Oct 26, 2007

Goering on bringing the people to war

Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why should a poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best thing he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

~ Hermann Goering, at the Nuremburg Trials

(This quote was part of a conversation Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking intelligence officer and psychologist, held with a dejected Goering in his cell on the evening of April 18, 1946, as the trials were halted for a three-day Easter recess.)

No comments: