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There’s a bit of a dirty dog inside each of us. The first demand on you is to combat and defeat him, if you want to be a comrade to comrades. This demand is the most difficult.

The Russians once hit my unit’s sector with a very intense artillery bombardment. During the excitement I forget than a war volunteer from another regiment was with us. Later I noticed how splendidly by men accepted him. Then it was learned that he had – let’s not say deserted – ran away from his regiment, because the old people and the non-commissioned officers had not treated him well. He was only 17 years old, but he already wore the black-white ribbon of the Iron Cross. It paid off that I took him aside and said, “So, you already wear the Iron Cross? Did you feel great fear then? Did many die around you? You stood your ground and mastered the world of death, and now you want to break on the manifestations of life? I gave him a letter addressed to his company commander, to whom he should turn in the future. And if one of the old fellows ever bothered him again, he should throw a spoonful of hot soup into his face. The others would immediately respect him more. That I was right, was proven by the letters I later received from Serbia.

Is life in the barracks so free of friction? Isn’t there also squabbling? The members of various regiments were not always of one heart and soul.

Cuirassier could not stand dragoon. Both nonetheless again stood together on training fields facing different divisions. When we rode through foreign lands, everything that seemed important before was forgotten, because it was so ridiculously trivial. One of us laid under a canvass along the road, and a rider would dismount from his horse and look to see if it was “one of us”. His head was lowered when he found a field-gray infantryman beneath the blood- soaked canvass. One of us! Now it made no different whether it was a cavalryman or an infantry-man, whether guard or regular. One of us… One had comprehended the great bond of all German comrades. That wasn’t just anybody. It was a dead comrade from the manly front of our folk.

Something mysterious lies in the deepest foundation of comradeship. Yesterday evening they helped another with feeling, whose squad had caused a restless hour. Today he laid wounded and moaning in front of the barbed wire, and the others risked their lives, which several others before them had lost, in order to bring him back to the trench.

Shared experiences bind. The same uniform educates toward pride in the community. But only danger promotes the goodness of heart, which is otherwise hampered by the little things of selfishness. When it gets down to the last, everything false and unimportant falls away from us. If we want to correctly understand and practice comradeship, then we must learn to suppress selfish urges within ourselves - without the final tool of education becoming necessary. Our life receives valuable content more swiftly. Those who march together do not just hear the same beat of steps; they also listen into the others. Otherwise one cannot be a real comrade. You discover all sorts of strengths and weaknesses in the man next to you. One learns from him, takes strength from him or gives him support. Many march among us compared to whom we feel so small, even if we don’t like to admit it. Or we find somebody whom we must help with a firm or a gentle hand. That we divide a piece of bread among ourselves is just a self-evident means toward an end. Therefore, comrades, do not become thoughtless! If you ask a companion for a drink from his canteen, do not drink it empty! If you must clear a camp, don’t shirk from stooping, especially not if in civilians life you have a position where you command others!

If all Germans could correctly practice comradeship, we would need no laws. One would follow from the other; discipline would be a part of comradeship.

The spirituality of the movement would again and again come from the marching column itself; nothing from a foreign world could sneak in between us. But know this: Where lions dominate a landscape, jackals also arrive.

Next to the solidarity of revolutionary German men walk the corpse robbers on quiet soles. They are like vultures. Wherever they see a weakness, they attack. They wear the mask of men of honour or disguise themselves as late fighters, but they avoid danger and they do not carry a burden.

Look at the platforms when you enter a stadium for a mass assembly! Why shouldn’t well-dressed and well-groomed spectators enjoy the view of manly discipline and strength! Two worlds become apparent already in the external form: here the atmosphere of sweat and leather, of will and deed, and there the mood of expectation and waiting in the scent of fresh wash and good soap. One thing above all must be noted: With deadly seriousness stand among those sincerely cheering spectators always and everywhere those people, also fine and noble standing and cheering from the platforms, who earlier marched with the Reichsbanner, and who would have raised the clenched fist salute if instead of us the red front were assembled. The hypocrisy makes this type of people opportunists when a gap opens. These gaps are prevented by your bound, your comradeship. That separates the fronts. Whoever cannot be our comrade, is our enemy. We, however, ceaselessly practice the expressions of comradeship. Whoever walked among us and was once called upon to be a leader, he remains our comrade. But we do not hold him back by hanging onto his coat. We step aside so his view into the distance is not blocked. You, leader-comrade, must never forget where you come from!

Like kind belongs to like kind. The foreign undermines our will and strength. The foreign fogs the goal. Thus we Germans must remain among ourselves. The racially alien is a danger. Thus our comradeship is the first prerequisite for the preservation of our race.

There are men who remain marchers their whole life; they must eternally carry their pack. There are certainly many among the marchers who have what it takes to accomplish much in general command. To oneself know that and to nonetheless march on without muttering is a high song of comradeship. How much glory in the world would fade if the story of genuine accomplishments were written! Behind the shine of the few often stands the hard life work of others, who remain silent and unnamed. Here a holy comradeship manifests itself, not proclaimed by any heroic song or heroic book. Hats off to these men!

Now, comrades, you will see the fellow next to you with different eyes. For all too often you do not know what is going on in the fellow wearing the same uniform. Be patient with him, if he cannot follow fast enough. Be considerate when it is necessary to help! Learn to have understanding for each gesture of the other! The other comrade finds something harder than you do. Another comrade is better in some area than you are. And many next to you are better than you are.

One thing is eternally true: your comrade shares your fate, you participate in his life and his soul. You bear responsibility for him.

If we behave thus toward our comrades, then we have the right relationship to those who will later fall for Germany’s freedom. And we maintain the proper thankfulness to those who in their faith for Germany’s future have fallen.

“Comrades, shot dead by red front and reaction, march along in spirit in our ranks!” Horst Wessel and his heroic song are always a sacred reminder that we Hitler soldiers must always stand in unbreakable comradeship.

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