Adolf Hitler – New Year’s Proclamation to the National Socialists and Party Comrades
Fuhrer Headquarters, January 1, 1945
German Volk! National Socialists! My Volksgenossen!
Only the turn of the year causes me to speak to you today, my German Volksgenossen. The times had demanded more than speeches from me. The events of the past twelve months, in particular the incident on July 20, forced me to devote my attention and my capacity for work to a single task, for which I had lived for many years: the fateful struggle of my Volk. Although our enemies had proclaimed our collapse every New Year, they placed particular hopes on the year 1944. Never before did victory seem so close to them, as in those days of August of last year when one catastrophe had followed another.
Now that we have managed, as so many times before, to bring about a turn of events, credit is due not only to the struggle and work of all my Volksgenossen in the homeland and at the front, but also to my own work and my own commitment. By so doing, I have only acted in the spirit of a statement that I made at the memorable Reichstag session of September 1, 1939, declaring that Germany would never be defeated by the force of arms or time, and that a day like November 9 would never repeat itself in the German Reich.
Whoever knew Germany only from this time of decline could perhaps hope that this state would not be granted a resurrection nor the strength to hold its own against a world of enemies.
That is how the Jewish-international conspiracy has lived on hopes from the first day. Every time when the nations began to become suspicious, these hopes were transformed into prophecies. With a certain rabble-rousing audacity, they were portrayed to the masses as certainties, as matters of course.
This propaganda used two methods, even though it has short wings as all lies do. On the one hand, it set dates by which the German collapse was certainly to be expected, in order to calm the impatient masses. On the other hand, it dealt with questions whose solution would become necessary for the Allies following this collapse. Before the war ever started, the first English statement was already published, declaring that the joint Anglo-French declaration of war would lead within seven to eight days, at the latest, to an internal revolution and thereby to the collapse of the German Reich. With nearly astronomical regularity, this was followed by ever new assurances every winter, spring, autumn, and sometimes even between the seasons [sic], that the unconditional German collapse and surrender-both would mean the same thing-was imminent. Already in the autumn of 1939, one such assurance followed hot on the heels of the other. One minute it was “General Mud,” the next “General Hunger,” and then again “General Winter” who were supposed to defeat us.
Particularly the beginning of 1940 witnessed such Allied declarations galore.
After the campaign in France, new prophecies were made, namely that if Germany was not be able to end the war in two months, by September at the latest, then the German collapse would inevitably come in the spring of 1941.
Spring had barely passed when new goals were set for the summer, and new deadlines for our certain destruction were finally set for the winter of 1941.
Since this time, the game has repeated itself every year. At one time it was said that the war would be over before the leaves fall; another time that Germany would be ready to capitulate before the next winter. With the assuredness of a sleepwalker, they called August 1944 the deadline for the unconditional surrender and, shortly afterwards, they planned to arrange a joint meeting of the leading [Allied] statesmen in Berlin just before Christmas. Not long ago, it was rescheduled for January and then March 1945. Right now, they are cautiously declaring that, in view of the rapidly approaching two months, it would be August. In July, they will surely talk about the winter of 1946, provided that the war does not actually end in the meantime, not with a German capitulation, which will never come, but with a German victory! Parallel to these prophecies-in order to stress the correctness of these assumptions psychologically-followed the theoretical appointment of ever new commissions for the treatment of European questions after the war, the foundation of societies for the regulation of food supplies after the German collapse, in other words the resurrection of those profiteer institutions (Schieberinstitutionen) that we know from the World War, the proclamation of economic agreements, the setting up of traffic networks and air bases, as well as the drafting and promulgation of sometimes truly idiotic laws on the treatment of the German Volk. They always acted as though they had already won the war, as though they could now already consider at their leisure all the measures necessary for ruling Europe for those who have themselves set a sorry example of how not to rule people. Of course, you can practice this propagandistic maneuver with the unenlightened masses in the democratic states for a surprisingly long time, but even there it will one day become obvious that this is nothing other than the usual swindle in these countries. Should one or the other of the leading men in these western democratic states nevertheless truly believe all that is told the people, then there are only three possible explanations for this:
- They do not know the German Volk at all. Above all, they do not realize that the past three hundred years of German history did not give an accurate picture of the essence of the German Volk, but reflected only the consequences of its inner conflicts at home. Since this German Volk made its appearance in history, it has not only been one of the decisive factors in European and world history but even the most decisive one. It remains so today and will continue to be so even more in the future.
- They are ignorant about the National Socialist state. They do not have an inkling of the essence of this Volksidee. The accomplishments that the National Socialist regime secured under the most difficult conditions have remained concealed from most of the people in the countries surrounding us.
Perhaps they had to be concealed from them because public life and opinion there is informed by the Jews, that is, everything is distorted and reported wrongly. They are apparently not yet aware that neither Bolshevism nor the democratic-plutocratic world of ideas-insofar as you can speak of one-can replace the National Socialist state, since both have proved themselves to be unfit for Germany in terms of their achievements, and the results of their activities in their own countries serve only as the most deterrent example.
- In these countries they have known something that the majority of the masses of the healthy German Volk are not aware of, namely a small coterie of drawing-room politicians and drawing-room generals who, in complete ignorance of their own mental, political, and military insignificance, have tried to convince the world that they will one day seize power in a coup and will then be in a position to offer capitulation without further notice, much as in Italy, Finland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. The less our enemies were familiar with the German Volk, the less they were aware of the essence of the National Socialist state, the more readily they placed their hopes in the assurances of these spineless characters, believed their fantastic chains of reasoning and outpourings to be true, and rewarded them not only with a strong faith but also with ready cash.
In opposition to that, at the turn of a year which has given us ample opportunity to prove that this Volk, this state, and its leading men are unshakable in their will and staunch in their fanatical determination to fight this war out under any circumstances, even putting up with setbacks imposed on us by the fickleness of fate, I would like to state again what arises for us from the past and present, and what is necessary for the world to know in the future.
- We know the objectives of our enemies from the past and the present.
We are aware of what the Anglo-American statesmen plan to do with the German Reich, what measures the Bolshevik rulers and the international Jews, who in the end are behind them, plan to take against the German Volk. Their successful implementation would not only lead to the German Reich’s being torn to pieces, the transport of fifteen to twenty million Germans to foreign countries, the enslavement of the remnants of our Volk, the corruption of our German youth, but it would also and above all bring with it the starvation of our masses of millions. Aside from this, you either live in freedom or die in slavery.
In opposition to that, we are determined to do anything necessary. The world should realize that this state will therefore never capitulate. The present German Reich, like all great states of the past, may meet with setbacks on its path, but it will never stray from this path. The world should realize that the present leadership of the state shares the worries and sufferings of its people, but it will never capitulate under these worries and sufferings. On the contrary, it is determined to make the utmost effort to face every crisis, make up for what was lost through carelessness with reinforced eagerness to work, so that it will be able not only to express its great appreciation to every individual German who does his duty, but also to assure him that his contribution to the existence of our Volk will one day be rewarded. On the other hand, it will destroy anybody who tries to escape making his contribution or lowers himself to becoming a tool of foreign powers. Since we know the objectives of our enemies-because they themselves offer the necessary enlightenment thanks to their propagandistic garrulousness from the mouths of their statesmen and journalists-the entire German Volk knows what its fate would be if it lost this war. It will therefore not lose this war. It must and will win it. After all, what our enemies are fighting for, they do not know themselves, aside from their Jews. Yet what we are fighting for is clear to all of us. It is the preservation of the German human being, it is our homeland, it is our two-thousand-year-old culture, it is the children and grandchildren of our Volk. It is, in short, everything that makes life worth living for us. For this reason, the Volk has developed the spirit and attitude that justify its belief in its own future and its request for a merciful appreciation of its struggle by Providence.
