DIETRICH ECKART: AN INTRODUCTION FOR THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING STUDENT
by William Gillespie
All illustrations drawn from Albert Reich's Dietrich Eckart. Fr. Eher Verlag, Munich, 1933 with the following exceptions: Sketch of Ulrich Fleischhauer drawn from Schwartz-Bostunitsch's Judischer Imperialismus, Hammer Verlag, Leipzig, 1935; title page of Eckart's Peer Gynt from the author's collection; all poetry reproduced from Alfred Rosenberg's Dietrich Eckart-ein Vermachtnis, Zentralverlag der NSDAP, Munich, 1937.
DIETRICH ECKART should rank alongside of Alfred Rosenberg and Houston Stewart Chamberlain as a National Socialist ideologist, but he remains the forgotten man despite the plethora of titles written on Hitler and the origins of the Third Reich. As historian George Mosse points out in his The Crisis of German Ideology, Eckart has heretofore been regarded by historians as "too marginal, too much of a crank."  Bradley Smith, the widely acclaimed author of Adolf Hitler, Family, Childhood & Youth, misspells the name 'Eckhardt,'  and he is not the sole historian to do so. Alan Bullock's Hitler, A Study in Tyranny mentions Eckart but three times in nearly eight hundred pages. More recent Hitler books, such as Robert Payne's The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, Joachim Fest's Hitler, and Werner Maser's Hitler, have given him some worthwhile notice but have not elaborated on his importance or documented it in any satisfactory manner. Books in vogue on the Third Reich and occultism or mysticism can be dismissed as unscholarly and completely sensationalist. [*] In short, the serious student has, until now, been unable to find out who Dietrich Eckart really was, and what role he played in the early, crucial days of the embryonic Hitler movement.
What historians have written about Eckart's role has been brief and inadequate. Some samplings from well-known histories:
After acknowledging Eckart's decisive friendship with the young and impressionable Adolf Hitler, historians have refrained from presenting any details on either the man or his work. The above quotations, with little exception, constitute the entire mention of the man in the respective volumes cited.
In his memoirs on Eckart published in 1934, lifelong friend Albert Reich wrote:
It is not too venturesome to assume that a mere thousand American students and historians know the name today, and this is unfortunate. The purpose of this monograph, then, is to afford the English speaking student some initial insight, and to hopefully stimulate him onto further reading of Eckart's literary efforts. None of his plays and but one of his political pieces have ever been translated into English. All documentation and material contained within this study was drawn from and translated from original German language works, save the quotes from American and British volumes above. A full bibliography follows the Appendix, which may prove useful to the interested student.
A knowledge of Schopenhauer and Ibsen is almost a required prerequisite to an understanding of Eckart's literary thrust, as will be obvious within the first few pages. Any elucidations on this I leave to a literature major, as I have but touched on the subject. The National Socialist books and pamphlets listed in the Bibliography deal with this most thoroughly.
Finally, a note on translations. All translations are those of the author. In an attempt to retain Eckart's often crude and sarcastic style, free translation has been followed. As the full flavor of his poetry is undeniably lost in English, a few poems have been reprinted intact in German, and may be found in the Appendix.
AN INTRODUCTION TO DIETRICH ECKART, THE MAN AND AUTHOR
JOHANN DIETRICH ECKART was born on March 23, 1868 in the Bavarian village of Neumarkt. Lying just a few miles southeast of Nurnberg, it is known for the ruins of castle Wolfstein. His father, Christian, was a lawyer; his mother, Anna, a typical nineteenth century Hausfrau who mothered three other children as well. She died when Dietrich was ten years old, and the family moved to Nurnberg, where the boy attended the local Gymnasium. From Nurnberg he enrolled in the Lateinschule in Schwabach. In 1885 he transferred to school in Regensburg and three years later his first poem was printed in the local newspaper.
Eckart's birthplace, Neumark/Pfalz, circa 1860
He attended the University of Erlangen as a medical student, but was forced to withdraw upon contracting a serious childhood illness. His doctor prescribed morphine as a pain killer and this later developed into an unvoluntary addiction to the sweet poison.  He did not finish school.
His father, a civil servant, wished his son to follow in his own footsteps, but the young man had other plans. He wished to become a poet and author! He wrote articles for a local Diet- kirchen paper -- an essay entitled "A Question On Our Future" written in 1894 shows an avid interest in politics while still of college age.
Young Eckart as a college student (1889)
In the same year  he became a music critic for the Bayreuther Briefe newspaper and wrote essays on the Wagnerfest. He achieved renown as a witty humorist. Soon the Munchner Augsberger Abendzeitung was also publishing his Bayreuth columns and printed his first two short stories. This success led him to Berlin, where he skillfully attacked leading marxists and socialists of the day. His work Tannhauser Auf Urlaub, completed in 1895, mentions Jews in a disparaging way and is thought to be his first anti-Semitic piece. 
