddenly, at the same second .. .I will stop at nothing. No so-called international law will prevent me from taking advantage of the advantage afforded me. The next war will be unheard of cruel and bloody . Thus, the barbaric methods of warfare, which were soon put into practice, were substantiated and justified.

German military theorists, as a rule, realized that a protracted war could end in disaster for the ruling class of Germany. Therefore, they believed that "the leadership of a total war will proceed from the fact that as soon as possible to end it and thus not jeopardize the outcome of the war due to the violation of the cohesion of the people and the emergence of economic difficulties that will not be slow to affect the people and the conduct of the war, if it drag on" {533}. This circumstance forced the German militarists to pay great attention to the development of the strategic concept of "blitzkrieg", the idea of ​​which was put forward by Schlieffen in his time. Analyzing the experience of the First World War, they unanimously came to the conclusion that the failure of the Schlieffen plan was due not to its viciousness, but to the mistakes of the German command, primarily Moltke Jr. The German fascist theoreticians, the general staff and command of the Wehrmacht persistently searched for ways to implement the ideas of fleet operations and campaigns based on the use of the latest means of armed struggle. In this they saw the only way to overcome the obvious discrepancy between their far-reaching conquest plans and the economic and military potentials of Germany.

In 1933-1935 many problems of the "lightning war" have not yet been resolved, and controversy has unfolded around them. A rather influential group of generals and officers of the fascist German army, whose views differed little from the operational-strategic concepts of the First World War, preferred the traditional branches of the military: infantry, artillery, and cavalry. They showed caution and even some skepticism in assessing new equipment, in particular the possibility of independent operational use of tanks and mechanized troops. This group doubted that positional forms of armed struggle could be avoided in the future. Criticizing such views, the military weekly wrote: “The vast majority of generals love trench warfare and siege; there they have time to think, absent [154]surprises, there is no need to make quick decisions" {534} .

Another group of military theorists and practitioners was inclined to overestimate the role of the latest means of combat, believing that sudden and massive strikes by tank and motorized troops in cooperation with aviation would ensure Germany's victory in lightning campaigns and the war as a whole. So, Guderian, savoring, described the picture of the blitzkrieg: “One of the nights, the doors of aircraft hangars and army fleets will open, engines will howl and units will rush forward. The first surprise air strike will destroy and capture important industrial and raw material areas, which will turn them off from military production. The government and military centers of the enemy will be paralyzed, and its transport system will be disrupted. In the very first sudden strategic offensive, the troops will penetrate more or less far into the depths of enemy territory ...{535} .

The concept of "blitzkrieg" fully corresponded to the adventurist aspirations of the fascist leaders and enjoyed their unconditional support. From it, as well as from the more general doctrine of total war, the German militarists proceeded in the development of the armed forces. With the advent of the Nazis to power, a course was immediately taken to create a massive, multi-million, highly mechanized army. The theory of small professional armies, which had not previously enjoyed success among the German militarists, was decisively rejected. On May 9, 1935, the Berliner Börsenzeitung wrote: “The false path that led to faith in small, well-equipped armies based on long-term service is over. As in the first world war, in a new war one will have to reckon with the armed force of the nation, that is, with armies of many millions.”


The rapid deployment of the 100,000th Reichswehr into a mass army became possible because this army was created back in the years of the Weimar Republic. Even then, cadres of officers and non-commissioned officers were trained, weapons were developed and their production was launched. This, although with reservations, bourgeois historians are forced to admit. “During the seizure of power,” writes the Nazi military theorist General W. Erfurt, “Hitler found part of his military plans already implemented as a result of the activities of the General Staff of the Ground Forces” {536} .


However, the rate of growth of the armed forces in the very first years of the fascist domination far exceeded the previous intentions of the generals of the Reichswehr. According to plan "A", developed by the Reichswehr command in 1932, it was planned to complete preparations for the deployment of 21 infantry divisions by March 31, 1938. This task was completed by October 1934.


The decisive step towards the deployment of the armed forces for the implementation of aggressive actions was taken on March 16, 1935, when the law on the creation of the Wehrmacht was passed in Germany and universal military service was introduced. The land army in peacetime was defined as 36 divisions, combined into 12 army corps. The armed forces, [155] officially called "Wehrmacht", were divided into three types: the land army, the navy and the air force, which had their own main commands. The Ministry of the Reichswehr was transformed into the Imperial War Ministry. On behalf of the Fuhrer and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the Minister of War, General Blomberg {537} , carried out the coordination and practical leadership of all branches of the armed forces .


