Adolf Hitler – speech at the International Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition – 17.02.1939

Berlin, February 17, 1939

For the seventh time, I have the pleasure of opening an exhibition which affords us insight not only into the workings of one of the most important branches of industry in our country, but also of a large part of the world.

Within the framework of the Four-Year Plan, we sought to free motorization in Germany from dependence on factors abroad and to establish our own independent raw material base. After only a few years, the results of this effort may today already be called gigantic. In part, they have led to overwhelming new inventions whose superiority renders it unnecessary to use raw materials formerly [involved in the production process], even should they be abundantly available once more in the future.

In an overview of these facts, which in themselves reveal to us the greatness of the results attained, we note the striking evidence of the gigantic increase in production, the extraordinary rise in exports, the lowering of prices for certain models of automobiles and motorcycles, and above all, the excellent work in detail. I open an exhibition today which will splendidly demonstrate these achievements. In spite of this, along with a few smaller tasks and current problems, there remain great tasks yet to be accomplished:

1. It was understandable that, in times of grave concern for sales, each individual firm, more or less nervously, tried to scan the market and its requirements. Hence, as I already pointed out in my last speech, each firm seized that model which apparently held the greatest promise, without considering how many other factories were already involved with this particular model, or the potential size of the series already in production at any one factory. The resulting competition precluded a potential decrease in prices for certain models. Furthermore, it was understandable that, under the circumstances, a relentless competition for customers ensued which led to an exaggeration of the mechanical element. This meant the incorporation of any type of innovation in the car, no matter how insignificant its practical application, simply because of the belief that one had to oblige a highly selective customer.

The conditions which led to this technically and economically undesirable phenomenon no longer exist today. It is less the task of today’s German automobile industry to seek potential customers than to satisfy the demands of existing customers. The demand for automobiles is overwhelming. The following are necessary in order to satisfy this demand:

a) Lower prices. This is possible in the long run only if one instills order in the types of models produced. This means that individual firms must achieve a consensus on the type of models to be produced and restrict the overall number of models. Indeed, there must be a simplification of the production program to very few models. It is crucial to augment the total production of automobiles instead of increasing the number of models offered. The multitude of these would ultimately lead to a splintering off into an infinity of models, encumbering the production process and possibly lowering total output.

b) Justice can be done to this call for lower prices only if the weight of cars, particularly of those in mass production, is significantly lowered. Every kilogram of steel needlessly tacked onto an automobile not only raises its costs and its retail price, but also maintenance expenditures. This in turn leads to more gas being used up, tires wearing out more quickly, and street surfaces needing more frequent replacement. Moreover, a 3,000-kilogram automobile performs no better than one in a 2,000-kilogram category, but needlessly taxes the raw materials at our disposal. Two cars in such a heavy weight class simply rob us of the materials needed to produce a third one.

I do understand that, in the end, the industry was not capable of arriving at such an ordering of its production on its own. Therefore, I appointed Colonel von Schell as plenipotentiary to see to these tasks being carried out. He is presently issuing binding directives to all appropriate offices within the framework of the Four-Year Plan. His activities have already resulted in exceptional results and hold great promise. He will be in a position to account for his activities for the first time at the 1940 exhibition. The resulting further decline in prices for our automobile industry will undoubtedly have a positive effect on exports.

2. Let the new Volkswagen represent an enormous, real avowal of these principles. All those concerned are called on to devote the greatest energy to press forward the construction of its factory. I sincerely rejoice in being able to afford you a glance at the car for the first time in this exhibition. The Volkswagen’s ingenious designer has bestowed an object of extraordinary value on the German Volk and the German economy. It is up to us now to persevere in our efforts to shortly begin mass production of this car.

3. The pending increase in the flow of motorized traffic, due to the Volkswagen and the introduction of a series of low-price trucks, now forces us to take steps necessary to ensure traffic safety. In a period of six years, the German Volk sacrifices nearly as many men to automobile-related accidents as it did in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. This cannot be tolerated. Though the beneficial cooperation of State and Party offices, and the deployment of traffic police and NSKK patrols has already brought some relief, these results can neither be regarded as satisfactory nor can the situation be regarded as tolerable.

Above all, there are certain principles and duties all those who participate in traffic on German roads must be aware of: When someone causes an accident today, whether he be the engineer or the switchman, then the responsible party will be regarded as an unscrupulous criminal who is indifferent to the life of his contemporaries, and he will be punished accordingly. The driver of a private vehicle bears similar responsibility not only regarding his own life, to which he may be indifferent or which may be of little value, but for that of other participants in traffic.

Whoever nonchalantly endangers these lives acts in a criminal manner and without any scruples.

Those who cause the nation to lose 7,000 men annually, in addition to imparting to it the care of 30,000 to 40,000 injured, are parasites on the Volk.

They act irresponsibly. They shall be punished as a matter of course, provided they do not escape the Volksgemeinschaft’s wrath by dying themselves.

It is truly not an art to drive fast and to endanger the lives of others. Rather it is a great art to drive safely, i.e. carefully. Lack of caution coupled with high speed is the most common cause of automobile crashes. And it is discouraging to realize that the majority of those driving could easily spare the extra ten, twenty, or even thirty minutes which, at best, they can hope to save by their insane reckless driving (Wahnsinnsraserei), even on long stretches.

This constitutes a call for all those involved in the training of our drivers.

One should point out that the new roads in Germany, especially the Autobahn, distinguish themselves in allowing for a high average speed, although peak speeds may well be relatively low. The Reichsautobahnen were not built, as many mistakenly believe, for a speed of 120 to 140 kilometers per hour, but rather for an average, let us say, of eighty kilometers. This is easily obtained by driving at a near-constant speed. In the end, this speed over long distances far exceeds that of even our most rapid trains.

Speaking on a matter of principle, it is indeed un-National-Socialist behavior to be inconsiderate towards other Volksgenossen. At this point, I would like to say today that I expect, in particular of representatives of National Socialist institutions, that, in this realm as well, what otherwise would be mere lip service to the Volksgemeinschaft, will become a matter of course for them. Besides, in the context of our national supply of raw materials, it is absolutely senseless to drive at speeds which increase the rate at which tires need replacement twice or even three or four times. Naturally, these speeds also cause an uneconomical fuel consumption. In general, our race cars and their drivers set speeds and records for performance, as do others who promote motorization. They do not need the support of more or less talented amateur drivers. Consideration for one’s fellow man should have priority for all those on our streets; otherwise they cannot expect the Volksgemeinschaft or the state to show consideration to them. All of us should unite to make our country not only the one with the greatest traffic density, but also the one where traffic is the safest. In the interest of maintaining this traffic safety, the state stands determined to mercilessly destroy and exterminate those criminal elements which set up road traps and rob taxi drivers, and commit murder.

I wish to take advantage of today’s occasion to thank all those who have not only contributed to the domestic significance of the German automobile and motorcycle industry, but also to its renown worldwide: the businessmen for their enterprising spirit; inventors, engineers, and technicians for their ingenuity; and masters of their trade and laborers for their astounding achievements. The German Volk today can justly be proud of the marvels of an industry which once took its first, gingerly steps toward practical application in this country.

In this spirit, I hereby declare the 1939 International Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition in Berlin open to the public.

Adolf Hitler – great speech to the German Reichstag – 30.01.1939

Berlin, January 30, 1939

Greatly disconcerted about the future of my Volk, I moved into Wilhelmstrasse on January 30, 1933. Today-six years later-I am able to speak before this first Greater German Reichstag! Truly, we are today better equipped than any generation before us to appreciate the pious import of the saying: “What a turn of events brought about by divine dispensation!”Six years sufficed to fulfill the dreams of many a century; one year to afford our Volk enjoyment of the unity which many a generation yearned for in vain.

When I look at you today, the representatives of our German Volk from all Gaus of the Reich gathered around me, and I know the elected men of the Ostmark and the Sudetenland to be among you, then I am once more overwhelmed by those tremendous impressions recollected from that one year which realized the longings of centuries. How much blood was shed for this object-for naught! How many millions of German men strode forth on this bitter path throughout the years, conscious or unconscious of the higher ambitions they served-a path which led them to a swift or painfully prolonged death. How many others were condemned to end their lives behind fortress or dungeon walls, lives they sought only to dedicate to Greater Germany! How many hundreds of thousands, bending under the yoke of misery and worry, were forced to join that never-ending stream of German emigrants surging forth into the world, for decades cherishing the memory of the unfortunate homeland, after generations forgetting her. And now, in the span of this one year, a dream has come true.

It was not realized without a fight, as many an forgetful bourgeois might believe. For before this year of German unity, a political idea had to struggle fanatically for nearly two decades. Hundreds of thousands, millions risked their lives, their physical existence and economic livelihood. They put up with mockery and scorn as willingly as they faced abusive treatment, base defamation, and near-unbearable terror. Throughout the German Gaus, countless corpses and the injured splattered with blood bore witness to this struggle. And, moreover, this success was secured by an immeasurable rallying of willpower and perseverance in valiant and zealous determination. I must say this today because there is a danger that certain elements who contributed the least to the practical implementation of German unity now seek, as brash orators, to appropriate to themselves the creation of this Reich. They portray the events of 1938 as a most natural, long-overdue, foregone conclusion, only belatedly realized by National Socialism.

To counter these elements, I must first state that perseverance through this year required a strength of nerves of which these dwarfs have not an inkling.

They are well-known to us, these old incorrigible pessimists, skeptical and apathetic, who throughout the twenty years of our struggle made a positive contribution by making none. Now, after the victory, these self-proclaimed experts of the national uprising feel called on to contribute their comments and criticism to it.

I will now in a few sentences offer you an objective recapitulation of the historic events in this memorable year 1938.

Friday evening [March 11, 1938] a plea reached me, in the interest of preenting anarchy and chaos in this country, to order German troops to march.

Already by 10:00 p.m., units were crossing the border at several locations. The general invasion began at 6:00 in the morning [March 12, 1938], to the great and unforgettable jubilation of the people now finally liberated.

The man responsible for these developments was the then State President Dr. Beneš, who transformed Czechoslovakia into the exponent of the outside world’s hostile intentions against the Reich. It was he who, on the prodding and with the active participation of certain foreign circles,carried out the mobilization in May a year ago which sought first to provoke the German Reich and, second, to do injury to the German Reich’s prestige abroad.

The fictitious report of a German mobilization allegedly forcing Czechoslovakia to mobilize its armed forces was maintained and propagated, despite an official declaration twice conveyed at my bidding to the Czech State President Beneš, stating that Germany had not mobilized even a single soldier, and in spite of identical assertions to representatives of foreign powers. Insistent demands called for Germany to countermand the fictitious mobilization order and to renounce its pretenses. Beneš labored to spread the rumor that the determined nature of the steps he had taken had forced the German Reich back within its appropriate borders. Since the Reich had neither mobilized its forces nor entertained any intentions of attacking Czechoslovakia, this situation would have entailed without a doubt a serious loss of prestige for the Reich.

Because of this unbearable provocation, which was exacerbated by the truly infamous persecution and terrorization of our Germans there, I have decided to resolve the Sudeten German question in a radical manner and to resolve it once and for all.

On May 28, I issued orders: a) for the preparation of a military intervention against this state on October 2, b) for the intensification and expansion of our fortified line of defense to the West.

For the remainder of the confrontation with Herr Beneš and for the defense of the Reich against any attempts to influence or threaten it, there was a plan for the immediate mobilization of ninety-six divisions, to be reinforced if necessary by a great number of additional units within a short time period.

The developments during the summer months and the situation of the Germans in Czechoslovakia proved these precautions to have been appropriate.

When certain newspapers and politicians in the outside world insist that Germany is threatening other peoples by military extortion, it is on the grounds of a grossly distorted rendition of the facts. Germany has merely realized the right to self-determination of ten million German Volksgenossen in this area in which neither the English nor other Western nations have any business meddling. The Reich does not pose a threat to anyone, it has merely defended itself against the attempts at intervention by third parties.

There is no need for me to assure you, my Deputies, Men of the German Reichstag, that, in the future also, we will not stand for the Western states meddling in certain affairs, which concern us exclusively, in order to preclude by their intervention the arrival at natural and reasonable solutions.

Therefore, all of us were happy about the initiative of our friend Benito Mussolini and at the also highly appreciated readiness of Chamberlain and Daladier which allowed us to find elements for a peaceful settlement of a situation which demanded immediate attention. Moreover, this can justly be regarded as evidence of the possibility of a reasoned treatment of certain problems of vital interest and their resolution. However, without the determination to resolve this problem in one way or another, such an agreement between the great European powers could not have become a reality.

Hence, we have before us toda a form of representation of the German Volk which can claim to be a truly constituent body.

The German Volk of earlier decades, politically and socially disorganized, squandered large part of its inherent strength in an inner struggle as fruitless as it was senseless. The so-called democratic freedom to live to the full according to one’s persuasions and instincts leads not to an evolutionary advancement nor to a freeing of exceptional forces or values. Instead, it leads to a squandering of the existing wealth of the creative potential of the individual and to his ultimate paralysis. By putting an end to this fruitless struggle, National Socialism released the inner strength otherwise suppressed and set it free to realize the vital interests of the nation in the sense of managing the great community tasks in the interior of the Reich and securing the vital necessities for the community with regard to the surrounding world.

It is complete nonsense to presume that obedience and discipline are useful only to soldiers and that they have no further application in the life of peoples beyond this. To the contrary: a Volksgemeinschaft instilled with discipline and obedience can far more easily mobilize the forces necessary to secure the survival of its own people, thereby benefiting other peoples and serving the interests of all more effectively.

Such a Volksgemeinschaft cannot be created by force primarily, however, but by the compelling force of the idea itself, hence, through the toil of a continuing education.

There are indeed men whom neither the greatest of calamities nor earthshattering upheaval can incite to inner reflection or induce to spiritual action.

Their hearts beat no more. They are of no value to the community. They cannot make history and history cannot be made with them. Their blase decadence and narrow-mindedness expose them as a useless waste product of nature (Ausschussware der Natur). They find some consolation, even satisfaction, in considering what they hold to be their cleverness or wisdom elevating them to a lofty height above the events of the day; in other words, in the contemplation of their own ignorance.

Now it is easy to imagine that, without such ignorant men, a Volk may well be capable of the greatest actions and deeds. However, it is impossible to imagine a nation, much less to lead it, which has at its core a multitude of such ignorant men instead of a mass of full-blooded, idealistic, believing, and positive men.

They constitute the only valuable elements in a Volksgemeinschaft. You will allow them a thousand weaknesses, if only they possess the strength to give all they have, if necessary, for an ideal or for an idea.

My Deputies, we still face enormous, gigantic tasks! We must build up a new class of leaders for our Volk. Its composition is subject to racial criteria.

Through the educational system and the methods we employ, it is equally necessary to demand and secure valor and readiness to take on responsibility as natural prerequisites to the assumption of public office.

In assigning men to posts of leadership in State and Party, attitude and character are to be valued more highly than so-called purely scientific or supposed mental qualifications. For, wherever leadership has to be exercised, it is not abstract knowledge which is decisive, but instead the inborn ability to lead and therefore a high degree of readiness to take on responsibility, of determination, courage, and persistence.

In principle, we must realize that documented proof of a presumedly firstclass scientific education can never compensate for a lack of readiness to take on responsibility. Knowledge and leadership abilities, and hence vigor, are not mutually exclusive. In case of doubt, however, knowledge cannot serve as a substitute for attitude, courage, valor, and initiative, under any circumstances.

These attributes are the more important ones in terms of the leadership of a Volksgemeinschaft in Party and State.

When I express this to you, my Deputies, I do so under the impression of that year of German history which has taught me, more than my entire previous life, how important and irreplaceable these virtues are and how, in a critical hour, one man of action weighs more than one thousand sophisticated weaklings. As a social phenomenon this new selection of leadership has to be divorced from the numerous prejudices, which I can only term phoney and profoundly nonsensical social morals.

There is no attitude which does not have its ultimate justification in the resulting advantages for the community. What is unimportant or detrimental to the existence of the community can never be seen as moral in the service of a social order. Above all: a Volksgemeinschaft is conceivable only in recognition of laws which apply to all. You cannot expect or demand of one that he abide by principles which seem absurd, detrimental, or merely unimportant in the eyes of another.

I fail to comprehend the endeavors of dying social classes, seeking to hide behind a hedge of withering class laws which have become unreal and divorcing themselves from reality to sustain life artificially. Nothing can be said against it, if it is being done in an effort to secure a calm cemetery where to rest after passing away. However, if it is being done in order to erect a barrier against the progress of life, then the storm of a forward charging youth will brush away the old scrub.

Today’s German Volksstaat knows no social prejudices. Hence, it knows no special social morals. It knows only the laws and necessities of life, as they reveal themselves to man through reason and knowledge.

The unity of the entire German Volkskorper, whose foremost guarantors you are and will continue to be, my Deputies, affords me the certainty that whatever tasks pose themselves to our Volk, the National Socialist State will resolve them sooner or later! Whatever the nature of the difficulties we encounter may be, the valor and the courage of its leadership will master them!

  1. We fight a truly gigantic struggle to which we have dedicated the entire force and energy of our Volk, and
  2. we will win this struggle without reservations; yes, indeed, we have already won it! For what is the reason for all our economic troubles? Simply the overpopulation of our Lebensraum! And in this context, I can only hold out to these critical gentlemen in the West and in the democracies beyond Europe one simple fact and one simple question: The German Volk survives with 135 inhabitants per square kilometer without any exterior assistance and without access to its earlier savings. The rest of the world has looted Germany throughout the past one-and-a-half decades, has burdened it with enormous debt payments. Without any colonies, its people are nonetheless fed and clothed and, moreover, Germany boasts no unemployment. And now to my question: Who among our so-called great democratic powers is in a position to say as much of itself?! [-] To him on whom nature has bestowed bananas for free,the struggle for survival necessarily will appear far easier than to the weary German peasant who, all year round, toils to sow and reap on his plot of soil. And, therefore, we insist that this carefree, internationalist banana picker refrain from finding fault with the labor of our German peasant.

The dilemma we shall then face can only be resolved in two ways:

  1. through an increase in the import of foodstuffs which necessitates an increase in the export of German manufactured goods in due consideration of the fact that raw materials used in the production process have to be imported initially and hence only a fraction of profit remains for the purchase of foodstuffs, or
  2. through an expansion of Lebensraum for our Volk, thereby establishing an economic circle to secure the production of sufficient foodstuffs for Germany domestically. Since the second approach is as yet [!] impossible to pursue due to the persistent delusions of the one-time victorious powers, we are forced to follow along the path of the first proposition. This means we must export in order to be able to purchase food from abroad. Since these exported goods use up raw materials which we ourselves do not possess, this means we must export yet more goods to secure these raw materials for our economy. We are compelled not by capitalist considerations, as this may be the case in other countries, but by dire necessity, the most excruciating which can befall a people, namely, concern for its daily bread.

And when foreign statesmen threaten us with economic sanctions, for what reason I do not know, then all I can do is to assure them that this would lead to a desperate struggle for economic survival. We could far more easily hold our own in such a struggle than those other satiated nations, for our motive for entering into this struggle would be a very simple one: German Volk, either live, i.e. export, or perish! And I can assure all these doubters abroad that the German Volk will not perish; it will live! And, if necessary, this German Volk will place at its leadership’s disposal its entire capacity for work realized in the new National Socialist community. It will take up this struggle and it will persevere in this struggle. And as far as its leadership is concerned, I can only assure you that it stands determined to do whatever is necessary.

A final resolution of this problem in a reasonable manner will only come about when the greed of certain peoples has been conquered by the insights of human common sense and reason if one accepts that insistence on injustice is not only detrimental politically, but also useless economically, indeed that it spells insanity.

Given the present circumstances, we have no recourse other than to persist in the continuation of our previous economic policy which must undertake to obtain the highest yields possible from the Lebensraum available to us. This requires an ever greater increase in our efforts and in production.

This forces us to strengthen the implementation of the Four-Year Plan. Ever more manpower must be mobilized. And it is at this point that we enter into a new phase of Germany’s economic policy.

In the first six years after our rise to power, it was the task of our economic leadership to channel idle manpower into some form of productive occupation.

In the coming years, it will be their task to draw up a detailed inventory of our labor force, to reallocate productive powers according to plan. They will need to strive for rationalization and an improvement of operating conditions, in order to secure, while the work input remains constant, an increase in productivity, which, in turn, frees manpower for new additional production.

This, however, forces us to make the money market more accessible in the interest of technical advancement of our enterprises and to relieve it from its obligations to the state. This in turn necessitates close cooperation of economic and financial institutions. I stand determined to bring to its conclusion the transformation of the German Reichsbank-a path pursued ever since January 30, 1937-from an internationally controlled bankers’ enterprise to the bank of issue of the German Reich.

If the rest of the world (ubrige Welt) laments the loss of the international character of yet another German institution, may we point out that it is our inexorable decision to impart to all institutions affecting our lives predominantly German, that is National Socialist, characteristics. And perhaps this will make clear to the world the distorted nature of the claim that we sought to force German attitudes on the rest of the world. It would be far more justified if we in National Socialist Germany lamented that the outside world (andere Welt) is persistently trying to force its attitudes on us.

I now hold it to be the duty, my Reichstag Deputies, of every German man and every German woman to comprehend the conduct of the Reich’s economic policy. In the cities and in the countryside you have to consider in particular that Germany’s economic policy is not based on some sort of financial theory, but rather on a very primitive understanding of production, on the realization that the sole determining factor is the quantity of goods produced.

That we are faced with numerous other tasks, such as the necessary deployment of a high percentage of manpower to the armament-by itself unproductive-of our Volk, is regrettable, yet unalterable. After all, the economy of the present Reich hinges on its external security. It is best to arrive at this realization early rather than too late. I hence see it as imperative for the National Socialist leadership of this State to do everything humanly possible to strengthen our defenses. I place great stock in the German Volk’s insight and, above all, in its recollections.

We have no right to presume that, should Germany suffer yet another attack of weakness, its destiny would take on a different appearance. To the contrary: they are in part the very same men who once kindled the fire to scorch the entire world who today strive to prepare the grounds for another, renewed struggle as the paid henchmen at the service of those promoting hatred among peoples, to augment existing animosities.

Deputies, Men of the Reichstag! I implore you in particular not to forget one thing: It is apparently one of the exquisite privileges of democratic, political livelihood, enjoyed in certain democracies, to indulge in artificially feeding the flame of hatred against so-called totalitarian states. By a flood of partially distorted, partially fictitious reports, these rouse public opinion against certain peoples who have done nothing to harm others nor wish to undertake anything of this nature, but have only suffered from the great injustice done to them throughout the decades.

And when we venture to defend ourselves in view of the injurious attacks of such apostles of war as the gentlemen Duff Cooper,Eden,Churchill,or Ickes,then this is portrayed as though we were infringing on the most sacred of rights in these democracies. According to the understanding of these gentlemen, they apparently have the unchallenged right to attack other peoples and their leadership, but no one in turn has the right to defend himself against these attacks. I need not assure you that, as long as the German Reich shall exist as a sovereign state, its leadership will not allow one or another English or American politician to forbid it to reply in kind to such attacks. In the future, the weapons we forged shall insure that we remain such a sovereign state, as shall a great number of our friends.

Actually we could simply laugh off the libelous claim that Germany intended to attack America. And, indeed, we would much prefer to remain silent on the topic of the campaign of hatred pursued by certain British apostles of war and to simply ignore them. Yet we may not forget the following: 1. The democracies in question are states in which the political structures make it possible that, within a few months’ time, the most notorious of these warmongers may actually have emerged as the leaders of their governments.

  1. We hence owe it to the security of the Reich to enlighten the German Volk about the true nature of these men in a timely manner. The German Volk harbors no hatred for England, America, or France, and desires nothing other than to live calmly and peacefully, while the Jewish and non-Jewish agitators persist in rousing the animosity of these peoples against Germany and the German Volk. In the event that these warmongers should succeed in their undertakings, our own Volk would be confronted with a situation incomprehensible to it, as it was not psychologically prepared for anything of this nature.

Therefore, I believe it necessary that from now on our propaganda and press shall answer immediately to any such attacks and inform the German Volk of them. It must know who these men are who so desperately seek to provoke a war, no matter what the circumstances. I am convinced that the calculations of these elements will prove faulty as soon as National Socialist propaganda begins to reply in kind to these provocations. We shall deal with them as successfully as we did in Germany’s interior when we wrestled the Jewish world enemy to the ground through the forceful use of our propaganda.

The peoples of the world will realize within a short time that National Socialist Germany does not desire to elicit the enmity of other peoples.

Allegations of the aggressive designs entertained by our Volk on other peoples are the products of a deranged, hysterical mind or blatant lies by certain politicians struggling for survival. In certain states, businessmen void of any conscience try to save their financial interests by propagating these lies. Above all, it is international Jewry which seeks thereby to gratify its thirst for vengeance and its insatiable hunger for profit.And this constitutes the greatest libelous claim ever levied against a great and peace-loving Volk.