That this struggle is so endlessly difficult is the result of the essence of the abovementioned objectives of our enemies. After all, since they intend to exterminate our Volk, they are already applying this method in the war by means that civilized mankind has not known hitherto. By wrecking our cities, they hope not only to kill German women and children but also and above all to eliminate the documents of our thousand-year-old culture, to which they have nothing to compare of equal quality. That was also the idea behind the war of annihilation against the cultural sites in Italy, the actual intention behind the continuation of the present fight in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Alas, like a phoenix from the ashes, so the strong German will all the more rise up anew from the ruins of our cities. It has taken hold not only of millions of our soldiers, but also of millions of male and female workers, of women, even of children. The suffering inflicted on them individually is immeasurable, but equally immeasurable is the greatness of their attitude. Once this time of suffering is over, every German will be incredibly proud of being allowed to be a member of such a Volk. Likewise, the day will come when our enemies will regard the defilement of culture, which they are presently undertaking and which will continue to burn in our memories, as shameful.
I know, my dear Volksgenossen, the demands this war makes on you.
There may be no man in any large country of the world who knows his people and their homeland better than I know Germany. Not only did I become infinitely close to all the German cities that are now being wrecked in whatever concerns their life and their history but also in whatever concerns my personal life. For decades I was tied to them not only by the love of their history and culture and of their human feelings, but I was also the most strongly involved in the fate of their future development. This alone makes this suffering somewhat easier for me to bear, because I know better than anybody else that, with its will, the German Volk as such not only always rose up from the most profound misery, but also that this time will end with the German cities again rising up from the debris as new sites attesting to the magnificence of our German cities.
Within a few years, the National Socialist state with its energy and initiative will rebuild all that is being destroyed today. The outward appearance of our cities will be mightier and more beautiful than ever before. Healthier homes for the German human beings will take the place of the destroyed tenement barracks. Our social and cultural demands will then receive greater consideration than was possible before.
However, we will neither possess many of the unfading documents of art and culture nor be able to restore them. More importantly, we cannot replace the sacrifice of countless precious human beings and the loss of their collected souvenirs which became dear to them in the course of a long life. All these great treasures and small remembrances will in the end be compensated for-even if they cannot be replaced-by our Volk’s shared memory of a time of the hardest fateful struggle that a nation ever had to bear and one that it bore with so much heroism.
The year 1944 was the year of the greatest burdens in this mighty struggle.
It was a year that again proved conclusively that the bourgeois social order is no longer capable of braving the storms of the present or of the coming age.
State after state that does not find its way to a truly social reorganization will go down the path to chaos. The liberal age is a thing of the past. The belief that you can counter this invasion of the people by parliamentary-democratic half-measures is childish and just as naive as Metternich’s methods when the national drives for unification were making their way through the nineteenth century. The lack of a truly social, new form of life results in the lack of the mental will to resist not only in the nations but also in the lack of the moral power of resistance of their leaders. In all countries we see that the attempted renaissance of a democracy has proved fruitless. The confused tangle of political dilettantes and military politicians of a bygone bourgeois world who order each other around is, with deadly certainty, preparing for a plunge into chaos and, insofar as Europe is concerned, into an economic and ethnic catastrophe. And, after all, one thing has already been proved: this most densely populated continent in the world will either have to live with an order that gives the greatest consideration to individual abilities, guarantees the greatest accomplishments, and, by taming all egotistical drives, prevents their excesses, or states such as we have in central and western Europe will prove unfit for life, which means that their nations are thereby doomed to perish! In this manner-following the example of royal Italy-Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary collapsed during this year. This collapse is primarily the result of the cowardice and lack of resolve of their leaders. They and their actions can be understood only in light of the corrupt and socially amoral atmosphere of the bourgeois world. The hatred which many statesmen, especially in these countries, express for the present German Reich is nothing other than the voice of a guilty conscience, an expression of an inferiority complex in view of our organization of a human community that is suspicious to them because we successfully pursue goals that again do not correspond to their own narrow economic egotism and their resulting political shortsightedness.