The following year his father passed away and Eckart inherited a fair sum of money which he quickly invested in a home in Regensburg. There he entertained many political and artistic companions, and wrote his first published play. Entitled Froschkonig, it was based on the fairy tale of the frog prince. Eckart was an admirer of both Arthur Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner, and the play reflects this influence:
Dietrich Eckart (1908)
The play, for all its philosophical dialogue, was not a success. The lead actor named Mattkowsky, according to Eckart, made a fiasco out of the frog prince. A close friend wrote, "you cannot blame yourself, but only the public and the press." Eckart was bitter, but in 1901 was rewarded with the publication of an essay in one of Germany's leading magazines, Simplicissimus. His luck improved.
He became an editor of the Berlin Lokalanzeiger newspaper in 1900, and wrote regular columns for two cultural publications; Buhne und Welt and Kunst und Wissenschaft. In the period from 1901 to 1916 he authored ten plays. His drama Familienvater opened simultaneously in Hannover and Regensburg in December, 1904, and was a success. It toured to Graz, Munich, Neumarkt, and Vienna. Eleven months later he assumed the editorship of the Berlin Deutscher Blatt paper and his income enabled him to found his own publishing house, the Hoheneichen Verlag. It would years later publish Rosenberg's Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts and other Nazi works.
But this upturn of events proved temporary, and Eckart led the life of a pauper at times. In Berlin during his "hunger years," as he was fond of describing them, he, often could not afford a room of his own. He was famous for letting friends put him up, and his companion, Albert Reich, recalls that if all else failed, he would find accommodation on a favorite parkbench in the city Tiergarten. 
Believing that his plays were being rejected by "jewish dominated" theatrical circles and panned by "the Jewish press," [ii] he tried writing under a jewish-sounding nom de plume. His hope that this would change his fortune was short-lived, as his anti- Semitic fervor was noticeable even if disguised. As he later recalled of his "Berlin years" in Auf Gut Deutsch:
The year 1912 saw his biggest success. It was then that he published his translation of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt from the original Norwegian. Eckart believed that the Christian Morgenstern translation on the market was unfaithful to Ibsen's intentions. The poet transformed Peer from a lowly farmer into a heroic fighter for the Germanic Weltanschauung. This faustian change was so brilliant it met with instant acclaim. 
At first Ibsen's son refused to allow Eckart to produce the play on the German stage and withheld copyright permission. Kaiser Wilhelm II had read the new translation, and as the "protector of the German stage," personally intervened. The play opened at the Koniglichen Schauspielen Theater in Berlin in 1914, and the Kaiser saw it twice in as many evenings. In fact, running 183 performances in four years, it was the second most popular play ever presented in the theater. 
After years of near despair and starvation, Eckart was finally a financial success. His interest in Peer Gynt was more than artistic, though. He saw in Ibsen's hero his own personality. Alfred Rosenberg writes:
The following year Kaiser Wilhelm asked Eckart to write a play in honor of the planned marriage of his daughter to the Duke of Braunschweig. The Hohenstaufen Kaiser Heinrich the Sixth was chosen as his subject, and he completed the play in the allotted time. But after just six performances, it was banned. World War I was raging, and in the play the British king had pledged an oath of allegiance to Germany. Since this was an embarrassing historical fact in light of Germany's war with England, Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg suspended its production. 
Scenes from Eckart's play "Heinrich the Sixth"
On September 15, 1913 Eckart had taken a widow, Rose Marx, for his wife. Now finding Berlin again hostile towards his work, he traveled in the spring of 1915 to Bad Blakenburg. Here his brother-in-law, Dr. Paul Wiedeburg, operated a sanatorium. Eckart found the place serene and perfect for his work. He not only found peace of mind, but also a willing audience for his plays. Patients and guests acted out scenes while he directed and rewrote. He busied himself in these experiments and remained at the sanatorium for a year.
His last play, Lorenzaccio, perhaps his finest effort, was completed in 1918. The tragedy was never performed during his lifetime. It was first staged in the Leipzig Stadttheater on October 7, 1933, ten years after his death.
THE PROPAGANDIST AND POLITICIAN
DIETRICH ECKART was a "character" in the fullest sense of the word. He was a "roughhewn and comical figure with his thick round head, his partiality for good wine and crude talk."  He would sit for hours with his friends in sidewalk cafes and discuss the issues of the day. He dominated conversations. A well read man, he was crude in his manner of speaking and his weakness for the Bavarian dialect, but was always able to throw out a quote or an eloquent response. Never caught without an answer, he was a skilled debater, and won over many converts to his nationalistic views.