After all, German soldiers have never fought on American soil other than for the cause of America’s independence and freedom. Yet American soldiers were shipped to Europe and contributed to the suppression of a great nation struggling to preserve its liberty. It was not Germany that attacked America; it was America that attacked Germany. And it did so, according to the findings of an investigative committee in the American House of Representatives, without any compelling reason, other than perhaps capitalist considerations.

Nevertheless, let there be no doubt as to one point: all these attempts will not in the least sway Germany from its reckoning with Jewry. I would like to say the following on the Jewish question: it is truly a shaming display when we see today the entire democratic world filled with tears of pity at the plight of the poor, tortured Jewish people, while remaining hardhearted and obstinate in view of what is therefore its obvious duty: to help. All the arguments with which they seek to justify their non-intervention lend only further support to the stance of Germans and Italians in this matter.

For this is what they say: “We”-that is the democracies-“cannot possibly admit the Jews!” And this those world powers claim who can boast no more than ten persons per square kilometer while we must accommodate and feed 135 persons per square kilometer.

Then follow assurances: “We cannot take them unless they receive a certain monetary contribution from Germany to facilitate immigration.” Small matter that Germany has already been good enough to provide for these elements for centuries, who possessed little more than infectious political and sanitary diseases. What this people possesses today, it obtained at the cost of the not-so-cunning German Volk by means of the most base manipulations.

What we do today is no more than to set right the wrongs these people committed. In the days when the German Volk lost its savings, accumulated throughout decades of hard work, thanks to the inflationincited and nurtured by the Jews; when the rest of the world took the German Volk’s assets abroad; when it expropriated our colonial possessions; at that time such philanthropic contemplations did not yet play such an influential role in these democratic statesmen’s considerations. I wish to assure these gentle-men that, owing to a fifteen-year-long crash course in democracy, we are today steeled against any sentimentality.

We had to live to see how, at the end of the war, after hunger and destitution had killed more than 800,000 children of our Volk, because of the gruesome articles of a Diktat which the democratic, humane world apostles had forced on us in the guise of a peace treaty, nearly a million dairy cowswere driven from our barns. We had to live to see, one year after the end of the war, over one million German prisoners of war still held captive without any perceptible cause. We had to suffer the sight of how, along our frontiers, far more than oneand- a-half-million Germans bereft of their possessions were driven from their homes with no more than their shirts on their backs. We had to bear the sight of millions of our Volksgenossen torn from us, without anyone according them a hearing, and were left without any means of sustaining themselves in the future.

I could supplement these examples by dozens of yet more gruesome ones.

Do not reproach me on the grounds of your humanitarian concerns. The German Volk does not wish to be governed by another people; it does not wish others to determine its affairs in its place. France to the French; England to the English; America to the Americans, and Germany to the Germans!We are determined to undercut the efforts of a certain foreign people to nest here; a people whose members knew how to capture all leading positions. We will banish this people. We are willing to educate our own Volk to assume these leadership functions. We have hundreds of thousands of the most intelligent children of peasants and workers. We will have them educated, and we are already educating them. We are hoping that one day we can place them in all leading positions within the state along with others from our educated classes.

No longer shall these be occupied by members of a people alien to us.

Above all, as the literal meaning of the term already indicates, German culture is exclusively German; it is not Jewish. Hence we shall place the administration and the care for our culture in the hands of our Volk. Should the rest of the world be outraged and protest hypocritically against Germany’s barbarous expulsion of such an extraordinary, culturally valuable, irreplaceable element, then we can only be astonished at the consequences such a stance would imply.

I believe the earlier this problem is resolved, the better. For Europe cannot find peace before it has dealt properly with the Jewish question.

It is possible that the necessity of resolving this problem sooner or later should bring about agreement in Europe, even between nations which otherwise might not have reconciled themselves as readily with one another. There is more than enough room for settlement on this earth. All we need to do is put an end to the prevailing assumption that the Dear Lord chose the Jewish people to be the beneficiaries of a certain percentage of the productive capacities of other peoples’ bodies and their labors. Either the Jews will have to adjust to constructive, respectable activities, such as other people are already engaged in, or, sooner or later, they will succumb to a crisis of yet inconceivable proportions.

And there is yet one more topic on which I would like to speak on this day, perhaps not only memorable for us Germans: I have been a prophet very often in my lifetime, and this earned me mostly ridicule. In the time of my struggle for power, it was primarily the Jewish people who mocked my prophecy that, one day, I would assume leadership of this Germany, of this State, and of the entire Volk, and that I would press for a resolution of the Jewish question, among many other problems. The resounding laughter of the Jews in Germany then may well be stuck in their throats today, I suspect.

Once again I will be a prophet: should the international Jewry of finance (Finanzjudentum) succeed, both within and beyond Europe, in plunging mankind into yet another world war, then the result will not be a Bolshevization of the earth and the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation (Vernichtung) of the Jewish race in Europe.Thus, the days of propagandist impotence of the non-Jewish peoples are over.

National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy possess institutions which, if necessary, permit opening the eyes of the world to the true nature of this problem.

Many a people is instinctively aware of this, albeit not scientifically versed in it.

At this moment, the Jews are still propagating their campaign of hatred in certain states under the cover of press, film, radio, theater, and literature, which are all in their hands. Should indeed this one Volk attain its goal of prodding masses of millions from other peoples to enter into a war devoid of all sense for them, and serving the interests of the Jews exclusively, then the effectiveness of an enlightenment will once more display its might. Within Germany, this enlightenment conquered Jewry utterly in the span of a few years.

Peoples desire not to perish on the battlefield just so that this rootless, internationalist race can profit financially from this war and thereby gratify its lust for vengeance derived from the Old Testament. The Jewish watchword “Proletarians of the world, unite!” will be conquered by a far more lofty realization, namely: “Creative men of all nations, recognize your common foe!”

Among the reproaches which the so-called democracies have heaped on Germany has been the claim that National Socialist Germany is a state hostile to religion. On this topic, I wish to make the following solemn declaration before the entire German Volk:

  1. To date, no one has been persecuted because of his religious affinity in Germany, nor will anyone be persecuted for this reason in the future either.2. Since January 30, 1933, the official institutions within the National Socialist State have transferred the following tax earnings to the two Churches:130 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1933; 170 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1934; 250 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1935; 320 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1936; 400 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1937; 500 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1938. In addition to this, the Church receives approximately 85 million Reichs-marks annually in the form of Lander subsidies, and approximately another seven million Reichsmarks in the form of subsidies by the local communities and associations. Next to the State, the Church constitutes the greatest proprietor of land. It possesses holdings in real estate and forestry in excess of ten billion Reichsmarks. From these, it derives annual earnings of about 300 million.

Moreover, the Church benefits from countless gifts, bequests, and, above all, from donations collected. Further, the National Socialist State accords the Church concessions in a variety of realms: donations and inheritance are taxexempt for instance. To make an understatement, therefore, it is with insolent impertinence that foreign politicians accuse the Third Reich of hostility to religion. Should the churches within Germany regard the situation as unbearable, then please bear in mind that the National Socialist State is willing, and prepared at any time, to undertake a clear separation of church and state, as is the case in France, America, and other countries.In this context, I permit myself to pose the following question: Within this period, how much did official state appropriations to the church amount to in France, England, and the USA?

  1. The National Socialist State has not closed even one single church, neither prevented church services nor infringed on the conduct of Mass. It has not imposed its views on any confession’s church doctrine and faith. In the National Socialist State, man is free to seek absolution in the fashion desired.

However, the National Socialist State will relentlessly deal with those priests who, instead of serving the Lord, see their mission in propagating derisive comments on our present Reich, its institutions, or its leading men. It will bring to their attention the fact that the destruction of this State will not be tolerated.

The law will prosecute a priest who implicates himself in illegal activities and he will be held accountable for these in the same manner as any other, ordinary German citizen. It must, however, be stated at this point that there are thousands upon thousands of priests of all Christian beliefs who attend to their clerical duties in a manner infinitely superior to these clerical warmongers and without entering into conflict with the established law and order. To protect these is the mission of the State. To destroy the enemies of the State is the duty of the State.

  1. The National Socialist State is neither prudish nor hypocritical. Still there are certain fundamental mores which must be upheld in the interest of preserving the biological health of the Volk. And we shall not allow these to be altered. This State prosecutes pederasty and child abuse as crimes to be punished by the law, irrespective of who perpetrates them. Five years ago, when leading members of the National Socialist Party were guilty of these crimes, they were shot.Should other men perpetrate similar transgressions, whether in public, privately, or as members of the clergy, the law will duly prosecute them and sentence them to serve time. Should men of the cloth perpetrate other transgressions, in violation of their avowal of chastity etc., then it is of no interest to us. There has been no mention of this in our press ever. And besides this, this State has interfered only once in the inner organization of the churches, namely on the occasion when, in 1933, I myself attempted to reunite the impotent, fragmented Protestant Land Churches of Germany in the form of a great and mighty Protestant Reich Church. This attempt ran aground on the opposition of individual Lander bishops.And therefore I abandoned my efforts since, in the final instance, it is not our task to strengthen or to defend by force the Protestant Church against its own leaders.

The motivation behind certain statesmen in the democracies abroad taking such a vigorous interest in a few German priests is obviously political.

For these very same democratic statesmen remained silent when in Russia hundreds of thousands of priests were hacked to pieces and their bodies burnt. These democratic statesmen remained equally silent at the brutal slaughter of priests and nuns in Spain, numbering in the tens of thousands, some of whom were even burnt alive. These democratic statesmen could not deny these facts, but they remained silent and nothing broke this silence. In the meantime, upon news of these massacres-and of this I must indeed remind these democratic statesmen-countless National Socialists and Fascist volunteers placed themselves at General Franco’s disposal. They did so with the aim of precluding an escalation of the conflict, to prevent this Bolshevist bloodbath from enveloping all of Europe and hence the greater part of the civilized world.

It was concern for European culture and the essence of civilization which led Germany to take sides in this struggle between Nationalist Spain and the Bolshevists who attempted to destroy it. It is indeed a pitiful sign of the mentality abroad that people there cannot conceive of so selfless an intervention.

Alas, National Socialists shared in General Franco’s uprising because of their burning desire to promote his cause: to avert the danger threatening to engulf his country, a danger Germany itself had almost succumbed to.

Therefore, it cannot be sympathy or pity for persecuted servants of God that has mobilized the interest of the democratic citizens in some priests in Germany who have come into conflict with the law. Rather these interest them as German enemies of the state. May they note the following on this topic: we shall protect the German priest as a servant of the Lord, but we shall destroy the priest who is a political foe of the German Reich. We believe this will preclude the development of a situation which, as the experience in Spain has demonstrated, could all too easily escalate into a confrontation of as yet unforeseeable proportions.

As a matter of principle, I should like to state the following on this subject: apparently, certain circles abroad are pervaded by the conviction that the outspoken avowal of sympathy for certain elements who have come into conflict with the law in Germany would bring about an improvement of their situation. In this context, there is perhaps the hope of terrorizing the leadership of the German State by employing certain methods of exerting influence through the media.

This assessment rests on a profound fallacy. For the credence lent to these individuals abroad, and hence implicitly to their anti-governmental activities, merely reassures us in our earlier conviction that the characters in question are in fact traitors. After all, simple opposition to a regime has never elicited equal sympathy from these democracies abroad; and neither has the prosecution nor the sentencing of an individual in political opposition. For when was there ever a stronger opposition movement in Germany than the National Socialist one? Never were political adversaries suppressed by like base means, persecuted, and hunted as those of the National Socialist Party. To us it is an honor never to have partaken in the sympathy and support extended by a foreign government. Evidently, such support is lent exclusively to those who aim to destroy the German Reich. Hence, in our eyes, the display of such support would indicate the necessity to step up measures previously taken in any such case.

In view of the dangers enveloping us today, I regard it as most fortunate to have found states within Europe and beyond Europe which, like the German Volk, have had to struggle hard to preserve their existence: Italy and Japan. In the Occident, Italy and Germany today constitute the most ancient peoples, Italians as the descendants of Ancient Rome and Germans as the descendants of the Germanic tribes, and hence we have been in touch with one another the longest. Already on the occasion of my speech in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome during my visit to Italy, I underlined the tragic nature of the centuries-long and fruitless confrontation between this most mighty of cultured peoples of the Ancient world and the young German Volk, which belonged to a new world coming into being. These clashes were due largely to the lack of any natural frontier separating the two peoples and to a multitude of other circumstances.

But from these contacts throughout the millenniums sprang a community, one tied not only by linkage of blood, but by a shared historical and cultural past, a heritage of supreme significance. What precisely the Germanic peoples owe to Antiquity in terms of the evolution of statehood, realization of ethnic affinity, and in the sphere of general cultural development, defies measurement and description in its totality. Two thousand years have passed since. And the time came when we ourselves were called on to make a contribution, and we did so generously. Throughout, we remained closely linked to the Italian people, spiritually, culturally, and historically.