For us, my German Volksgenossen, this, however, represents a new obligation to recognize ever more clearly that the existence or nonexistence of a German future depends on the uncompromising organization of our Volksstaat, that all the sacrifices which our Volk must make are conceivable only under the condition of a social order which clears away all privileges and thereby makes the entire Volk not only bear the same duties but also possess the same vital rights. Above all, it must mercilessly destroy the social phantoms of a bygone era. In their stead, it must place the most valuable reality there is, namely the Volk, the masses which, tied together by the same blood, essence, and experiences of a long history, owe their origin as an individual existence not to an earthly arbitrariness but to the inscrutable will of the Almighty. The insight into the moral value of our conviction and the resulting objectives of our struggle for life give us and, above all, give me the strength to continue to wage this fight in the most difficult hours with the strongest faith and with an unshakable confidence. In such hours, this conviction also ties the Volk to its leadership. It assured the unanimous approval of the appeal that I was forced to direct to the German Volk in a particularly urgent way this year.
Millions of Germans of all professions and ranks, men and women, boys and girls, even children, took up the spade and the shovel. Thousands of Volkssturm battalions were created or are in the process of being created.
Divisions were newly formed; Volk artillery corps, mortar brigades, selfpropelled assault-gun brigades, as well as fighter groups were conjured up out of nothing and provided with new equipment. Above all, our German factories showed singular achievements with the help of both male and female German workers. They, I may say so today, are being joined by more and more thoughtful people from other nations who, as workers in Germany, understand the essence of our social community. And so what our enemies shattered was rebuilt with superhuman diligence and unequaled heroism. This rebuilding will continue until what our enemies began will end one day. The German spirit and the German will shall bring this about by force! This, my Volksgenossen, will one day go down in history as the miracle of the twentieth century! A Volk that accomplishes, suffers, and endures so many incredible things at the front and in the homeland can therefore never perish.
On the contrary: it will emerge from this furnace of trials stronger and firmer than ever before in its history. However, the power to which we owe all this- the Jewish-international enemy of the world-will not only fail in this attempt to destroy Europe and exterminate its nations but will also end by annihilating itself.
At the end of this year, as the spokesman of the nation and, at this moment, also as the Fuhrer of its fate, I would like to thank the countless millions of my Volksgenossen with an overflowing heart for all they have suffered, endured, done, and accomplished, men and women, down to the level of our children in the Hitler Youth, in the cities and small market towns, in the villages and in the countryside. I would like to ask them not to let up in the future either, to trust the leadership of the movement, and to fight this most difficult struggle for the future of our Volk with the greatest fanaticism. What I can do to promote this success, I will do in the future as I did in the past. I am speaking less these days, not because I do not wish to or cannot speak, but because my work leaves me little time for speaking, and because I believe that I am now obliged every hour to think about and seek to increase the power of resistance of our armies, introduce better weapons, form new units, and assemble whatever forces can be mobilized from among my Volk. My enemies are perhaps now seeing the light already and are realizing that I have not been asleep all this time! For the rest, I wish to assure you, my Volksgenossen, again today, as in the many years of the struggle for power, that my faith in the future of our Volk is unshakable. Whomever Providence subjects to so many trials, it has destined for the greatest things! It is therefore my only concern to do my utmost to lead the German Volk through this time of misery and open the gate for it to that future in which we all believe, for which we fight and work.
I cannot close this appeal without thanking the Lord for the help that He always allowed the leadership and the Volk to find, as well as for the power He gave us to be stronger than misery and danger. If I also thank Him for my rescue, then I do so only because through it I am happy to be able to continue dedicating my life to the service of the Volk. In this hour, as the spokesman of Greater Germany, I therefore wish to make the solemn avowal before the Almighty that we will loyally and unshakably fulfill our duty also in the new year, in the firm belief that the hour will come when the victory will favor for good the one who is most worthy of it, the Greater German Reich!
