This review can only briefly address a little of the wealth of information herein. Shortly after the German-Soviet conquest of Poland (Fall 1939), Goebbels paid the Poles a backhanded compliment for their continued resistance (October 19, 1939): "The Poles are becoming insolent and rebellious once more. We shall have to take a hard line with them; above all, they must be made to work. Our military authorities are too lackadaisical in their approach." (p. 25). Considering the fact that the Wehrmacht (German Army) had just murdered tens of thousands of Polish civilians and captured POWs in cold blood, Goebbel's latter comment is rather ironic!
Some recent authors have advanced the fallacious argument that there was no Polish Quisling only because the Germans never wanted one. In actuality, the Germans did try unsuccessfully to find a suitable Polish Quisling. For example, on February 9, 1940, Goebbels alluded to a "Polish leader Studnitzki", about whom translator Fred Taylor comments: "Possibly Professor Wladyslaw Studnicki, one of a handful of Polish politicians who were reckoned as potential collaborators at this time." (p. 118).
The constant emphasis on the murder of 5-6 million Jews has caused not only the forgetting of the 2-3 million murdered Polish gentiles (including half of Poland's intelligentsia), but also the considerable similarities in Nazi attitudes towards Jews and Poles. For example, the Nazis' obsession with the inferiority of Jews extended to Poles. In the entry for October 31, 1939, Goebbels quipped: "The right thing is to leave the Poles to their own devices and to encourage their weakness and corruption. This is the best way to rule inferior races." (p. 36).
It is well known that the Nazis thought of Jews as the bearers of dirt, lice, filth, and everything else that is vile. A comparable attitude existed towards Poles (October 10, 1939): "The Fuhrer's verdict on the Poles is damning. More like animals than human beings, completely primitive, stupid, and amorphous. And a ruling class that is an unsatisfactory result of a mingling between the lower orders and an Aryan master race. The Poles' dirtiness is unimaginable. Their capacity for intelligent judgment is absolutely nil." (p. 16). Ironically, for all their presumed dangerous cleverness, Jews, no less than Poles, were considered stupid. In an entry of June 30, 1941, shortly after the initiation of Operation Barbarossa, Goebbels wrote: "The Russian military communiqués are becoming more stupid by the day. They must be drafted by Jews. Trivial, moronic, and simple-minded..." (p. 438).
In some cases, Goebbels directly juxtaposes Poles and Jews with each other in his contemptuous statements about both (e. g., November 8, 1939): "I am also not much enamoured of the proposal to turn Lodz into a German city. The place is no more than a rubbish-heap, inhabited by the dregs of the Poles and the Jews." (pp. 42-43).
It is not only Jews that the Nazis thought of as devoid of redeeming values. In his entry for October 14, 1939, Goebbels elaborates on his racist contempt for Poles, and also gives a veiled threat of genocide: "And the Poles understand only force. Moroever, they are so stupid that no rational argument has any effect on them. The fact is, quite simply, that Asia starts in Poland. This nation's civilization is not worth consideration. Only the aristocracy has a thin veneer of culture. It is therefore the driving-force of the resistance against us. For this reason, it must be expropriated. German farmers will take its place." (p. 20).
There are allusions to the planned genocide of both Jews and Poles, partial in extent at this stage of Nazi thinking (December 5, 1939): "With the Fuhrer. He looks wonderful and is in the best of moods. I tell him about my trip. He listens to everything very carefully and totally shares my opinion on the Jewish and Polish questions. We must liquidate the Jewish Danger. But it will return in a few generations. There is no panacea against it. The Polish aristocracy deserves to be destroyed. It has no links with the people, which it regards as existing purely for its own convenience." (p. 60). For now, both peoples are to be ruthlessly exploited. In his entry for November 5, 1940, Goebbels comments: "So far as we are concerned, the Fuhrer states, Poland will be an enormous reservoir of labour...And we shall shove the Jews out as well, later." (p. 165).
The virulent anti-Christian character of Nazism has been obscured by both the customary emphasis on Nazi anti-Semitism and the constant attempts to blame the Holocaust on prior Christian teachings about Jews. The Nazis did, to be sure, tolerate Christianity for political purposes (April 29, 1941): "Afterwards, long discussions about the Vatican and Christianity. The Fuhrer is a fierce opponent of all that humbug, but he forbids me to leave the church. For tactical reasons. And so for a decade now I have paid my church taxes to support such rubbish. That is what hurts most." (p. 340). Also (December 29, 1939): "The Fuhrer is deeply religious, though completely anti-Christian. He views Christianity as a symbol of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race." (p. 77). Finally (April 8, 1941): "The Fuhrer is a man totally attuned to antiquity. He hates Christianity, because it has crippled all that is noble in humanity. According to Schopenhauer, Christianity and syphilis have made humanity unhappy and unfree." (p. 304).
The notion that vegetarianism is something enlightened is hardly new. On January 24, 1939, Joseph Goebbels wrote: "At table the Fuhrer makes another strong plea for vegetarianism. I consider his views correct. Meat-eating is a perversion of our human nature. When we reach a higher level of civilization, we shall doubtless overcome it." (p. 6).