by Caleb Godfrey

I. Introduction

At a political meeting months ago, a nationalist comrade told me that he couldn’t entirely approve of German National Socialism because ‘Hitler, during the war, wanted to give Australia away to the Japanese’. According to my comrade, Hitler had said this in Table Talk, a verbatim transcript of Hitler’s private conversations from 1941-1944 which most scholars accept as genuine.

This thesis – regarding Hitler’s intentions to Australia – puzzled me, as I didn’t remember anything of the sort in Table Talk, which I had read years before. At any rate, my friend opined that Hitler’s attitude towards the Aussies was understandable, given that Australia, following England, had declared war on Germany in 1939.

Later that week, by coincidence, I came across the same assertion – that Hitler was prepared to give Australia over to the Japanese – on the 8Chan image board. Again, I encountered the same justifications from Hitler’s defenders: ‘Put yourself in Hitler’s shoes… Australia was a wartime enemy of Germany and had stolen Papua New Guinea off Germany after WWI…’. The anti-Hitler poster who brought up the thesis – and reproduced the quotation from Table Talk – ran with it like a dog with a bone and wouldn’t let go. He regarded it as a damning indictment of Hitler and German National Socialism in general.

Then, in the same week, in another coincidence, the UPF’s Chris Shortis brought up the same thesis in a video. He remarked that he, as an Australian patriot, couldn’t identify himself as a ‘National Socialist’ because of it.

On hearing this, I decided that the infamous Hitler quotation shouldn’t be regarded as mere history, with no bearing on the present. In my view, it merited an article, seeing as it as has given rise to misconceptions – in Australia and abroad – regarding Australia and German National Socialism.

II. The offending quote

Here it is in full:

The descendants of the convicts in Australia should inspire in us nothing but a feeling of supreme indifference. If their vitality is not strong enough to enable them to increase at a rate proportionate to the size of the territories they occupy, that is their own look out, and it is no use their appealing to us for help. For my own part, I have no objection at all to seeing the surplus populations of prolific Asia being drawn, as to a magnet, to their empty spaces. Let them all work out their own salvation! and let me repeat – it is nothing to do with us.

Notice that the quotation doesn’t refer to the Japanese: it refers to ‘the surplus populations of prolific Asia’. But it can be assumed that Hitler was talking about the Japanese – he certainly wouldn’t have been talking about the Chinese and Vietnamese, the two Asian nationalities which actually did end up being ‘drawn, as to a magnet’, to Australia’s ’empty spaces’.

One of Australia’s leading nationalist intellectuals, Dr James Saleam, made extensive use of the quotation in his polemical battles with neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Australia. Here are some passages from Inside the Kangaroo Reich: Selected Materials On Australian Neo-Nazis And Other Dirty Tricks Operations Against Freedom Of Expression In Australia (2002):

We must go to the (Easter) April 1985 Australian National Action (ANA) conference. Jack van Tongeren announced to ANA members that he was actually a committed “National Socialist” (neo-nazi). His scheme to approach the conservative Right with a new political programme that would encourage them to ‘unite’ with the Nationalists, ideologically and physically – had been rejected by the Nationalists. But he was still nominally an ANA member. He remained hopeful of taking ANA over – and ‘Nazifying’ it.

Peter Coleman of Sydney was the only other ANA member to support van Tongeren’s position. I take you to Easter Monday. Two other conference delegates were in the ANA national office building. Coleman appeared with two copies of my Never In Nazi Uniform pamphlet. He was screamin, almost incoherent, in blind rage. “This shit, this shit”, he shouted. He tore up the pamphlets…

What was clear was that I had touched a very raw nerve with a man who became one of our country’s prominent neo-nazis. On the front page of the pamphlet was a quote from Adolf Hitler: [Dr Saleam inserts the quotation here and gives the citation as: ‘February 7 1945. (Hitler’s Testament)’]

In a letter to Nationalist writer Alec Saunders in 1986, Coleman wrote that he “doubted” Hitler had ever said any such thing. He inferred I had cooked up the quote from god-knows-where. He said Hitler’s ideology was the right one to achieve the ‘salvation’ of the white-race andecommended Saunders read Mein Kampf. And thereafter he told his contacts I had lied about what Hitler said of Australia. Of course, Coleman knew that the quotation was quite accurate.

The pamphlet Never In Nazi Uniform seemed to be in hindsight a catalyst too, but in defining Australian Nationalism. It set out what Nationalists were and what they were not. So we begin there on the road to meet the actors in our play – and the directors who move in the dark behind the stage.

