Alles Leben ist Kampf is a documentary made in 1937 and directed by Herbert Gerdes, and W. Hüttig, to show how only the survival of the fittest can survive the harsh enduring enviroment of the world, and the weak die to it.
Man is Nature, Nature is Struggle There is no discontinuity between nature and culture; this was the central teaching of the social Darwinists, who since the late nineteenth century, had transposed onto humankind the categories and concepts that Darwin had created to make sense of the plant and animal kingdoms. The same law governed them all; they were, in fact, all one. Falk Ruttke wrote: “National Socialism is a worldview that embraces all domains of life. In its eyes, life is a clash between the race and its environment. It asserts that our planet occupies no special place in the universe and that man is only one living thing, among many.”
The documentary Alles Leben ist Kampf (All Life is Struggle), distributed starting in 1937 by the NSDAP, offered a breakdown of these ideals in highly instructive images. The opening sequence showed two stags in combat during mating season, angry monekys, and vindictive birds, and then confirmed in its first title card, “Alles Leben ist Kampf.” Viewers should not be fooled by bucolic images of trees and meadows: “Forest and field struggle to secure their living space,” the one spreading at the expense of the other, and vice versa. As for trees, they were engaged in a race for the light: those treetops that stretched their branches the farthest received more of the precious photons that made chlorophyll production possible. In this struggle for life, only the best- that is, those best adapted to struggle - would survive: “The weak and the nonviable must submit to the strong. Nature allows only the best vital force to survive,” and “anything that does not measure up to the conditions set by nature is eliminated with pitiless harshness.” Should one complain or take offense? Find this cruel? No: “This struggle is a divine law. It makes possible the perfection of all living things.”
Impressive images of majestic elephants and tigers and robust rams poured onto the screen to prove this declaration. Man did not escape this law of struggle.
“Man must also assert himself
against his enviroment” - this same environment, which, like nature in general, was entirely “animated by a will to extermination,” for nature had made the “mortal combat of extermination” the “fate” of all things - here, the film showed gardners, woodcutters, firefighters, laborers,
fisherman tossed by a wild storm. These Frisian fishermen illustrated the next title card: “Each generation takes up arms yet again against the elements. Only the strong, resistant, and intelligent will prevail in this struggle for life.” The doctors who appeared on screen were warriors too: “Our struggle against epidemics, illnesses, against everything that threatens life and the development of man is also of vital importance.” After the
white coats came the green uniforms of police officers: “The struggle against criminality and inferior beings also contributes to building a healthy community of the people.” Thus, everything was marching toward strength and health, provided that the
laws of nature were respected.
“One might find it horrifying to observe that in nature, one animal devours another. But one thing is certian: nothing can be done to change that. What I say to myself is that there is only one thing to do: to study the laws of nature to avoid ending up in contradiction with them. One cannot rise up against the firmament. If one must believe at all costs in a divine commandment, then it should be this one: to preserve the race.”
Hitler - December 1, 1941 in a private conversation
Since man was a natural being, the laws of nature applied to him - more so, even, than to animals. This was Hitler’s private claim: “Apes massacre all fringe elements as alien to their community. What is valid for monkeys must be all the more valid for men.” It was irrefutable: man, as a superior ape, was subject to these same laws at a higher level. There was no point getting upset over them. The ongoing war against the self, against others, and against the enviroment might be regrettable, but not in axiological terms, for it was a mere fact: “Who is guilty, the cat or the mouse, when the cat eats the mouse? The mouse, even if it never hurt a cat?”
This is what Hitler demanded. The Germans were the innocent mouse victims of the Jewish cats - it may be recalled in passing that cats, unlike dogs, were considered to be Eastern, even Jewish animals. On a deep level, no one was guilty. It was probably best to trust nature.
We do not know what it means when we see the Jews destroying people. Is it possible that nature created them so that, through the decomposition they provoke, they set other peoples in motion? In this case, Saint Paul and Trotsky were the most remarkable of the Jews, for they are the ones who contributed most to this.
Hitler in the same private conversation - December 1, 1941|
Could one blame nature for having provoked and created Jews and cats? Parasites and villains? Hitler preferred to wager that it had been nature’s cunning trick, hiding a meaning by which the Jews served a purpose. If they were cruel and devious like cats, perhaps it was in order to provoke a healthy reaction among the people they gratuitously aggressed. War was actually the inescapable reality of all life, human or not.
In the article SS-leitheft titled “It’s Him or Me,” it explained: Force against force, this is life’s eternal character… in nature, forces struggle against one another without end. The ocean throws itself unceasingly against a cliff that the earth erected to protect itself from it, the storm relentlessly attacks the forest to shatter the trees. Eternal war is a law of life. It is therefore not compassion, but courage and toughness that save life, because war is life’s eternal disposition, and all of the harshness that war requires is just and justified.
One had to fight in order to live - one even had to fight against one-self, against the dormant, whimpering weakling within. Humans, a mere part of nature’s grand whole, had to
avoid any hubris that might lead them to believe they were exempt from the laws that governed the existence of both the
macrocosm and the microcosm. The documentary Alles Leben ist Kampf displayed
the frightful consequences of this psuedoemancipation: a world crawling with idiots, outcasts, and cripples, who are left to live and even helped to survive, even though
they were supposed to die.
There were the unsettling results of our hubris, the film explained, and yet we were "so proud of having outwitted the laws of nature and so puffed up with pride that we saw ourselves as little creators.’ Nature pitilessly eliminated the weak and fortified the strong: “For as long as man lived in strictly natural conditions, the same was true for him. Natural man is dominated by the laws of fertility and selection. It is so-called culture that overturned these realities,” wrote Richard Eichenauer in a textbook titled Die Rasse Als Lebensgesetz (Race as Natural Law), published in 1934. It was time for “natural law” of the theologians, humanists, and philosophers of the classicla era and the enlightenment to give way to the “law of nature” - in other words, for society to look to nature as the sole foundation for the law.
“We are nothing special in this universe, just one simple, small part of a great whole.”
'Hitler speech - February 15,1942