Schmorell and czarism
[EXCERPT from March 8, 1943 document to better define the political views Alexander Schmorell would have espoused during the February 9 debate]
Statements Made by Alexander Schmorell:
If you were to ask me which form of government I prefer, I would have to answer: That form of government that best corresponds to the character of the country.
In my opinion, a government is merely the representative of the will of the people – at least, that is what it should be. In such a case, it understandably earns the trust of its people, and the nation likes it – because after all, it is their representative, the representative of their thoughts and their will – the nation itself. A nation cannot possibly object to such a government. …
I have so often identified myself as Russian, and therefore I believe that the only possible form of government for Russia is czarism. I do not maintain that the form of government as it was before 1917 was my ideal – no. Even czarism had its shortcomings, perhaps even many shortcomings – but fundamentally, it was right.
The Russian people had their representatives in the czars, the father whom they deeply loved – and justifiably so. One did not see him merely as the head of state. He was more than that. He was Father, Solicitor, and Counselor of the people – and once again, justifiably so, because that was the relationship between him and the people. In Russia, it was the intelligentsia that was out of line, who had completely lost touch with the people and who could not get back that connection. But despite this critically ill intelligentsia, that is, the government, I believe that the only proper form of government for Russia is czarism.
Naturally in a nation such as I envision, there will be opposition, there will always be opposition, because rarely is an entire nation of one mind – but this too must be tolerated and respected. Because the [opposition] lays bare the shortcomings of the current government – and what government has no shortcomings – and offers criticism. A government must be expressly thankful when its shortcomings are exposed, so they can be righted.
You ask me as well why I am not in agreement with the National Socialist form of government. Because it does not live up to my ideals. In my opinion, National Socialism is supported too greatly by the power it holds. It tolerates no opposition, no criticism, and therefore its shortcomings cannot be recognized, cannot be eliminated.
Because I believe that it does not represent a pure expression of the people’s will. It makes it impossible for people to express their opinion, it makes it impossible for the people [Volk] to change something they do not agree with. It has been created, and it may not be criticized, it may not be changed – and I do not think that is right. It must go along with the thoughts of the people, elastic – not just giving orders.
In my opinion, when a government sees that the people are not in agreement with it on a particular point, it must first enable the people to express themselves, and second, it must repair its shortcoming. Because otherwise it does not represent the will of the people, and in fact sometimes works in opposition to that will – and then it is no longer the representative of the people.
In my opinion, every citizen currently fears to challenge governmental authorities about anything, for fear he will be punished. And that must be avoided.
I am even inclined to prefer an authoritarian form of government to a democratic government. Because we have all seen where the democracies have led. I prefer an authoritarian form of government not only for Russia, but also for Germany. It is only that the people must see in its head of state not only the political leader [Führer], but rather its father, representative, protector. And I do not believe that is the case in National Socialist Germany.
When the war began, I had the feeling that the German government was working to enlarge its borders by force. In no way does that represent my ideal [government]. Indeed, a nation is justified at wishing to be superior to all other nations and to lead them to the brotherhood of all peoples – but in no case, through force. Only when it hears the liberating word, when it speaks it aloud, and then when all nations voluntarily follow because they have seen the truth and believe in it. This is the path (I believe) to all of Europe and the world coming together in brotherhood, that of voluntarily following.
You can imagine that I was especially pained when war broke out against Russia, my homeland. Of course Bolshevism rules over there, but nevertheless, it remains my homeland, the Russians remain my brothers. I could not be happier if Bolshevism were to disappear, but naturally not at the cost of the loss of so much important territory, territory Germany has already conquered and that actually makes up the very heart of Russia. I believe that you would not think any differently as a German if say Russia had conquered as large a part of Germany as Germany has done in the East!
It is an obvious feeling – it is an outright crime, if someone has feelings other than that for his homeland. That would mean that a person has no homeland [a man without a country], some kind of an international floater whose main concern is where things are best for him.