6l4 THE MONARCHY I must admit that the Italians infuriate me with their continual running away, but purely from the point of view of a world philosophy, they are the only people on earth with whom we can see eye to eye. When I read the history of Fascism, I feel as if I am reading the history of our movement; the same cowardly and lazy bourgeoisie, which believed in nothing, avoided any sort of conflict and lived in perpetual fear of irritating the Reds ! The first time I wished to go to Ingolstadt I was told it was fifteen years since a meeting of such a nature had been held there, and that the proletariat would certainly regard it as an act of provocation! The main difference between Italy and Germany is that in the former the Duce has not been made the supreme Dictator of the State; as a result, there are always ways and means of circumventing his orders. If, for example, he calls for a particularly valiant effort, the corps of officers immediately appeals to the King ! Such a state of affairs must be maddening to a man of the Duce's personality. But I must, however, quite frankly confess that in 1920, if the monarchy had been restored after the Kapp putsch, we should have supported it. It was only later that we gradually realised that a monarchy had outlived its times. Schoenerer is the only one who attacked the monarchy, and with unparalleled mercilessness—but his attack was directed against the House of Habsburg; and this did not prevent him from supporting the House of Prussia. The Duce dare not absent himself very long from Rome. If he does that nest of intrigue immediately sets to work. Balbo had the great advantage that he had equal influence with both Party and Armed Forces, and it is an ironic fate that he should have been shot down by Italian anti-aircraft guns. As long as ships sail, aircraft fly and soldiers march, the problem of the ideal form of command will continue to exist. Should one have one centralised, unified command, or should the various services of the Armed Forces each have its own separate command organisation? In many cases a sole, unified c.ommand is preferable. We shall only have complete control of Norway when the railway reaches Kirkenes. In North Africa, the British were incredibly stupid; they never for a moment believed that the
BRITAIN'S OIL RESERVES 615 Italians would gain possession of their railway system. If we wish to deal them a real low blow, we ought to spread the rumour that Rommel postponed his offensive until the British had completed the construction of their line as far as Tobruk! We must at all costs advance into the plains of Mesopotamia and take the Mosul oil-fields from the British. If we succeed here, the whole war will come to an end, for the British have now only Haifa as their sole loading port for oil. As regards oil, statistics show that the Russians until quite recently obtained 92 per cent of their oil from the Caucasus. The people in the vicinity of these headquarters are all excellently nourished. I cannot help feeling that the Soviet State is being completely hoodwinked by the peasants, in spite of its most strenuous efforts. But conditions in the Ural districts and in Siberia must be terrible—as they must be, also, in the big cities. Let us hope that our Ministry for Eastern Territories will not, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior, introduce here our laws against contraception. There are plenty of other things with which our busybody officials can occupy their time ; and thank God I shall not live to see them at it. If I did, I might regret ever having captured the country ! In this respect the British are our superiors. They, too, are the most frightful bureaucrats ; but at least they have the sense not to exercise their bureaucracy in occupied territory to the advantage of the local inhabitant and the detriment of their own country ! They have a genius for keeping others at a distance and in winning and preserving respect. Here, perhaps, we have the worst possible example of our methods—de-lousing infuriates the local inhabitants, as does our fanatical desire to civilise them. The net result is that they say to themselves: "These people aren't really our superiors—it's only the way they're made" ! 281 6th August 1942, midday The grandeur of the open spaces—Flemish and Dutch peasants—Ukrainian markets. How small Germany looks from here ! The British—and the Russians—possess that self-assurance which is born of vast spaces. I hope that in time we, too, shall acquire it.