Money, as would be wont of someone who took Peer Gynt to heart, never meant much to Eckart. If he had it, he would spend it. Rosenberg writes that Eckart could simply not say "no" to a friend, and would give up his last cent even if it meant he would go without.  He spent a small fortune on beer and wine, and entertaining drinking chums. He was accused by some of living off his girlfriends, and even of pandering.
Once, flat broke and downing what appeared to be his last glass in a local beerhall, he met a salesman for a well known tonic remedy. Offered a thousand marks if he could come up with a good advertising jingle, the poet excused himself. A few minutes passed. He returned with a four line stanza and handed it to the astonished salesman. He had composed it while in the lavatory. He was paid the money. 
His years in Berlin, much like Hitler's years in Vienna, brought him into contact with many Jews. He slowly evolved into an anti-Semite. Well educated and a skillful orator, he became known as a so-called Judenspezialist. He was one of the first members of the Fichte Bund, founded in 1914; and he contributed to Theodor Fritsch's anti-jewish paper, Der Hammer. He cofounded a short-lived paper titled Unser Vaterland in 1915 after becoming convinced that there was a 'jewish attempt at world mastery.'
At this time he wrote to a close friend:
Joachim Fest writes, "He characterized Soviet Russia as the 'Christian kosher butchering dictatorship of the jewish world savior Lenin' and said that what he wanted most was to 'load all Jews into a railroad train and drive into the Red Sea with it."' 
Schopenhauer was Eckart's favorite philosopher, and he took many of his ideas if not his very weltanschauung from The World As Will and Idea. He explained he saw the world in terms of 'good' and 'evil,' with the German and Jew representing opposites. This idea was a common thread which ran through the 'folkish' movement, but with erudite quotes from Schopenhauer and others Eckart was a prime mover of this belief. In short, he saw two impulses inherent in man, 'world-affirmation' and 'world-denial.' World-affirmation meant a complete surrender or submission to one's baser, all-too-human instincts; whether it be sensual, decadent, or materialistic. World-denial was its counterweight, the constant striving for something more than earthly desires, the faustian wanderlust which could not be explained, only felt. Eckart thought man must have an occasional respite from his inner strivings, but that a firm balance must be kept between the two extremes. Later he described it thusly:
One can trace the origin of Eckart's pet theme 'the jewish spirit within and without us' ('in und außer uns ') to this viewpoint. Rather than attack the Jew on a religious or biological basis as most anti-semites before him, Eckart placed importance on the spiritual aspects. He felt every man had some 'jewishness' within him, and that one's first priority was to repress and purge this spirit. For perhaps the first time blame was laid on everyone's foibles instead of on 'the Jew' alone. This was a revolutionary if not refreshing approach to the 'problem,' and Eckart was articulate enough to advance it successfully. It can be found in Point 24 of the NSDAP Official Program. [iv]
With the establishment of the Bolshevik dictatorship in Russia, Eckart all but dropped his literary efforts in favor of anti-marxist propaganda. In November of 1918 the World War was lost by Germany and in Munich the "Red Republic" of Kurt Eisner arose. Ironically, Munich was a main destination and refugee center for White Russians fleeing Russia. The city was a hotbed of pro and anti communist agitation. Among the mass of refugees was a young Balt, Alfred Rosenberg. He writes:
Rosenberg's first impressions:
The next month, on December 7, 1918, Eckart and Rosenberg founded their nationalistic and anti-semitic propaganda sheet entitled Auf Gut Deutsch, "In Plain German."  Planned as a weekly, it was sixteen pages in length and cost fifty Pfennigs. Double issues of 32 pages were sometimes printed, and cost one mark. Eckart put his own finances into the printing and distributed it personally. He printed his Lorenzaccio drama and numbered it "Issues 15-29." Even multiple-numbering could not keep the magazine on a regular delivery basis, so Eckart felt obligated to send his subscribers other pamphlets and literature as compensation. Thule's Muchener Beobachter, Fritsche's Hammer, Sturm from Hannover, and a cheap edition of Artur Dinter's The Sin Against Blood were among those anti-semitic works mailed.