The 19th century heralded a process of political unification, strikingly alike in both instances. The Germanic tribes united in the German Reich, the Italian people came together in the Italian Kingdom. And the year 1866 even witnessed both peoples entering side by side into the struggle to form new states.Now, for a second time, these peoples are experiencing a similar development. A man of secular standing was the first to oppose successfully to the democratic world of ideas, which had become barren, a forceful new idea which reigned victorious within a few years’ time. What Fascism means to Italy is difficult to imagine. What it has contributed to the preservation of the culture of man is of astronomic proportions.

Striding through Rome or Florence, who can help being overcome by the contemplation of what fate these unique monuments of human creativity might have met with had it not been for Mussolini and Fascism, which pulled Italy back from the brink of Bolshevist oblivion? Germany, too, faced this danger. Here National Socialism wrought the miracle of rescue. And the belief in a new Renaissance in our day and age clings to these two states in the imagination of countless men of all races. The solidarity between these two regimes represents far more than simple, egotistical self-interest. This solidarity holds the promise of Europe’s rescue from its threatened destruction by Bolshevism.

As Italy strode forth in its heroic struggle for its right to existence in Abyssinia, Germany sided with it as its friend. This friendship was more than repaid in the year 1938. May no one in the world doubt National Socialist Germany’s loyalty, in which it shall not waver. In the interest of peace, let there remain no doubts that, should any power initiate hostilities against Italy, for whatever reason, this will automatically call Germany to its friend’s side. Above all, one should not heed false council by those who vegetate in the various countries as isolated, bourgeois weaklings who fail to comprehend that in the life of nations, wisdom implies not cowardice, but courage and honor.

As regards National Socialist Germany, it is painfully aware of the destiny awaiting it should Fascist Italy be wrestled to the ground by an international agglomeration of forces, irrespective of pretenses. We know these consequences and we shall cold-bloodedly (eiskalt) look them straight in the eye.

There will not be a repetition of the fate of Prussia from 1805 to 1806 in German history. Those weaklings who then counseled the King of Prussia counsel no one in today’s Germany. The National Socialist State knows of the inherent dangers and undertakes the necessary steps to prepare for its defense.

Just as I know our own Wehrmacht is quite capable of standing up even under the greatest of strains of a military nature, I know this to be true of the military might of Italy. For as no one can judge the present German Army by the standards of the old Federal Army around 1848, no one can assess the present Fascist Italy by the standards of the old, warring Italian states. Only a hysterical, mean-spirited press, as obstinate as it is tactless, can so quickly repress memories of the embarrassment it suffered through its false prophecies of Italy’s Abyssinian campaign. And its present assessment of the Nationalist forces under General Franco affords it a similar embarrassment once over.

Men make history! They forge the tools to mold history and, above all, they lend them their spirit. Great men are no more than the strongest, most concentrated representation of a Volk. National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy are sufficiently strong to secure peace in the face of any infringement and stand determined to bring to a successful close this conflict which irresponsible forces have far too thoughtlessly embarked on.

This does not mean we Germans desire war, as an irresponsible press would like to have it, but that we

  1. appreciate other peoples’ wish to secure for themselves a share in the goods of this world, in accordance with their numbers, their courage, and their intrinsic value, and that therefore we
  2. recognize these rights which oblige us to take a common stance in the pursuit of our common interests.

Above all, we shall not yield to threats or attempts at blackmail under any circumstances! Our relations to Japan are determined by this realization and the firm determination to arrest the menace of a progressive Bolshevization of a world blind to this danger. One day, the Anti-Comintern Pact may be appreciated as a focal point around which gathered a group of powers whose most salient ambition lay in the thwarting of this satanic phenomenon imperiling peace and culture worldwide. Within the past two years, the Japanese people has repeatedly and tangibly demonstrated its splendid heroism and, undoubtedly, it is a swordsman in the service of mankind on the other side of the globe. Its potential collapse would be to the detriment of the cultured peoples within Europe and beyond and would irrevocably herald the Bolshevization of the Far East. And no people can wish for such a development, other than perhaps international Jewry, which has an interest in this, too.

And if indeed in this past year mighty exertions were permitted to come to a peaceful conclusion, then we are grateful for this not only to Mussolini. As mentioned in the first part of this speech, we extend our thanks also to those other two statesmen who, in the hour of critical decision, valued peace more highly than persistence in a wrong. Germany places no territorial demands on either England or France, other than perhaps a restitution of its former colonies.

Yet, although a resolution of this question is highly desirable, this issue most assuredly does not warrant the outbreak of open hostilities.

If Europe today is plagued by strenuous tensions, then this is due primarily to agitation in an unaccountable and irresponsible press. It allows not a single day to pass by without spreading disquiet among mankind by propagating false alarms, as ludicrous as they are libelous. The liberties taken in this context by the various organs of this worldwide poisoning of wells (Weltbrunnenvergiftung) can be regarded only as criminal wrong-doing. In recent days, there has been an attempt to place radio journalism at the service of this internationally instigated campaign. I wish to pronounce this warning here: if certain countries do not immediately desist from airing broadcasts targeted at Germany, then we shall respond accordingly.And then I hope statesmen from these countries will not venture to approach me with the sincere desire to restore normal relations between our states.

For I remain convinced that our educational campaign will be far more effective than the campaign of lies instigated by these international Jewish agitators. And the announcement of American film companies of their intention to produce anti-Nazi-i.e. anti-German-films, will only lead to our German producers creating anti-Semitic films in the future.And in this instance, too, certain elements would do well not to deceive themselves as to the effect: a multitude of states and peoples exist today who would be most receptive to such an educational campaign expanding their comprehension of this important issue.

I believe that, should we succeed in arresting the activities of the Jewishinternational press agitators and their propaganda, then a reconciliation between peoples would be speedily attained. These elements alone persistently place their hopes on war. I, however, believe in a long-lasting peace.

For is there truly a conflict of interest between England and Germany, for instance? I have often enough stated that there is no German man and especially no National Socialist who even as much as dreams of interfering with the vested interest of the British Empire. And repeatedly the voice of reason was heard to reign in England as well, and we have indeed heard of Englishmen whose calm reflection has led them to espouse a similar stance toward Germany.

It would be a cause for great happiness throughout the world, should these two peoples enter into confiding cooperation with each other. And the same holds true for our relations with France.

These days bear witness to the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of our Non-Aggression Pact with Poland. There is little dissent today among those who truly love peace as to the value of this agreement. Just imagine where developments might have taken Europe in the interim, had it not been for the conclusion of this pact which truly signaled a great relief for all involved.

Poland’s most outstanding marshal and patriotrendered his people as great a service as the National Socialist State’s leadership rendered the German Volk.

And, in the course of the tense months last year, German-Polish friendship became a reassuring factor in the otherwise troubled political life in Europe.

Our relations with Hungary are based on a long-standing, well-tried friendship and shared interests. Each people has traditionally avowed its high regard for the other.Germany rejoiced in participating in the restitution for a misfortune inflicted on Hungary.

One state that has commanded our Volk’s attention ever since the Great War has been Yugoslavia. The high regard which German soldiers once felt for this valiant people has become ever the more profound and has fostered the development of a sincere friendship. A sharp increase in trade has marked our economic relations with Yugoslavia, as with states friendly to us such as Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, and Turkey. The primary cause has lain in the complementary nature of these economies to the German one.

Germany today considers itself fortunate to possess pacified frontiers to the West, South, and North.Our close relations to states in the West and in the North, i.e. to Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic States, are the cause of further rejoicing, all the more so as recent times have witnessed an increasing tendency to renounce certain war-laden paragraphs of the League of Nations.To a greater extent that any other state, Germany appreciates knowing that truly friendly neutral states reside along its borders. May Czechoslovakia succeed in its search for inner peace and the restoration of law and order so as to preclude a relapse into the times of former State President Beneš.The adherence of Bulgaria and Manchukuo to the Anti-Comintern Pactis an agreeable symptom of resistance worldwide to the threat posed by Jewishinternationalist, Bolshevist agitation.

The amicable relations between the German Reich and the South American states are at present being invigorated in the economic sphere.

Our relations with the North American Union have suffered unduly because of a smear campaign. With the pretext that Germany threatens America’s independence and even its liberty, it has placed an entire continent at the service of all too transparent political and financial interests. These are attempting to agitate against those European states governed by the people for the people. All of us are aware that these elements are not representative of the will of millions of American citizens who do not doubt for one minute, despite bombardment by a ‘gigantic Jewish-capitalist instigated propaganda campaign-via press, radio, and film-that there is not a word of truth in all these claims. Germany desires to live in peace and friendship with all countries, America included. It declines any involvement in America’s internal affairs and hence, equally vigorously, it rejects American involvement in Germany’s internal affairs.

Whether or not Germany seeks maintenance of economic ties or promotes business with the states of Latin America is really not the business of anyone but these states themselves. Germany is a sovereign state and a great Reich. Its policies are not subject to revision by American politicians. In any event, I believe that all the world’s states face so many urgent problems at home these days that their peoples would undoubtedly be glad if the statesmen responsible accorded greater attention to domestic issues in their own countries.As concerns Germany, my own experiences have taught me that the tasks to be mastered are so great that they are almostbeyond a single man’s capacity for insight and concerted action. I can therefore state, both on behalf of my staff and myself, that we are dedicating our lives exclusively to the maintenance and sustenance of our Volk and Reich, both of which can proudly look back on a glorious history spanning the millenniums.

My Deputies, Men of the First Greater German Reichstag! As I conclude my explanations today, the years of struggle and fulfillment lying behind us now pass once more before my mind’s eye. To many these meant the sense and purpose of their entire existence. We know that greater things cannot be granted to our Volk and our own lives.

Without shedding a drop of blood, we succeeded in raising up this great Reich of the German Volk. Let us not forget, however, that this process meant painful sacrifices for some of us: the erasing of many Lander structures; the lowering of their banners; the oblivion of their local traditions. Yet may it be of consolation to these men that no generation involved in the constructive process of our history has been spared similarly painful experiences. Ever since the first German dukes labored to form wild tribes into higher unions, their endeavors had to obliterate institutions grown dear, cherished recollections, manly pledges of loyalty, and so on.

It was nearly two thousand years before the scattered Germanic tribes emerged as one people; before the countless lands and states forged one Reich.

We may now consider this process of the formation of the German nation as having reached its conclusion. The creation of the Greater German Reich represents the culmination of our Volk’s thousand-year struggle for existence.

As streams of German blood flow together therein, so do traditions of times past, their standards and symbols, and, above all else, all the great men of whom their contemporaries were rightly proud. Small matter whose side they stood on in their day, all those daring dukes, great kings, formidable warlords, mighty emperors, and around them the inspired geniuses and heroes of the past served as instruments of Providence in the formative process of a nation. Insofar as we embrace this great Reich in grateful reverence, the wealth of German history reveals itself to us in all its splendor. Let us thank the Lord Almighty for bestowing on our generation the great blessing to be alive at this time and this hour.

Closing words of the Reichstag’s president Hermann Göring:

Mein Führer!

Your comrades of the first hour are seated before you willing to follow your lead loyally as one united whole; to stride forth at your side in the future also, suffused by the single desire to follow you blindly toward the attainment of the greatest of victories: the victory of our great German Volk. You have led us onward to victories unfathomable. You have restored to us a life worth living, a life splendid and magnificent. It was you who created Greater Germany. How feeble are our expressions of gratitude; words to express our gratitude to you simply defy us! The cries with which we jubilantly hail you presently, mein Führer, these shouts of Heil sum up everything we feel within ourselves in respect to inspiration, dedication, love, and loyalty.

Comrades! To our dearly beloved Führer, the creator of Greater Germany:

Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!

Adolf Hitler – “New Year’s Proclamation to the National Socialists and Party Comrades” – January 1, 1939

January 1, 1939

National Socialists! Party Comrades!

National Socialist Germany emerges from the year 1938 with deeply moved gratitude for the merciful workings of Providence. The sixth year after the National Socialist Revolution-and the newly erected leadership of the people and state wrought thereby-has come to a close as the most eventful year in the history of our Volk in many a century. In the five years from 1933, the prevailing ambition of the National Socialist Movement and our Party was to overcome our domestic difficulties: the Volk’s political, social, and economic misery. We have mastered the greatest foreign policy obstacle facing us within these twelve months which lie behind us now.

Who can help being deeply moved, seeing today’s Greater German Reich which we erected, as he reflects on the situation we faced a mere six years ago? In face of the incredible changes wrought in the life of our Volk, who can any longer deny the righteousness of the forces and methods employed? In Germany, no one can-unless he consciously wishes our Volk ill. Abroad, of course, all those will deny this who have an interest in opposing the resurrection of the Reich-for whatever reason.

