Adolf Hitler – speech at the opening of the International Automobile Exhibition in the Exhibition Halls on the Kaiserdamm.

Berlin, March 7, 1934

The Government will be persistent and rigorous in continuing the program announced last year. It will give to the entire automotive sector the strong impulse it needs to overcome the general preconceptions on the one hand and the lethargy on the other. It will attempt to continue to directly and indirectly decrease taxes for the automobile owner. In addition to extending the tremendous Autobahn road network, the Reich is determined to devote practical attention to improving the existing major roads. The Reich Government will provide every possible support to the development of the automobile industry. Above all, it will continue its endeavors to establish a close and profitable link between this most recent means of transportation and the large existing transportation institution of the Reichsbahn. The problem of securing and producing fuel on a national basis will be solved! Gentlemen, I do not need to paint a picture for you of the consequences of the existing attitude and the measures which have resulted from it.

There is no clearer proof of the effectiveness of our actions in the past year than the international Automobile Exhibition of 1934 in Berlin, which was organized literally as fast as lightning and which has become such a wonderful success.

Above all, it gives me the indestructible confidence that the commercial adroitness of our great plants, the ingenuity of our technicians and the miraculous productivity of our German manual laborers and precision workers will doubtless succeed in accomplishing the great tasks which still lie before us.

And these tasks are not small.

Gentlemen, if we really want to increase the number of automobile owners in Germany to a figure in the millions, this is only possible if we adapt the price to the financial capabilities of the mass of millions of potential buyers in question.

The German Government desires that the German Volk take an animated interest in motorized vehicles, and it follows that the economy must design and build the right vehicle for the German Volk.

Only a few months ago, German industry succeeded, by fabricating a new Volksempfänger (people’s radio), in introducing and selling an enormous number of radio sets on the market. I would cite the most significant task of the German automotive industry as that of increasing production of the one car which will necessarily open up a class of buyers numbering millions, for only if we are able to win over the broadest possible masses for this new means of transportation will its economic and social advantages be indisputable.

What German industry has accomplished in the years behind us is admirable. There is no country in the world showing greater progress in the construction of new automobiles than Germany. All the way from small models to the most modern racing cars, from trucks with diesel engines to motorcycles: everywhere we see new paths being taken and truly ingenious ideas becoming reality. It should be noted that this Automobile Show is not the product of long planning, but shows a random sample of our industry’s products.

When I invite the German Volk to review and inspect this random sample, I am doing so with the conviction that it will acknowledge with joyful pride this further proof of what its engineers, merchants and workers have once again accomplished. But I do not wish to let this opportunity pass without once more drawing the attention of every German to the many millions of those who even today have not yet found a way to earn their daily bread by their own labors.

It is the duty of every German to declare his solidarity with these Volksgenossen and to contribute, by his every action and his behavior, towards giving the new spiritual and physical workers of our Volk employment and thus a means of existence.

March 17 is the 100th anniversary of the day upon which the builder of the first automobile first glimpsed the light of day. In addition to Benz, we must also regard Daimler not only as the inventor of the first automobile engine, but also as the founder of the first and hence oldest automobile factory in the world.

What a tremendous development has taken place between that fateful December 16, 1883, when an automobile engine was patented for the first time in the world, and today! Who can doubt that we will succeed in carrying on this wonderful development for the benefit of our entire German Volk? And furthermore, we perceive in this new means of transportation an element of human cooperation which, extending far beyond the borders of an individual nation, ties nations together.

At a time when all of us have but the one earnest desire to heal the wounds of the past decades in peaceful cooperation with the other nations, we are happy to give to the world a visible demonstration of the background of the problems which concern us today and proof of the skill with which we master them.

Thus, I am happy and proud to declare the International Automobile Exhibition of 1934 in Berlin open to the public.

Adolf Hitler – Proclamation to the German folk – 01.02.1933

Adolf Hitler - Colour Portrait Photograph

Berlin, February 1, 1933

More than fourteen years have passed since the unhappy day when the German people, blinded by promises from foes at home and abroad, lost touch with honor and freedom, thereby losing all. Since that day of treachery, the Almighty has withheld his blessing from our people. Dissension and hatred descended upon us. With profound distress millions of the best German men and women from all walks of life have seen the unity of the nation vanishing away, dissolving in a confusion of political and personal opinions, economic interests, and ideological differences. Since that day, as so often in the past, Germany has presented a picture of heartbreaking disunity. We never received the equality and fraternity we had been promised, and we lost our liberty to boot. For when our nation lost its political place in the world, it soon lost its unity of spirit and will….

We are firmly convinced that the German nation entered the fight in 1914 without the slightest feeling of guilt on its part and filled only with the desire to defend the Fatherland which had been attacked and to preserve the freedom, nay, the very existence, of the German people. This being so, we can only see in the disastrous fate which has overtaken us since those November days of 1918 the result of our collapse at home. But the rest of the world, too, has suffered no less since then from overwhelming crises. The balance of power which had evolved in the course of history, and which formerly played no small part in bringing about the understanding of the necessity for an internal solidarity of the nations, with all its advantages for trade and commerce, has been set on one side. The insane conception of victors and vanquished destroyed the confidence existing between nations, and, at the same time, the industry of the entire world.

The misery of our people is horrible to behold! Millions of the industrial proletariat are unemployed and starving; the whole of the middle class and the small artisans have been impoverished. When this collapse finally reaches the German peasants, we will be faced with an immeasurable disaster. For then not only shall a nation collapse, but a two-thousand-year-old inheritance, some of the loftiest products of human culture and civilization.

All about us the warning signs of this collapse are apparent. Communism with its method of madness is making a powerful and insidious attack upon our dismayed and shattered nation. It seeks to poison and disrupt in order to hurl us into an epoch of chaos…. This negative, destroying spirit spared nothing of all that is highest and most valuable. Beginning with the family, it has undermined the very foundations of morality and faith and scoffs at culture and business, nation and Fatherland, justice and honor. Fourteen years of Marxism have ruined Germany; one year of bolshevism would destroy her. The richest and fairest territories of the world would be turned into a smoking heap of ruins. Even the sufferings of the last decade and a half could not be compared to the misery of a Europe in the heart of which the red flag of destruction had been hoisted. The thousands of wounded, the hundreds of dead which this inner strife has already cost Germany should be a warning of the storm which would come….

In those hours when our hearts were troubled about the life and the future of the German nation, the aged leader of the World War appealed to us. He called to those of us in nationalist parties and leagues to struggle under him once more, in unity and loyalty, for the salvation of the German nation. This time the front lines are at home. The venerable Reichsprasident has allied himself with us in this noble endeavor. And as leaders of the nation and the national Government we vow to God, to our conscience, and to our people that we will faithfully and resolutely fulfill the task conferred upon us.

The inheritance which has fallen to us is a terrible one. The task with which we are faced is the hardest which has fallen to German statesmen within the memory of man. But we are all filled with unbounded confidence for we believe in our people and their imperishable virtues. Every class and every individual must help us to found the new Reich.

The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life….

Turbulent instincts must be replaced by a national discipline as the guiding principle of our national life. All those institutions which are the strongholds of the energy and vitality of our nation will be taken under the special care of the Government.

The National Government intends to solve the problem of the reorganization of trade and commerce with two four-year plans:

The German farmer must be rescued in order that the nation may be supplied with the necessities of life….

A concerted and all-embracing attack must be made on unemployment in order that the German working class may be saved from ruin….

The November parties have ruined the German peasantry in fourteen years.

In fourteen years they have created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will, with iron determination and unshakable steadfastness of purpose, put through the following plan:

Within four years the German peasant must be rescued from the quagmire into which he has fallen.

Within four years unemployment must be finally overcome. At the same time the conditions necessary for a revival in trade and commerce are provided.

The National Government will couple with this tremendous task of reorganizing business life a reorganization of the administrative and fiscal systems of the Reich, of the Federal States, and the Communes.

Only when this has been done can the idea of a continued federal existence of the entire Reich be fully realized….

Compulsory labor-service and the back-to-the-land policy are two of the basic principles of this program.

The securing of the necessities of life will include the performance of social duties to the sick and aged.

In economical administration, the promotion of employment, the preservation of the farmer, as well as in the exploitation of individual initiative, the Government sees the best guarantee for the avoidance of any experiments which would endanger the currency.

As regards its foreign policy the National Government considers its highest mission to be the securing of the right to live and the restoration of freedom to our nation. Its determination to bring to an end the chaotic state of affairs in Germany will assist in restoring to the community of nations a State of equal value and, above all, a State which must have equal rights. It is impressed with the importance of its duty to use this nation of equal rights as an instrument for the securing and maintenance of that peace which the world requires today more than ever before.

May the good will of all others assist in the fulfillment of this our earnest wish for the welfare of Europe and of the whole world.

Great as is our love for our Army as the bearer of our arms and the symbol of our great past, we should be happy if the world, by reducing its armaments, would see to it that we need never increase our own.

If, however, Germany is to experience this political and economic revival and conscientiously fulfill her duties toward the other nations, one decisive step is absolutely necessary first: the overcoming of the destroying menace of communism in Germany. We of this Government feel responsible for the restoration of orderly life in the nation and for the final elimination of class madness and class struggle. We recognize no classes, we see only the German people, millions of peasants, bourgeois, and workers who will either overcome together the difficulties of these times or be overcome by them. We are firmly resolved and we have taken our oath. Since the present Reichstag is incapable of lending support to this work, we ask the German people whom we represent to perform the task themselves.

Reichspräsident von Hindenburg has called upon us to bring about the revival of the German nation. Unity is our tool. Therefore we now appeal to the German people to support this reconciliation. The National Government wishes to work and it will work. It did not ruin the German nation for fourteen years, but now it will lead the nation back to health. It is determined to make well in four years the ills of fourteen years. But the National Government cannot make the work of reconstruction dependent upon the approval of those who wrought destruction. The Marxist parties and their lackeys have had fourteen years to show what they can do. The result is a heap of ruins.

Now, people of Germany, give us four years and then pass judgment upon us. In accordance with Field Marshal von Hindenburg’s command we shall begin now. May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people, for we are fighting not for ourselves but for Germany.

Adolf Hitler – Speech to the Reichstag – 30.01.1937

Der Fuhrer spricht-2

Berlin, January 30, 1937

Men! Deputies of the German Reichstag!

The Reichstag has been convened today, on an important day for the German Volk. Four years have passed since that moment marking the beginning of the great inner cataclysm and reorganization Germany has experienced, four years which I requested from the German Volk as a period of probation and judgment. What would be more logical than to use this occasion to recount in detail all the success and progress these four years have bestowed upon the German Volk? Within the framework of such a short rally it is not even possible to mention all those things which might well be regarded as the remarkable results of this perhaps most astounding epoch in the life of our Volk! That is a task more fitting for the press and propaganda. Moreover, there will be an exhibition this year in the Reich Capital of Berlin in which the attempt will be made to give a comprehensive and more detailed impression of what has been created, achieved and begun than I could possibly be capable of giving in a two-hour speech. Therefore, I wish to make use of today’s historic meeting of the German Reichstag in order to point out, in a retrospective on the past four years, a few of the generally valid insights, experiences and consequences which are important not only for us to understand, but also for posterity.

I can say it with a certain amount of pride: this was perhaps the first modern revolution in which not so much as a window pane was shattered. Yet I do not want to be misunderstood: if the course of this revolution was bloodless, it was not because we were not men enough to stand the sight of blood. For four years, I was a soldier in the bloodiest war of all time. I never once lost my nerve throughout, no matter what the situation or what I was confronted with. This also applies to my fellow workers. But we perceived the task of the National Socialist Revolution not as destroying human life or property but instead as building up a new and better life. It is our greatest source of pride that we carried out this-undoubtedly greatest-cataclysm in our Volk with a minimum of casualties and losses.

Only where the murderous lust of Bolshevism believed itself capable, even after January 30, 1933, of preventing the triumph or the realization of the National Socialist idea by force have we naturally countered with force- and have done so with the speed of lightning. Then again there were other elements.

We recognized their lack of restraint, coupled with the gravest lack of political education, and these we merely took into preventive custody, only to restore to them their liberty after a very short time, generally speaking.

And then again there were those few whose political activities served only as a cover for a criminal attitude evidenced in numerous sentences to prison or penal servitude; these we prevented from continuing their devastating work of destruction by urging them to take up a useful occupation, probably for the first time in their lives.

In the space of a few weeks, both the political residues and societal biases of the past thousand years in Germany had been cleared away and eliminated.

Germany and the German Volk have overcome several great catastrophes.

Naturally, there always had to be certain men-I will be the first to admit-who took the necessary steps and who saw these measures through despite the eternal pessimists and know-it-alls. True, an assembly of parliamentary cowards is most ill-suited to lead the Volk forth-away from destitution and despair!

My Deputies! When the German economy seemingly ground to a complete halt in the years 1932 and 1933, the following became more clear to me than in the preceding years: the salvation of our Volk is not a financial problem; it is exclusively a problem of utilizing and employing the available work force on the one hand and exploiting available soil and mineral resources on the other.

The Volksgemeinschaft does not subsist on the fictitious value of money but on actual production, which gives money its value. This production is the primary cover for a currency, not a bank or a vault full of gold! And when I increase this production, I am actually increasing the income of my fellow citizens; if I decrease production, I decrease income, regardless of what salaries are being paid out. [-] This concerted resolution of economic issues finds its greatest expression in the Four-Year Plan. It assures that once great numbers of German workers are released by the armament industry and re-enter the labor force, these workers shall find secure employment within our economy. [-] It is quite clear that neither strikes nor lockouts can be tolerated in a sphere where such views prevail. The National Socialist State does not recognize an economic law of the jungle. The common interest of the nation-i.e. of our Volk-has priority over the interests of all its competing components. Therefore we cannot allow that any means suited for utilization in our Volk’s training and education be exempted from this shared obligation.

The education of youth, Jungvolk, Hitler Youth, Labor Service, Party, Wehrmacht: all of them are institutions for training and educating our Volk.

Books, newspapers, lectures, art, theater, film: all are means for the education of the Volk (Volkserziehung). What the National Socialist Revolution has accomplished in these areas is astonishing and colossal. One need only think of the following: Today, our entire German system of education-including the press, theater, film, and literature-is run and organized exclusively by German Volksgenossen. How often were we told before that removing the Judentum from these institutions must result in their collapse or deterioration? And what has happened now? In all of these areas we are witnessing a tremendous flourishing of cultural and artistic life. Our films are better than ever before; the performances on the stages of our first-rate theaters are in a world class all their own. Our press has become a powerful instrument serving the selfassertion of our Volk and does its part in fortifying the nation. German science is doing successful work, and tremendous proofs of our creative architectural will shall one day bear witness to this new epoch! An incredible immunization of the German Volk has been achieved to all the infiltrating tendencies from which a different world is made to suffer. We now already take for granted several of our institutions that were not yet understood even a few years ago: Jungvolk, Hitler Youth, BDM, Frauenschaft, Labor Service, SA, SS, NSKK-and above all the Labor Front with its tremendous organization-are bricks in the proud structure of our Third Reich. This safeguarding of the internal life of our German Volk needed to be complemented by an external safeguard. And I believe that it is here, my Deputies and men of the German Reichstag, that the National Socialist uprising has achieved the most marvelous of its accomplishments! When, four years ago, I was entrusted with the chancellorship and with it the leadership of the nation, I assumed the bitter obligation to lead back to honor a people who had been compelled to live the life of an outcast among the other nations for fifteen years. The internal order of the German Volk provided me with the requirements for reestablishing the German Army, and these two circumstances likewise made it possible to throw off those shackles which had been felt to be the deepest mark of disgrace ever branded on a people.

In concluding this process today, I have but a few statements to make.

First: the restoration of German equality of rights was a process that concerned and involved Germany alone. In its course we neither deprived any other people of anything nor did harm to any other people.

Second: I hereby proclaim to you that, within the context of the restoration of German equality of rights, I shall divest the German Reichsbahn and the German Reichsbank of their prior character and place them completely under the sovereign control of the Government of the German Reich.

Third: I hereby declare that, by virtue thereof, the part of the Treaty of Versailles which deprived our Volk of equality of rights and degraded it to an inferior Volk has now been settled in the natural course of things.

Fourth: above all, I herewith most solemnly withdraw the German signature from that declaration extracted under duress at that time from a weak government against its own better judgment, that Germany was to blame for the war! My Deputies, Men of the German Reichstag! This restoration of the honor of our Volk-most clearly evidenced in an external sense in the introduction of conscription, in the institution of a new Luftwaffe, in the re-establishment of a German Navy, in the reoccupation of the Rhineland by our troops-was the most difficult and most daring task and accomplishment of my life.

Today I must bow down in thanks to Providence, whose mercy has enabled me, once an unknown soldier in the World War, to thus help our Volk to win the battle for the restoration of its honor and uprightness! Unfortunately, not all the necessary measures in this context could be accomplished by way of negotiations. Be that as it may: a Volk cannot attain its honor by negotiating; it must seize its honor-just as its honor cannot be negotiated away, but only taken away!

That I took the required action without consulting our former opponents on each point or even informing them, was also due to the knowledge that I had thus made it easier for the other side to accept our decisions, as they would have had to at any rate. Allow me also to add yet another statement, namely, that the period of so-called surprises has now come to an end. As a state with equal rights, conscious of its role in Europe, Germany will cooperate loyally in the future to settle the problems which are a cause for concern to us and to the other nations.

When I now proceed to take a stand on all these basic questions of the present, it is perhaps most feasible to do so along the lines of the remarks Mr. Eden made recently in the English House of Commons.

In essence, they contain all there is to say on the relationship between Germany and France. Here I would like to express my genuine thanks for the opportunity of replying which was offered to me in the both frank and remarkable comments of the honorable British Foreign Secretary.

I have read these comments carefully and, I believe, correctly. Naturally I do not wish to become absorbed in details; instead I would like to try to extract the major points from Mr. Eden’s speech and, for my part, clarify and respond to them.

Initially, I will attempt to put right what appears to me to be a quite regrettable error. Namely, the error that Germany has any intention whatsoever of isolating itself, of passing over the events in the rest of the world with indifference, or that Germany had no desire to show any consideration for general exigencies.

What grounds are there for the view that Germany is adhering to a policy of isolation? If the assumption as to Germany’s isolation is concluded from what are alleged to be Germany’s intentions, I would like to note the following: I do not believe that a state could ever intend to consciously take a politically disinterested stand on events in the rest of the world. Particularly not if this world is as small as modern-day Europe. I believe that, if a state is in fact forced to take refuge in such an attitude, then only by virtue of being compelled to do so by an alien will imposed upon it. I would like to assure Foreign Secretary Eden here that we Germans do not in the least want to be isolated and by no means feel isolated.

In the past few years, there have been quite a few political ties which Germany has entered into, re-established, improved and, in the case of a number of states I might even say it has set up close and amicable relations. From our perspective, our relations in Europe are normal to most states, and very friendly to quite a few. At the top of this list I might cite the excellent relations binding us with all those states which have, as a result of hardship similar to our own, arrived at similar conclusions.

By virtue of a series of treaties, we have resolved former tensions and thereby made a substantial contribution to improving European conditions.

You will recall for example our agreement with Poland which proved advantageous for both states; our agreement with Austria; our excellent and close relations with Italy; our amicable relations with Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc.-and last but not least, our no less friendly relations with quite a number of states outside of Europe.

The agreement Germany concluded with Japan for the purpose of combating the Comintern Movement is graphic proof of how little interest the German Government has in isolating itself and how little it thus does in fact feel isolated.

Moreover, I have expressed more than once the desire and the hope of being able to arrive at equally good and friendly terms with all our neighbors.

Germany-and I solemnly reiterate this here and now-has repeatedly declared that there can be no humanly conceivable contentious issues whatsoever between itself and France, to cite an example. The German Government has moreover assured Belgium and Holland that it is prepared to recognize and guarantee these states at any time as inviolable neutral territories.

In the light of all the declarations formerly given by us and the actual state of affairs, I am somewhat at a loss to comprehend why Germany should feel itself isolated or even adhere to a policy of isolation.

I do, however, fear that I must interpret Mr. Eden’s words as meaning that he regards the implementation of the German Four-Year Plan as one element of Germany’s refusal to partake in international relations. Therefore, I wish to leave no doubt whatsoever that the decision to implement this Plan is not subject to any review. The reasons which led us to arrive at this decision were cogent ones. And I have been unable to detect any recent development which might have moved us to refrain in any way from implementing this decision.

Germany has a tremendous number of people who wish not only to work, but also to eat. In other respects as well, our Volk has a high standard of living.

I cannot build the future of the German nation on the promises a foreign statesman gives of providing some kind of international aid; I can build it only on the real foundation of a functioning industry whose products I must sell either at home or abroad! And this is perhaps where I, in my mistrust, differ from the optimistic remarks of the British Foreign Secretary.

If in fact Europe does not awaken from the fever of its Bolshevist infections, I fear that, despite the good intentions of individual statesmen, international trade will not increase, but ultimately decrease. That is because this trade is built not only upon the uninterrupted and thus secured production on the part of one specific nation, but on the production of all nations. Initially, however, one thing is certain: every single Bolshevist disruption will of necessity lead to a more or less lengthy disruption in orderly production. Therefore, I am not able to view the economic future of Europe as optimistically as Mr. Eden apparently believes he can. I am the responsible leader of the German Volk and must look after its interests in this world to the best of my knowledge and belief. Hence I am also under an obligation to assess the situation in accordance with what I believe I can perceive with my own eyes.

The history of my Volk would never acquit me were I to omit-for any reason whatsoever-doing something which is imperative for the preservation of this Volk. I am glad, as are we all, of any increase in our foreign trade. However, in view of the unresolved political situation, I shall not fail to do anything which might serve to guarantee to the German Volk its existence even after other states have succumbed to the Bolshevist infection. Furthermore, I must object when this view is dismissed as being but the product of a feeble imagination. For right now there is no doubt about the following: the honorable British Foreign Secretary is showing us theoretical perspectives on life, while in reality, for one, completely different events are taking place. The revolutionizing of Spain, for example, drove fifteen thousand Germans out of that country and did severe damage to our trade.

If the revolutionizing of Spain were to spread to other European states, the damage would increase, not decrease. If, however-this I must also investigate-the reason behind the opinion that Germany is adhering to a policy of isolation might lie in our withdrawal from the League of Nations, I would like to point out that the Geneva League was never truly a league of all the nations; a number of major nations either never belonged to it in the first place or had withdrawn even before we did, whereas no one claimed they were adhering to a policy of isolation. Therefore I believe Mr. Eden has evidently misunderstood German intentions and our own views on this issue.

For nothing is further from our minds than severing either our political or our economic relations with the other world or even to diminish them. On the contrary, the opposite is more to the point.

I have so often attempted to make a contribution to understanding in Europe, and have quite often assured particularly the English people and its government how very much we desire to cooperate and be on sincere and friendly terms with them. And I mean all of us, the entire German Volk, and last but not least myself! Yet I do admit there does exist a real and, as I see it, unbridgeable difference between the views of the British Foreign Secretary and our own on one issue. Mr. Eden emphasizes that under no circumstances does the British Government wish to see Europe torn in two halves. It is unfortunate that this desire was not expressed and heard earlier. Today this desire is nothing but an illusion.

For sadly the fracture not only of Europe, but of the entire world into two halves is now an accomplished fact. It is regrettable that the British Government did not take the position it does today-that the fracturing of Europe needs to be avoided under all circumstances-at an earlier point, for then the Treaty of Versailles never would have come about. It was in fact that Treaty which introduced the first fracture to Europe, namely, the division into victorious nations on the one hand and vanquished nations, without rights, on the other.

No one suffered from this fracturing of Europe more than the German people. That this rupture was repaired, at least as far as concerns Germany, is essentially the achievement of the National Socialist Revolution in Germany and thus, to a certain extent, probably mine as well! The second fracture arose as a result of the proclamation of the Bolshevist doctrine, one of whose integral components is that it does not confine itself to a single people but aims to be forced upon all peoples.

At issue here is not a special form of life indigenous to, let us say, the Russian people; rather, it is the Bolshevist goal of world revolution. The fact that the honorable Foreign Secretary Eden refuses to see Bolshevism as we see it is perhaps related to Great Britain’s location, perhaps to other experiences of which we have no knowledge. I do, however, hold that, because we speak of these things not as theoreticians, one cannot accuse us of being insincere in our conviction.

For Mr. Eden, Bolshevism is perhaps something sitting in Moscow; for us, however, Bolshevism is a plague against which we have been forced to defend ourselves in a bloody fight; a plague that has attempted to make of our country the same desert it has made of Spain, that had begun the same shooting of hostages we are now witnessing in Spain! National Socialism did not seek contact with Bolshevism in Russia; rather, the Jewish international Muscovite Bolshevism attempted to penetrate Germany! And it is still attempting to do so today! And we have fought a difficult battle against this attempt, upholding and thus defending not only the culture of our Volk, but perhaps that of Europe as a whole in the process.

If in those days in January and February 1933 Germany had lost the last decisive battle against this barbarity, and if the Bolshevist expanse of rubble and corpses had spread to encompass Central Europe, perhaps one might have reached other conclusions on the Thames as regards the character of this, the most horrendous menace to mankind.

Since England must be defended at the Rhine in any case,28 it would now already be in the closest proximity to that harmless democratic Muscovite world whose innocuousness is so constantly and ardently hammered home to us.

Thus I would like once more to formally state the following: Bolshevism is a doctrine of world revolution, i.e. of world destruction. To adopt this doctrine, to accord it equal rights as a factor in European life, is tantamount to placing Europe at its mercy. If other peoples choose to expose themselves to contact with this menace, Germany has nothing to say on the matter.

However, as far as Germany itself is concerned, I would like to leave no doubt that we 1. perceive in Bolshevism an intolerable world menace; and 2. that we are using every means at our disposal to keep this menace away from our Volk; 3. that we are thus endeavoring to make the German Volk as immune to this infection as possible.

This also entails that we avoid any close contact with the carriers of these poisonous germs and that we are specifically not prepared to dull the German Volk’s sense of perception for this menace by ourselves establishing connections more extensive than the requisite diplomatic or economic relations.

I hold the Bolshevist doctrine to be the worst poison which can be administered to a people. I therefore do not want my own people to come into contact with this doctrine in any way. And as a citizen of this Volk myself, I will not do anything I would be forced to condemn in my fellow citizens. I demand from every German worker that he refrain from having any relations or dealings with these international pests, and for his part he will never see me quaffing or carousing with them. In other respects, every additional German contractual tie with the present Bolshevist Russia would be completely useless to us. It would be equally inconceivable for National Socialist German soldiers to ever need fulfill a helpmate function in protecting Bolshevism; nor would we on our side accept any aid from a Bolshevist state. For I fear that every Volk which reaches out for such aid will find it to be its own demise.

I must also take a stand here against the view that the League of Nations might lend its support as such if needed and actually save the individual member states by virtue of its assistance. No, I cannot believe that. Foreign Secretary Eden stated recently that actions speak louder than words. I would, however, like to point out that the outstanding feature of the League of Nations to date has been not actions, but words-with the exception of a single case in which it perhaps would have been better to have been content with words only.29 Moreover, in that one instance-as could be expected-the actions were not able to achieve the desired effect.

Mr. Eden holds that, in the future, every state should possess only those arms which are necessary for its defense. I do not know whether and in what form Moscow has been approached with respect to putting this interesting thought into practice, and to what extent promises have already been made from that quarter.

There is, however, one thing I must say: there is no doubt that the amount of the arms required for defense depends upon the amount of the dangers which threaten a country. This is something which each Volk-and each Volk alone- is competent to judge. Thus if Great Britain establishes the limits of its arms today, everyone in Germany will understand this; the only way we can see it is that London alone is competent to decide on the proportions of the protection required by the British Empire. At the same time, however, I would also like to stress that the proportions of the protection and hence defensive arms required by our Volk comprise a matter which falls under our own competence and thus is to be decided exclusively in Berlin.

The attempt has been made to construe a connection between German sympathy for national Spain and some sort of colonial designs. Germany has no colonial claims against countries which have not taken colonies from it. In addition, Germany has suffered so greatly from the Bolshevist plight that it will not exploit this plight and rob another unhappy people in its hour of need or extract from it some future gain by force.

The German Volk once built up a colonial empire without robbing anyone and without violating any treaties. And it did so without waging war. That colonial empire has been taken away from us. The reasons being brought forth today to rationalize that action are not tenable.

