January 1, 1939
National Socialists! Party Comrades!
National Socialist Germany emerges from the year 1938 with deeply moved gratitude for the merciful workings of Providence. The sixth year after the National Socialist Revolution-and the newly erected leadership of the people and state wrought thereby-has come to a close as the most eventful year in the history of our Volk in many a century. In the five years from 1933, the prevailing ambition of the National Socialist Movement and our Party was to overcome our domestic difficulties: the Volk’s political, social, and economic misery. We have mastered the greatest foreign policy obstacle facing us within these twelve months which lie behind us now.
Who can help being deeply moved, seeing today’s Greater German Reich which we erected, as he reflects on the situation we faced a mere six years ago? In face of the incredible changes wrought in the life of our Volk, who can any longer deny the righteousness of the forces and methods employed? In Germany, no one can-unless he consciously wishes our Volk ill. Abroad, of course, all those will deny this who have an interest in opposing the resurrection of the Reich-for whatever reason.
When I reflect on this year of the most bountiful harvest ever in our history, I feel tremendous gratitude first to Providence and second to my Party! The National Socialist Movement has wrought this miracle. The Good Lord provided for this, and the Party served as His instrument.
The Party stood by me in unyielding loyalty for nearly two decades. It became instrumental in creating the prerequisite conditions to herald, and indeed to force, Germany’s resurrection. Throughout the years, its untiring exertions forged the inner consolidation of the Volkskorper. Knowing this concentrated force stood firm behind me, I was in a position, at a decisive moment, to stand up for the right to life of our Volk even at the risk of the last and most formidable consequences. All of us can reflect on 1938 with great pride and satisfaction: the men and women constituting the leadership of the Party, its fighting organizations, and the associations connected with it; the millions of active, albeit anonymous Party comrades; and all those active in the National Socialist Movement. Through their labor, they contributed to and rendered feasible the creation of this Greater German Reich.
National Socialism wrought a new sense of community within the Volk and provided it with a steadfast political regime which allowed me to carry out the build-up of a new German Wehrmacht. It has passed the test this year. Officers and enlisted men zealously competed with one another in their dedication to the National Socialist Greater German Reich. Once more the German Volk stands proud of its soldiers! The state itself and its administration have resolved in masterly fashion a foremost task in the course of this year.
Above all, I reach out in gratitude to the entire German Volk. Its marvelous behavior has greatly contributed to robbing an inquisitive surrounding world of the last flicker of hope that the ancient affliction (altes Erbubel) of the Germans would once again be aroused. In the past year, not one of these so-called democratic statesmen could claim to truly speak for his people more so than I.
This allowed for the resolution, without recourse to war, of this one European question which had to be resolved in one way or another.
The enterprising spirit of the German peasant assured production of foodstuffs for the German Volk. The German worker contributed to an exceptional increase in the productivity of our economy. I am grateful above all to those hundreds of thousands who transformed the Western Front of the Reich into a wall of steel and cement of which we know that no power on earth will ever be able to penetrate it.
In this same period, the organizational power of our Volk has celebrated triumph upon triumph. The glorious feats accomplished by our Wehrmacht were paralleled by no less glorious achievements in the sphere of economics and public administration. And, one day, the history books will remark on the intriguing fact that, despite great political tensions and gigantic exertions and accomplishments, cultural life was not brought to a standstill but that, to the contrary, it witnessed astounding advances.
Within the past year, in all spheres of our communal life, the rich and multifaceted life of the National Socialist Volksgemeinschaft has compensated for the crimes committed against our Volk in certain decades and certain centuries. May this be of consolation to those who suffered throughout the years, throughout the decades, never yielding in their belief in our Volksgemeinschaft; and to those who were not fortunate enough to live to see the day of the restoration of the Greater German Reich. May they rejoice, from beyond their graves, in the happiness of uncounted millions which springs forth from their earthly remains. They did not suffer in vain; their deaths were not in vain.
The year 1938 constituted a solemn pledge on the part of the Volk. Twice within this year, Germans were called on to cast their votes. The first time, the Germans from the Old Reich stepped up to the ballot-box, alongside our Volksgenossen from the new German Ostmark. On the second occasion, Sudeten Germans having just returned to the Reich lined up beside them. And thus, for the first time in the history of our German Volk, all of Germany was allowed to freely and solemnly express its political will: to stand with the Greater German Reich and to never, ever again be severed from it-come what may!
The future exacts fulfillment of the following tasks: Our first and foremost task will remain what it has always been in the past and as it poses itself to us today: the education of our Volk in the spirit of the National Socialist community. The second task lies in the build-up and reinforcement of our Wehrmacht. And third, we face the task of implementing the Four-Year Plan, resolving the manpower shortage, and integrating the new Reich provinces economically.
Germany occupies a well-defined position in international politics. We stand firm and unyielding by the obligations resulting from our friendship with Fascist Italy. The realization of the historic role played by Mussolini in the preservation of peace in the past year compels us to profound gratitude. We are grateful also to those other statesmen who in this year have undertaken to search for and to find a peaceful resolution to these questions which, at the time, allowed for no further postponement.
As regards world politics today, the Anti-Comintern Pact determines our political stance. Beyond this we have only one desire: May the coming year allow us to contribute to a general pacification of the world. May the Lord’s mercy accompany our German Volk on its fateful path. Long live the National Socialist Movement! Long live our German Volk and Reich!
Berchtesgaden, December 31, 1938