In connection with the introduction of universal military service, the Hitlerite government officially declared that it did not consider itself bound by the restrictions on armaments imposed by the Treaty of Versailles {538} . The Western powers that signed the treaty reacted to this only with formal notes of protest. This behavior of England, France and Italy, wrote the French ambassador in Berlin, A. François-Poncet, convinced Hitler that "he can afford everything and even prescribe his laws to Europe" {539} .


On May 21, 1935, a law was passed that determined the draft contingent, terms of service in the Wehrmacht, duties and rights of military personnel {540} . Initially establishing a one-year term of active service in the army, the Nazis sought to prepare cadres for an aggressive war in a short time. However, at the insistence of the high command of the land army, pointing to the negative consequences of the accelerated training of soldiers, from August 24, 1936, the term of active service was increased to two years {541} . On March 16, 1935, the German government announced that it was bringing the number of divisions to 36. However, this limit was soon surpassed {542} . The following table testifies to the growth of the ground forces of Nazi Germany.


In 1935, 11 corps and 3 district military commands were created. The number of ground forces reached 300 thousand, that is, three times the number of personnel determined by the Treaty of Versailles. Taking into account the naval and air fleets and all auxiliary troops, the personnel reached 900 thousand [156]

The basis for the formation of a mass army was not only the Reichswehr, but also the police, a significant part of which was in the barracks. Organized on an army basis, it underwent regular combat training. About 2500 officers for the Wehrmacht {544} were taken from the police . The Wehrmacht was replenished at the expense of personnel from various paramilitary organizations that adjoined the Nazi Party: the SA, the Hitler Youth, the National Socialist Automobile and Aviation Corps, and sports societies.

An important task of the Hitler Youth, numbering up to 8 million youths {545} by the beginning of the war, was the military training of young people and their education in a militaristic-fascist spirit. Built on a military model, this organization had its own units and subdivisions, its members wore uniforms, had ranks and ranks, and were trained in shooting under the guidance of instructor officers. One of the leaders of the Hitler Youth said: "In the course of time, we want to ensure that German schoolchildren handle weapons as confidently as they do with a pen."

In addition to performing security and police functions, the SA detachments were engaged in military training of pre-conscripts and demobilized. Although in terms of armament and combat training, the assault detachments were undoubtedly significantly inferior to the Reichswehr and were not formally subordinate to his command, nevertheless they received instructions from him on the military training of their members. Before joining the Wehrmacht, young people had to undergo military training in the SA units or other paramilitary organizations.

As part of the SA, special formations were created, intended for military operations east of Germany. They were equipped and trained as regular troops. By the beginning of 1936, there were 34 such formations, each of which was close to an infantry division in size, and in general they numbered up to 320 thousand people {546}

The training of personnel for tank and motorized troops was carried out by the Nazi automobile corps, which included up to 400 thousand motorists and had a powerful technical training base: 26 driving schools, 23 separate motorcycle groups. It had about 150,000 motor vehicles and motorcycles at its disposal. {547} The activities of this organization contributed to the rapid deployment of fascist tank troops, turning them into the main striking force of the land army. Within two years, the Nazis managed to create three tank divisions armed with the latest TI and T-II tanks for that time. One of the divisions was commanded by Guderian.

Aviation developed even more rapidly. In March 1935, Goering boastfully declared: “I intend to create an air force that, when the hour strikes, will fall upon the enemy like a punishing right hand of retribution. The enemy must consider himself defeated even before he begins to fight. {548} The Air Force was created in such a way as not only to interact with other branches of the armed forces, primarily with the land army, but also independently conduct an air war. The focus was on [157]on offensive forces - bomber aircraft. At the end of 1933, the Hitlerite government decided by October 1, 1935, to increase the air force fleet to 1,610 combat aircraft, of which almost 50 percent were bombers, 30 reconnaissance aircraft, 12 fighters, and 6 percent naval aircraft {549} . This program was completed ahead of schedule thanks to the powerful aviation industry created in advance.

Air Force personnel were trained in civil aviation flight schools and numerous sports unions. By 1933, the Sportflug Society and its affiliates alone had trained 3,200 pilots and 17,000 glider pilots {550} . The Ministry of Aviation, headed by Goering, supervised all activities for the preparation and creation of a powerful air force. Sports societies and clubs were merged into the "German Sports Aviation Association", the basis of which was the Nazi aviation corps.