Eckart wasted no time in attacking his favorite targets. In the first issue of Auf Gut Deutsch he likened international finance to "der Grosse Krumme." "Der Grosse Krumme," or the Great Boyg, was the ubiquitous clammy mass which almost trapped Peer Gynt in the Valley of the Trolls forever. Eckart thought the work "Krumme" particularly well suited for the analogy, as in German it has the double meaning of 'hunchback' -- a disfigurement he attributed to a certain breed of banker. He wrote:
In the second issue of Auf Gut Deutsch, in response to a letter to the Editor complaining of' his anti-Semitic slant, he responded:
In April of 1919 Eckart and his circle of comrades -- by this time including such NS notables as Julius Streicher, Rudolf Hess, Gottfried Feder, Ernst Roehm and Anton Drexler -- agitated against the Eisner "Bavarian Peoples' Republic" by taking to the streets. Eckart had heard of the Russian Revolution first-hand from Rosenberg, had witnessed the Eisner dictatorship in Munich, and saw in the terror of Bela Kuhn's Hungary proof positive that the Jews were conspiring against the world. He said:
On April 6th he printed one hundred thousand flyers headed "To All Professions!" in which he called for united action against the Eisner regime. It took courage to distribute the flyer in public as the Red guards were prone towards violence and summary shootings. He, Rosenberg and others drove through the streets of Munich, throwing the sheet from their speeding autos. A public notice of the Eisner regime acknowledged:
Sketch of Eckart and supporters distributing the Anti-Eisner flyer "To All Professions" in the streets of Munich, April 1919
Eckart joined the First Wurttemburg Regiment of the Freikorps under General Haas, and helped free Thule Society prisoners from the Stadelheim city prison. He was arrested for his involvement, but an eloquent speech gained him freedom. His experiences during this time convinced him that the middle class had failed miserably, and that only a broad-based appeal to the workers could rectify the situation.
Through folkish circles Eckart met Ulrich Fleischhauer, a well-known racist. He wrote Eckart:
Fleischhauer aided Eckart in the distribution of the magazine and played a key role in its success. He teamed with Alfred Rosenberg and published The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion in German. At the famous Berne, Switzerland trial of 1935 which ruled on the Protocols' authenticity, Fleischhauer was its chief defender.  He ultimately founded the Welt-Dienst, the largest anti-semitic operation in the world, publishing works in many foreign languages. The Welt-Dienst was the closest thing to a fascist "International" ever conceived, and Fleischhauer himself credited Eckart with the original idea. In April, 1938 he related to the NSDAP Hauptarchiv that a conversation he had had years earlier with the poet was responsible. He wrote:
Dietrich Eckart then spoke to me alone, in a wine-cellar where we were sitting, about the subject which could today describe the Welt-Dienst. He said something to the effect: 'If our idea comes to power, the Jew will try again, as he's tried before with any State which attempts to solve the Jewish Problem, to starve us out. And if that's no use, then try to ruin us through wars and revolutions. Adolf must therefore have an international movement that can help him from the outside, just as the Stahlhelm and other groups help the Party from the outside today.' 
On August 14, 1919 he attended an early meeting of Anton Drexler's German Workers' Party (DAP). He traveled to Nurenberg with Gottfried Feder and spoke on the 'breaking of interest slavery.' Success here led to the founding of Streicher's German Socialist Party (DSP) which' later merged with Hitler's movement. He also joined the German Racist League for Defense and Attack (Schutz und Trutz Bund) which claimed a quarter million men by October. Its founder was Willibald von Zezschwitz, one of the Nazi Party's first lawyers.
Eckart was convinced that the nation only lacked a suitable leader and often spoke of the "coming Leader." He is quoted as saying that such a leader would have to be
As far as he was concerned, the leader who could give
Adolf Hitler (1921)
In late 1919, probably December, the poet met young Adolf Hitler. Eckart quickly realized Hitler's potential as a speaker and leader, and proclaimed:
This prophetic remark was made at a time when Hitler was unknown and not taken seriously by anyone outside of his inner circle of supporters. Through Eckart Hitler met not only local Bavarian supporters, but important figures such as Ludendorff, Kapp, Roehm, Hess, Rosenberg, Ritter von Epp, not to mention the Wagner family and Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
General Kapp staged his ill-fated Putsch in Berlin on March 13, 1920. Hitler and Eckart flew to the city to witness the event. Their pilot was Ritter von Greim, who took charge of the Luftwaffe in 1945 after Hermann Goring's dismissal.  When the revolt was crushed, Hitler and his mentor left the city disillusioned. But Hitler was thereafter the strongest national leader.
During the months that followed, Auf Gut Deutsch came out with three special issues devoted entirely to the "jewish problem." In February 1920 over one hundred thousand copies of In the New Germany were distributed. Leading marxist and jewish figures in government were attacked. Levine, a top Red leader, personally led an assault on the paper's office but a tip from sympathetic police saved it from destruction. In March another issue was devoted to Bela Kuhn's bloody rebellion in the neighboring state of Hungary, entitled Out of Hungary's Days of Terror. In July an issue, Austria Under Judas' Star appeared.
