138 THE "VÖLKISCHER BEOBACHTER" machine-gun. The affair was pigeon-holed. Later on, the Reds we had beaten up became our best supporters. When the Falange imprisons its opponents, it's committing the gravest of faults. Wasn't my party, at the time of which I'm speaking, composed of 90 per cent of left-wing elements? I needed men who could fight. I had no use for the sort of timid doctrinaires who whisper subversive plans into your ear. I preferred men who didn't mind getting their hands dirty. Bearing in mind our origins, one can only be stupefied by the results obtained in four years. I had Munich, and I controlled a newspaper. The press hostile to us had a total circulation ten times greater than ours. Our printer, Adolf Müller, a man of an infinite flexibility of views, had printed them all. He had a number of Communists on his staff, and was in the habit of saying to them that, if anything displeased them in the activities of the firm, he would offer to pay them their week's wages in orthodox opinions instead of in money. This Müller was a self-made man (English expression in the original). There was a period when he was constantly coming to demand money from us. We were convinced that he was exploiting us. For this reason, Amann used every week to wage a war to the knife against him with the object of making him lower his rates. The best trick I played on him was the adoption of the large format for the Völkischer Beobachter. Müller had thought himself the cunning one, for he supposed that, by being the only man who possessed a machine corresponding to our new format, he was binding us to him. In reality, it was he who was binding himself to our newspaper, and he was very glad to continue to print us, for no other newspaper used our format. Müller had become the slave of his machine. Moreover, we were the only newspaper that never had a fall in circulation. It was a piece of luck that we didn't have our own printing-shop, for the Party comrades who would have been our customers would have needed a lot of coaxing to make them pay their bills: "What about Party solidarity?" they'd have said. In his own way, Adolf Müller was a good sort. He looked carefully after the well-being of his employees, and he always defended his workers' interests, even before the Labour Front
GEN. DIETL'S SUPPORT OF NATIONAL SOCIALISTS 139 existed. Himself an offspring of the people, he knew how to practise the art of "live and let live". It's at this period that we laid the first foundations of our present Reich. When I think of the persecutions we met with! Newspapers suspended, meetings forbidden or sabotaged. Seen in retrospect, this was the golden age of our struggle. My entry into the Chancellery marks the end of that inspiring life. Until then, nine out of ten of the men with whom I was in contact belonged to the people. From that moment onwards, nine out of ten belonged to distinguished society. It was a turning upside down of my entire existence. To-day I once more find the old contact with the people in popular gatherings. Addressing Dietl, the Fuehrer continued: All that—I owe it to you, for, at the origin of the movement, it was with your men that you permitted me to act. To tell the truth, you contributed to the birth of the Third Reich. I understand why the bourgeois bristle at the prospect of being governed by people like us. Compared with us, the Social Democrats numbered in their ranks men with much better outward qualifications—from the point of view of the bourgeois, I mean. The bourgeois could only be terrified as they witnessed the coming of this new society. But / knew that the only man who could be really useful to us was the man capable of mounting on the barricades. Turning towards Hewel, the Fuehrer went on: 1923. At that period you already had magnificent uniforms. But 1920, 1922! The uniform was indispensable. With some people well dressed and others miserably, one cannot build a coherent formation. It's difficult to imagine that sort of thing nowadays. It's because I'm aware of all that that I know, too, that our movement is inimitable. What has happened in our midst is something unique—inconceivable in France, for example. And the French will never have a chief like the Duce.