– Japanese Victories in the Pacific;
– Training in Submarine Schools Coast Defenses.
– Japanese Victories in the Pacific;
– Japanese Victories in the Pacific;
– Training in Submarine Schools Coast Defenses.
Source: Germany’s Hitler (Chapter XIV) – by Heinz A. Heinz
It is scarcely necessary to enlarge, here, upon the „Nationalism“ in Adolf Hitler’s political creed. Enough has already been written about it. It has occupied so much space in the contemporary Press and been discussed in so many books it has come to be regarded with a certain degree of Chauvinism. I propose, therefore, to confine myself, in the conclusion of this work, to a few observations under the second heading of our double-barrelled title. It is so completely true that he who studies contemporary Germany with a view to forecasting the future of the country, must study it from inside and not from the outsider’s point of view.1 From outside one mainly perceives the nationalism. From the inside the drive and force of the socialism is most apparent.
German Socialism – Adolf Hitler’s Socialism – is a totally different thing from what is generally understood by this term, from the Socialism derived from Marxian and Communistic theory. The first essential difference between the two consists in this, that the former is strictly national in aim, scope and limit; the latter is international, without boundaries of race or land. The second vital distinction is that the first has been set up by the wish of the people concerned, the second is imposed upon nations by the will of those who organise and propagate it. A third contrast can be drawn inasmuch as German Socialism tends to draw all sections of the nation closely together, international socialism initiates class war. German Socialism is directed by the country’s nationals; international Socialism is an instrument of the Jews2. In the former it is the personality of the Leader which tells; in the latter we have nothing but the inertia of the mass which is exploited by its organisers.
By the above signs is German Socialism to be recognised and distinguished. When it has completely assimilated Germany to itself, it will extend and become the groundwork for the future development of other countries. Marxism and Communism are finished in Germany. They have played their part and their role is over. Long enough have they made their influence felt in every sphere of German life, intellectual, political and economic, to the suppression of the truer socialism. Socialism is not a thing to be apprehended through dreary theory only, but to be tested and proved in action. We have written enough, elsewhere, very fully to show that the present German Government is inspired in its legislation by the spirit of active philanthropy which it calls Socialism. This legislation incorporates the very essence of German Socialism.
As Dr. Goebbels writes: „Socialism, as we understand it, does not reduce men to a dead level, but ranges them in order according to their individual capacity and leading. If I were to try and put our aims and objects in this direction in a nutshell, I should say that it is our endeavour to build up in Germany a people who all possess the same rights in life. We want everyone, high and low, to belong to such a people. We desire that the highest among them shall feel themselves more closely united with the last and lowest of their own kith and kin than with the highest of any other nation. We aim at this – that the highest of our people would rather be the lowest of his own nation, than the highest of any other nation. Such an aspiration can only be the outcome of an absolutely unified national will.”
It would lead us too far afield to instance the many measures in which Hitler has exemplified his conception of true Socialism. We must confine ourselves to a mere sketch of the most important and obvious incorporations of the ideas through which he has restored to the German worker his honour and self-respect.
THE GERMAN LABOUR FRONT
The law of April 10th, 1933, which arranged May 1st as a great Labour Day Holiday initiated the abovenamed reorganisation of labour in Germany. The first celebration of the new holiday was unanimous and universal: the Germans had never had anything like it before. Thousands of people gathered together at the same time, all over the country to listen to the Leader’s speech, and then to make high holiday. All trades and callings and professions for the first time were assembled in common, symbolising the unity which was henceforth to unite both types of labour – that of the head, and that of the hand, symbolising the necessary equal value to the community of both. German Socialism recognises no discriminating difference between the brain worker and the hand worker.
Quick on the heels of May 1st and its celebrations, came action. The German Labour Front emerged. On May 2nd the premises of all Marxian Labour Unions were taken over and the contents sequestrated.