"In the New Germany" issue, of which 100,000 copies were distributed
Such provocative issues made Eckart a well-known figure around Bavaria and indeed all of Germany. He was arrested and his papers confiscated on numerous occasions. His controversial writing aroused much bitter protest in jewish communities. He was taken to court for slander and libel eleven times in three years. In one such case, a Rabbi Freund of Hannover was awarded one thousand marks. Eckart was forced to pay after having promised this amount in print to any Jew who could prove that he had had three sons serve in the trenches of the war for at least three weeks.  In another case he was charged with libel after having called a prominent newspaper editor a Judentzer. This medieval term, obscure in modern German, is quite untranslatable into English, but it was ruled by the Munich court that it implied a "friend of the Jews through stupidity" or "a friend of the Jews for personal gain." 
On December 20, 1920, the National Socialist German Workers' Party purchased its first newspaper from the Thule Society. It was renamed the Volkischer Beobachter. Eckart was instrumental in helping obtain the heavy financing required. He was apparently able to convince Freikorp General von Epp to contribute sixty thousand marks. The poet also contributed from his Peer Gynt royalties. His pivotal role in this momentous step for the Nazi Party was acknowledged by Hitler himself. A letter to Eckart dated December 18th runs:
At this time Eckart wrote the words to his song Deutschland Erwache! which later became a party byword. General Hans von Seeckt wrote in his memoirs that "Eckart's word has become a slogan to us."
In July 1921 the so-called "summer crisis" of the Nazi Party took place. Lasting six weeks, it grew out of a personality struggle between party founder Drexler and Adolf Hitler. The Fuhrer resigned and then rejoined three days later when his demands were met by the executive committee. This was a crucial test for Hitler, one he could not afford to lose if he were to be unchallenged as Party leader in the future. Eckart's role was decisive. Munich police reports state "The dispute was finally smoothed over by the mediation of Dietrich Eckart.' 
This public notice, issued by the "Central Committee of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith" (an arm of B'nai B'rith ) warned citizens of an anti-semitic poster which Eckart had had hung throughout Nurnberg. Eckart was a vigorous agitator.
Eckart's political life had kept him away from home so much that in March of 1921 his wife Rose had been granted a divorce. After eight years of controversy surrounding her husband's views and actions, she had had enough. After the 'summer crisis' had been settled, Eckart's newfound freedom took him south to the small mountain village of Berchtesgaden, near Salzburg, where he escaped the pressures of city living and rested. It was there that he was to write his famous Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin and there that he was to die.
During the remaining two years of his life, Eckart's influence on Hitler and the growing Nazi Party began to wane. It was no longer a small circle of comrades meeting in an obscure beer-hall, but a multi-faceted party with thousands of members and many local units. Alfred Rosenberg took over the editorship of the Volkischer Beobachter in 1922, though Eckart continued to write regularly for it.
His health suffered from overdrinking and his almost absolute dependence on morphine, and he helped the Party when he could. In the fall of 1922, for instance, the S A had grown so much that it was necessary to acquire trucks for its transportation. Transportation Leader Christian Weber recalled that "after consulting with Hitler I bought two such [trucks] for the Party. The sum of payment was loaned to me by Dietrich Eckart." 
On April 12, 1922 he wrote a highly critical attack on German President Frederick Ebert entitled "Comrade Ebert in the Next World." This humorous poetry, illustrated as well, made Ebert out as a tool of world Jewry and not fit for either heaven or hell. A warrant for Eckart's arrest was issued by the Leipzig courts, and he again went to Berchtesgaden under the alias of "Dr. Hoffman." There, in the Vorderbrandhaus on Obersalzburg, he remained for some six months. During this time, he was often visited by Hitler and other leading figures. Hitler wrote part of Mein Kampf at the Platterhof Hotel on Obersalzburg. He was charmed by the mountains and vowed to someday build his own retreat there. It was built during the Third Reich about ten kilometers from Eckart's hut.
Though Eckart was absent from the Munich political scene his influence was still opening doors for Hitler. Eckart's close friend Dr. Emil Gansser, whose brother had set "Deutschland Erwache!" to music, was an important business figure. He invited Adolf Hitler to give a speech before a group of industrial leaders at the "Nationale Klub" in Berlin. The speech was delivered on May 29th, and substantial support was won for the growing Party. 
The first NSDAP Party Day, January 28, 1923 in Munich. Hitler (with armband, front left) is standing to the right of Eckart.
The June 8, 1923 issue of the Volkischer Beobachter carried a small classified advertisement for a "cozy, well-situated house in the country." Even a court decree could not dampen Dietrich Eckart's humor. The arrest warrant was ineffective and eventually rescinded. In October he returned home. Rosenberg recalls:
Despite his fears, Eckart told a friend: "It will and must be. I believe in Hitler. A star hangs over him." The next day he took his place with the others. He was arrested and taken to Stadelheim prison. In his last letter from prison, written to Bavarian head of state Gustav von Kahr, the poet complained:
He pleaded for discharge but his request was in vain. A few days later he was transferred again to Landsberg-am-Lech with Hitler and the others.
