Gareth Jones

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By Gareth Jones 

Who were the 38,000,000 who voted for Hitler and who were the 4.000,000 who had the courage to say “No”? 

Among those who placed their cross in the circle representing “Yes’s there were millions who sincerely believed that Hitler should be their leader, but who hated the methods which his dictatorship had introduced. 

They voted “Yes” because they saw no alternative to him except Communism and chaos.  They voted “Yes” because they longed for an end to civil strife and some stable régime however objectionable they might find many of its features.  They voted “Yes” above all because they felt that Hitler was a representative of that national unity towards which Germany had always striven. 


Other millions voted for Hitler, the Man.  They are the millions who crave for someone to lead them, who lack initiative and long for an order from above, who have in their blood the former serfdom of East Prussia or the traditions of those petty little States where, only a century-and-a-half ago, the princelings sold their subjects to foreign generals for gold.  

This type of man worships a strong hand.

Many vigorously, shouted “Ja” for Hitler because they believed that he had rescued them from Bolshevism and from massacre.  They looked upon him as the bulwark against Communism. 

Others-the Industrialists-voted for him because he had smashed the trade unions and put an end to strikes. 

Others voted out of fear that they should be discovered and lose their posts. 

That their manner of voting could be found out through the voting slips I do not believe, because I am convinced that the ballot was secret.  I visited a polling booth in the most Communistic area of Berlin.  There was no number or mark or my voting slip by which the voter could be identified. 


What of those who said “No”?  They comprise men of such scattered opinions that they could hardly organise to overthrow Hitler.  Among them were Communists and Socialists, more bitter than ever against the régime. Numbers of Catholics considered their “No” as a protest against National Socialism’s claim to the souls of the children and to the belief of young Nazis that “we have a new religion and that religion is Germany”!   

Protestants must have been among those who voted against Hitler, and they must have thought of the simple but  stirring protest of the philosopher and divine, Karl Barth, when he exclaimed “Ich sage Nein!” (“I say No!”). 

Intellectuals must have been amongst the dissidents.  They grieve at the garrotting of the German press and the ruining of the stage and of the films.  “No!” This must have been the reaction of some when they thought of the killings of June 30. 


It would be a mistake, however, to see in four million anti-Hitler votes the end of the Hitler régime.  There was a look of quiet confidence on Hitler’s face when I saw him on Sunday saluting the enthusiastic crowd outside the Chancellery.  That confidence will be shaken far more by the economic tasks of the winter than by the votes of four million men. 

What are votes, after all, to men of strong will who have energy, ruthlessness, the determination to stay in power - and machine-guns? 








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.


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