Adolf Hitler – address to the Wehrmacht
January 1, 1945
The decisive significance for the world of the war that we are fighting today is clear to the German Volk: a merciless struggle for existence or nonexistence, that is, a struggle for life or death! Because the goal of the Jewish-international world conspiracy opposing us is the extermination of our Volk.
As I pronounced this realization in the year 1939, some among you may have thought it was an exaggeration. Because of its constant repetition in the course of the following years, it may have appeared to be “noisy propaganda.” Today, nobody can doubt the intention of our enemies. It is not only proved by the activities of subordinate organs, the public media, but also confirmed by the enemy statesmen opposing us. It is further evidenced by the way the war has been waged, as well as by the political preparations which our enemies are making for the postwar period. The Jewish-eastern Bolshevism reflects in its exterminationist tendencies the goals of Jewish-western capitalism. In any event, the plan is to enslave all free nations. Mr. Churchill declares that all of eastern Germany shall be ceded at least to Poland-in truth, that means to the Soviet Union-namely, not only East Prussia and Danzig but even Pomerania and Silesia. He dismisses the potential population problems by expressing the hope that he will be able to kill another six or more million Germans, that is, women and children, through bomb warfare. His protege de Gaulle again demands that western Germany be placed under French control and the remainder of Germany dissolved. This exactly corresponds to the program and statements of the Stalinist house Jew (Hausjude) Ehrenburg, who goes further and announces that the German Volk must be smashed and exterminated. And this again is the same goal that is being pursued in the plans for the future by the American cabinet member and Jew Morgenthau. These thoughts do not come as a surprise for me. They always existed with our enemies. Only in order to prevent their implementation did I strive to make the German Volk strong and resistant. Internally and externally, it should have the strength that is necessary to defend its life. We have been fighting this struggle of life and death for over five years now. Perhaps it will even be harsher in its demands in the sixth year of war. It has, however, passed its zenith.
Up to the present day, the German Volk and its Wehrmacht have successfully resisted our enemies’ attempts to strangle us, despite numerous crises and many setbacks. In the coming year also, we will succeed in parrying the enemy’s offensive operations and in finally breaking them through counterblows. If we have not been spared great setbacks in this mighty struggle, which is not only being fought for Germany but also for the future of all of Europe, then the reason for that does not lie with the German Volk and its Wehrmacht but on the side of our European allies. Starting with the collapse of the Romanian-Italian-Hungarian front at the Don River and their later complete dissolution, to the sabotage of the joint conduct of the war by the Italian royal house and the putsch against the Duce’s Fascist Italy, which was on our side, there is a straight line of treason. It has found its prolongation in the pitiful capitulation of the Finnish state leadership, the breach of faith of the Romanian king and his entourage, the giving up of Bulgaria, as well as in the disgraceful behavior of the former Hungarian regent. The consequences for the political and military conduct of the war were grave.
In addition, there was the perfidious attack at home in the last year, committed by dishonorable criminals who were however defeated within a few hours and, since that time, have been relentlessly dealt with. Although July 20 had especially depressing military consequences at the fronts and, regrettably, helped to shake the faith in the German power of resistance with friend and enemy, it must be seen as a turning point of the German fate. After all, this attempt to destroy the social German Volksstaat at the time of its most bitter fight through a plot at home and to surrender Germany to the international conspiracy has failed once and for all. I can assure you that this was the last attempt of its kind. Thereby, however, my declaration of September 1, 1939, is reconfirmed, namely, that the German Volk cannot be defeated by force of arms or time in this war, and that, above all, a November 1918 will never be repeated.
This resolve, my soldiers, means heavy sacrifices for the entire German Volk and, in the first place, for you. It alone will save the nation in the future! A nation would surely be doomed by the misery that Germany has to endure today, if it gives itself up for lost, because this giving up means at the same time a renunciation of any claim to life in the future.