His condition deteriorating steadily, prison authorities finally relented and set him free on December 20th. He was first driven to Munich, where he stayed overnight with friends. Rosenberg writes:
He arrived in the small village on December 22nd, and was put up by friends. He did appear tired but made no complaints and said he looked forward to Christmas and quietude. While residing at the home of the Pfnuer family, he died of heart failure just six days after gaining freedom. Frau Pfnuer related:
Eckart was staying in the Pfnuer guesthouse, Sonnblick Hausl, and when she heard that the doctor had been summoned, she "hurried to the house, and found him in bed, with a peaceful expression on his face ... his hands still holding an open book.'  Thus the poet died, at a time when all his aspirations were for nothing, or so it seemed. The Nazi Party was banned, its leader in prison facing a treason trial, sixteen men had fallen at the Feldherrnhalle, and the future looked bleak indeed.
Four days thereafter, Dietrich Eckart was laid to rest in the small cemetery in Berchtesgaden. Police from outlying districts were brought into the village, in expectation of trouble; but a raging snowstorm kept the attendance down to about fifty loyal friends and comrades. Some short speeches were made, and the burial went without incident. Hitler and the others were not present, still awaiting release from prison.
Eckart's funeral service in Berchtesgaden
Eckart's last work, Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin, was a dialogue with Hitler on the "Jewish Question." It was published posthumously from unfinished notes, and went through but two editions. It was, as Konrad Heiden writes, "brilliantly" written.  One might say that even here Eckart's fascination for Peer Gynt shines through, for the Jew is painted as a bearer of destruction, an evil creature, a parasite, a troll. It was still being listed as available as late as 1929 by the Franz Eher Verlag, but was not actively promoted. Apparently Hitler considered it too blunt for mass consumption, for in it he and Eckart had agreed on the necessity of 'eliminating' the Jew from German life. As historian Norman Cohn writes: "In this little book, then, one comes to the very heart of Hitler's interpretation of history and human existence." 
Rare photographs of Eckart's coffin being lowered into the snowy earth of his beloved Berchtesgaden. His grave stands clearly marked today, unmolested and unforgotten.
Eckart was a poet, author, dramatist, newspaper editor, and National Socialist. He was, in the field of literature, author of ten plays, translator of Ibsen's Peer Gynt from the original Norwegian, and a lyricist as well. Though he took himself seriously, he would often as not dash poems and lyrics off on scraps of paper and give them away, as save them for future use. If it were not for friends such as Albert Reich, there would be little material in print at all. That was Dietrich Eckart's nature.
But when politics was concerned he was deadly earnest, especially about the "Jewish Question." As editor of Auf Gut Deutsch, and first editor of the Volkischer Beobachter, he wrote literally hundreds of editorials and articles in a period spanning just five years. He was a good orator, a skillful fund raiser, a dedicated fanatic. He played a pivotal role in the early, crucial days of the Nazi Party. He gave shape and direction to Hitler's anti-Semitism, opened many doors for him, smoothed over differences between leaders, and helped pave the way for future successes of the Hitler movement. He was, in short, Hitler's mentor and the spiritual founder of National Socialism.
In December 1933 the first Dietrich Eckart Prize for Literature was awarded by the Hitler regime, an award of five thousand marks. A section of the Braun Haus in Munich was dedicated to his memory. His songs and slogans became virtual hymns in the Third Reich. His plays were produced regularly, his name evoked as the last martyr of the bloody Putsch. In 1936 the Dietrich Eckart Open Air Theater was dedicated simultaneously with the Berlin Olympic stadium. Adolf Hitler never forgot his 'fatherly friend,' and the Fuhrer's secretary recalls that he nearly came to tears whenever the poet's name was mentioned. But Hitler's gratitude can best be recognized not by the stone monuments later destroyed to rubble, but rather by the often overlooked last sentence -- the dedication -- of Mein Kampf:
Heinrich VI (excerpt)
Uber das Judentum
Auf Hoherer Warte
HEINRICH DER HOHENSTAUFE
excerpt drawn from Alfred Rosenberg's VERMACHTNIS
KAISER: You see, this is what one means by "German" in the highest sense: The will to do the impossi ble, to aim for goals, at perfection not found on earth, but could be perceived, in harmony with all sounds, forms and colors, in equilibrium with the cosmos and nature, in reflection of an eternal harmony. The German wants unity, wants out from under deceit and illusions, he wants an entirety; so when he fights, it's not triumph or booty that spurs him onward, it's the wonder of completeness. Hence his troubled spirit, his stubborn digging to the bottom of things, hence his pigheadedness that's so suited for mockery, his lofty irrationality in the face of practicality, his frivolity, his unyielding courage, and his -- with grim humor -- his sheepish patience!
