Quotes from “Table Talk”

Here is the lengthiest and most detailed collection of Hitler’s ideas. It is worth noting just how his previous ideas have evolved as well as a whole host of new ideas on things such as arts, vegetarianism, science and religion to name a few. The books starts in 1941 and progresses up to late 1944.

“We must distinguish between the Fascist popular movement and the popular movement in Russia. The Fascist movement is a spontaneous return to the traditions of ancient Rome. The Russian movement has an essential tendency towards anarchy.” p3

“Without doubt, man is the most dangerous microbe imaginable. He exploits the ground beneath his feet without ever asking whether he is disposing thus of products that would perhaps be indispensable to the life of other regions. If one examined the problem closely, one would probably find here the origin of the catastrophes that occur periodically in the earth’s surface.” p4

“The triumph of gangsterdom in 1918 can be explained. During four years of war great gaps were formed amongst the best of us. And whilst we were at the front, criminality flourished at home. Death sentences were very rare, and in short all that needed to be done was to open the gates of the prisons when it was necessary to find leaders for the revolutionary masses.” p29

“There will never be any possibility of National Socialism’s setting out to ape religion by establishing a form of worship. Its one ambition must be scientifically to construct a doctrine that is nothing more than an homage to reason. Our duty is to teach men to see whatever is lovely and truly wonderful in life, and not to become prematurely ill tempered and spiteful. We wish fully to enjoy what is beautiful, to cling to it—and to avoid, as far as possible, anything that might do harm to people like ourselves.” p39

“By considering what Bolshevism has made of man, one realizes that the foundation of all education should be respect—respect towards Providence (or the unknown, or Nature, or whatever name one chooses).” p44

“An educated man retains the sense of the mysteries of nature and bows before the unknowable. An uneducated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal) as soon as he perceives that the State, in sheer opportunism, is making use of false ideas in the matter of religion, whilst in other fields it bases everything on pure science.” p59

“All these things are simple and natural. The only thing is, one mustn’t let the Jew stick his nose in. The basis of Jewish commercial policy is to make matters incomprehensible for a normal brain. People go into ecstasies of confidence before the science of the great economists. Anyone who doesn’t understand is taxed with ignorance! At bottom, the only object of all these notions is to throw everything into confusion.” p66

“Even to Schacht, I had to begin by explaining this elementary truth: that the essential cause of the stability of our currency was to be sought for in our concentration camps. The currency remains stable when the speculators are put under lock and key. I also had to make Schacht understand that excess profits must be removed from economic circulation.” p65

“When one says that God provokes the lightning, that’s true in a sense; but what is certain is that God does not direct the thunderbolt, as the Church claims. The Church’s explanation of natural phenomena is an abuse, for the Church has ulterior interests. True piety is the characteristic of the being who is aware of his weakness and ignorance. Whoever sees God only in an oak or in a tabernacle, instead of seeing Him everywhere, is not truly pious. He remains attached to appearances—and when the sky thunders and the lightning strikes, he trembles simply from fear of being struck as a punishment for the sin he’s just committed.” p84

“When I think of the organization of the Party, which has always been exemplary from every point of view, or of the organization of the State railways, which are better run—much to the irritation of Herr Frick—I can see all the more clearly the weaknesses of our Ministries. The fundamental difference between the former and the latter is that the former have properly qualified junior staffs. Posts are awarded only with regard to talent, not in virtue of titles that are often no more than valueless pieces of paper.” p105

“The Vikings would not have undertaken their now legendary expeditions it they’d depended on a meat diet, for they had no method of preserving meat. The fact that the smallest military unit was the section is explained by the fact that each man had a mill for grain. The purveyor of vitamins was the onion.” p114

“The Party must take care not to imitate the State. Indeed, it should follow the opposite path. We don’t want any kind of status in the Party similar to the status of officials. Nobody in the Party may have an automatic right to promotion. Nobody may be able to say: “Now it’s my turn.” Priority for talent, that’s the only rule I know! By sticking to these principles, the Party will always have supremacy over the State, for it will have the most active and resolute men at its head.” p119

“One may regret living at a period when it’s impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there’s one thing I can predict to eaters of meat, that the world of the future will be vegetarian!” p125

“The great tragedy for man is that he understands the mechanism of things, but the things themselves remain an enigma to him. We are capable of distinguishing the component parts of a molecule. But when it’s a question of explaining the why of a thing, words fail us. And that’s what leads men to conceive of the existence of a superior power. If I have an observatory built at Linz, I’ll have the following words carved on its front: “The heavens proclaim the glory of the eternal.” It’s marvelous that this is how mankind formed the idea of God. The almighty being that made the worlds has certainly granted to each being that he should be motivated by awareness of his function.” p152-153