When I reflect on this year of the most bountiful harvest ever in our history, I feel tremendous gratitude first to Providence and second to my Party! The National Socialist Movement has wrought this miracle. The Good Lord provided for this, and the Party served as His instrument.

The Party stood by me in unyielding loyalty for nearly two decades. It became instrumental in creating the prerequisite conditions to herald, and indeed to force, Germany’s resurrection. Throughout the years, its untiring exertions forged the inner consolidation of the Volkskorper. Knowing this concentrated force stood firm behind me, I was in a position, at a decisive moment, to stand up for the right to life of our Volk even at the risk of the last and most formidable consequences. All of us can reflect on 1938 with great pride and satisfaction: the men and women constituting the leadership of the Party, its fighting organizations, and the associations connected with it; the millions of active, albeit anonymous Party comrades; and all those active in the National Socialist Movement. Through their labor, they contributed to and rendered feasible the creation of this Greater German Reich.

National Socialism wrought a new sense of community within the Volk and provided it with a steadfast political regime which allowed me to carry out the build-up of a new German Wehrmacht. It has passed the test this year. Officers and enlisted men zealously competed with one another in their dedication to the National Socialist Greater German Reich. Once more the German Volk stands proud of its soldiers! The state itself and its administration have resolved in masterly fashion a foremost task in the course of this year.

Above all, I reach out in gratitude to the entire German Volk. Its marvelous behavior has greatly contributed to robbing an inquisitive surrounding world of the last flicker of hope that the ancient affliction (altes Erbubel) of the Germans would once again be aroused. In the past year, not one of these so-called democratic statesmen could claim to truly speak for his people more so than I.

This allowed for the resolution, without recourse to war, of this one European question which had to be resolved in one way or another.

The enterprising spirit of the German peasant assured production of foodstuffs for the German Volk. The German worker contributed to an exceptional increase in the productivity of our economy. I am grateful above all to those hundreds of thousands who transformed the Western Front of the Reich into a wall of steel and cement of which we know that no power on earth will ever be able to penetrate it.

In this same period, the organizational power of our Volk has celebrated triumph upon triumph. The glorious feats accomplished by our Wehrmacht were paralleled by no less glorious achievements in the sphere of economics and public administration. And, one day, the history books will remark on the intriguing fact that, despite great political tensions and gigantic exertions and accomplishments, cultural life was not brought to a standstill but that, to the contrary, it witnessed astounding advances.

Within the past year, in all spheres of our communal life, the rich and multifaceted life of the National Socialist Volksgemeinschaft has compensated for the crimes committed against our Volk in certain decades and certain centuries. May this be of consolation to those who suffered throughout the years, throughout the decades, never yielding in their belief in our Volksgemeinschaft; and to those who were not fortunate enough to live to see the day of the restoration of the Greater German Reich. May they rejoice, from beyond their graves, in the happiness of uncounted millions which springs forth from their earthly remains. They did not suffer in vain; their deaths were not in vain.

The year 1938 constituted a solemn pledge on the part of the Volk. Twice within this year, Germans were called on to cast their votes. The first time, the Germans from the Old Reich stepped up to the ballot-box, alongside our Volksgenossen from the new German Ostmark. On the second occasion, Sudeten Germans having just returned to the Reich lined up beside them. And thus, for the first time in the history of our German Volk, all of Germany was allowed to freely and solemnly express its political will: to stand with the Greater German Reich and to never, ever again be severed from it-come what may!

The future exacts fulfillment of the following tasks: Our first and foremost task will remain what it has always been in the past and as it poses itself to us today: the education of our Volk in the spirit of the National Socialist community. The second task lies in the build-up and reinforcement of our Wehrmacht. And third, we face the task of implementing the Four-Year Plan, resolving the manpower shortage, and integrating the new Reich provinces economically.

Germany occupies a well-defined position in international politics. We stand firm and unyielding by the obligations resulting from our friendship with Fascist Italy. The realization of the historic role played by Mussolini in the preservation of peace in the past year compels us to profound gratitude. We are grateful also to those other statesmen who in this year have undertaken to search for and to find a peaceful resolution to these questions which, at the time, allowed for no further postponement.

As regards world politics today, the Anti-Comintern Pact determines our political stance. Beyond this we have only one desire: May the coming year allow us to contribute to a general pacification of the world. May the Lord’s mercy accompany our German Volk on its fateful path. Long live the National Socialist Movement! Long live our German Volk and Reich!

Berchtesgaden, December 31, 1938

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler – speech at the opening of the Second German Architecture and Industrial Art Exhibition in the Haus der Deutschen Kunst – 06.12.1938

Munich, December 6, 1938

Let me take up the topic of just one single project: the blueprint for a new opera house in Munich. For many years, it was worked upon, and it is now that its outlines are taking shape and form. Yet it still will take a long time for this work to reach its final completion. And the same applies to the great buildings in Berlin and the enormous building projects all over the Reich.

Let us never forget: we are not building for our time, we are building for the future! That is why the structures must be grand, solid, and durable, and thereby they will become beautiful and worthy. May every man commissioning a work, every architect who finds himself enchanted with some latest fad that he thinks remarkable or interesting, may he think again and ask if his project will be able to stand up to the criticism of the centuries. Because this is what counts! That is easily said. But we have countless examples for works, works where evidently someone was not thinking, works which evidently were not built with a purpose in mind and hence do not do justice to this purpose, either in size or in the long run.

Let me just cite one of these examples. In Germany there are about forty million Protestants. The Confessional Church537 built for itself a cathedral in Berlin which serves as the central church for the three and a half million Protestants living in the capital of the German Reich. The cathedral holds 2,450 seats, each of which is numbered in order to accommodate the more prominent Protestant families in the Reich.

My Volksgenossen! Something like this is happening in an age of so-called democratic evolution. Here the churches ought to lead by example being the most democratic since after all they deal with souls and not with professions or even social classes. Now it is somewhat difficult to follow how this church of 2,450 seats can possibly do justice to the spiritual needs of three and a half million faithful. The dimensions of the building structure are not the result of technical necessities but rather they are the net result of a narrowminded and thoughtless building process. Actually this cathedral ought to accommodate 100,000 persons.

You might ask me: “Do you believe that 100,000 persons will actually go there?” It is not my business to answer this question, a question that would have to be answered by the Church! But you will now understand that we, as a true Volk movement, must keep the needs of our Volk in sight as we carry out our building projects. Hence we must build halls into which 150,000 or even 200,000 persons will actually fit. That means: we must build them as big as the technical possibilities of our day permit, and we must build for eternity! Another example can be found in the realm of theater buildings. Around 1800, a small town of 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants built for itself a theater with 1,200 seats. Now in the course of the years, commissioners from building inspection authorities and fire protection agencies come along and begin to limit the number of theatergoers for security reasons. In this same time period, the small town grows; 100,000 or 150,000 people live there now. In other words, while the number of seats in the theater declines, the number of inhabitants of the city increases continuously. It becomes necessary to build a new theater.

And now the city of 150,000 people begins to build yet another theater holding 1,000 or 1,200 seats, as many seats as the old theater already held a hundred years ago.

Well, it seems that one has forgotten the fact that the orchestra has swollen to sixty musicians today instead of the sixteen musicians of the past. This is largely due to our new composers-I need only name Richard Wagner. Both supernumeraries and choir also have an increasing membership, and overall technical requirements today demand the participation of far more people.

Today this same theater needs to accommodate 450 or 500 stage hands, members of the choir, soloists, dancers, that is 450 or 500 members and an audience of one thousand. That means every member of the audience must support two members of the crew. That is possible perhaps in a capitalist age. For us, this is impossible, for we must finance our theaters through contributions from the Volk.

Because this alone necessitates that the masses of our Volk go to our theaters, these theaters must have a certain size.

Now we are asked: “What? You want to build an opera with three thousand seats here?” Yes, indeed, we would like to increase that number even more because we want thousands of our Volk to partake of the fruits of German art.

Another objection might be: do we have to build so much just now? Yes, we do! We must build more now than ever before, because before us, they built either nothing or pitiful miserable structures.

And secondly: we just happen to find ourselves today in an epoch of great rejuvenation for the German Volk! He who has not realized this yet, he must nonetheless believe it! That is a fact! Posterity will have greater appreciation of the years 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938 than certain of our contemporaries who seem to live behind the times! Posterity will see this epoch of the greatest resurrection of the German Volk ever in the context of the foundation of an enormous, great and mighty Reich.

These years will one day be seen as corresponding to the ascent of a movement to which we owe that the German Volk emerged from the confusion of party politics, segregated classes, and various confessions and melted into one entity of great spiritual strength and willpower. Such an epoch has not only the right to leave its mark upon eternity in the form of great monuments, it has a duty to do so! If someone says to me, “Why do you build more than earlier?” all I can reply is: “We build more because we are more than we were earlier.” Today’s Reich is different from that of yesterday. It is not just a passing fancy since it is supported not by merely a few individuals or certain interest groups. For the first time in its history, the German Reich has its foundation in the willpower and consciousness of the German Volk. Hence it well deserves that monuments now built will one day testify to its greatness even when its people have long been silent.

Furthermore, this art of building also spawns other arts, such as sculpture and painting. How true this is you can see by looking at the two wonderful sculptures exhibited here. They represent Party and Wehrmacht and no doubt they belong to the most beautiful art ever created in Germany. [-] We are incapable of assessing what countless German artists have created with truly painstaking diligence and zealous dedication. As the speaker for the German Volk, I wish to express its gratitude to those involved since it cannot possibly thank each artist individually.

Naturally, the true recompense lies within the work itself! Through it, the artist makes his way into eternity. I have the honor of declaring this exhibition open to the public, an exhibition that will prove to you that there are indeed many artists making their way here in our country, finding it, and continuing upon it.

Adolf Hitler – speech at the Bürgerbräukeller – Munich, November 8, 1938

Munich, November 8, 1938

Nevertheless, had not the German Volk in its blindness allowed the civic unrest back then to foment a civil war, then there would never have been a collapse such as that of 1918. I believe I have a right to say that, had Fate put me at the helm back then, this collapse would never have come about.

I have been told that not too long ago, a man was heard saying: “Well, you know, the Fuhrer, too, can err. After all, he was wrong in 1923 and went under back then!” All I can say to these Philistines is: I was not wrong in 1923! I did not go under back then! I did receive a severe blow at that time, but the Party and hence Germany recovered from this blow and they are all the stronger for it.

What was the situation like in 1923? I was the leader of a rather small party, however, of a party in determination and courage. I was perhaps the only leader of a party who could claim that he was backed by a community of men and women, a community that stood ready to march upon a moment’s notice if necessary. Others had a following which was willing to make deals only.

Back then I resolved to eliminate this incompetent regime. The deed was not carried out then. However, this failure proved and will prove itself to be of greater benefit than we may realize to this day. I know not what the fate of Germany would have been had the course of events taken a different turn and had Herr Kahr and his comrades succeeded in their attempts to tear this country apart.

I declare and assert before all the world and posterity that in 1923 I, too, acted in accordance with this conviction!

Every day, as I read in foreign journals that we are deeply shaken by the armament efforts of our neighbors, I can assert only one thing, namely, that I would be shaken only if the German nation failed to arm itself! The fact that others are arming does not shake me up! Let there be no doubt: the German Volk will not be caught carrying the olive branch while the rest of the world arms itself to the teeth.

In this event, we will do precisely what is necessary to secure peace for ourselves! As a Gennan statesman I am obligated, in the interest of my Volk, to concern myself with measures taken by the rest of the world, to assess their consequences, and to take into consideration possible dangers arising from them. And here I will not tolerate a certain British member of parliament telling me what to do! Some people of late have come up to me and claimed: “Oh, we meant to destroy the dictatorships but not the German and Italian peoples.” My only answer to this is: something of this sort you could perhaps claim prior to November 1918, but no longer after November 1918! Back then, these very same circles had claimed that all they sought was the destruction of “Prussian militarism,” the destruction of only one dynasty, the House of Hohenzollern, not the destruction of the German Volk! The German Volk would then be led toward regaining its freedom in the framework of international democracy. We got to know this particular type of “freedom” quite well! And the German Volk has learned its lesson.

A collapse, such as the one experienced by the German Volk due to its naivety, will not repeat itself in the next millennium! And I can assure you this will also be the case for all those who still believe they can instigate hate campaigns against the German Volk once more! Germany will never again be duped by such rhetoric! As a Fuhrer of responsibility, I will point out these dangers to the nation. And one of these dangers I see arising from the constant hate campaigns abroad directed against Germany. Whoever does not want to believe this, should simply call to mind a few of the recent incidents.

