334 JOKES AGAINST HITLER Praetorius—Austria had given us the young Roller. Why didn't Schirach warn me? I saw his Friedenstag. What a lovely thing! The young Roller was a brave man. Before the Anschluss he would have had to leave Austria. I'm convinced he went out as a volunteer. I could have sent him anywhere at all, for personal reasons, if he hadn't insisted on staying in Vienna. 159 Night of 24th-25th February 1942 An exemplary officer—A group of merry fellows. The death of Under-Secretary of State Hofmann has deeply grieved me. In 1919 I harangued his battalion at Passau. What a marvellous lot of men we had there ! Blazing patriots. To start with, Hofmann trusted me—and yet at that time I stood for so little. Hofmann was already convinced that it was I who would save Germany. At the time of the Kapp -putsch, Hofmann sent a telegram: "Putting myself under Kapp's orders. What's regiment doing?" There were a lot of officers of that sort in Bavaria. Seeckt got rid of them all. The only ones who were kept were those who never wavered. I know three people who, when they're together, never stop laughing. They're Hoffmann (Hitler'sfriend and "photographer"), Amann and Göbbels. When Epp joins them, the whole thing becomes a madhouse. As a matter of fact, Epp is not particularly quick. When the others are laughing at the third joke, Epp is beginning to catch on to the first, and starts to let out a huge laugh, which goes on and on. Amann, what a jolly chap he is ! Already when we were at the front, he used to let joy loose amongst us. In my unit, even at the worst times there was always someone who could find something to say that would make us laugh. I'm very fond of Hoffmann. He's a man who always makes fun of me. He's a "dead-pan" humorist, and he never fails to find a victim.
CURBING THE POWER OF THE MASSES 335 160 20th February 1942, midday Strengthening the German position—The British proletariat and the threat of revolution—The three objectives of revolution—Paradise on earth—The last somersaults of Christianity. In the last few weeks, I've the feeling that our position has got considerably stronger. The little countries are beginning to look on us as a guarantee of order. They'll approach us all the more when they see that England is tying herself up more closely with Bolshevism. When the masses in England realise their own power, probably they'll make a bloody revolution. One can only hold the masses by habit—or else by force. Nothing stops me from thinking that they're keeping on the island, as a guard against unexpected circumstances, regiments that would be very useful elsewhere. If the Conservative Party lost the support of the Army, the only thing left to it would be to make an alliance with the nine thousand supporters of Mosley. They'd need a Cromwell to save them, a Premier, who would take everything into his own hands. For lack of this solution, the revolution will sweep away everything. It will be one of National Socialism's merits that it knew how to stop the revolution at the proper moment. It's very nice to see the people arise, but one must be a realist and go further than phrases. Nobody any longer counts the revolutions that have miscarried, or that degenerated for lack of being led. I've not forgotten the difficulties I had to overcome in 1933 and 1934. Revolution opens a sluice-gate, and it's often impossible to curb the masses one has let loose. A revolution has three main objectives. First of all, it's a matter of breaking down the partitions between classes, so as to enable every man to rise. Secondly, it's a matter of creating a standard of living such that the poorest will be assured of a decent existence. Finally, it's a matter of acting in such a way that the benefits of civilisation become common property. The people who call themselves democrats blame us for our