First: “The natives do not want to belong to Germany.” Who asked them if they wanted to belong to someone else; and when have colonized peoples ever been asked whether they harbored good will and affection for their former colonial masters? Second: “The German colonies were not even properly administered by the Germans.” Germany had only gained these colonies a few decades before. Great sacrifices went into their expansion, and they were in the midst of an evolution which would have led to completely different results today than, for instance, in 1914. Yet we had nonetheless developed the colonies to such an extent that others considered them worth waging bloody battles with us to wrench them from our possession.

Third, it is claimed, “Those colonies had no real value.” Were this the case, this lack of value would also apply to other states, and hence it makes no sense that they are depriving us of them at all. Moreover, Germany has never demanded colonies for military purposes, but exclusively for economic ones.

It is obvious that the value of a certain territory may decrease in times of general prosperity; it is, however, just as obvious that such an assessment will undergo an immediate revision in times of distress. And today Germany is living in times of a difficult struggle for foodstuffs and raw materials. Sufficient imports are only conceivable given a steady and continuous increase in our exports. Thus the demand for colonies in a country as densely populated as our own will naturally be put forward again and again.

In concluding these remarks, I would like to take a stand on a document the British Government sent to the German Government on the occasion of the occupation of the Rhineland.

At the outset I would like to establish that we hold and are convinced that the English Government did everything in its power at that time to avoid an escalation of the European crisis, and that the document in question owes its existence to the desire to make a contribution toward untangling the situation at the time. It was nonetheless impossible for the German Government to provide an answer to these questions for reasons the Government of Great Britain will certainly appreciate.

We have chosen instead to settle some of these questions the most natural way of all in the practical handling of our relations with our neighboring states, and now that full German sovereignty and equality of rights have been restored, I would like to state conclusively that Germany will never again sign a treaty which is in any way irreconcilable with its honor, with the honor of the nation and the government representing it, or which is otherwise irreconcilable with Germany’s vital interests and thus cannot be upheld for any length of time.33 I do believe that this declaration will be easily comprehended by everyone.

The great tasks which have been commenced beyond this [the Four-Year Plan] shall be continued. Their goal will be to make the German Volk healthier and its life more comfortable. As external evidence of this great epoch of the resurrection of our Volk shall now stand the methodical expansion of several of the Reich’s major cities. Enhancing Berlin to become a true and genuine capital of the German Reich is the first priority. Therefore today-just as this is done for our road-building-I have appointed a General Building Inspector for Berlin who will be responsible for the structural enhancement of the Reich Capital and shall ensure that, despite the chaos of Berlin’s constructional development, the strong lines will be retained which do justice to the spirit of the National Socialist Movement and the individuality of the German Reich Capital. A period of twenty years has been allotted for the implementation of this plan.

May the Almighty God grant us the peace to be able to accomplish this tremendous task. Parallel to it there will be a large-scale enhancement of the Capital of the Movement, the City of the Reich Party Congresses and the City of Hamburg.

This, however, shall serve merely as a model for the general cultural evolution to which we aspire as the crowning glory of the internal and external freedom of the German Volk.

And finally, it shall be a task of the future to guarantee, in a constitution, for all time to come the true life of our Volk as it has now taken shape in the form of a state, and thus to elevate that life to become the immortal basic law for all Germans.

When I look back upon the great work of the four years lying behind us, you will understand that my initial feeling can be none other than that of gratitude to our Almighty God who allowed us to accomplish this work.

He blessed our work and enabled our Volk to stride unscathed and confident through all the perils lining its path.

I have had three unusual friends in my life: in my youth Poverty was my companion for many years. When the Great War came to a close, it was the deepest Regret at the collapse of our Volk that overcame me and prescribed my path. Since that January 30 four years ago I have met my third friend, Concern. Concern for the Volk and Reich entrusted to my leadership. It has never left me since, and will probably accompany me now until I am no more.

Yet how could a man be capable of bearing up under the weight of this concern if he did not, faithfully trusting in his mission, have the consent of Him who stands above us all? It is Fate with special tasks that so often compels men to he alone and forlorn. I also wish to thank Providence here and now that it enabled me to find a company of the most loyal fellow fighters who have linked their lives to mine and who have been at my side ever since, fighting with me for the resurrection of our Volk. I am so happy that I need not stride through the German Volk as a lonely man, but that beside me there are men comprising a guard whose name will live on in German history.

At this time I would like to thank my old comrades in arms who stood by me untiringly throughout these long, long years, and who are now giving me their help, either as Ministers, as Reichsstatthalters, as Gauleiters, or in other positions within the Party and the State. At present, there are fateful events taking place in Moscow which really reveal to us how highly that loyalty which binds leading men deserves to be valued.35 I would further like to extend my sincere thanks to those who, although they have not issued from the ranks of the Party, have come in the course of these years to constitute true helpers and companions in the leadership of the Reich Government and in the rest of the Volk. Today they all belong to us, though this very minute they may not yet have the symbol of our community.

I would like to thank the men and women who built up our Party organization and have so successfully headed it. Yet above all I must take this opportunity to thank the leaders of our Wehrmacht. They have made it possible to present the National Socialist weapon to the National Socialist State without any disturbance. Thus today the Party and the Wehrmacht constitute the two eternally-sworn guarantors of the assertion of our Volk’s life. We are also aware that all our deeds would have been in vain had not hundreds of thousands of Political Leaders, countless civil servants of the Reich and innumerable soldiers and officers stood by us loyally in the spirit of our uprising. And beyond that-had not the broad front of the entire German Volk stood behind us.

On this historic day, I must once again mention those millions of nameless German people who, from every walk of life, from every profession and factory and from every farm, have given of their heart and their love and their sacrifices for the new Reich. And we, too, Men and Deputies of the Reichstag, wish to join together to thank above all the German women, the millions of our mothers who have given the Third Reich their children. For what would be the sense in all our work, what would be the sense in the uprising of the German nation without our German youth? Every mother who has given our Volk a child in these four years has contributed, by her pain and her happiness, to the happiness of the entire nation. When I think of our Volk’s healthy youth, my faith in our future becomes transformed into joyful certainty. And I sense with heartfelt fervency the significance of that single word Ulrich von Hutten wrote before he set aside his quill for the last time:


Adolf Hitler – “New Year’s Proclamation to the National-Socialists and Party Comrades”


January 1, 1937

The year 1937 finds us National Socialists determined to take up the new and tremendous fight for the self-assertion of the nation in the economic sphere.

The Volk, politically liberated from the shackles of the Treaty of Versailles, will cast off its economic shackles as well in the coming four years. Above and beyond the mockery and talk of the others shall once more stand the National Socialist deed! May the pledge to that deed constitute a solemn oath this New Year.

Although there were some few little journalists who believed for four years that they were capable of doing away with the success of National Socialist work with their lies, reality has shown them unequivocal proof of the contrary. If today they attempt to raise doubts as to the success of the approaching four years with the same phrases, we shall impart to that attempt to mislead public opinion the same instruction in National Socialism: at the end of the four years lying before us it will prove true that the products of a determined will and tireless, diligent work are always greater than the results achieved by the actions of cavillers capable of nothing but incessant drivel.

Soldiers! Behind us lies a most significant year in the history of Germany’s defense.

Ever since March 7, 1936, our regiments have stood at the Rhine River once more. The introduction of the two-year conscription has consolidated the Wehrmacht and thereby has strengthened the defenses of the Reich.

I thank you for your dutiful loyalty. May you serve the eternal slogan next year as well:

Alles für Deutschland!

The Fuhrer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht:
Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler – Great speech to the Reichstag – 07.03.1936


March 7, 1936

Men of the German Reichstag!

The President of the German Reichstag, Party Comrade Goring, convened today’s session at my request in order to give you an opportunity to hear a declaration from the Reich Government pertaining to questions which instinctively are regarded not only by yourselves but by the entire German Volk as important, if not to say decisive.

When in the gray November days of 1918 the curtain was lowered on the bloody tragedy of the Great War …


However, I have a right to lay these views of mine open before you gentlemen, Deputies of the Reichstag, for they constitute both the explanation for our own political experience, for our internal work among the Volk and for our external standpoint.

Since the rest of the world often talks about a “German question,” it will be wise to reach for ourselves an objective clarification on the essence of this question. Some regard the “question” as being the German regime itself, as being the completely misunderstood difference between the German regime and the other regime, as being the so-called “rearmament” perceived as threatening, and as being all those things one imagines one sees as a mirage ensuing from this rearmament. For many, this question is rooted in the German Volk’s alleged lust for war, in its slumbering plans for offensive or in its diabolical skill in outwitting its opponents. No, my dear politicians! The German question is something entirely different.

Here we have sixty-seven million people62 living on a very limited and only partially fertile area. That means approximately 136 persons per square kilometer. These people are no less industrious than other European peoples; they are no less demanding; they are no less intelligent and they have no less will to live. They have just as little desire to allow themselves to be heroically shot dead for some fantasy as, for instance, a Frenchman or an Englishman does.

Neither are these sixty-seven million Germans more cowardly; and by no means do they have less honor than members of the other European nations.

Once they were torn into a war in which they believed no more than other Europeans and for which they bore just as little responsibility. Today’s young German of twenty-five had just celebrated his first birthday during the pre-war years and at the beginning of the war; thus, he can hardly be held responsible for this catastrophe of the nations. Yes, even the youngest German who could have been responsible was twenty-five years old when the German voting age was fixed. Hence he is today at least fifty years old. That means that the overwhelming majority of men in the German Volk were simply forced to take part in the war, just as was the bulk of the survivors from the French or English peoples. If they were decent, they did their duty then-if they were already of age-just as well as every decent Frenchman and Englishman. If they were not decent, they failed to do this and perhaps earned money instead or worked for the revolution. These people are no longer in our ranks today, but live for the most part as emigrants with some host or another. This German Volk has just as many merits as other peoples, and naturally just as many disadvantages and weaknesses, too.