In July 1934, the program for the construction of the Air Force was adopted, which provided for the creation of an air force consisting of 4021 aircraft (half of them were training). Aviation enterprises were supposed to supply in addition to the already existing 894 bombers, 245 fighters, 662 reconnaissance aircraft, 153 naval aircraft {551} . This program has also been implemented.

The development of military aviation has assumed such a wide scale that it has become impossible to hide this fact. March 10, 1935 Goering officially announced the decision of the German government to create an air force. By that time, Germany had 2,500 aircraft, of which 800 were combat {552} . 20 combat squadrons were formed, including 4 fighter, 7 bomber, 5 reconnaissance; There were 20 squadrons at flying schools {553} .

For the development of the navy, the Nazis received from the Weimar Republic an even more solid base than for the air force. Since 1933, the Nazis have significantly expanded the program and accelerated the pace of naval construction. The budget appropriations for the fleet grew rapidly. In addition to the planned appropriations for 1933 in the amount of 186 million marks, another 115.7 million marks were allocated in February-April of this year. In 1934, appropriations amounted to 487 million marks, and in 1935 - 650 million marks {554} . The personnel of the Navy has more than doubled over the years and in 1935 amounted to 34 thousand sailors and officers {555}. In 1934 they were lowered; from the stocks to the water and in 1935 the second battleship ("pocket" battleship) "Admiral Scheer" with a displacement of 12.1 thousand tons, the cruiser "Nuremberg" (6980 tons) were put into operation. In addition, at that time there were 3 battleships on the stocks (two of them were large - 31.8 thousand gross tons each), a heavy cruiser, destroyers and other ships {556} .

The Anglo-German agreement concluded on June 18, 1935, served as a new impetus to the intensification of the naval arms race . to create a submarine fleet equal to the English {557} Since the total tonnage of the ships of the English navy at that time was 1,200 thousand tons, Germany was able to create a fleet of 420 thousand tons. In fact, the total tonnage of its fleet was 112.2 thousand tons, and minus the completely obsolete battleships - 78 thousand tons. Consequently, Nazi Germany could increase its fleet by 5.5 times {558}

For the Nazis, this agreement was of great military and political significance. It actually legalized the rearmament of the fascist Reich and encouraged its leaders to further violations of international legal obligations and, naturally, caused rejoicing in the camp of the Nazis. At the Nuremberg trials, Ribbentrop said: "Hitler and I were very pleased with this treaty, Hitler was as happy as ever" {559}

After the conclusion of the naval agreement, the feverish construction of a large German navy began. 12 submarines, the secret construction of which began a long time ago, were immediately put into operation. In addition to those already laid on the slipways, the construction of two battleships with a displacement of 41.7 thousand tons and 42.9 thousand tons, a number of heavy cruisers, destroyers, 24 submarines {560}


On May 21, 1935, the fascist government adopted the law "On the Defense of the Empire", which was kept secret until the beginning of the Second World War. It defined the duties of the military and civil authorities in the preparation, initiation and conduct of war. The law gave Hitler the right to take sole decisions on the introduction of martial law in the country, general mobilization and declaration of war {561} At the Nuremberg trials, the defense law was qualified as the cornerstone of the entire preparation of Nazi Germany for war.

In an effort to turn the armed forces into an obedient instrument of their policy, the Nazis paid special attention to their fascistization. Generals and admirals most devoted to fascism were appointed to leading positions in the War Ministry and the main commands of the branches of the armed forces: Blomberg, Reichenau, Raeder, Fritsch, Keitel, Jodl.

On August 2, 1934, immediately after the death of the aged President Hindenburg, Hitler was declared supreme commander of the armed forces, and on the same day the troops were sworn in. In particular, it said: “I swear before the Lord God this sacred oath to unconditionally obey the Fuhrer of the German Empire and people - Adolf Hitler, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces ...” {562} If the oath of the Weimar Republic demanded service to the German state and loyalty to its constitution , then this one is loyalty and unconditional obedience to Hitler. She played an important role in turning the German armed forces into a submissive will of the Nazis as a means of carrying out their aggressive plans.