BETRAYED and sold out the whole land, again solemnly raise your hand -- Protest! Protest! and stand steadfast on the platform, and speak hours long out of swelled lungs, and not one falters, not a tongue! not one grief-filled voice breaks, not one flushes red -- modesty -- . We listen with open ears, the view dimmed with the light gleam of tears, attentive, solemn, touched -- and as forgetful as ever!
-- Dietrich Eckart, 1919
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_______. Hitler: Legend, Myth & Reality. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.
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Nolte, Ernst. Der Faschismus in Seiner Epoche. Munich, 1963.
Plewnia, Margerete. Auf dem Weg zu Hitler, Der Volkische Publizist Dietrich Eckart. Bremen: Schunemann-Universitatsverlag, 1970.
Pulzer, Peter. The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany & Austria. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964.
Reich, Albert. Dietrich Eckart - Vorkampfer der Nationalsozialistischen Bewegung. Munich: Franz Eher Verlag, 1933.
_______ Vom 9. November 1918 zum 9 November 1923. Munich: Franz Eher Verlag, 1933.
Rosenberg, Alfred. Dietrich Eckart - Ein Vermiichtnis. Munich: Franz Eher Verlag, 1935.
_______ Letzte Aufzeichnungen. Gottingen, 1954.
Smith, Bradley. Adolf Hitler: Family, Childhood, Youth. Stanford: Hoover Institute, 1968.
Viereck, Peter. Metapolitics, New York: Putnam & Sons, 1961.
NSDAP Hauptarchiv Collection. Microfilm. Hoover Institute,. Stanford, CA.
Reel 1. "Auf Gut Deutsch," Wochenschrift fur Ordnung & Recht. Munich,1919-1921.
Reel 54. "Dietrich Eckart," folder nos. 1307-1321.
Elster, Hanns Martin. "Dietrich Eckart. . .. in Die Reihe der Deutschen Fuhrer. Berlin: Paul Schmidt Verlag, 1933, Heft 13.
Nolte, Ernst. "Eine Fruhe Quelle zu Hitlers Anti-Semitismus," in Historisches Zeitschrift Bd.192, 1961. pp. 584-606.
Additional copies of this work may be obtained directly from the publisher at two dollars each, postpaid. Also available is the "Bibliographical Guide to Dietrich Eckart," a helpful listing of all works by or on the man, particularly useful to those readers who wish to do additional research on Eckart. Included within this Guide is a complete index of all issues of "Auf Gut Deutsch" (1918-1921) as reprinted from the NSDAP Hauptarchiv. One dollar per copy, postpaid.
For the German-speaking student of National Socialism and/ or German Literature, a 35mm microfilm of Dietrich Eckart's eight published stage-works is now available. These plays are so rare that neither the Library of Congress in Washington, the Wiener Library of London, nor the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte of Munich can boast a complete selection. After intensive search and expense, all eight works have been assembled and filmed, sparing the curious student must lost time and effort. This film may be used on any standard library microfilm reader, or used for photocopy reproduction. To encourage further research and perusal of Eckart's works, this film is made available at near cost. Twenty-five dollars, postpaid.
Address all inquiries and orders to:
[i] Books such as "The Occult Reich" or "The Spear of Destiny" paint Eckart as a devil worshipper or a follower of Rudolf Steiner and/or occultism, despite the fact that Eckart wrote in his "Auf Gut Deutsch" that "whether Preuss or Hirsch or Steiner the spirit is the same -- Jewish" (AGD, 11 July 1919, p. 322) and that Steiner's "Goetheanum" center was burnt to the ground by National Socialists on New Years' Eve 1922-23. (Author's Note)