Elsewhere, Dr Saleam mentions it in another section of Kangaroo Reich, ‘Adolf Hitler in his own words’.

We publish here as a radical nationalist contribution to the struggle against neo-nazi ideology – a collection of memorable quotations from Adolf Hitler.

We expect some ‘challenges’ to his words. We will be chided for the matter of historical context, circumstantial context and so forth. However, we have chosen these quotations because they indeed have proper context; but in any case, we refuse to second-guess their author! He said it all! The neo-nazis must address the words.

In Australia today, we are witnessing an on-going attempt by a few persons to keep the ‘National Socialist’ idea in the field. Aside from fraudulent older-operators, we see a number of younger people (sometimes good potential nationalist activists) tricked into this false ideology and politics. It may occur too that good potential cadre may be disintegrated – and in the usual style of the neo-nazi ‘leadership’ (sic) – some may be directed to harass the growing movement of Australian nationalism upon a logic we discuss elsewhere on Kangaroo Reich.

We will group Hitler’s statements, with headings of our own and an occasional introductory paragraph. We may also publish a few quotations from other historical figures or authors where they place Hitler’s remarks into sharp relief. We will add to this piece over time. (October 2006)

Reproducing the quotation again, he remarks:

This comment from Hitler has been widely used by the nationalists in the anti neo-nazi struggle. Further comment is superfluous.

III. Where it comes from

Dr Saleam, in ‘Hitler in his own words’, collects a number of instances of Hitlerian hatespeech from Table Talk and other sources under the headings ‘Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad: the frenzy of anti-Slav hate’, ‘Quotes from Mein Kampf: Some bases of the anti-Slav ideology’, etc.

So, Hitler’s quotation on Australia must be genuine: after all, it came from a genuine source, did it not?

Except that the quotation doesn’t come from Table Talk. After reading the discussion of it on 8Chan, I did a search of a PDF copy of Table- and couldn’t find the quote; I then realised it didn’t come from Table- but from a book called The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, which, like Table-, purports to be a record of Hitler’s conversations with intimates – only these are (unlike those in Table-) are from the narrow window of February-April 1945.

Now, authorities such as Hadding Scott and David Irving regard Testament- as a fraud, a concoction of the shadowy Swiss Nazi sympathiser François Genoud, an interesting character in his own right (who, like Yockey, a man he resembles in many respects, associated with post-war anti-Zionist leftists and Arab nationalists). Testament- reflects Genoud’s own views and is a poor forgery. The book is barely 90 pages long (unlike Table-, which goes for 750) and anyone who reads it straight after Table- will find that it smacks of inauthenticity. Testament – seems to be one long (self-exculpating) speech, and doesn’t include any of the banal minutiae and personal reminisces of Table-, it doesn’t even refer to any of Hitler’s colleagues and acquaintances by name. Hadding Scott has written a very brief article on Testament- here.

(In retrospect, it seems bizarre that Hitler would have said such a thing about Australia and by implication the Japanese in February 1945. By that point, the Japanese had been booted out of Papua New Guinea and were losing the war; they in no way threatened Australia).

IV. Table Talk and Australia

So what did the Hitler of Table- say about Australia and Japan? I’ll reproduce here the relevant quotations. The first is these from a meeting in December 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the invasion of the Dutch colony of Malaysia. Himmler is in attendance. (The ‘Mussert’ mentioned here is the Dutch National Socialist leader, who was upset by the loss of Malaysia to the Japanese, and told Hitler so). Interestingly, Himmler broaches the subject of Dutch race-mixing with the Malays.

I think that this passage was most likely the inspiration for Genoud’s fabricated one:

What is happening in the Far East is happening by no will of mine. For years I never stopped telling all the English I met that they’d lose the Far East if they entered into a war in Europe. They didn’t answer, but they assumed a superior air. They’re masters in the art of being arrogant !

I was moved when Mussert said to me: “You will surely understand me at this hour. Three centuries of effort are going up in smoke.”

Himmler intervened: “We must consider this much compensation, that in this way the Dutch people will maintain its integrity, whereas, before, it was running the risk of corrupting itself with Malayan blood”. Hitler continued:

The Japanese are occupying all the islands, one after the other. They will get hold of Australia, too. The white race will disappear from those regions.

This development began in 1914, at the moment when the European powers authorised Japan to lay her hands on Kiaochow.

