Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume Two - The National Socialist Movement
Chapter III: Subjects and Citizens
The institution that
is now erroneously called the State generally classifies people only into
two groups: citizens and aliens. Citizens are all those who possess full
civic rights, either by reason of their birth or by an act of
naturalization. Aliens are those who enjoy the same rights in some other
State. Between these two categories there are certain beings who resemble
a sort of meteoric phenomena. They are people who have no citizenship in
any State and consequently no civic rights anywhere.
In most cases nowadays a
person acquires civic rights by being born within the frontiers of
a State. The race or nationality to which he may belong plays no role
whatsoever. The child of a Negro who once lived in one of the German
protectorates and now takes up his residence in Germany automatically
becomes a 'German Citizen' in the eyes of the world. In the same way the
child of any Jew, Pole, African or Asian may automatically become a German
that is acquired through the fact of having been born within the confines
of a State there exists another kind of naturalization which can be
acquired later. This process is subject to various preliminary
requirements. For example one condition is that, if possible, the
applicant must not be a burglar or a common street thug. It is required of
him that his political attitude is not such as to give cause for
uneasiness; in other words he must be a harmless simpleton in politics. It
is required that he shall not be a burden to the State of which he wishes
to become a citizen. In this realistic epoch of ours this last condition
naturally only means that he must not be a financial burden. If the
affairs of the candidate are such that it appears likely he will turn out
to be a good taxpayer, that is a very important consideration and will
help him to obtain civic rights all the more rapidly.
The question of race plays
no part at all.
The whole process of
acquiring civic rights is not very different from that of being admitted
to membership of an automobile club, for instance. A person files his
application. It is examined. It is sanctioned. And one day the man
receives a card which informs him that he has become a citizen. The
information is given in an amusing way. An applicant who has hitherto been
a Zulu or Kaffir is told: "By these presents you are now become a German
The President of the State
can perform this piece of magic. What God Himself could not do is achieved
by some Theophrastus Paracelsus of a civil servant through a mere twirl of
the hand. Nothing but a stroke of the pen, and a Mongolian slave is
forthwith turned into a real German. Not only is no question asked
regarding the race to which the new citizen belongs; even the matter of
his physical health is not inquired into. His flesh may be corrupted with
syphilis; but he will still be welcome in the State as it exists today so
long as he may not become a financial burden or a political danger.
In this way, year after
year, those organisms which we call States take up poisonous matter which
they can hardly ever overcome.
Another point of
distinction between a citizen and an alien is that the former is admitted
to all public offices, that he may possibly have to do military service
and that in return he is permitted to take a passive or active part at
public elections. Those are his chief privileges. For in regard to
personal rights and personal liberty the alien enjoys the same amount of
protection as the citizen, and frequently even more. Anyhow that is how it
happens in our present German Republic.
I realize fully that
nobody likes to hear these things. But it would be difficult to find
anything more illogical or more insane than our contemporary laws in
regard to State citizenship.
At present there exists
one State which manifests at least some modest attempts that show a better
appreciation of how things ought to be done in this matter. It is not,
however, in our model German Republic but in the U.S.A. that efforts are
made to conform at least partly to the counsels of commonsense. By
refusing immigrants to enter there if they are in a bad state of health,
and by excluding certain races from the right to become naturalized as
citizens, they have begun to introduce principles similar to those on
which we wish to ground the People's State.
The People's State will
classify its population in three groups: Citizens, subjects of the State,
The principle is that
birth within the confines of the State gives only the status of a subject.
It does not carry with it the right to fill any position under the State
or to participate in political life, such as taking an active or passive
part in elections. Another principle is that the race and nationality of
every subject of the State will have to be proved. A subject is at any
time free to cease being a subject and to become a citizen of that country
to which he belongs in virtue of his nationality. The only difference
between an alien and a subject of the State is that the former is a
citizen of another country.
The young boy or girl who
is of German nationality and is a subject of the German State is bound to
complete the period of school education which is obligatory for every
German. Thereby he submits to the system of training which will make him
conscious of his race and a member of the folk-community. Then he has to
fulfill all those requirements laid down by the State in regard to
physical training after he has left school; and finally he enters the
army. The training in the army is of a general kind. It must be given to
each individual German and will render him competent to fulfill the
physical and mental requirements of military service. The rights of
citizenship shall be conferred on every young man whose health and
character have been certified as good, after having completed his period
of military service. This act of inauguration in citizenship shall be a
solemn ceremony. And the diploma conferring the rights of citizenship will
be preserved by the young man as the most precious testimonial of his
whole life. It entitles him to exercise all the rights of a citizen and to
enjoy all the privileges attached thereto. For the State must draw a sharp
line of distinction between those who, as members of the nation, are the
foundation and the support of its existence and greatness, and those who
are domiciled in the State simply as earners of their livelihood there.
On the occasion of
conferring a diploma of citizenship the new citizen must take a solemn
oath of loyalty to the national community and the State. This diploma must
be a bond which unites together all the various classes and sections of
the nation. It shall be a greater honour to be a citizen of this Reich,
even as a street-sweeper, than to be the King of a foreign State.
The citizen has privileges
which are not accorded to the alien. He is the master in the Reich. But
this high honour has also its obligations. Those who show themselves
without personal honour or character, or common criminals, or traitors to
the fatherland, can at any time be deprived of the rights of citizenship.
Therewith they become merely subjects of the State.
The German girl is a
subject of the State but will become a citizen when she marries. At the
same time those women who earn their livelihood independently have the
right to acquire citizenship if they are German subjects.
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