The German question lay in the fact that this Volk-even as late as, for example, 1935, and on the basis of a guilt it had never committed-was to be made to suffer lesser rights which constitute an intolerable burden to an honorloving Volk, a torment to an industrious Volk, and an outrage to an intelligent Volk. The German question also means that one is attempting, by way of a system of unreasonable actions, measures and hate-filled incitements, to make even more difficult the already hard battle to assert the right to live, and to make it more difficult not only artificially, but perversely and absurdly.

For the rest of the world does not profit in the slightest from making it more difficult for Germany to maintain its life. There is eighteen times less land per capita of the population in respect to the German being than, for instance, in respect to a Russian. It is understandable how hard the mere fight for one’s daily bread must be and is. Without the efficiency and industriousness of the German peasant and the organizational ability of the German Volk, it would hardly be possible for these sixty-seven million to lead their lives. Yet what are we to think of the mental naivety of those who perhaps recognize these difficulties yet nonetheless celebrate our misery in childish glee in articles, publications and lectures, who moreover actually hunt down every indication of this, our inner plight, to tell it to the rest of the world? Apparently they would be pleased were our distress even worse, were we not able to succeed over and over again in making it bearable by industriousness and intelligence.

They have no idea how the German question would present a completely different picture were the abilities and industriousness of these millions to falter, whereby not only misery but also political unreason would come into evidence. This, too, is one of the German questions, and the world cannot but be interested in seeing that this matter of securing a German means of living year after year is successfully solved, just as it is my desire that the German Volk will also comprehend and respect a happy solution to these vital questions for other peoples, just as in its very own best interest.

However, mastering this German question is initially a matter involving the German Volk itself and need not concern the rest of the world. It touches upon the interests of other peoples only to the extent that the German Volk is forced, when solving this problem, to establish contact in an economic sense with other peoples as buyers and sellers.

And this is where, again, it will be solely in the interests of the rest of the world to understand this question, i.e. to comprehend the fact that the cry for bread in a Volk consisting of forty, fifty, or sixty million is not some sly feat of malice on the part of the regime or certain governments but rather a natural expression of the urge to assert one’s right to live; and that well-fed peoples are more reasonable than those who are hungry; and that not only the respective government should have an interest in securing sufficient nourishment for its citizens, but the surrounding states and peoples should as well; and that it therefore lies in the interest of all to make it possible to assert one’s right to live in the highest sense of the word. It was the privilege of the pre-war age to take up the opposite view and proclaim it a state of war, namely the opinion that one part of the European family of peoples would fare all the better, the worse another part fared The German Volk needs no special assistance to assert its own life. It wants, however, to have opportunities no worse than those given to other peoples. This is one of the German questions.

And the second German question is the following: because, as a result of the extremely unfortunate general circumstances and conditions, the economic life-struggle of the German Volk is very strenuous-whereas the intelligence, industriousness, and hence the natural standard of living are in contrast very high-an extraordinary exertion of all our energies is required in order to master this first German question. Yet this can only be accomplished if this Volk enjoys a feeling of political security in an external sense.

In this world, it is impossible to maintain-or much less lead-a Volk of honor and bravery as Helots for any length of time.

There is no better confirmation of the German Volk’s innate love of peace than the fact that, in spite of its ability and in spite of its bravery-which cannot be denied, even by our opponents-and in spite of this Volk’s large numbers, it has secured for itself only such a modest share of the Lebensraum and goods of this world. Yet it is above all this trait of concentrating increasingly on the inland, so characteristic of German nature, which cannot bear being abused or shamefully deprived of its rights.

In that the unfortunate Peace Treaty of Versailles was intended to fix the- historically unique-perpetuation of the outcome of the war in moral terms, it created that very German question which constitutes a critical burden to Europe if unsolved and, if solved, will be Europe’s liberation. And following the signing of the Peace Treaty in the year 1919, I set myself the task of one day solving this problem-not because I have any desire to do harm to France or any other state, but because the German Volk cannot, will not, and shall not bear the wrong done to it on the long term! In the year 1932, Germany stood at the brink of a Bolshevist collapse. What this chaos in such a large country would have meant for Europe is something perhaps certain European statesmen will have an opportunity to observe elsewhere in future. For my part, I was only able to overcome this crisis of the German Volk, which was most visibly manifest in the economic sector, by mobilizing the ethical and moral values common to the German nation. The man who wanted to rescue Germany from Bolshevism would have to bring about a decision on-and thus a solution for-the question of German equality of rights. Not in order to do harm to other peoples, but on the contrary: to perhaps even spare them great harm by preventing a catastrophe from engulfing Germany, the ultimate consequences of which would be unimaginable for Europe.

For the re-establishment of German equality of rights has had no harmful effect on the French people. Only the Red revolt and the collapse of the German Reich would have dealt the European order and the European economy a blow having consequences which, unfortunately, are virtually beyond the grasp of most European statesmen. This battle for German equality of rights which I waged for three years does not pose a European question, but answers one.

It is a truly tragic misfortune that of all things, the Peace Treaty of Versailles created a situation the French people thought they should be particularly interested in maintaining. As incapable as this situation was of holding any real advantages for the individual Frenchman, all the greater was the unreal connection which appeared to exist between the discrimination of the German Volk by Versailles and the interests of the French. Perhaps the character weakness of the German postwar years; of our Governments; and, in particular, of our parties, was also to blame for the fact that the French people and the serious French statesmen could not be made sufficiently aware of the inaccuracy of this view. For, the worse the individual governments before our time were, the more reason they themselves had to fear the national awakening of the German Volk. Therefore, they were all the more frightened of any type of national self-awareness, and thus all the more supportive in their attitude toward the widespread international defamation of the German people. Yes, they simply needed this disgraceful bondage to prop up their own sorry regimes. Where this regime finally led Germany was vividly illustrated in the imminent collapse.

Now, of course it was difficult, in view of the fact that our neighbors had become so firmly accustomed to non-equality of rights, to prove that a reestablishment of German equality of rights would not only do no harm to them, but on the contrary: in the final analysis, it would be useful internationally.

You, my Deputies and men of the Reichstag, know the difficult path I have had to take since that thirtieth of January 1933 in order to redeem the German Volk from its unworthy situation, to then secure for it, step by step, equality of rights, without removing it from the political and economic community of the European nations and, particularly, without creating a new enmity in the process of settling an old one.

One day I will be able to demand from history confirmation of the fact that at no time in the course of my struggle on behalf of the German Volk did I forget the duties I myself and all of us are obligated to assume toward maintaining European culture and civilization.

However, it is a prerequisite for the existence of this continent, which ultimately owes its uniqueness to the diversity of its cultures, that it is unthinkable without the presence of free and independent national states.

Each European people may be convinced that it has made the greatest contribution to our Western culture. On the whole, however, we would not wish to do without any of what the separate peoples have given, and thus we do not wish to argue over the value of their respective contributions. Rather, we must recognize that the greatest achievements in the most diverse areas of human culture doubtless stem from the rivalry between individual European accomplishments.

Therefore, although we are willing to cooperate in this European world of culture as a free and equal member, we are just as stubbornly determined to remain what we are.

In these three years, I have again and again attempted-unfortunately all too often in vain-to build a bridge of understanding to the people of France. The further we get from the bitterness of the World War and the years that followed it, the more the evil fades in human memory, and the more the better things of life, knowledge, and experience advance to the fore.

Those who once faced one another as bitter foes today honor each other as brave fighters in a great struggle of the past, and once again recognize one another as responsible for maintaining and upholding a great shared cultural inheritance.

Why should it not be possible to terminate the futile, centuries-old strife which has not brought either of the peoples a final settlement-and which never will-and replace it by the consideration of a higher reason? The German Volk has no interest in seeing the French suffer, and vice versa: how would France profit if Germany were to come to ruin? What use is it to the French peasant if the German peasant fares badly-or vice versa? Or what advantage does the French worker have from the distress of the German worker? And what blessing could it hold for Germany, for the German worker, the German Mittelstand, for the German Volk as a whole, if France were to fall prey to misfortune? I have attempted to solve the problems of a hate-filled theory of class conflict within Germany’s borders by means of a higher reason, and I have been successful. Why should it not be possible to remove the problem of the general European differences between peoples and states from the sphere of irrationality and passion and to place it in the calm light of a higher insight? In any case, I once swore to myself that I would fight with persistence and bravery for German equality of rights and make it a reality one way or another,63 but also that I would strengthen the feeling of responsibility for the necessity of mutual consideration and cooperation in Europe.

When today my international opponents confront me with the fact that I refuse to practice this cooperation with Russia, I must counter this assertion with the following: I rejected and continue to reject this cooperation not with Russia, but with the Bolshevism which lays claim to world rulership.

I am a German, I love my Volk and am attached to it. I know that it can only be happy if allowed to live in accordance with its nature and its way. The German Volk has been able not only to cry, but also to laugh heartily all its life, and I do not want the horror of the Communist international dictatorship of hatred to descend upon it. I tremble for Europe at the thought of what would lie in store for our old, heavily populated continent were the chaos of the Bolshevist revolution rendered successful by the infiltrating force of this destructive Asiatic concept of the world, which subverts all our established ideals. I am perhaps for many European statesmen a fantastic, or at any rate uncomfortable, harbinger of warnings. That I am regarded in the eyes of the international Bolshevist oppressors of the world as one of their greatest enemies is for me a great honor and a justification for my actions in the eyes of posterity.