At the same time, one cannot agree with the assertion of former Hitlerite generals and officers that this oath, and only this oath, forced them to faithfully serve the Führer, to commit crimes against the peoples [159] who became victims of fascist aggression. They became conquerors and enslavers in addition to their oath obligations to Hitler. It is also indicative that the oath was prepared by the generals, who then ensured that the entire personnel of the Reichswehr was brought to it. By order of Blomberg, the text of the oath was compiled by his closest assistant, General Reichenau {563} . None of the German generals and officers refused to swear allegiance to the Fuhrer {564}. In accordance with the spirit of the fascist state and its aggressive policy, the Nazis changed the wording of "the duties of a German soldier." If earlier it was said that the Reichswehr serves the state, and not the parties (which was by no means true), the new text read: “The Wehrmacht is the bearer of the armed forces of the German people. He defends the German Empire and the fatherland, the people united by National Socialism and its living space” {565} . The inclusion in the document of the fascist slogan "living space" determined the service mission of the Wehrmacht as an instrument of the predatory policy of German imperialism.

The fascisization of the Reichswehr and its successor, the Wehrmacht, was also expressed in the imposition of external forms of Nazism - emblems, greetings (out of order), various rituals. The Nazis attached particular importance to the indoctrination of personnel in the spirit of fascist militarism. Propaganda of anti-communism, racism, national chauvinism, glorification of brute force and war formed its basis.

In words, the Nazis claimed that their army was outside politics and that “party propaganda” was not allowed in it {566} . In fact, this meant only a ban on any propaganda in the armed forces, except for fascist propaganda. Numerous documents published in the post-war period testify to the fact that the leadership of the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht showed constant concern for the strengthening of fascist propaganda among the personnel of the armed forces. Thus, in a directive dated November 21, 1933, the Minister of War demanded that the press, radio, and other means of propaganda direct their efforts to saturate the Wehrmacht with National Socialist ideas and fight the Wehrmacht against communism {567}. Blomberg's directive of April 4, 1934 on the introduction of the National Socialist ideology into the Wehrmacht noted: “The first year of the National Socialist state laid the foundation for the political and economic rebirth of the nation. The second year puts at the forefront the saturation of the nation with the guiding ideas of the National Socialist state ... This fully applies to the Wehrmacht ... Therefore, I demand that in the future, studies on current politics in the Wehrmacht be given even greater importance and increased attention" {568} . The leadership of the Wehrmacht obliged all officers to study the National Socialist doctrine and organized special classes for them {569} .

At the same time, the Nazi leadership demanded from all party authorities close ties with the Wehrmacht, cooperation with its command, [160]including in matters of education of personnel. In this regard, the directive letter of the Deputy Fuhrer Hess dated May 13, 1935 is characteristic. It emphasized that the unity of the Nazi Party and the Wehrmacht is a decisive factor on which the fate of the German nation depends. “While the National Socialist German Workers’ Party is the sole bearer of the political will of the German people,” wrote Hess, “the army is the only bearer of weapons… marching separately, they work together to build the foundations of a soldierly National Socialist Germany… I I expect from all party authorities that they will always and everywhere ensure the fulfillment of the tasks and needs of the Wehrmacht, support their official bodies in all respects and closely cooperate with them ... I expect from all leaders, but especially from the holders of the highest power, what they will do ,{570} .

The culminating point of the feverish activity of the Nazis to turn Germany into a state of war in 1933-1935. was the seventh congress of the National Socialist Party, held in September 1935. The congress was called the "party congress of freedom", and 1935 - "the year of freedom." The Nazis announced that now at last the Germans had gained the long-awaited "freedom" - military sovereignty, the freedom to arm. The congress was held as an open demonstration of the rapidly growing military power of the fascist state and as a grandiose propaganda action intended for the ideological and psychological indoctrination of the German population in the interests of preparing for war.

It is characteristic that the anti-democratic, ultra-reactionary and militaristic essence of the Hitlerite party found its expression not only in speeches at this congress (as well as at others), but also in the specific form in which it was held. There was no reporting report, no discussion of it, and there were no elections of the leading body of the party. All this was considered incompatible with the "principle of the Fuhrer". Instead of a report, Hitler's appeal was read out. The speeches of almost all speakers, especially the main ideologists of fascism Rosenberg and Goebbels, were devoted to the "justification" of anti-communism, racism and militarism.