It has not been all that long ago that there was a debate concerning questions of civil aviation before the House of Commons in England. Back then, a certain type of new civil airplane was declared to be of great practical value and particularly useful. Then one man of the opposition party stood up and shouted: “I hope this plane can also carry bombs to Berlin!” We know what this means! People might tell me: “That was only one man of the opposition party.” To that I can only reply: In these democracies, the Constitution allows the opposition of today to become the government of tomorrow. In general, this usually happens sooner or later. We are most grateful that France and England have removed men of such persuasion from office and that these two countries desire good relations with Germany. More than once, we have made it clear that all we want from these countries is the return of the colonies unjustly taken from us. I have always asserted that, of course, we shall not go to war simply because of this. Rather, it is a question of justice, we say, a question of whether there is an honest intent to render the peaceful coexistence of various peoples possible. We desire no more of these other peoples, we demand nothing of them. We simply wish to make deals with these peoples, that is we wish to conduct trade with them. So if there is talk of reaching an understanding, we really do not know what there is to reach an understanding about.

However, there is one thing I must never let out of sight. Today there might well be men in power in France and England who desire peace. Yet there are other men who do little to conceal that they wish for war with Germany.

I am forced to state this in all objectivity before the nation and to draw the consequences. Mr. Churchill can be Prime Minister by tomorrow. And when one leader of the British opposition declares that it is not the German Volk they wish to destroy but the regime, then that is one and the same thing since this regime will not be destroyed lest one destroys the entire German Volk! And if someone claims that he wishes to free the German Volk from this regime, then I will tell him: The German Volk is none of your business! If there is one man whose business is the German Volk, my dear gentlemen of the British parliament, then that is me! The regime in Germany is an internal affair of the German Volk, and we will not stand for being supervised as if by a schoolmaster. Moreover, I believe that we have achieved far more than these gentlemen. Above all we have restored order to our state which is something you cannot say for a good number of countries on the face of this earth.

Hence I am forced to take into consideration the persuasions of men who might not govern today but could do so tomorrow and who have left little doubt as to their convictions. The German Volk will understand why I am warning it and why I myself am determined to take all precautions necessary to make certain that there is no foreign interference! On a side note, let me assure you that the German Volk shall not succumb to a fear of bombs, falling-let us say-from either Mars or the moon.495 We will keep good measure as is the custom of all Germans. But I am determined to ensure the security of the Reich by fortifying it to the last. And I know that the entire German Volk agrees with me on this! No doubt this means sacrifice.

However, it is better for us to make sacrifices now than having to pay up one day in the form of contributions or should we rather say “reparations” as they were called back then.

For us there is only one maxim that truly counts and that I spoke of in Saarbrucken: “We are always ready for peace!” It was not us who broke the peace. However, we are always ready to stand up in defense of ourselves as well, in a manner both manly and determined.

When someone says to me, “So it is not by legal means that you intend to enter into world history, but rather it is violence which serves as your means,” then all I can say in reply is that today’s Germany did not refuse to obtain its rights by means of negotiation! Year after year we attempted to secure our rights by negotiating. And most certainly English parliamentarians have no right to doubt this. After all, it was by means of negotiation that we concluded a treaty with England. It is not our fault that others did not become parties to the treaty.

Always keep in mind the following: National Socialist Germany will never go to Canossa!496 We have no need to! If the rest of the world persists in denying us our rights by means of negotiation, then it should not be surprised if we resort to other means in order to secure our rights, rights we cannot obtain in the customary fashion. Now that these British advocates of world democracy maintain that this year alone we destroyed two democracies, I can only ask them: What precisely is democracy? Who has the right to speak in the name of democracy? Has the good Lord handed over the keys to democracy to Mr. Churchill or to Mr. Duff Cooper? Has the lock combination been engraved upon some ancient tabulae perhaps at present in the hands of the British opposition? In our opinion, democracy implies a regime supported by the will of a people. I became Chancellor of Germany once in compliance with the rules of parliamentary democracy; and that as the leader of the strongest party by far.

And it was in compliance with the rules of parliamentary democracy that I possessed the absolute majority then, and today I received the complete approval of the German Volk-let Mr. Churchill doubt this if he pleases. I did not eliminate two democracies this year, rather, I destroyed, as the epitome of a true democrat, two dictatorships! Namely, the dictatorship of Herr Schuschnigg and the dictatorship of Herr Beneš. It was by peaceful means that I attempted to persuade these two dictators to open up a path toward democracy for their peoples by permitting them to exercise their right to self-determination.

I did not succeed in this attempt. It was only then that I applied the force of our great German Volk to restore democracy to these countries, in other words to liberate these oppressed people.

These gentlemen of the British parliament might know their way around the British world empire, but of Central Europe they know nothing! Here they completely lack any idea of the situation, the events, and their circumstances.

They should not, and will not, regard this as an insult, for, after all, we do not know our way around India, Egypt, or Palestine either.

Nonetheless, I believe it would be for the better if these gentlemen applied their enormous expertise and their infallible wisdom for which they are so well known, if they applied these, let us say, for instance or rather especially to the case of Palestine. They might do great good there. Because, after all, damn it, what is happening there reeks of brute force rather than democracy! But I am just citing this as an example, I do not mean to criticize, for I am but the advocate of the German Volk rather than that of others. In this I differ from Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden who see themselves as the advocates of the whole world.

I am merely the advocate of my Volk! And here I do everything in my power that I deem necessary. And if Mr. Churchill turns to me and says, “How can a head of state be at odds with a British parliamentarian?” then all I can say to him is: “Mr. Churchill, you should be honored by this!” By the fact that a German head of state does not hesitate to be at odds with a British parliamentarian, you can see in what great esteem English parliamentarians are held here. Besides that, I am not a head of state in the sense that a dictator or monarch is, I am a leader of the German Volk! Rest assured, there are plenty of titles I could have appropriated myself. I kept my old title and I will keep it as long as I live because I have no desire to be anything other and I have no intention of ever becoming anything other! I am content this way. Mr. Churchill and these gentlemen are delegates of the English people, and I am a delegate of the German Volk. The only difference here is that Mr. Churchill received only a fraction of his people’s votes while, I may confidently say, I represent the entire German Volk! Therefore, my Old Comrades in Arms, when I call upon you and the entire German Volk to proceed with caution, I have the holy right to do so! In these few years, I have scored great successes for the nation. The nation must understand that I always take great care to preserve it. I do not want to live to see that on my dying bed I would have to close my eyes to equally sinister prophecies, as was the case with Bismarck.

Adolf Hitler – Speech at The Opening of The New Winterhilfswerk – 05.10.1938

Berlin, October 5, 1938

When six years ago I took over the leadership of the Reich one of our so-called ‘statesmen’ of that day said: ‘Now this man has taken the decisive step. Up to now he has been popular, because he has been in opposition. Now he must govern and we shall see in six or eight weeks how his popularity will look’! Six years – not six weeks only – have passed and I believe that they have been the most decisive years for German history. The most characteristic feature of this period is the close unity of the German people. What I have achieved in these six years was possible only because I had standing behind me the whole German people. The problems which faced us no single man could solve unaided: only when he could speak and, if necessary, also act in the name of the whole German people could he master these questions….

During the last few months and weeks I have had in my foreign policy a great helper and previously, in my last speech in this hall [the Sportpalast], I expressed my thanks to the man who took his stand in support of Germany as a true, great friend, Benito Mussolini. He has thrown into the scale of a just solution the entire force not only of his own genius but of the power which stands behind him. I must also thank the two other great statesmen who at the last minute recognized the historical hour, declared themselves ready to give their support to the solution of one of Europe’s most burning problems and who thereby made it possible for me, too, to offer the hand towards an understanding. But above all my thanks fly to the German people which in these long months has never deserted me. . . .. I am proud of my German people! I hope that in a few days the problem of the Sudeten Germans will be finally solved. By October 10 we shall have occupied all the areas which belong to us. Thus one of Europe’s most serious crises will be ended, and all of us, not only in Germany but those far beyond our frontiers, will then in this year for the first time really rejoice at the Christmas festival. It should for us all be a true Festival of Peace….

Above us all stands the motto: ‘no one in the world will help us if we do not help ourselves.’ This program of self-help is a proud and manly program. It is a different program from that of my predecessors who continually ran round through the world, going a-begging now in Versailles, then in Geneva, now in Lausanne or at some conference or other elsewhere. It is a prouder thing that to-day we Germans are determined to solve our own problems and to help ourselves.

We have been witnesses of a great turning-point in history. At this moment we must bethink ourselves, too, of those who through twenty years in an apparently hopeless state still nursed a fanatical faith in Germany and never surrendered their *Deutschtum*-their life as Germans. It is so easy here in the heart of the Empire to profess one’s belief in Germany. But it is inexpressibly difficult, in the face of an unceasing persecution, not to allow oneself to be drawn away from this faith – to remain fanatically true to it, as though redemption were coming the next day. But now the hour of redemption has come. I have just had my first sight of these areas and what moved me so profoundly was two impressions. First: I have often known the jubilation and the enthusiasm of joy, but here for the first time I have seen hundreds of thousands shedding tears of joy. And secondly I saw appalling distress. When in England a Duff Cooper or a Mr. Eden say that injustice has been done to the Czechs, then these men should just for once see what in reality has happened there. How can one so pervert the truth! I have seen here whole villages undernourished, whole towns reduced to ruin. My fellow-countrymen, you have a great debt of honor to pay! . . . I expect of you that the Winter Help Contribution of 1938-39 shall correspond with the historical greatness of this year.

In the history of our people the year 1938 will be a great, incomparable, proud year…. Later historians will show that the German nation found its way back again to the position of an honorable great nation – that our history has once more become a worthy history.

It was a great goal I set for myself on May 28. At the time, it was a most difficult decision. I believed in its realization and I could only believe in it because I knew: behind me stands the entire German Volk, and it is ready to take on any [!] mission.

Within these last few weeks and months, I have been able to count upon one great help in matters of foreign affairs, and in my last speech in Halle, I already thanked that man who always stood behind me as a great and loyal friend of Germany, Benito Mussolini. He placed not only his own strength and power of genius in the service of finding a just solution, but also placed in its service all the power at his disposal. I must also thank two other great statesmen who, at the last minute, realized the historic import of the hour and declared themselves willing to strive for the solution of one of the most burning problems in all of Europe. These men made it possible for me to extend my hand as well for reaching an understanding.

However, above all, my heartfelt gratitude flies toward the German Volk! It has always stood by me in these long months. In solemn determination it has shouldered all those measures necessary to see through the just demands of the Reich. It will be to the eternal glory of our Volk that in a time period in which hundreds of thousands were called to work and hundreds of thousands of our men were called to arms, that in this time period not one panic-buy took place, that not one man went to the bank, not one woman had doubts. Rather the entire nation stood together as one. I must say this openly: I am proud of my German Volk!

I hope that within a few days, the Sudeten German problem will finally be resolved. By October 10, we will call all German territories our own which belong to us.

With that, one of the most difficult crises in Europe will be over. This year, all of us may truly look forward to Christmas, not only within Germany but outside of its borders as well. For all of us, it shall be a true celebration of peace.

A law reigns above all of us: no one in this world will help us, if we do not help ourselves. This program of self-help is both a proud one and a manly one.

It is quite different from those of my predecessors who ran around all over the place, one minute begging at the gates of Versailles, then in Geneva, Lausanne, or at some other conferences [!]. It is with greater pride that we Germans solve our own problems and help ourselves today! Yet we must realize to how many nameless, countless of our Volksgenossen we owe a great debt. How many hundreds of thousands of German workers were suddenly pulled from their jobs these past months. One fine day they were told: “You must pack your bags now, you are going West!” There a mighty army set to work and built a wall of concrete and steel to protect all of us and all of Germany. They had to leave their wives and children behind. They had to leave their work places and had to choose different, often more taxing tasks. In mass dormitories, they had to put up with many an inconvenience. Certainly, we tried to make things bearable for them. All the same, we owe them thanks, we owe it to them and to the hundreds of thousands of other men who were called up and moved into the barracks and to maneuver sites. And we owe thanks to all those women who had to let their sons and husbands go.

I myself have taken the first step into these [Sudeten German] territories. I was greatly moved by two pictures. For one, I had often witnessed joyous jubilation and enthusiasm. It was the first time that I saw tears of joy in the eyes of hundreds of thousands there.

Secondly, I witnessed gruesome destitution! When Englishmen like Duff Cooper and Mister Eden go around claiming there had been injustice done to the Czechs-well, they should just see what had happened there in reality. How can they twist the truth like that?! I saw entire villages malnourished, entire cities run down.

My Volksgenossen, it is up to you now to fulfill an obligation of honor! We must take these people into the midst of our Volksgemeinschaft and help them.