I cannot prevent other states from taking the paths they believe they must or at least believe they can take, but I shall prevent Germany from taking this road to ruin. And I believe that this ruin would come at that point at which the leadership of state decides to stoop to become an ally at the service of such a destructive doctrine.

I would see no possibility of conveying in clear terms to the German worker the threatening misfortune of Bolshevist chaos which so deeply troubles me were I myself, as Fuhrer of the nation, to enter into close dealings with this very menace. As a statesman and the Fuhrer of the Volk, I wish to also do myself all those things I expect and demand from each of my Volksgenossen. I do not believe that statesmen can profit from closer contact with a Weltanschauung which is the ruin of any people.

In the past twenty years of German history, we have had ample opportunity to gain experience in this sector. Our initial contact with Bolshevism in the year 1917 brought us the revolution one year later. The second encounter with it sufficed to put Germany near the brink of a Communist collapse within but a few years’ time. I broke off these relations and thus jerked Germany back from the verge of destruction.

Nothing can persuade me to go any other way than that dictated by experience, insight and foresight.

And I know that this conviction has grown to become the most profound body of thought and ideas for the entire National Socialist Movement. With persistent tenacity we shall solve the social problems and tensions in our Volk by means of carrying on the evolutionary process, thereby ensuring for ourselves the blessing of a peaceful development from which all of our Volksgenossen will profit. And each of the many new tasks we will encounter in this process will fill us with the joy of those who are incapable of living without work and hence without a task to perform.

When I apply this basic attitude to European politics at large, I find that Europe is divided into two halves: one comprised of self-sufficient and independent national states, of peoples with whom we are linked a thousandfold by history and culture and with whom we wish to continue to be linked for all time in the same manner as with the free and self-sufficient nations of the non-European continents; and the other governed by the very same intolerant Bolshevist doctrine claiming general international supremacy, which even preaches the destruction of the immortal values-sacred to us-of this world and the next, in order to built a different world whose culture, exterior and content seem abhorrent to us. Except for the given political and economic international relations, we do not wish to have any closer contact with that.

It is infinitely tragic that, in conclusion of our long years of sincerely endeavoring to obtain the trust, sympathy and affection of the French people, a military alliance was sealed, the beginning of which we know today, but-if Providence is not once again more merciful than mankind deserves-the end of which will perhaps have unforeseeable consequences. In the past three years I have endeavored to slowly but surely establish the prerequisites for a German-French understanding. In doing so, I have never left a single doubt that an absolute equality of rights and thus the same legal status of the German Volk and State form part of the prerequisites for such an understanding. I have consciously regarded this understanding not only as a problem to be solved by means of pacts, but as a problem which must first be brought home psychologically to the two peoples, for it has to be prepared not only in mental, but also in emotional terms. Thus I was often confronted with the reproach that my offers of friendship contained no specific proposals. That is not correct.

I bravely and explicitly proposed everything that could in any way possibly be proposed to lessen the tension of German-French relations.

I did not hesitate on one occasion to join a concrete arms proposal for a limit of 200,000 men. When this proposal was abandoned by those responsible for drawing it up, I approached the French people and the European Governments with a new, quite specific proposal. This proposal for 300,000 men was also rejected. I have made a whole series of further concrete proposals aimed at eliminating the poison from public opinion in the individual states and at cleaning up methods of warfare, and thus ultimately at a slow yet, therefore, sure reduction in arms. Only one of these German proposals was given any real consideration. A British Government’s sense of realism accepted my proposal for establishing a permanent ratio between the German and English fleets, which both corresponds to the needs of German security and, conversely, takes into account the enormous overseas interests of a great world empire. I may also point out here that, to date, this agreement has remained practically the only truly considerate and thus successful attempt to limit arms. The Reich Government is willing to supplement this treaty by a further qualitative agreement with England.

I have expressed the very concrete principle that the collective programs of an international Paktomanie have as little chance of becoming reality as the general proposals for world disarmament which have been shown from the very onset to be impracticable under such circumstances. In contrast, I have stressed that these questions can only be approached step by step more specifically in that direction from which there is presumably the least resistance. Based upon this conviction, I have also developed the concrete proposal for an air pact grounded on a parity of strength between France, England and Germany. The consequence was that this proposal was initially ignored, and then a new Eastern-European-Asiatic factor was introduced on the stage of European equilibrium, the military ramifications of which are incalculable. Thus, for long years I took the trouble to make concrete proposals, yet I do not hesitate to state that the psychological preparation for the understanding has seemed just as important to me as the so-called concrete proposals, and I have done more in this area than any honest foreign statesman could ever have even hoped. I removed the question of the everlasting revision of European borders from the atmosphere of public discussion in Germany.64 Yet, unfortunately, it is often held, and this applies particularly to foreign statesmen, that this attitude and its actions are not of any particular significance. I may point out that it would have been equally possible for me as a German, in a moral sense, to place the restoration of the 1914 borders on my program and to support this item in publications and oratory, just as the French ministers and popular leaders did after 1871, for instance. My esteemed critics would do better not to deny me any ability whatsoever in this sector.

It is much more difficult for a National Socialist to persuade a Volk to come to an understanding than to do the opposite. And for me it would probably have been easier to whip up the instinct for revenge than to awaken and constantly amplify a feeling for the necessity of a European understanding. And that is what I have done. I have rid German public opinion of attacks of this sort against our neighboring peoples.

I have removed from the German press all animosity against the French people. I have endeavored to awaken in our youth a sense for the ideal of such an understanding, and was certainly not unsuccessful. When the French guests entered the Olympic Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen several weeks ago, they perhaps had an opportunity to observe whether and to what extent I have been successful in bringing about this inner conversion of the German Volk.

This inner willingness to seek and find such an understanding is, however, more important than clever attempts by statesmen to ensnare the world in a net of pacts obscure as to both legal and factual content.

These efforts on my part have, however, been twice as difficult because at the same time I was forced to disentangle Germany from the web of a treaty which had robbed it of its equality of rights and which the French people- whether rightly or wrongly is secondary-believed it to be in their best interest to uphold. Being a German nationalist, I above all was forced to make yet another particularly difficult sacrifice for the German Volk in that context.

At least in modern times, the attempt had not yet been made following a war to simply deny the loser its sovereign rights over large and long-standing parts of its empire. It was only in the interest of this understanding that I bore this, the most difficult sacrifice we could be made to bear politically and morally, and had intended to continue bearing it for the sole reason that I believed it was necessary to abide by a treaty65 which could perhaps contribute to eliminating the poison from the political atmosphere between France and Germany and England and Germany and to spreading a feeling of security on all sides.

Yes, beyond that I have often-in this forum, too-upheld the standpoint that we are not only willing to make this most difficult contribution to safeguarding peace in Europe as long as the other partners fulfill their obligations; furthermore, we view this treaty-because concrete-as the only possible attempt to safeguard Europe.

You, my Deputies, are acquainted with the letter and spirit of this treaty.

It was to prevent the use of force for all time between Belgium and France on the one hand and Germany on the other. But unfortunately the treaties of alliance which France had concluded at an earlier date presented the first obstacle, although this obstacle did not contradict the essence of that Pact, namely, the Rhine Pact of Locarno. Germany’s contribution to this Pact presented the greatest sacrifice, for while France fortified its border with steel, cement and arms, and equipped it with numerous garrisons, we were made to bear the burden of permanently maintaining total defenselessness in the West.

We nonetheless complied with this, too, in the hope of serving-by making that contribution, one so difficult for a major power-the cause of European peace and promoting an understanding between nations.

Now, this Pact is in contradiction to the agreement France entered into last year with Russia which has already been signed and just recently received the Chamber’s approval. For, by virtue of this new Franco-Soviet agreement, the threatening military power of a huge empire has been given access to Central Europe via the detour of Czechoslovakia, which has signed a similar treaty with Russia. The incredible thing in this context is that these two states have undertaken an obligation in their treaty, regardless of any presently existing or anticipated rulings of the Council of the League of Nations, to clarify the question of guilt in the event of an Eastern-European complication at their own discretion and to thus consider the obligation to render mutual assistance as given or not, as the case may be.

The claim that the former obligation was canceled in this Pact by virtue of a supplemental restriction is incomprehensible. I cannot in one context define a certain procedure as a clear breach of obligations otherwise valid and hence thereby assume that such procedure is binding, and in another context declare that no action is to be taken which violates these other obligations. In such a case, the first binding obligation would be unreasonable and thus make no sense.

But this is first and foremost a political problem and is to be rated as such with all its weighty significance.

France did not conclude this treaty with any arbitrary European power.

Even prior to the Rhine Pact, France had treaties of mutual assistance both with Czechoslovakia and with Poland. Germany took no offense at this, not only because such pacts-in contrast to the Franco-Soviet Pact-recognized the authority of rulings passed by the League of Nations, but also because the Czechoslovakia of that time, and particularly Poland as well, will always basically uphold a policy of representing these states’ own national interests.

Germany has no desire to attack these states and does not believe it will lie in the interest of these states to prepare an offensive against Germany. But above all: Poland will remain Poland, and France will remain France.

Soviet Russia, in contrast, is the exponent of a revolutionary Weltanschauung organized as a state. Its concept of the state is the creed of world revolution. It is not possible to rule out that tomorrow or the day after, this Weltanschauung will have conquered France as well. However, should this be the case-and as a German statesman I must be prepared-then it is a certainty that this new Bolshevist state would become a section in the Bolshevist International, which means that the decision as to aggression or non-aggression will not be made by two separate states according to their own objective judgment, but instead by directives issuing from a single source. And in the event of such a development, this source would no longer be Paris, but Moscow.