1. Mosse. Crisis of German Ideology, NY, 1964, p. 297.
2. Smith. Adolf Hitler, Stanford, 1968, p. 153.
3. Bullock. Hitler, NY, 1961, p. 53.
4. Smith, Op. Cit. p. 153.
5. Maser, Hitler, NY, 1973, p. 126.
6. Cross. Adolf Hitler, NY, 1973, p. 71.
7. Hanser. Putsch!, NY, 1971, pp. 208-209.
8. Mosse. Op. Cit. p. 297.
9. Nolte. Der Faschismus in Seiner Epoche, Munich, 1963, p. 398.
10. Heiden. Der Fuhrer, Zurich, 1937, p. 373.
11. Fest. Hitler, NY, 1973, p. 133.
12. Franz-Willing. Die Hitlerbewegung, Vol. 1, Hamburg, 1962, p. 122.
13. Reich. Dietrich Eckart -- Vorkampfer der NS-Bewegung, Munich, 1933.
14. Rosenberg. Dietrich Eckart -- Ein Vermachtnis, Munich, 1935, p. 13.
15. Plewnia. Auf dem Weg zu Hitler-Volkische Publizist Dietrich Eckart, Bremen, 1970, p. 14.
16. Lembert. Dietrich Eckart -- Kunder und Kampfer des Dritten Reiches, Munich, 1934, pp. 13-14.
[ii] Of the twenty-one dailies published in Berlin during the 1870's, thirteen were owned by Jews, four had important Jewish contributors, and only four had no connection with Jews. In the three humorous papers -- UIk, Kladderdatsch and Berliner Wespe -- Jews had a monopoly on political satire. It can said that only in the specifically clerical or conservative press were no Jews to be found. The "Liberal" press, which grew up with industry and parliamentarism flourished by advertising and sensational reporting, owed its origins almost entirely to Jews." -- Peter Pulzer, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany & Austria, p. 13. This tradition continued well into the Weimar years, it might be added. [Author's note]
17. Reich, Op Cit. p. 60.
[iii] Eckart's jibe at the Jews is evident when 'Silberstahl' is rendered into English: 'Silverstealer.' [Author's Note.]
18. Eckart. Auf Gut Deutsch, 31 Jan 1919, Heft 5, pp. 69-70.
19. Hanser, Op. Cit., pp. 208-209.
20. Plewnia, Op Cit. p. 22. Eckart 's Peer Gynt was also translated into Dutch, Czech, and Hungarian with success (see Maser, Frubgeschichte der NSDAP. Frankfurt a/M, 1965, p. 179).
21. Rosenberg. Op Cit., p. 38.
22. Euringer. Dietrich Eckart -- Leben eines Deutschen Dichters, Hamburg, 1935, p. 20.
23. Fest, Op Cit., p. 132.
24. Rosenberg. Op. Cit., p. 25.
25. Reich. Op. Cit., p. 60.
26. Plewnia. Op. Cit., p. 28.
27. Fest. Op. Cit., p. 132.
28. Lembert. Op. Cit., pp. 31-32.
[iv] For a more detailed argument on world affirmation/denial, see a translation of Eckart's article entitled, "The Earth-Centered Jew lacks a Soul," printed in George L. Mosse's Nazi Culture, Grosset & Dunlap, NYC, 1966, pp. 75ff. This particular article was drawn from Alfred Rosenberg's Dietrich Eckart -- ein Vermachtnis (p. 214ff.) but is incorrectly credited to Rosenberg himself rather than to Eckart. [Author's Note.]
29. Rosenberg, Op. Cit., pp. 44-45.
30. Rosenberg. Letzten Aufzeichnungen, Gottingen, 1954, p. 81.
31. Plewnia, Op. Cit., p. 34.
32. Eckart. Auf Gut Deutsch, 17 Dez. 1918, Heft 1, pp. 3-8.
33. Ibid. 31 nez. 1918, Heft 2, pp. 18-19.
34. Plewnia, Op. Cit., p. 29.
35. Euringer, Op. Cit., p. 27.
36. Hauptarchiv folder no. 1311. Letter from Fleischhauer to Eckart. 5 November 1920.
37. Cohn. Warrant for Genocide. Middlesex, England, 1970, p. 253.
38. Hauptarchiv folder no. 1311. Letter from Fleischhauer to Huttke, dated 7 April 1938.
39. Fest, Op. Cit., p. 133.
40. Plewnia, Op. Cit., p. 67.
41. Ibid., p. 65.
42. Gruen. Dietrich Eckart Als Publizist, Munich, 1941, p. 152.
43. Plewnia. Op. Cit., p. 48.
44. Frans-Willing, Op. Cit., p. 181.
45. Fest. Op. Cit., p. 141. (see also Plewnia, Endnote no. 518).
46. Franz-Willing. Die Hitlerbewegung, Vol. 2. Oldendorff, 1975, pp. 158-159.
47. Ibid., Vol. 1. Hamburg, 1962, p. 185.
48. Rosenberg. Dietrich Eckart -- Ein Vermachtnis, Munich, 1935, p. 60.
49. Deuerlein. Der Hitler Putsch, Stuttgart, 1962, pp. 438-440.
50. Rosenberg, Op. Cit., p. 65.
51. Hamm. Obersalzburg, Munich, 1938, pp. 79-81.
52. Heiden. Introduction, in Hitler, Mein Kampf, American Edition, NY, 1943, p. xv.
53. Cohn, Op. Cit., p. 204.
54. Hitler. Mein Kampf, Munich, 1933, p. 781.