August Friedrich Kellner (1 February 1885 – 4 November 1970) (pronounce) was a justice inspector during the Nazi period in Germany. As a Social Democrat, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. During the Second World War, Kellner kept a secret diary to record Nazi crimes. He referred to his diary as “Mein Widerstand,” meaning My Opposition. His diary was published in its original language in 2011 under the title, Vernebelt, verdunkelt sind alle Hirne (Clouded and darkened are all the minds), by Wallstein Verlag in Göttingen, Germany. The English translation was published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press: My Opposition: The Diary of Friedrich Kellner -- A German against the Third Reich..
Diary (1939 - 1945)
- The following quotes from the Cambridge University English edition are in chronological order
- To trample democracy with one’s feet and give power to a single man over almost eighty million people is so terrible one can really tremble over the things that will come.
- September 17, 1939; p. 43.
- Terror is trump. Methods of common brutal suppression are considered sanctified laws. "Old Fighters" are saints, and from the district leader upwards there are only Gods!
- October 7, 1939; p. 43.
- If the Jews, who over the centuries contributed demonstrable achievements in the economy for the total development of the nation, can be made a people without rights, then that is an act unworthy of a cultured nation. The curse of this evil deed will indelibly rest on the entire German people. The authors, the National Socialists, will have disappeared some day; their deeds, however, will live on
- October 13, 1939; p. 48
- This "Conqueror of Berlin," as he [Joseph Goebbels] has named himself, has completely conquered Germany. And not only that: many Germans living abroad--all too many of them, unfortunately--have fallen for the cunning propaganda.
- October 14, 1939; p. 49.
- Why only hate? Where does love remain? Or at least a little decency toward other people? We think we can behave against everyone in the exact same rabid way we did against the Jews: to smash, crush--and even exterminate.
- March 30, 1940; p. 65.
- The carnage will eventually come to an end, but the Western powers will carry the historical guilt for not promptly providing the most intensive preventative measures against Germany's incessant politics of aggression. Possibilities existed, but no actions were taken.
- May 29, 1940; p. 73.
- Spineless politics do not change the mind of a tyrant. The sharpest means would still be too mild.
- May 29, 1940; p. 73.
- Hitler knew weapons alone would not be decisive, he focused on molding the people’s spirit, breeding something singular in history: bravado, blind obedience, ruthlessness, and brutality. There was contempt for every noble human emotion; contemptible disregard for the thinking of others; destruction of religion and religious establishments -- and there was the extermination of the Jews because they were wiser than the German people.
- July 15, 1941, p. 131.
- The world will rightfully be outraged over so much inhumanity, and it will ignite a hatred that can never be extinguished. . . . How long will this reign of terror continue?
- October 26, 1941; p. 144.
- There is no punishment that would be hard enough to be applied to these Nazi beasts. Of course, in the case of retribution the innocent will have to suffer along with them. Ninety-nine percent of the German people, directly or indirectly, carry the guilt for the present situation. Therefore we can only say this: Those who travel together, hang together.
- October 28, 1941; p. 145.
- Under the category, "Air Force aided by Hitler youth," the children wear military uniforms and become used to handling the artillery. Fifteen- and sixteen-year-old children as warriors! If the war still continues to last for a long time, perhaps infants also will be used. Total war!
- December 14, 1943; p. 299.
- The Party uses the lies up to the last moment as a cover-up. Thus it intimidates the political opponents and provides its Party comrades with sedatives. It is so unbelievably simple for the current gang to lie to this German people and to lead these fools around by the nose.
- March 26, 1945; p. 399.
- We can hold up under everything if only we have the certainty the monster Hitler with his insatiable bloodletting and plundering will have committed soon his last shameful deed.
- March 28, 1945; p. 400.
- Adolph Hitler, "the most ingenious field marshal of all time," the all-powerful ruler over the 1,000 Year Reich-- which collapsed after twelve years --- has disappeared from the scene. The NSDAP has come to a complete and inglorious end.
- May 1, 1945; p. 405.
- If now, after the collapse, any of these lackeys of Adolf Hitler has the insolence to want to be considered as a harmless onlooker, then one can only wish he immediately feels the scourge of avenging mankind. . . . Whoever cries about having lost the totalitarian system or wants to resurrect National Socialism is to be treated as an incorrigible lunatic.
- May 8, 1945; p. 409-10.
- Gutenberg, your printing press has been violated by this evil book!
- Referring to Mein Kampf, in Kellner's political speeches against the Nazis, 1926 - 1932. “Tagebücher gegen den Terror,” Mainz Allgemeine Zeitung, Mainz, Germany, September 24, 2005.
- I could not fight the Nazis in the present, as they had the power to still my voice, so I decided to fight them in the future.
- “Ich entschloss mich, die Nazis in der Zukunft zu bekämpfen,” Giessener Anzeiger, Giessen, Germany, April 6, 2005.
- Every person has the choice between Good and Evil. Choose Good, and stand against those who would choose Evil.
- “Welt muss mehr denn je diese Botschaft hören,” Giessener Allgemeine Zeitung, Giessen, Germany, April 12, 2005.
- My main goal after the war was to help rebuild the Social Democratic Party that Hitler had banned, and use it to reunite the people of Germany who had forgotten how a democracy worked – through tolerance, compromise and a dedication to individual freedom.
- “Search led to family, diary and a cause,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), April 22, 2007.
- Even in days of loss and sorry, beauty remains, and I am ever grateful.
- Thank God for youth; there will always be love.
- Better days and better people make bad days and bad people bearable. Nothing more confounds your enemies than when you suddenly and silently recall a better moment and smile.
- July 1968, on an excursion to Lennebergwald in Mainz, Germany (Lenneberg Forest) with youthful hikers.
- When dictators enslave their own people and seek to impose their anti-democratic ideology upon others, when evil seeks power, men and women of good will must set aside their own differences of opinion and stand together and fight – including those who hate war.
- “German’s war diary goes public,” Washington Times, UPI News, March 25, 2005.
- Diary Entries in German and English
- My Opposition - Diary of one German man during Nazi Regime (Video about Friedrich Kellner's diary)
- George Bush Presidential Library - Kellner exhibit
- Justus Liebig University - Kellner Project
- CCI Entertainment Canada - "My Opposition: the Diaries of Friedrich Kellner"
- My Opposition: The Diary of Friedrich Kellner -- A German against the Third Reich. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge U.K..