May 1. May Day. It conjures up different images and meanings for different people: Some of us remember it being the day when the Soviet Union tried to demonstrate its strength with tanks and mobile-missiles parading past the Kremlin.
Others think of home-grown communists demonstrating in the streets demanding the end to capitalism.
And for many, it was an organized Union event designed to show employers that workers matter and the strength in numbers collective-bargaining brings to the table.
For the National Socialist, most of this is wrong or inadequate.
Today is the 90th Anniversary of the first NSDAP led May Day. In Germany it was called Tag der nationalen Arbeit, Day of National Labor, and it marked a day of unity, regardless of class or profession, between ALL members of the German Volk. The emphasis was on the collective good and the role played by every worker in the land. It is an idea which can still be found and is a core tenant of the
American Nazi party, as shown here.
Hitler on his way to Templehofer Feld
But I am just paraphrasing what Adolf Hitler himself said, 90 years ago. I am not an expert on the daily life of the Führer, but it appears he gave two speeches on May 1, 1933: one with Reich President, Field Marshal von Hindenburg at the Lustgarten, Berlin, and one later (and much larger, estimated to be 500,000 people) at Templehofer Feld. The speech can be found here.
Here are some highlights which resonated with me:
…we have chosen this day when nature awakens as the day of regaining our own power and strength and, at the same time, the productive work which knows no limits, which is not bound to unions or factories or offices; work we wish to recognize and promote wherever tit is performed in a positive sense for the very existence and the life of our Volk.
Note in the quote above that the Führer understood the true strength of a nation was to be found in its people and the work they do, regardless of the type of work, and not in the vacuous nature of the stock market.
The next quote could be about America today if you substitute the words “German Volk” with “American People…”
It is a political crisis. The German Volk has become disintegrated internally, its entire vitality is being used up in the internal struggle. The ability to build on the power of one’s own will has dwindled, people’s faith in the power of the individual has diminished. Millions are eyeing the rest of the world in the hope that it will bestow upon them good fortune and well-being. The Volk is disintegrating, and its vitality, its power to assert its own life, is fading with this disintegration. We see the consequences of this class conflict around and within us, and we want to learn from this. For there is one thing we have recognized as the primary requirement for the recovery of our Volk: the German Volk must once again come to know itself!
Berlin, 1 Mai 1933
The millions of people divided into professions, separated into artificial classes which, infested by arrogance of rank and class madness, are no longer able to understand each other — they must find their way back together! A gigantic, tremendous task—we know it! But when madness has been upheld and preached as a political idea…when the destruction of the Volksgemeinschaft has been the political rule…, then it is difficult to seek to change people’s minds overnight. We must not allow this to let us become despondent and despair.
And to me, this speaks directly to the heart of the matter:
That is the meaning of May Day which shall be celebrated in Germany from now on and throughout the centuries so that all those who are active in the great machinery of our productive national work may join together and extend their hands to one another once a year in the realization that nothing can be accomplished unless everyone contributes his share of work and efforts. And thus, as our motto for this day, we have chosen the sentence, “Honor the work, and respect the worker!”