They need our help! This is merely a token of appreciation on the part of those Germans who were so fortunate as to always have lived in the safe haven of our Reich. We demand but a small sacrifice from everyone. I expect everyone, however, to determine the nature of this sacrifice in accordance to his expertise and ability. I expect of the wealthy to set an example. It must be a question of pride for us to eradicate this destitution in the quickest way possible. I wish to see not one more rachitic child in Germany within a few years’ time.

I expect that the 1938 Winterhilfswerk campaign reflects the historic greatness of the year. It shall be the ambition of all of us to contribute to such a monumental success. This success shall then prove beyond all doubt that the word “Volksgemeinschaft” is not just an empty delusion. We realize that, in the final instance, all human enterprise requires the blessings of Providence if it is to succeed. Yet we realize as well that Providence accords its blessings only to him who proves himself worthy of them. I believe that all of us have experienced such great fortune this year that we are obligated to make sacrifices voluntarily.

Adolf Hitler – closing speech at the NSDAP congress in Nuremberg – 12.09.1938

September 12, 1938

And yet we look back upon these times with the greatest feeling of pride.

Today we feel doubly close to those times because first of all, in our midst we see the fighters of the eldest German Ostmark who until recently were subject to a like persecution because of their National Socialist conviction. They stand amongst us today as Volksgenossen and citizens of the German Reich. What have they not had to go through, suffer through?! How many of their comrades were slain, how many injured in body and spirit, how many lost their livelihoods for many years, and how many ten thousands were imprisoned in jails, penitentiaries and Anhaltelagers?! The second reason for which we reflect upon these times with particular emotion is the fact that the events we experienced and suffered in our own nation at the time are precisely those we are witnessing on the world stage today.

And above all: our enemies today remain weltanschaulich the very same ones.

Almost every year, we could step before the nation with quiet confidence and await its judgment. The greatest approval ever granted the leadership of a Volk became ours on April 10 of this year. The Volk acknowledged and confirmed that it regards the new form of state and its leadership as institutions that strive to the best of their abilities to serve the Volk and to lead it once more to freedom and greatness and to ensure its economic well-being.

And still, what we are witnessing today on a larger scale is precisely the same we experienced in the decades of internal struggle. Ever since the day we assumed power, we have been surrounded by a hostile environment. The connivance between the gilded, capitalist democratic movement in our parliament on the one hand and with Marxism on the other in their war on National Socialism is today mirrored in a like conspiracy, albeit on a larger scale, involving the democracies and the Bolshevists as they make war on the state constituted by the National Socialist Volksgemeinschaft.

Perhaps the most persuasive evidence of the insincerity of their fight against the National Socialist Party as it struggled for power at the time is the fact that no matter whether they were bourgeois nationalists, capitalist democrats, or Marxist internationalists, they formed a unitary front against us in all decisive battles. At the time, many of our Volksgenossen were forced to realize just how dishonest the political battle was and of how little import morals were in this fight as they saw those parties fighting us on nationalist grounds, yet were not reluctant to conspire with Marxist internationalists to that end.

And vice versa, our Volksgenossen had to realize just how dishonest and fraudulent those parties were who claimed to persecute us for socialist reasons and then went to ally themselves with the worst proponents of capitalism prior to entering into the unitary front against us. The Center Party claimed to be fighting us because we were hostile to the Church, and yet to this end it entered into a holy alliance with atheist Social Democrats and did not shrink from uniting with the Communists. And on the other hand, Communists fought us because, as they claimed, we represented the Reaktion in their eyes. Yet they cast their ballot together with the true reactionaries against the vote of the National Socialist Party in the Reichstag.

It was indeed a display of such duplicity that one could only turn from it in disgust. Today we feel equally repelled as we watch the so-called international world democracies who supposedly advocate liberty, fraternity, justice, the right to self-determination of the peoples, etc., as we see these states ally themselves with Bolshevist Moscow.349 One day, perhaps someone will ask why we concern ourselves so much with the democracies and why we treat them in so negative a manner. This is the case because: First, as those attacked we are forced to counter.

Second, the conduct of these phenomena is so revolting.

Dishonesty sets in the minute these democracies claim to represent government by the people and decry authoritarian states as dictatorships. I believe that I can confidently state that today there are only two world powers who can honestly claim to have 99 percent of their people backing the government. What in other countries goes by the name of democracy is in most cases little other than the apt manipulation of public opinion by means of money and the press, and the equally apt manipulation of the results hereby achieved. How easily, however, are these supposed democracies stripped bare of their pretenses when one takes a close look at their stance in matters of foreign policy which constantly change to suit the purpose of the moment. There we witness how truly repressive regimes in small countries are actually being glorified by these democracies if it suits their needs. Yes, they even go so far as to fight for them, while on the other hand, they themselves actively repress inconvenient rallies in those states where such protest does not suit them. They fail to acknowledge this activism, attempt to subvert it or simply misinterpret its significance. And this is not all: these democracies even glorify Bolshevist regimes if it happens to suit their purpose, and this in spite of the fact that the latter style themselves as the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In other words, these supposed democracies decry regimes that are backed by 99 percent of their constituents as dictatorships, while at the same time they praise other countries as highly respectable democratic institutions even though these call themselves dictatorships and even though these can only subsist on the basis of mass executions, torture, etc. Is it not one of the greatest ironies in history that in the midst of upright prototype democrats in Geneva, the blooddrenched proponent of one of the cruelest tyrannies of all time moves about freely as a highly respected member of the Council?350 We in Germany have already witnessed the alliance of Jewish capitalism with an abstract version of communist anti-capitalism, and we have seen the Rote Fahne, the Vorwarts and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung march hand in hand here. It is the same all over the world. Bolshevist Moscow has become the highly revered ally of capitalist democracies! [-] For fifteen years, they have acted in gruesome defiance of the most natural interests of their peoples, yes, acting contrary to any standards of human dignity. Indeed, they drew up Diktats with a pistol in hand only to, at a later date, lament the “unilateral” transgression of holy rights and the breach of all the more holy contracts. Without so much as a thought for the opinion of the natives, they have led a drive for the bloody subjugation of entire continents.

However, the minute that Germany mentions the return of its colonies, they declared that-out of concern for the indigenous people there-one could not possibly abandon the natives to so horrid a fate. At the same time, they did not distance themselves from dropping bombs out of planes onto their own colonies. And all this to use the force of reason to persuade the dear colored compatriots to submit to the foreign rule a hit longer. Of course, the bombs thus employed were bombs with civilizing warheads which one must absolutely not confuse with those brutal ones Italy used in Abyssinia.

Throughout the democratic countries, one laments the unimaginable cruelty with which first Germany, and now Italy as well, are striving to rid themselves of the Jewish element. However, all these great democratic empires have altogether little more than a few persons per square kilometer. In Italy and in Germany this number exceeds 140 persons. For decades, Germany nevertheless took in hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of Jews without batting an eyelid.

Now that the burden has become overbearing and the nation is no longer willing to have its life blood sucked out of it by these parasites, it is now that there is great lament abroad. However, not a word is heard in these democratic countries about replacing this hypocritical lamentation with a good deed and assistance. No, to the contrary, all one hears is cold reasoning claiming that in these states there is regretfully no space either! Evidently, they expect us to bear up under this burden of Jewry despite our 140 persons per square kilometer, while the democratic world empires with their few people per square kilometer could not possibly shoulder this burden. Alas, no help. But morals! And thus we find the National Socialist Reich faced with the same phenomenon and forces that we had fifteen years to get to know as a party.

Insofar as this is indicative of the hostile attitude of the democratic states toward Germany, this matters little to us. Besides, why should we fare any better than the Reich before us? On a side note, I will admit quite openly that I find it easier to bear insults from someone who can no longer rob me than to be robbed by someone who praises me for letting it happen. Today we are insulted. Yet we are in a position-praise the Lord-to prevent Germany from being ravaged and raped. The state before us was blackmailed for fifteen years.

For this, admittedly, it received compensation-the somewhat sparse recompense, at least in my eyes-of praise for having been a good little democratic state.

This comportment becomes unbearable for us the minute a major part of our Volk is placed at the mercy of impertinent abusers, ostensibly without any means of defending itself, while the brunt of democratic rhetoric pours forth as a threat to our Volksgenossen. I am speaking of Czecho-Slovakia.

This state is a democracy, that is to say it was founded on democratic principles. The majority of its people was simply forced to submit to the structure construed at Versailles without any one asking for its opinion. As a true democracy, this state immediately began to suppress the majority of its people, to abuse there and to rob them of their inalienable rights. Gradually, one attempted to impress upon the world that this state had a special military and political mission to fulfill.

The former French Minister of Aviation, Pierre Cot,352 has explained this to us recently. According to him, Czechoslovakia exists for the purpose of providing a base, in the event of war, for launching aerial attacks and dropping bombs upon German cities and industrial plants. Needless to say, we may assume that these will once again be equipped with those warheads of the famed civilizing variety.

However, this mission stands in opposition to the desires of the majority of the inhabitants of this state, and is alien to their philosophy of life and contrary to their vital interests. That is why the majority of its citizens were silenced. Any protest against this fate would have been an assault upon the aims incarnate in this state and hence would have been in violation of its constitution. Drawn up by the democrats, this constitution was less suited to realizing the rights of the people affected and was instead more tailored toward accommodating the political expediencies of the people’s oppressors. Political expediency necessitated as well that a structure be construed that accorded the Czech people a position of preeminence in this state. Whoever protested against this usurpation became an “enemy of the state” and hence, in accordance with democratic norms, he was outlawed. Providence has thus called upon the socalled people of the Czech state-admittedly voicing its intent through the good offices of the architects at Versailles-to stand guard lest someone rise in opposition to this ultimate purpose of the state.

Should someone nevertheless venture to step forth from amongst the majority of the oppressed peoples in this state and voice opposition to this end, then it is naturally permissible that he be beaten hack with the full force at the state’s disposal and, if so desire or need be, he could also simply be murdered.

If this now did not concern us, if this were some foreign affair, we, like so many others, might take note of it simply as a most interesting display of the democrats’ understanding of the rights of peoples to self-determination.

However, the nature of the affair involves an obligation of us Germans.

Amongst the suppressed minorities in this state, there are also three and a half million Germans, roughly as many people of our race as Denmark has in inhabitants.353 These Germans are God’s creatures as well. The Almighty has not created them so that the construction arrived at in Versailles might place them at the mercy of an alien power they hate. And He has not created seven million Czechs either so that they may reign over these three and a half million, keep them in tutelage, and even far less did He create them to ravage and torture.

The situation in this state has become unbearable, as is well known. In a political context, three and a half million people there are robbed of their right to self-determination in the name of the right to self-determination as construed by a certain Mister Wilson. In an economic context, these people are being ruined methodically and hence are subject to a slow but steady extermination.

The misery of the Sudeten Germans defies description. One desires to destroy them. In a humanitarian context, they are being oppressed and humiliated in an unprecedented fashion.

When three and a half million members of a Volk of eighty million may not sing a song they like because the Czechs dislike it, when they are beaten until they bleed simply because they wear stockings which the Czechs care not to see, when they are terrorized and abused because they greet one another in a fashion the Czechs cannot bear even though they were merely greeting one another and no Czech, when they are persecuted because of every little detail connected to the expression of their nationality, and when they are hunted down as though animals, yes, then this may leave those renowned representatives of democracy cold, who knows, they might actually enjoy it since those affected are a mere three and a half million Germans. All I can say to these representatives of democracy is that this does not leave us cold, no, if these tortured creatures can find neither justice nor help by themselves, then they will receive both from us. There must be an end to the injustice inflicted upon these people! I have already stated this quite openly in my speech of February 20. It was a short-sighted enterprise which the architects of Versailles conceived when they gave birth to the abnormal structure of the Czechoslovakian state. It could pursue its mission to ravage and rape a mass of millions of other nationalities only as long as the brother nations themselves suffered from the abuse inflicted upon the world at Versailles.

However, to believe that such a regime could continue to sin eternally and endlessly means to succumb to an inconceivable delusion. In my speech before the German Reichstag on February 20, I had pointed out that the Reich will no longer stand for any further oppression and persecution of these three and a half million Germans. And I implore all foreign statesmen not to think this mere rhetoric.

For the sake of peace in Europe, the National Socialist State has made enormous sacrifices, enormous sacrifices for the entire nation. It did not harbor any thoughts of so-called revenge; rather, it has banished all such thoughts from all private and public spheres of life. In the course of the seventeenth century, France slowly penetrated Alsace-Lorraine and took it from the Old German Reich in the midst of peacetime.