The main events of the congress were held not so much in the meeting room, but on a huge specially equipped square on the outskirts of Nuremberg, where the Nazi elite held a review of mass paramilitary organizations: ZA, CC, Nazi automobile and aviation corps, the "workers' front", detachments serving labor service, the Hitler Youth and the National Socialist Women's Organization. Each day was dedicated to one of these organizations. The imperial head of each of them reported in a military manner to Hitler, who then spoke to the lined up columns with a speech. After each rally, a parade was held. During the congress, more than 300 thousand functionaries of the Nazi Party, members of the SA and SS, representatives of labor service organizations, young Nazis from the Hitler Youth in uniform passed in front of the podium, where the rulers of the "third empire" were located. The sixth and final day of the congress was dedicated to the Wehrmacht. On this day, in addition to speeches and the parade march of thousands of columns of troops, demonstrative exercises of motorized infantry, armored troops, artillery, aviation with live firing and bombing were held. All this was supposed to stun viewers and listeners of the radio, instill faith in the power and invincibility of German weapons, the possibility of implementing the plans of conquest outlined in the bible of fascism - Mein Kampf.[161]

The militarist-fascist Goebbels propaganda during the days of the “work” of the congress was aimed not so much at the mind as at the feelings of the Germans. The grandiose multi-day spectacle played out in Nuremberg, the numerous speeches of Hitler and other Nazi leaders deftly adapted to the psychology of the German layman and aroused in him the basest chauvinistic, revanchist, aggressive feelings and thoughts.

Using an extensive apparatus of terror - the Gestapo, the SS, military counterintelligence, the Nazis prevented the penetration of democratic and anti-war sentiments into the environment of soldiers and officers, expressions of dissatisfaction with the fascist order. No one protested twice, because for any oppositional judgment, every German faced a concentration camp or the death penalty. Fascist propaganda was given a complete monopoly. Complementing terror and interacting with it, it essentially controlled the behavior and even the thoughts and feelings of everyone, and especially the soldiers of the Wehrmacht. The Nazis sought to educate a "fighter" who blindly obeys the will of the Fuhrer and is ready to unquestioningly carry out any order of the fascist command. Already the first years of the Nazi regime showed what a huge danger for the neighboring peoples and the German nation itself is the spiritual corruption of youth,

Thus, the fascist coup in Germany was a turning point in the practical preparation for war in the entire policy of German imperialism, in the development of its military-economic, moral-psychological and military potentials. It led to the emergence in the center of Europe of the most dangerous hotbed of war. The spirit of militarism permeated the entire public life of the Third Reich.

The progressive forces, and above all the Soviet Union, the communists of the whole world closely followed the development of events in Germany and mobilized the masses for the struggle against fascism. The communists gave a deep socio-political assessment of the processes that took place in 1933-1935. in this country. "Things are obviously heading for a new war," {571} , was pointed out in January 1934 in the Report to the 17th Party Congress on the work of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks.

Some bourgeois figures also warned about the transformation of fascist Germany into a state of war. For example, US Ambassador Dodd reported to his government on April 5, 1935: “Great barracks have been erected throughout Germany, surrounded by large training grounds, and numerous airfields on which large bombers are trained day and night ... From these facts you can conclude that the war is here the immediate and main goal» {572} .

The former officer of the German General Staff S. Erkner vividly described the situation in Germany shortly after the Nazis came to power: “The way of life of the army acts as a general social form of existence of a society whose forces are fully mobilized to prepare for war. Everything is completely subordinate to the army. Barracks and war create the atmosphere of every day. The constitution has undergone significant changes. All state activity in peacetime is limited to military frameworks. The state has ceased to engage in conventional [162]problems of peaceful life. In front of everyone's eyes, it turned into a military state - that is, one whose primary function was to prepare for war ... Military criteria and the military hierarchy became inseparable from the whole life of society. In Hitlerite Germany, everything, absolutely everything - people and things - exists from now on only being dependent on the war, that is, in relation to wartime conditions .

Having created a rather impressive military force by 1935, the Nazis began to move on to specific aggressive actions, trying to test their army and create the prerequisites for seizures. The first such action was the operation codenamed "Schulung", which provided for the entry of the Wehrmacht into the demilitarized Rhineland. The directive on the preparation of this operation was issued by Minister of War Blomberg on May 2, 1935. The date of the operation was made dependent on the foreign policy situation. On March 7, 1936, such a moment arrived.

In the autumn of 1935, the Wehrmacht command developed the first detailed plan for the war against France, codenamed "Rot". At the same time, plans were drawn up for the invasion of Austria ("Otto") and Czechoslovakia ("Grun") {574} .

The fascist German General Staff began to work in full force, planning fire and death for neighboring countries. A terrible threat of a German fascist invasion, enslavement and even physical destruction of its peoples hung over Europe. Never before has humanity faced such a threat. It would seem that all countries, all political parties should have united in order to jointly erect a protective barrier in the way of German aggression, but this did not happen - on the contrary, England, the USA and France, instead of counteracting, increasingly encouraged the aggressive plans of Nazi Germany.