Abroad, similar Marxist Unions described this action of Hitler’s as a theft of the German workman’s hardly earned pay, saved up for years and years in the Unions’ funds. Such a charge could not be substantiated, since these moneys were not taken from the workmen, to whom they rightly belonged, but from the greedy grasp of union officials to whom they did not belong, but who administered them wastefully, or appropriated them in disproportionate salaries.
With the workman himself went his money also, into the Labour Front. Here it could only be put to the best and most legitimate uses on his behalf.
The great object of the Labour Front is to secure German industry from the incessant recurrence of strikes and all their disintegrating consequences. German Socialism utterly opposes itself to strife between employers and men. Here again it shows quite a different face from that of Marxian Socialism which seeks to foment such discord, whereby, moreover, it maintains its own sovereignty.
In Germany to-day a strike is impossible for the reason that no employer dare pay less than the standardised daily wage, or the State would immediately take up the workers’ grievance. On the other hand, were the workers to demand more than their due they themselves would bring about the collapse of the concern for which they worked. The standard of wages is arrived at by experts representing the men and concerned to secure their best interests.
Together with wages, the question of hours has also been considered. In Marxist-Socialist Germany after the War, very hard times set in for German working men. Their leaders had every opportunity to show what the theory could accomplish; they had a majority in the Reichstag, a member of the Party was President of the Reich. Nevertheless, they were all either too lazy or too indifferent to carry out their programme.
So long as the masses went hungry they were easy to inflame, and to excite against capitalism and the wealthy. While six and a half million unemployed hung about the streets while their wives and children were starving, selfish employers exploited this wretched state of things just because they were paying the dole, forsooth! If a man grumbled he lost his job; hundreds were only waiting to pounce upon it in his stead. If he sought the assistance of the Secretary of his Union he drew another blank. What cared the employer for the Unions? Should a strike ensue all he had to do was to close shop or factory as the case might be, and say, „All right. We’ll see who can stick it out the longest, you or I.”
Days or even weeks might go by, but the result was always the same. The men came back with hangdog mien, glad of the work again at any cost! This is where the German working man had lost in his own eyes. It was from this sort of victimisation and wretchedness that Hitler designed to rescue him, and give him back his self-respect. Hitherto he had been the prey of vicious circumstances, the slave of an unscrupulous class.
All was altered in a twinkling when Adolf Hitler came to power. A cry of gratitude and relief went up from all ranks of German working men. The Brown Shirts were everywhere welcomed as they made their way into shop and factory and yard to enquire after the needs and circumstances of every employee in the place. Union secretaries were hauled to account no less than unsocialistic-minded employers. The German Labour Front was out to accomplish what it promised.
With the exception of peasants and officials, who have their own organisations, the German Labour Front comprises workmen of all kinds, employees, employers and people working on their own account. Hitler is its patron, Dr. Ley is its Leader. The standards of wages are carefully regulated and observed by reliable workers themselves. The Reich is divided up, under this scheme, into Regions, these, in turn, into Districts, these into Circuits or Local Groups, and these latter again into Trade Communes, Cells and Blocks.
STRENGTH THROUGH JOY
Perforce of its iron will, its absolute refusal to com-promise and its terrific onset, National Socialism wrenched itself suddenly into power. Long years before this happened its better ideas had attracted people away from those of the old system then in vogue, and so it is readily to be understood how, in March, 1933, the aforesaid old system simply collapsed.
The first and greatest duty before National Socialism was to win the German people back to a sense of nationality, and in impressing its own principles upon them. A State that is to endure for centuries ahead must be built upon the very foundations of organic life, upon blood and soil, nationality and home.
In order to replace one kind of State with another, and better one, it is not enough merely to do away with the former: the people themselves must be re-educated. In place of a system full of class enmity and distinctions and pride of place, there is now a commonwealth. The new State, organically designed, is founded upon the principle “The common good before that of the individual.”