“The Japanese have no need of a National-Socialist revolution. If they rid themselves of certain superfluous contributions from the West, they’ll avoid the necessity of the social question arising amongst them. Whether a Japanese factory belongs to the State or to an individual is purely a formal question. Japan has no great landed class, only small proprietors. The middle class is the backbone of the population.” p159

“At present, the base of our diet is the potato—and yet only 1 percent of the soil in Germany is devoted to growing the potato. If it was 3 percent, we’d have more to eat than is needed.” p231

“Amongst the animals, those who are carnivores put up performances much inferior to those of the herbivores. A lion’s in no shape to run for a quarter of an hour—the elephant can run for eight hours! The monkeys, our ancestors of prehistoric times, are strictly vegetarian.” p231

“At the time when I ate meat, I used to sweat a lot. I used to drink four pots of beer and six bottles of water during a meeting, and I’d succeed in losing nine pounds! When I became a vegetarian, a mouthful of water from time to time was enough. When you offer a child the choice of a piece of meat, an apple or a cake, it’s never the meat that he chooses. There’s an ancestral instinct there. In the same way, the child would never begin to drink or smoke if it weren’t to imitate others.” p231

“Let’s suppose that one day National Socialism will undergo a change, and become used by a caste of privileged persons who exploit the people and cultivate money. One must hope that in that case a new reformer will arise and clean up the stables.” p236

“The English people are composed of races that are very different from one another and have not been blended together as in many other countries. There lies the danger that amongst them a class war may be transformed into a racial war. The English could escape this risk by ceasing to judge their fellow citizens in accordance with their outward aspects and paying attention, instead, to their real qualities. One can be the son of a good family and have no talent. If the English behaved as we behave in the Party, they would give advancement only to the most deserving.” p255

“National Socialism has introduced into daily life the idea that one should choose an occupation because one is predisposed to it by one’s aptitudes, and not because one is predestined for it by birth. Thus National Socialism exercises a calming effect. It reconciles men instead of setting them against one another. It’s ridiculous that a child should ever feel obliged to take up his father’s profession. Only his aptitudes and gifts should be taken into consideration. Why shouldn’t a child have propensities that his parents didn’t have? Isn’t everyone in Germany sprung from the peasantry? One must not put a curb on individuals. On the contrary, one must avoid whatever might prevent them from rising.” p255-256

“My thirteen months of imprisonment had seemed a long time—the more so because I thought I’d be there for six years. I was possessed by a frenzy of liberty. But, without my imprisonment, Mein Kampf would not have been written. That period gave me the chance of deepening various notions for which I then had only an instinctive feeling. It was during this incarceration, too, that I acquired that fearless faith, that optimism, that confidence in our destiny, which nothing could shake thereafter.” p287

“Those repulsive priests, when they question a child of seven in the confessional, it’s they themselves who incite it to sin by opening its eyes to sin.” p319-320

“For Ptolemy, the earth was the center of the world. That changed with Copernicus. To-day we know that our solar system is merely a solar system among many others. What could we do better than allow the greatest possible number of people like us to become aware of these marvels? In any case, we can be grateful to Providence, which causes us to live to-day rather than three hundred years ago. At every street-corner, in those days, there was a blazing stake. What a debt we owe to the men who had the courage—the first to do so —to rebel against lies and intolerance.” p323

“Science has a lot of difficulty in imposing its views, because it is constantly grappling with the spirit of routine. The fact is, men do not wish to know. In the last few years, the situation of science has improved. It’s a piece of luck when men are found at the head of a State who are inclined to favor bold researches—for these latter are rarely supported and encouraged by official science.” p324

“Since my fourteenth year I have felt liberated from the superstition that the priests used to teach. Apart from a few Holy Joes, I can say that none of my comrades went on believing in the miracle of the Eucharist. The only difference between then and now is that in those days I was convinced one must blow up the whole show with dynamite.” p325

“The fact that the Japanese have retained their political philosophy, which is one of the essential reasons for their successes, is due to their having been saved in time from the views of Christianity. Just as in Islam, there is no kind of terrorism in the Japanese State religion, but, on the contrary, a promise of happiness. This terrorism in religion is the product, to put it briefly, of a Jewish dogma, which Christianity has universalized and whose effect is to sow trouble and confusion in men’s minds.” p393