Here’s Hitler from January 1942:

One day the English will realise that they’ve nothing to gain in Europe. Sixteen thousand millions of debts from the first World War, to which have since been added nearly two hundred thousand millions! The Conservatives must reckon that, in order to gain a rapid success in Northern Norway, for example, they would have to pay for this by abandoning India. But they’re not so mad as to envisage such a solution ! If they want to save New Zealand and Australia, they can’t let India go. The English have two possibilities : either to give up Europe and hold on to the East, or vice versa. They can’t bet on both tables. When it’s a matter of the richest country in the world (from the capitalist point of view), one understands the importance of such a dilemma. It would be enough for them to be aware of it for everything to be changed. We know that the bourgeoisie becomes heroic when its pocket-book is threatened.

And from February 1942:

I can well imagine that Japan would put no obstacle in the way of peace, on condition that the Far East were handed over to her. She’s not capable of digesting India, and I doubt whether she has any interest in occupying Australia and New Zealand. If we preserve our connections with her, Japan will derive from this a great sense of security, and will feel that she has nothing more to fear from anybody at all. This alliance is also an essential guarantee of tranquillity for us—in particular, in the event of our being able to rely on a lasting friendship with France. There’s one thing that Japan and Germany have absolutely in common—that both of us need fifty to a hundred years for purposes of digestion: we for Russia, they for the Far East.

V. More quotations on Australia: Hitler wants sheep

For the sake of completeness, I’ll reproduce the rest of the quotations which touch upon Australia.

From October 1941: when Hitler thinks of Australia, he thinks of sheep – he wishes he had thirty million of them:

National independence, and independence on the political level, depend as much on autarky as on military power.

The essential thing for us is not to repeat the mistake of hurling ourselves into foreign markets. The importations of our merchant marine can be limited to three or four million tons. It is enough for us to receive coffee and tea from the African continent. We have everything else here in Europe.

Germany was once one of the great exporters of wool. When Australian wool conquered the markets, our “national” economy suddenly switched over and began importing. I wish to-day we had thirty million sheep.

From March 1942:

Cripps [Stafford Cripps, British Labour Party politician], a man without roots, a demagogue and a liar, would pursue his sick fancies although the Empire were to crack at every corner. Moreover, this theoretician devoid of humanity lacks contact with the mass that’s grouped behind the Labour Party, and he’ll never succeed in understanding the problems that occupy the minds of the lower classes.

To judge Cripps accurately, and to appreciate the dangers he represents, one must not forget that the Tories have always been the props of the Empire, and that Cripps’s gaining control would mean the end of the Empire. With his hypocritical social programmes, he’d be sure to dig a pit between the mother-country and the Dominions, especially the Catholic Canadians, Australia and South Africa. One must therefore eagerly hope for the failure of his mission to India.

From May 1942:

And it is these same Jews, experts in the stab-in-the-back game, over whom our bourgeoisie now sheds tears when we ship them off somewhere to the east! It is curious, all the same, that our soft-hearted bourgeoisie has never shed any tears over the two or three hundred thousand Germans, who, each year, were compelled to leave their homeland, nor over those among them who elected to go to Australia, and of whom 75 per cent used to die en route.

VI. In conclusion: Adolf Hitler, Australian nationalist?

I will end here with a quotation from a book called Hitler Directs His War: The Secret Records of His Daily Military Conferences (1950), which claims to be a verbatim record of some of Hitler’s conferences with his generals in the last three years of the war. I am not certain whether the book is genuine or not. The few excerpts I have read seem rather dull and commonplace – and therefore authentic – but I could be wrong. Anyhow, this exchange between Hitler and diplomat Walther Hewel is pertinent:

Hitler: The others have whole continents – America, East Asia, or Russia. And then Australia – where seven million people have a whole continent. This was one of the wildest suggestions: the Prince of Windsor was saying at that time that we Germans should really settle north Australia. He always advocated our getting it. Then we would have settled it, and one fine day the English would have pocketed it.

Hewel: Australian agriculture is entirely German. The German element in Australia has been the most creative by far.

Hitler: That’s quite clear. That’s why he wanted to have us there, but I said no. We are not interested. Australia for the Australians.


One Response to The Aussies, the Nazis and the Japanese: The History of a Misconception

  1. Osred Jameson says:

    That last “record”, of a supposed conversation between Hitler and Hewel, sounds totally false to me. In particular, I find it hard to believe that:

    * “The Prince of Windsor”, actually the Duke of Windsor, would ever have said such a thing.

    * Anyone at all could have suggested that “Australian agriculture is entirely German”.

    * Any European leader at that time would have said “Australia for the Australians”.

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