If only for mere territorial reasons, Germany is not in a likely position to attack Russia,66 yet Russia is all the more in a position to bring about a conflict with Germany at any time via the detour of its advanced positions. Ascertaining the aggressor would then be a foregone conclusion, for the decision would be independent of the findings of the Council of the League of Nations.

Allegations or objections that France and Russia would do nothing which might expose them to sanctions-on the part of England or Italy-are immaterial, because one cannot begin to gauge which type of sanctions might possibly be effective against such an overwhelming construction so unified in both weltanschaulich and military terms.

For many years we anxiously warned of such a development, not only because we have more to fear from it than others, but because it may one day bring with it dire consequences for the whole of Europe, if one attempts to dismiss these, our most serious apprehensions, by citing the unfinished state of the Russian instrument of war, or even its unwieldiness and unfitness for deployment in a European war. We have always combated this view, not because we are somehow of the conviction that the German is inherently inferior, but because we all know that numbers, too, have their own weight. We are all the more grateful that M. Herriot67 has just enlightened the French Chamber as to Russia’s aggressive-military significance. We know that M.

Herriot’s information was given to him by the Soviet Government itself, and we are certain that this party cannot have supplied the spiritual inspirer of the new alliance in France with false propaganda; we similarly do not doubt that M.

Herriot has given a true account of this information. Yet according to this information, it is a fact that the Russian army has a peacetime strength of 1,350,000 men; that secondly, it has a total of 17,500,000 men ready for war and in the reserves; that thirdly, it is equipped with the largest tank weaponry; and fourthly, that it supports the largest air force in the world.

Introducing this enormous military factor-which was described as being excellent in terms of its mobility and leadership as well as ready for action at any time-onto the Central European stage will destroy any genuine European equilibrium. This will furthermore present an obstacle to any possibility of estimating what means of defense on land and in the air are necessary for the European states involved, and particularly for the sole country targeted as an opponent: Germany.

This gigantic mobilization of the East against Central Europe contradicts not only the letter, but above all the spirit of the Locarno Pact. We are not alone in feeling this because we are directly involved; rather, this view thrives among innumerable intelligent men of all nations and has been openly upheld everywhere, as has been documented in publications and politics.

On February 21, a French journalist68 approached me with the request that I grant him an interview. Because I had been told that the person in question was one of those very Frenchmen who, like ourselves, is endeavoring to find ways of arriving at an understanding between our two peoples, I was all the less inclined to refuse, particularly since such an action would have instantly been interpreted as an indication of my lack of respect toward French journalism. I provided the desired information, just as I have openly given it in Germany hundreds and thousands of times, and I once more attempted to address the French people with a plea for the understanding to which we are dedicated with all our hearts and which we would so dearly like to see become reality. At the same time, however, I did express my deep regret as regards the threatening developments in France brought about by the conclusion of a pact for which, in our opinion, there was no conceivable necessity, yet which, were it to come into being, by necessity, would create a new state of affairs. As you all know, this interview was held back for reasons unknown to us and was not published until the day after ratification in the French Chamber.

As much as I will continue in the future to be ready and sincerely willing, as I stated in that interview, to promote this German-French understanding-for I see in it a necessary factor in safeguarding Europe from immeasurable dangers and because I do not expect and indeed am incapable of even perceiving any advantages whatsoever for the two peoples from any other course of behavior; while I do, however, perceive the gravest general and international dangers-I was all the more compelled by the knowledge of the final signing of this Pact to enter into a review of the new situation thus created and to draw the necessary conclusions.

These conclusions are of an extremely grave nature, and they fill us and myself personally with a bitter regret. However, I am obligated not only to make sacrifices for the sake of European understanding, but also to bow to the interests of my own Volk.

As long as a sacrifice meets with appreciation and understanding on the part of the opposition, I will gladly pursue that sacrifice and recommend to the German Volk that it do the same. Yet as soon as it becomes evident that a partner no longer values or appreciates this sacrifice, this must result in a onesided burden for Germany and hence in a discrimination we cannot tolerate. In this historic hour and within these walls, however, I would like to repeat what I stated in my first major speech before the Reichstag in May 1933: The German Volk would rather undergo any amount of suffering and distress than abandon the precept of honor and the will to freedom and equality of rights.

If the German Volk is to be of any value to European cooperation, it can be of value only as an honor-loving and hence equal partner. As soon as it ceases to be valuable in terms of this integrity, it becomes worthless in objective terms as well. I would not like to deceive ourselves or the rest of the world with a Volk which would then be completely without value, for it would lack the essentially natural feeling of honor.

I also believe, however, that even in the hour of such a bitter realization and grave decision, in spite of everything, one must not refrain from supporting European cooperation all the more and from seeking new ways to make it possible to solve these problems in a manner beneficial to all.

Thus I have continued my endeavors to express in specific proposals the feelings of the German Volk which is concerned for its security and willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of its freedom, but is likewise willing at all times to take part in a truly sincere and equally-valued European cooperation.

After a difficult inner struggle, I have hence decided on behalf of the German Reich Government to have the following Memorandum submitted to the French Government and the other signatories of the Locarno Pact: Memorandum Immediately after the Pact between France and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which was signed on May 2, 1935 became public, the German Government drew the attention of the Governments of the other signatory powers of the Rhine Pact of Locarno to the fact that the obligations which France assumed in the new Pact are not compatible with its obligations according to the Rhine Pact. At that time, the German Government submitted full legal and political justification for its standpoint: in legal terms in the German Memorandum dated May 25, 1935, and in political terms in the numerous diplomatic talks which followed in the wake of this Memorandum.

The Governments concerned are also aware that neither their written responses to the German Memorandum nor the arguments they brought forth via diplomatic channels or in public statements were able to discount the standpoint of the German Government.

In fact, the entire diplomatic and public discussion which has ensued since May 1935 on these questions has served merely to confirm every aspect of the position the German Government has taken from the very beginning.

1. It is an uncontested fact that the Franco-Soviet Agreement is directed exclusively against Germany.

2. It is an uncontested fact that, under the terms of this Agreement, France will undertake obligations in the event of a conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union which far exceed its duty pursuant to the Covenant of the League of Nations and which force it to take military action against Germany even if it can cite as grounds for such action neither a recommendation nor even an existing decision of the Council of the League of Nations.

3. It is an uncontested fact that, in such event, France will also be claiming for itself the right to decide at its own discretion who is the aggressor.

4. Thus it is established that France has entered into obligations vis-a-vis the Soviet Union which, in practice, are tantamount to its acting as though neither the Covenant of the League of Nations nor the Rhine Pact, which rests on such Covenant, were in effect.

This consequence of the Franco-Soviet Pact is not canceled out by the fact that France has therein made the reservation not to be under obligation to take military action against Germany if, by doing so, it were to expose itself to sanctions on the part of the Guarantor Powers Italy and Great Britain. Despite this reservation, however, what remains decisive is the fact that the Rhine Pact is based not only upon guarantees on the part of Great Britain and Italy, but primarily on the obligations governing the relations between France and Germany. Thus the sole question is whether France has remained within those limits imposed upon it by the Rhine Pact in regard to its relations with Germany when assuming these treaty obligations.

And the German Government must answer this question in the negative.

The Rhine Pact was intended to accomplish the goal of securing peace in Western Europe, in that Germany on the one hand and France and Belgium on the other were to renounce for all time the use of military force in their relations with one another. If specific exceptions to this renunciation of war extending beyond the right of self-defense were allowed at the conclusion of this Pact, the sole political reason lay, as was generally known, in the fact that France had earlier undertaken certain alliance obligations toward Poland and Czechoslovakia which it was not willing to sacrifice for the idea of unconditionally securing peace in the West. With a clear conscience, Germany decided to accept these limitations on the renunciation of war. It made no objection to the agreements with Poland and Czechoslovakia which France’s representative presented at Locarno, acting as it did under the obvious condition that these agreements were in line with the layout of the Rhine Pact and contained no provisions whatsoever on the implementation of Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations such as those contained in the new Franco-Soviet agreements.

This also corresponded to the contents of such special agreements as disclosed to the German Government at that time. The exceptions allowed for in the Rhine Pact are not, however, explicitly worded so as to apply only to Poland and Czechoslovakia, but are rather formulated in the abstract. Yet it was the aim of all respective negotiations to merely bring about a balance between the German-French renunciation of war and France’s desire to maintain the alliance obligations it had already undertaken.

If France now attempts to draw an advantage from the abstract wording of the possibilities of war allowed pursuant to the Rhine Pact in order to conclude a new alliance against Germany with a state heavily armed with military weapons; if it chooses to continue, in such a decisive fashion, to impose limits on the renunciation of war stipulated between itself and Germany; and if, in the process, it does not even confine itself to the established formal legal limitations, as stated above, it has ultimately created a completely new situation and destroyed-in both spirit and fact-the political system of the Rhine Pact.

The most recent debates and resolutions of the French Parliament have shown that France is determined-notwithstanding Germany’s standpoint-to definitely put the Pact with the Soviet Union into effect; talks on the diplomatic level have even revealed that France already regards itself as bound to the Pact by virtue of having signed it on May 2, 1935. However, faced with such a development in European politics, the German Reich Government cannot stand idle unless it wishes to abandon or betray the interests of the German Volk duly entrusted to it.

In negotiations in recent years, the German Government has consistently stressed that it intended to abide by and fulfill all of the obligations arising from the Rhine Pact as long as the other contracting parties were willing, on their part, to stand by this Pact. This obvious condition can no longer be deemed to exist as regards France. France responded to Germany’s repeated friendly advances and assurances of peace by violating the Rhine Pact by virtue of a military alliance with the Soviet Union directed exclusively against Germany.