“It would be a good policy to facilitate the taking of degrees by foreigners at our universities, and we shall make friends for life of men who spent some of their youth in this fashion. The Universities of Erlangen, Giessen and even Würzburg, which all have difficulty in keeping going, should take special pains to attract foreigners, while Heidelberg, which enjoys so great a reputation in the Anglo-Saxon world, should ensure that everything possible is done to ensure the well-being of foreign students.” p421

“One has only to keep one’s eyes open to notice what an extraordinary antipathy young children have to meat. It is also an interesting fact that among the negroes the children of those tribes which are primarily vegetarian develop more harmoniously than those of the tribes in which it is customary for the mother to feed her infant up to the age of four or five. As regards animals, the dog, which is carnivorous, cannot compare in performance with the horse, which is vegetarian. In the same way, the lion shows signs of fatigue after covering two or three kilometers, while the camel marches for six or seven days before even his tongue begins to hang out.” p442-443

“Our children to-day are much healthier than those of the Imperial and Weimar Republic periods because mothers now realize that they contribute far more to the health of their children if they give them raw vegetables and roots to chew than if they give them boiled milk.” p443

“The essential conclusion to which these considerations leads me is that we must do everything humanly possible to protect for all time any further sections of the German people from the danger of mental deformity, regardless of whether it be religious mania or any other type of cerebral derangement. For this reason I have directed that every town of any importance shall have an observatory, for astronomy has been shown by experience to be one of the best means at man’s disposal for increasing his knowledge of the universe, and thus saving him from any tendency towards mental aberration.” p514

“The school alone, however, as the instrument for the education of youth, does not suffice, because it is too prone to give priority of interest to purely academic achievement. It is for this reason that I have formed the supplementary organization of the Hitlerjugend and endowed it with the bold motto “Die Jugend von Jugend gefuehrt werden soll”—”Youth must be led by Youth.” In this way I have set up, in their very early years, a process of selectivity amongst young people, whereby the little group leaders soon select themselves. To the judgment of the schoolmaster, who normally confines himself to exact scholastic attainments, is thus added by the Hitler Youth the judgment of the youth leaders, which lays primary value on character—that is, on sense of comradeship, endurance, courage and qualities of leadership.” p523

“Don’t forget, after all, that it was not by using fear inspired by police methods that we National Socialists won over the people, but rather by trying to show them the light and to educate them. The same principle applies to food control. The professional black marketeer must be pursued and punished with the utmost rigor, but there is no need to stop trains, hold up motor-cars and badger people because they have bought a couple of eggs “off the record.” And the peasant who, after having fulfilled the obligations put on him, helps a friend out with a bit from his surplus, need not have the police put on his tracks. The only effect of that would be to make him eat up all his surplus himself.” p529

“That no one before me thought of building these autobahn is due, probably, to the fact that the central administration never scientifically worked out the financing of the project. In road construction, the system was prevalent whereby the local authorities in each small locality through which the highway was to run were called upon to defray the costs of construction in the territory under their jurisdiction. With such an idea, no wonder the scheme did not achieve much! When I studied the financial aspect of the project, I came to the conclusion that a thousand kilometers of autobahn should be constructed each year and that the Central Government should contribute a milliard marks annually to finance it. One day I explained to Lloyd George how I proposed to find this money; firstly, I intended to get my labor by mobilizing all the unemployed and putting them to work, thus saving some six hundred million marks in dole payments; secondly, I intended to increase the income tax and the tax on petrol to an extent that would bring in an estimated revenue of four hundred million marks. And thus my autobahn would cost the State nothing.” p579-580

“Soldiers, whoever they may be, are always enthusiastic about a courageous commander.” p693-694

“Really creative music is composed partly of inspiration and partly of a sense of composition. The inspiration is of Slavonic origin, the art of composition is of Germanic. It is when these two mingle in one man that the master of genius appears. In Bach’s music it is the composition, which is marvelous, and he certainly had no drop of Slav blood in his veins. As regards Beethoven, on the other hand, one glance at his head shows that he comes of a different race. It is not pure chance that the British have never produced a composer of genius; it is because they are a pure Germanic race.” p709

“Research must remain free and unfettered by any State restriction. The facts which it establishes represent Truth, and Truth is never evil. It is the duty of the State to support and further the efforts of research in every way, even when its activities hold no promise of immediate, or even early, advantage from the material or economic point of view. It may well be that its results will be of value, or indeed will represent tremendous progress, only to the generation of the future.” p718-719

“Money, to me, was simply a token of exchange for work done, and its value depended absolutely on the value of the work accomplished. Where money did not represent services rendered, I insisted, it had no value at all.” p721

External Link: Hitler’s Table Talk — Full Text

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