Document UK-81
Source:
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume VIII. USGPO, Washington, 1946/pp.603-606

Political Way
Otto Ohlendorf

[Appendix "A" I..1 to Affidavit sworn by Otto Ohlendorf at Nurnberg, 20 November, 1945.]

After 'I joined the NSDAP in May 1925, I participated in all tasks which arose in the young and numerically small Party organization. I was at the same time Ortsgruppenleiter, treasurer and organizer of meetings. I distributed newspapers and leaflets, spoke in discussions at public meetings of other parties and served in the SA. Besides this, I, with three other Party members, were ordered to the SS service in 1926. However, at that time I did not engage in any SS activities because shortly thereafter I left my home town and was removed from the list of the SS. Therefore, I did not receive any SS identity card and learned of my then SS number 880 first in 1936 when, with reference to my early membership in the SS, I was again enrolled in the SS under my old number. Until 1936 I had no connection with the SS. During 1929-31 I spoke independently and on my own initiative at numerous Party meetings of the competent Gau Party Leadership at Hannover. At that time I studied at Goettingen and from there I worked especially in the town and area of Nordheim according to my own plan for the Party. I or-ganized training courses and spoke at numerous evening discussions and public meetings. Despite my activity I remained a simple Party member as I avoided a too close connection with the offidial Party organs. Because of my own opinion at that time I was already separated from the real and personal ways of a Number of the leading Party members.

After my first legal State Examination in 1931, I went to Italy as an exchange student for one year. My reason therefor was to become acquainted with a movement which supposedly was parallel to National Socialism, and which had had ten years of practice and unlimited possibilities to develop. I became acquainted with Fascism in theory and practice. I became thoroughly acquainted with its organization and leading personalities. I arrived at the conclusion that in the case of Fascism, it was not a question of a new conception of people and state which further developed the individualism, but that it was another system of absolute power which was formed around the person of Mussolini. The human beings and people in Fascism had no values in themselves, but were objects of the State and derived their value and recognition from the State as the sole reality. From this fact originated the irreconcilable contrast National Socialism, which is founded on the reality of the value of life in the individual human beings and the people, and, therefore, in contrast to Fascism subordinated the State to the needs of the people. After my return from Italy I stayed away from Party work until the assumption of power. I received no positive answer to the reports on Fascism which I sent to the Party Leadership and wanted first to become oriented on further development of the Party within the Reich. Furthermore, it was my definite resolution to continue my own life independently of the Party. After the assumption of power I, therefore, remained in legal training. At the meetings I mostly spoke on the theme of Fascism and National Socialism in order to point out the dangers which threatened National Socialism by copying the Fascist organizational forms and the insufficient differentiation from the Fascist program.

I considered Fascism the primary opponent of National Socialism. In other European countries there already existed Fascist movements and Fascism conducted a continuous and purposeful propaganda all over Europe. Therefore, I considered the offer of Professor Jens Jessen to become his assistant at the Institute for World Economy at Kiel, to serve my purposes, especially because I could found a section for Fascism and National Socialism and in that way have a good opportunity to fight against the plans of introducing Fascism into National Socialism.

Between 1933 and 1938, I attempted to obtain a total picture of the complete literature in German and Italian which concerned intellectual, cultural, sociological or economical themes, as well as State theories. Both this literature and the National Socialistic policy in practice showed after the assumption of power that the still immature National Socialistic ideology was diverted from the principles of its original world picture. Theorists, as well as responsible leaders in Party and State, believed that they could conquer temporary difficulties in State and economy, education and culture, only by use of old methods belonging to past stages of civilization. At this time, it was my greatest wish to write an analysis of the spiritual and formative impulses in the National Socialistic work of the present time in order to draw the attention of the leading National Socialist circles and young scientists to the spiritual principles which they used as supposedly National Socialist. However, foreign tendencies became increasingly stronger especially at first in the food economy and later on during the Four Year Plan in the rest of the economy, in communal politics, and in the complete field of science. Therefore, I accepted an offer in 1936, again from Professor Jessen, which gave me the opportunity by means of the SD des Reichsfuehrer's SS to report to the highest leader posts in Party and State and in such way advance my plans based on observation of the theoretical and practical development of people and State.

As many personal and essential matters made this task difficult, I grasped this opportunity to participate in the execution of the original National Socialist principles with special satisfaction. These principles advocated, as the foremost goal of National Socialism, to develop the best characteristics of the people and to form them into a community of equality and to furnish the best possible spiritual and moral existence for the individuals of the people. I undertook the task with heart and soul when I worked in Reich Group Commerce and when I was Ministerial Direktor and permanent deputy of the State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Economy, I understood together with many others, that a necessary phase within the evolution would be strong controversies with the Party and State. Only against strong opposition of the old spiritual forces could the goal be achieved which would make the welfare and dignity of man the real conception of politics; also to achieve in the economy that man should become basis and decisive subject of the measures of the political economy, this especially because the economy is the most important and preponderant moulder of man's destiny. National Socialism seemed to be the first attempt to find a natural synthesis between the free, intended to be independent man of individualism and the actual bonds life compels on him in the community in which he finds himself. In order to achieve this synthesis, National Socialism ought to signify self consciousness, and the inner freedom of man, from which the laws for the natural order of the people's community could be recognized and accomplished. with conviction.

This idea did not, however, find a period of calm in which it could be developed spiritually and in active daily life. The colapse of the National Socialist system in Germany has shown that the forces favoring highly developed human communities were not strong enough to carry through to this goal.

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 08/01/99
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
ęS D Stein

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