My soldiers! I know your sufferings and your sacrifices. I know what I had to ask of you and what is being asked of you. Fate has set me-who at one time wanted to build up Germany as a first-rate social and cultural state-the most difficult task conceivable for a human being. I bear my fate and realize that I owe gratitude to Providence, which has found me worthy enough to take on such hard work in the history of our Volk, a work which will decide its future. All the more after July 20, I lived only for the preparations which would sooner or later allow us to go from the purely defensive to the offensive. We are aware that the fortress of Europe cannot be defended by German forces alone to the extent that this was possible earlier. We were therefore forced, as the victims of the treason of our allies, to pull in entire fronts and shorten others. However, I did not take any step backward without putting up the fiercest resistance. Our enemies must know that every kilometer in the direction of Germany will demand more blood of them and that they cannot ever count on a relaxation or giving up of this resistance. What you, my soldiers, accomplished on so many fronts, on the ground, above or below water, and in the air, is superhuman. The sacrifices made by the German homeland, especially its women, old men, and children, are no less so. Finally, what we owe to the German male and female worker, to the German male peasant and especially to the German female peasant, is for all of us all the more a sacred obligation to do as soldiers everything possible, so that these joint sacrifices are not in vain.
In this spirit, I have gone through endless worries for years, worked, tortured myself with decisions, and am today more than ever convinced that at the end of this struggle will stand a glorious success, unique in our history.
Whoever gained such victories as you, my soldiers, who was not broken by such terrible setbacks, who so heroically endured and suffered as our homeland did, who worked so diligently as our entire Volk, cannot be preordained to perish, but is destined to live! Therefore, my confidence is today stronger than ever before. In the end, we survived with success this worst year of setbacks in which we were virtually abandoned by all our allies in Europe. World powers have been trying for years now to bring about the collapse of the German Reich. In the formerly allied, yet today betrayed countries, people are beginning to realize that this struggle is a conflict of life and death and that no nation can avoid a clear decision. Everywhere the hollowness and meaninglessness of the assurances of our enemies reveal themselves. As soon as they occupy a territory, order collapses and chaos ensues. Democracy is unfit to solve even the smallest task on this continent. Its political anarchy is followed by economic chaos, and with these two comes misery. The “liberated” areas of Europe at most lose their German order and gain instead international unemployment with the usual hunger and need. After all, this most densely populated continent in the world can live only through a planned utilization of all its individual energies, and at the same time through a strict taming of its egotistical drives. Only two leaderships in Europe have honestly tried to deal with this problem: the National Socialist one in Germany and the Fascist one in Italy. To what extent the solution of these questions succeeded in particular in Germany is best proved by the discipline that we still have even in spite of the heaviest burdens in the sixth year of the war. I will try to see to it, my soldiers, that, at home, the leadership and initiative of the party supports your fight, that the nation is provided with life’s necessities, and that all destructive forces, no matter who they are and what posts they occupy, will be destroyed.
However, I also expect of you, more than ever before, that you will do your duty especially in this sixth year of the fight of life and death; that the officers and men of the entire Wehrmacht, army, navy, Luftwaffe, and Waffen SS realize that the existence or nonexistence of our Volk depends on their deployment; that all the other organizations-at their head the newly-born Volkssturm-the Reich labor service, and all the other formations of our movement in the Wehrmacht’s service, as well as the women and girls at the fighting or defending front, will follow your example. The year 1945 will demand of us the utmost in courage and initiative. At the same time, it will be the year of the historic turn of events. The soldiers of the allied European governments and nations who march on our side represent the cells for a rebuilding of this continent, which is our shared homeland, in which our ancestors lived, in which they struggled with fate throughout the millennia, and which today they defend unto death.
The Almighty, who has led our Volk in its previous fight for life and weighed, rewarded, and judged it in accordance with its merits, will this time encounter a generation worthy of His blessings. You were the unfading witnesses for this in the past years, my German soldiers, and you will be that all the more in the coming year!