Hence the Rhine Pact of Locarno has lost its inherent meaning and ceased, in a practical sense, to exist. As a consequence, Germany no longer views itself as bound for its part to this lapsed Pact. The German Government is now compelled to react to the new situation created by this alliance, a situation aggravated by the fact that the Franco-Soviet Agreement has been supplemented by a treaty of alliance between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union with arrangements which are exactly parallel. In the interest of the primal right of a people to safeguard its borders and maintain its possibilities of defense, the German Reich Government has today re-established the full and unlimited sovereignty of the Reich in the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.

However, in order to prevent any misinterpretation of its intentions and to erase any doubt as to the purely defensive character of these measures, as well as to lend emphasis to its eternally given yearning for a true pacification of Europe between states enjoying equal rights and equal respect, the German Reich Government declares its willingness to assent to the following proposals for new agreements towards establishing a system for securing peace in Europe:

1. The German Reich Government declares its willingness to immediately enter into negotiations with France and Belgium concerning the formation of a mutually demilitarized zone and to give its consent to such a proposal from the very beginning, regardless of extent and effects, under the condition, however, of complete parity.

2. The German Reich Government proposes that for the purpose of ensuring the intactness and inviolability of the borders in the West, a nonaggression pact be concluded between Germany, France and Belgium, whereby it is willing to fix the term of same at twenty-five years.

3. The German Reich Government desires to invite England and Italy to sign this treaty as Guarantor Powers.

4. The German Reich Government agrees, in the event that the Royal Dutch Government so desires, and the other contracting parties hold it to be fitting, that the Netherlands be included in this treaty system.

5. The German Reich Government is willing to conclude an air pact as a further reinforcement of these security arrangements between the Western Powers which shall suffice to effectively and automatically ban the risk of unexpected air attacks.

6. The German Reich Government repeats its offer to conclude nonaggression pacts with the states bordering Germany to the East such as that with Poland. Due to the fact that the Lithuanian Government has made a certain correction in its position regarding the Memel territory within the past months, the German Reich Government withdraws the exception it was once compelled to make as regards Lithuania and declares its willingness, under the condition of an effective development of the guaranteed autonomy for the Memel territory, to sign such a non-aggression pact with Lithuania as well.

7. Now that final equality of rights has been achieved for Germany and its complete sovereignty over the entire German Reich territory has been restored, the German Reich Government regards the main reason for its earlier withdrawal from the League of Nations as having been remedied. Thus it is willing to once more join the League of Nations. In this context, it may state that it anticipates that, within the course of an appropriate period, both the question of colonial equality of rights and the question of separating the Covenant of the League of Nations from its Versailles foundation will be settled by way of amicable negotiations.

Men, Deputies of the German Reichstag! In this historic hour when German troops are presently occupying their future garrisons of peace in the Reich’s western provinces, may we all join together to stand by two sacred, inner vows: First, to the oath that we shall never yield to any power or any force in restoring the honor of our Volk and would rather perish honorably from the gravest distress than ever capitulate before it.

Secondly, to the vow that now more than ever shall we dedicate ourselves to achieving an understanding between the peoples of Europe and particularly an understanding with our Western peoples and neighbors. After three years, I believe that today the struggle for German equality of rights can be deemed concluded.

I believe that the initial reason for our earlier withdrawal from a collective European cooperation has now ceased to exist. If we are now, therefore, once more willing to return to this cooperation, we are doing so with the sincere desire that these events and a retrospective on those years will aid us in cultivating a deeper understanding of this cooperation among other European peoples as well. We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. Above all, we are aware that all the tensions resulting either from erroneous territorial provisions or from the disproportion between the size of a population and its Lebensraum can never be solved by wars in Europe. However, we do hope that human insight will help to alleviate the painfulness of this state of affairs and relieve tensions by means of a gradual evolutionary development marked by peaceful cooperation.

Specifically, I sense today above all the necessity to honor those obligations imposed upon us by the national honor and freedom we have regained, obligations not only to our own Volk, but to the other European states as well.

Hence at this time I would like to recall to the minds of European statesmen the thoughts I expressed in the thirteen points of my last speech here with the assurance that we Germans are gladly willing to do everything possible and necessary toward putting these very realistic ideals into practice.

My Party Comrades! For three years now I have headed the Government of the German Reich and thus the German Volk. Great are the achievements which Providence has allowed me to accomplish for our Vaterland these three years. In every area of our national, political, and economic life, our position has improved. Yet today I may also confess that, for me, this time was accompanied by numerous cares, countless sleepless nights and days filled with work. I was only able to do all this because I have never regarded myself as a dictator of my Volk, but always as its Fuhrer alone and thus as its agent. In the past, I fought for the inner approval of the German Volk for my ideals for fourteen years, and then by virtue of its trust, I was appointed by the venerable Field Marshal. But since then I have drawn all my energy solely from the happy consciousness of being inseparably bound up with my Volk as a man and as Fuhrer. I cannot close this historic period, in which the honor and freedom of my Volk have been restored, without now asking the German Volk to grant to me-and hence to all my co-workers and co-fighters-in retrospect their approval for everything I have had to do during those years in the way of making decisions that often appeared stubborn, in carrying out harsh measures, and in demanding difficult sacrifices.

Therefore, I have come to the decision to dissolve the German Reichstag today so that the German Volk may pass its judgment on my leadership and that of my co-workers. In these three years, Germany has regained once more its honor, found once more a faith, overcome its greatest economic crisis, and ushered in a new cultural ascent. I believe I can say this as my conscience and God are my witnesses. I now ask the German Volk to strengthen me in my belief and to continue giving me, through the power of its will, power of my own to take a courageous stand at all times for its honor and freedom and to ensure its economic well-being; above all, to support me in my struggle for real peace.

Adolf Hitler – speech in the Bürgerbräukeller

Adolf Hitler - Buergerbraeukeller

Munich, November 8, 1936

I took the first step when I made the decision to found the Movement. And it was a very difficult decision indeed for me to imprison the Bavarian Government and proclaim a national revolution in Germany. For the first time one was forced to make a decision on life and death without having been given any orders. And I believe that was a good thing; in the past three-and-a-half years I have had to make very difficult decisions [on life and death] in which, at times, the fate of the entire nation was on the line. Unfortunately, I never had that famous fifty-one-percent certainty when doing so. Often enough there was a ninety-five-percent chance of failing and merely a five-percent chance of succeeding. Yet perhaps that eighth of November 1923 helped me to later be able to decide on issues fraught with danger. Moreover, that decision became an important lesson for the future.

Perhaps that is the achievement of which I am personally most proud and for which history will surely one day give me the most credit: the fact that I succeeded not only in not shattering the Army, but in forming it into cadres for the new German Volksarmee.

And this gives us all a deep sense of inner satisfaction: when I appeared in this hall for the first time, I myself was still a soldier. All of us came from the old army, we all wore this garb, and it was because we were all so very attached to this gray garb that we were unable to ever reconcile ourselves with the revolution that had sullied this garb! It was as soldiers we began this struggle, and as politicians we won it out! Yet the wonderful thing about this struggle is that we have now been able to present the German Volk with a new gift of the old army. And just as the old army once fought for the old Reich, so shall the new army-if ever the hour so require-fight and prevail for the new Reich.

There is but a single difference: when the old army went off to war, it was armed with weapons against everything but the propaganda of infiltration and decay. Today the Army carries with it the talisman of political immunity against every attempt to infiltrate this Army.218 Never again will our opponents succeed there. This Army is the National Socialist Army of the new Reich, and by virtue of the fact that, year for year, we send one generation after another from our National Socialist offspring into this Army, it becomes ever more closely bound up with our modern Volk and its spirit. We are increasingly endowing it with the strength of our Weltanschauung. This is perhaps the greatest achievement of all we have accomplished after these many long years.

This is the one thing of which I am personally most proud. I believe that one day posterity will give me the most credit that I did not confine Germany to defenselessness for fifteen years, but that I succeeded in creating, in scarcely four years’ time, a great German National Socialist Volksarmee from the army of 100,000; that all those who might otherwise have become our enemies are working and helping us in this Army. When the trial came to a close in 1924, I predicted-back then-that the hour would come in which both phenomena would unite to become one. And that prediction has now come to pass! Cannot we thus quite rightly say that those who were killed in 1923 did not die in vain; that their sacrificial death was worth it? I hold that, were they to rise from the dead, theirs would be eternal bliss were they to see what has now come to be. [—]There are perhaps those who say, “You’re virtually making them into martyrs!” Yes, that is my intention. I want to make of these dead the first sixteen martyrs of the National Socialist Movement, sixteen persons who were killed believing in something completely new that would only become a reality ten years later. Sixteen persons who marched under a completely new flag to which they pledged their oath of allegiance sealed with their blood. These sixteen made the utmost sacrifice and deserve that we keep them in constant remembrance.

Hence it is my wish that for all time, beyond centuries and millenniums, the National Socialist Party and with it the whole of Germany shall always commemorate this sacrifice on this day, that they may thus remember these men again and again. [-] That is also why we are gathered together here once more today, thirteen years after that day. This year in particular we have very strong reasons to evoke a recollection of that former time. For today I can assure you: this is the first time I am celebrating this day of commemoration without deep concern for our German Volk. I can already see the time coming in which our own numbers will slowly decrease and the young circle of new and coming generations will rise up around us. Yet one thing I know is that even after the last one of us has fallen from our ranks, the youth will hold our flag clenched firmly in their hands and be ever mindful of those men who believed-in the age of Germany’s deepest humiliation-in a shining resurrection.