Following a dreadful war in 1870–71 which had been forced upon Germany, the Reich reclaimed these territories, and they were returned to it. They were lost once more after the World War. To us Germans, the cathedral in Strasbourg means a lot. And when we did not pursue the matter any further, we refrained only in the service of a lasting peace for Europe. No one could have forced us to cede these claims voluntarily had we not wished to give them up in the first place! We gave them up because we willed an end to this constant argument with France once and for all. The Reich has espoused a similar stance and has taken similarly determined steps along its other borders as well. Here National Socialism acted highly responsibly and set an example. We made the greatest of sacrifices and distanced ourselves voluntarily from any further demands so that Europe might enjoy a peaceful future and so that a passage might be cleared, at least on our part, for reconciliation of all peoples worldwide. We acted in an exceedingly loyal fashion.

Neither press, silver screen, nor stage were allowed to propagate a diverging opinion. Not even in literature did we allow for an exception. In a related spirit, I offered solutions for a reduction of tensions in Europe, an offer that was refused for reasons we still fail to comprehend. We voluntarily restricted our power in this important realm in the hope that we should never again be forced to use arms against this one other state in question.354 This did not happen because we would not have been able to produce 55 percent more ships; it occurred because we wished to contribute to a final reduction of tensions and to a pacification of the situation in Europe. Since we found a great patriot and statesman in Poland willing to enter into an agreement with Germany, we immediately seized the opportunity, and arrived at a treaty that no doubt is of far greater import to peace in Europe than all the talk in the halls of the League of Nations’ temple in Geneva.

Germany today possesses many a completely pacified border and Germany is determined, and has stated as much, to accept these borders as inviolable and unchangeable in order to give Europe a feeling of security and peace.

Apparently, however, this self-denial and self-discipline on the part of Germany has been misinterpreted as a sign of weakness. Hence today I would like to set things right: I do not believe that we would be rendering peace in Europe a great service if we pronounced our disinterest in all European affairs. In particular, Germany would not be doing anyone a great service if it remained unmoved by the suffering and plight of three and a half million Volksgenossen and if it did not take an interest in their fate. We understand when England and France pursue their interests in the world.

I wish to point out to the statesmen in Paris and London that there are German interests as well and that we are determined to pursue these under all circumstances. At this point I would like to remind them of my speech before the Reichstag in 1933, in which I openly avowed before all the world that there were questions of national concern in which our path was clearly predetermined. I would rather submit myself to any ordeal, danger, or torment than to fail in the fulfillment of such prerogatives.

No European state has done as much as Germany in the service of peace! No one has made greater sacrifices! One must bear in mind, however, that there is a limit as to how much one can sacrifice, and one should not confuse National Socialist Germany with the Germany of Bethmann-Hollweg and Herding.

When I make this declaration, I do so because of an event that occurred in the course of this year, an event that forces all of us to reconsider our stance to date. As you well know, my Party Comrades, Czechoslovakia has finally announced local elections to be held this year after infinitely postponing any form of plebiscite. Even Prague has finally admitted to the untenable nature of its present position. It fears the unity of the Germans and of the other nationalities. It is convinced that it has to resort to extraordinary measures in order to exert pressure in the election process and thus to manipulate the outcome of the election. Evidently, the Czechoslovakian Government has concluded that this can be achieved only through a brutal policy of intimidation.

Apparently, the Czech state felt that a display of its military might was particularly well suited to this end.

This was especially geared toward the Sudeten Germans to serve as a warning not to speak up for their national interests and to vote accordingly. In order to somehow justify this attempt at intimidation before the eyes of the world public, the Czech Government, i.e. Herr Beneš, fabricated the lie that German troops had been mobilized for an invasion of Czechoslovakia.

In this context, let me today state the following: the creation of such lies is nothing new. About a year ago, the press in a certain country invented a story according to which 20,000 German soldiers had landed in Morocco.356 The Jewish proponent of this lie in the press hoped to thereby cause a war.

At the time, it had sufficed to address a short statement to the French Ambassador to resolve the situation. And in this instance as well, we immediately assured the ambassador of another great power of the falsehood of the Czech allegations. The statement was issued once more, and the Prague Government was immediately informed of its content. Nevertheless, the Government in Prague exploited this deception as a pretext for its terrorist blackmail and manipulation of the election.357 All that I can do in retrospect is to assert that, for one, not one German soldier had been called up other than those serving anyway at this point in time.

Secondly, not one regiment, not one additional unit, had marched to the border.

Indeed, not one soldier served in a garrison other than the one assigned to him for peacetime during this period.

To the contrary, orders were issued to avoid taking any steps that might be construed as a means for exerting pressure on Czechoslovakia on our part.

Nonetheless, a base and vile campaign against us was launched in which all of Europe was organized in the service of a government in pursuit of criminal goals. This government’s sole ambition lay in the manipulation of the election by the exertion of military pressure in an effort to intimidate its citizens and thus rob them of their right to vote. And all this was merely a means of obtaining moral legitimacy which this government felt it needed. Indeed, it had no scruples to cast suspicion on one great state, to alarm all of Europe and to, if need be, plunge Europe into a bloody war.

The Reich Government undertook no such steps, and, in fact, Germany had no such intentions; quite to the contrary, it was convinced that the local elections would do justice to the Sudeten German cause. This lack of activity was then construed as a sign that the German Government stepped down because of the determined stance of the Czechs and of the early intervention by England and France.

You will understand, my Party Comrades, that a great power cannot tolerate such a base incursion [the partial mobilization of Czechoslovakian troops on May 20/21] a second time. As a consequence, I have taken the necessary precautions. I am a National Socialist and as such I am accustomed to strike back at any attacker. Moreover, I know only too well that leniency will not succeed in appeasing, but will merely encourage the arrogance of so irreconcilable an adversary as the Czechs.

Let the fate of the Old German Reich be a warning to us. Its love for peace drove it to the brink of self-destruction. Nonetheless, the Old Reich could not prevent the war in the end. In due consideration thereof, I took steps on May 28 which were very difficult: First, I ordered a far-reaching intensification and the immediate implementation and execution of the reinforcements announced for Army and Luftwaffe. Second, I ordered the immediate expansion of our fortifications to the West. I can assure you that ever since May 28, the construction of one of the most gigantic fortresses of all time has been underway there.

To this end, I entrusted Dr. Todt, the Generalinspekteur for road construction in Germany, with a new commission. Within the framework of the projects undertaken by the fortress construction inspectorate, he has achieved one of the greatest accomplishments of all time, thanks to his extraordinary organizational talents.

Let me point out a few figures to you. At present at work on the fortification of our Western frontier, a project actually begun over two years ago, are: 278,000 laborers in the Todt organization in addition to 84,000 [other] laborers, in addition to 100,000 men of the Reich Labor Service and numerous pioneer battalions and infantry divisions. Besides the materials that are brought to the construction sites via different transportation routes, the German Reichsbahn alone transports 8,000 freight cars a day.

The daily consumption of gravel amounts to over 100,000 tons. The fortification of Germany’s western border will be completed prior to the onset of winter. Its defensive capacity is already assured as of this day. Once completed, it will consist of over 17,000 armored plates and concrete structures. The German Volk in arms stands behind this front of steel and concrete made up of three fortified lines and in some locations actually consists of four fortified lines up to fifty kilometers deep. I have made this greatest effort of all time in the service of peace. Under no circumstances, however, am I willing to quietly stand by and observe from afar the continued oppression of German Volksgenossen in Czechoslovakia.

It’s all tactics. Herr Beneš talks, wants to organize negotiations. He wishes to resolve the question of procedure in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and hands out little favors to placate the people. Things cannot go on this way! This is not a question of empty diplomatic phrases. This is a question of right, the question of a right not granted. What we Germans demand is the right to self-determination, a right every Volk possesses, and not an empty phrase. Herr Beneš is not supposed to grant the Sudeten Germans any favors. They have a right to their own way of life, just as any other people do.

The consequences will be grave ones should, perchance, the democracies persist in their conviction that they must continue to, by any and all means, accord their protection to the oppression of German men and women! I believe it to be in the service of peace, if I leave no doubts as to this fact.

I am asking neither that Germany be allowed to oppress three and a half million Frenchmen, nor am I asking that three and a half million Englishmen be placed at our mercy. Rather I am simply demanding that the oppression of three and a half million Germans in Czechoslovakia cease and that the inalienable right to self-determination take its place.

We would truly regret if this were to cloud or damage our relations to the other European states. Yet the fault would not be ours. It is the business of the Czechoslovakian Government to come to terms with the true representatives of the Sudeten Germans and, in one way or another, to reach some form of understanding with them. Nevertheless, it is my business and, my Volksgenossen, it is the business of all of us to take care that justice not be perverted into injustice. After all, this matter involves our German Volksgenossen. I am not in the least willing to allow foreign statesmen to create a second Palestine right here in the heart of Germany. The poor Arabs are defenseless and have been abandoned by all. The Germans in Czechoslovakia are neither defenseless nor have they been abandoned. Please note this fact.

I feel compelled to broach this topic at that Party Congress in which the representatives of our German-Austrian Gaus participate for the first time.

Better than anyone else they know how painful it is to be separated from the mother country. Easier than anyone else they will grasp the full import of my exposition on this day. With greater enthusiasm than any, they will agree with me when I state before the entire Volk that we would not deserve to be Germans if we were not willing to take such a stance, and to bear up under the consequences one way or another.

When we bear in mind the intolerable impertinence with which even a small state dared to approach Germany in the last months, then we realize that the only explanation possible is revealed in the unwillingness to recognize that the German Reich is more than just a peace-loving, upstart state.

Standing in Rome in the springtime, I felt deep inside that we assess historic developments in far too restricted a manner, investigating time periods far too short to be revealing. One thousand or fifteen hundred years are no more than a few dynastic successions.

What exhausts itself in a certain period, can rise again in the same time period. Today’s Italy and today’s Germany are living proof of this. Both are nations that have regenerated, indeed, that might be regarded as new nations in this context. However, their roots spring not from the grounds of more recent ages but rather they reach back into ancient history. The Roman Empire breathes once more. The phenomenon of Germany as a state is not new either, although it has made its appearance more recently.

I had the insignias of the Old German Reich brought to Nuremberg for a reason. I wish to call to mind, and this not only for the benefit of the German people but also for that of all peoples, that more than half a millennium prior to the discovery of the new world, a gigantic Germanic-German Reich358 stood on these grounds. Dynasties came into being and dissipated. Outward forms changed. Yet while the Volk has been rejuvenated, its essence has remained the same it has always been. The German Reich has long been dormant.

Now the German Volk has awakened and once more bears its crown of 1,000 years high on its head. All of us who bear witness to this historic resurrection feel great pride and happiness. We stand before the Almighty in humble gratitude.

For the rest of the world this should be an inspiration as well as a lesson learned, an inspiration to reflect upon history from a more elevated point of view, and a lesson not to succumb to the same mistakes as in the past.

In truth the new Roman-Italian empire and the Germanic-German Reich are ancient structures. You need not love them and yet no power on earth shall ever again remove them.

Party Comrades! National Socialists! The first Reich Party Congress of Greater Germany ends at this hour. All of you are still under the spell of the great historic events of these past days. This demonstration of our Volk’s power and determination has reinforced the nation’s pride and your confidence in it.

Return to your homes now and carry in your hearts that same faith which you have cherished throughout almost two decades as Germans and as National Socialists.

You now have the right to proudly carry your heads high again as Germans.

It is the duty of all of us to never again bow our heads to any alien will. To this let us pledge ourselves, so help us God!

This depends exclusively on the power of our own weapons and, therefore, depends upon the carriers of those weapons themselves.

No negotiations, no conferences and no other agreement has accorded us Germans the natural right to unity. We had to take justice into our own hands, and we were able to do so thanks to your existence, my soldiers! And it is thus that the two greatest institutions of our Volk must fulfill two identical missions. National Socialism has to educate our Volk within to form this Vol ksgemeinschaft. The Wehrmacht has to instruct this same Volk to defend this Volksgemeinschaft outwardly. So it is you, my soldiers, who were immediately charged with the fulfillment of a mission in this new Reich. And this fulfillment has earned you the love of the German Volk. It relied upon you and it has realized that it can rely upon its sons in uniform. For you carry the best weapons available today, you receive the best training, and I know that you also possess the best of character.

You fit in well with the eternal, everlasting front constituted by Germany’s soldiers. In the past months, I repeatedly had the opportunity to convince myself of this. I saw it at the maneuver sites, shooting stands, and training camps, and it was with great contentment that I realized that the German nation can once more look to its soldiers with great pride. And it is that for which I thank you! Yet, we do not serve for the sake of gratitude, praise, or recompense unless this gratitude, praise and recompense is at the service of what we value the most in this world: our Volk and our German Reich!

Deutschland-Sieg Heil!