Under National Socialism the culture of an entire people must not be identified with any particular caste, class, or level: it must characterise and belong to the mass. Nor must aesthetic enjoyments be only for the few; they must be common to all. Just as the creation of a united working people has been confided to the German Labour Front, so is it the business of another organisation, that of “Strength through Joy,” to make every member of the nation free of its cultural and artistic treasures and resources. The two endeavours are inter-related. By means of the latter every German working man can look to his free evening as a real opportunity for refreshment and „uplift ”; money which had formerly gone merely in organising strikes, can now be spent far more profitably and agreeably.
It is not the object of „Strength through Joy“ to educate the people politically. Few want to attend classes in civics after a hard day’s work. Its aim is rather to bring the people together on a broad basis of enlightenment, an effort in which they, too, of course, must concur.
The Director of „Strength through Joy“ is also Dr. Ley. His work is comprised under many headings. It is one of his principal endeavours to open up to worker and unemployed alike all the best sources of entertainment, opera, theatre and concert hall. For the fact that a workman in any German city can obtain admission to the finest operas for practically a nominal sum is Hitler himself directly to be thanked. Hitler often starved, in the old days, in order to buy the meanest standing room in the house, to hear Wagner. Now that he is Chancellor, no working man in Germany need be put to such shifts to gratify his artistic longings.
The „Kulturamt“ has opened to the people all sorts of intellectual resorts hitherto sacred to the upper ten. It is a mistake to suppose that only such appreciate the best. In Germany Wagner takes precedence, even with the poorest people, over nigger minstrelsy and jazz.
Even the working man’s week-ends are provided for. Previously he went for a bit of a walk in the park perhaps, on Sunday, or took a tram out of the suburbs to get a breath of air. If he were a single man he might spend the most part of his leisure in a beer hall, listening to the band. Although this sort of thing can still be observed everywhere, nowadays the workman looks to the sort of week-end right away which previously could only be enjoyed by the better to do. For a couple of marks, to-day, he can go thirty miles out of the city, follow a personally conducted tour around some beauty spots, and enjoy a good meal into the bargain. When his holiday comes round, it is provided for, lavishly as far as good things are concerned, at equally small cost.
Workmen from Munich can now envisage holidays by the North Sea with all sorts of trips and bathing fun thrown in. Those from Berlin can go to the Alps, do a bit of mountaineering and try what hotel life is like. These are dreams come true which for whole generations past must have ever remained unrealisable. All thank: to Adolf Hitler.
The section of this activity which deals with „Volkstum und Heimat,” seeks to revive, for urban populations, the knowledge of and delight in old peasant and traditional customs, songs, dances, costumes. This sort of thing reawakens love of the country and their origins in people long divorced from the land. It bridges the gull between the peasant and the townsman.
Kraft durch Freude (“Strength through Joy”) looks also to sport to give the working man zest and change in exercise. It is Hitler’s keenest desire to see the worker, particularly the youthful worker (Hitler’s Germany is all being built for the future – the past must now look after itself, „let the dead bury the dead”) made „crisis resisting.” The young workman goes in for tennis and golf and every other vigorous game that’s going.
Through the instrumentality of innumerable exhibitions, it is sought to rouse the worker’s pride in his own achievements, in his niche in society, in the part he plays in the whole. His craft is displayed before him in its entire interest, or beauty, or significance. Prizes and com-petitions abound. Each man becomes conscious of the part he takes in the whole, and discovers fresh pride in his trade and in himself.
Cheap classes are held for those who desire to advance in their particular calling, or to study more particularly the trade to which they belong, and for the acquisition of foreign languages. The best teachers are retained and the instruction is given in the buildings of the local University.
People are assisted to acquire their own dwelling- houses. Loans for this purpose can be repaid by instalments over a series of years. In this way it is hoped to promote a cheerful small villadom beyond the limits of the greater cities.
The department for propaganda aims at bringing all these activities and facilities before the people, to encourage them to make the utmost use of them. Only so will they be bringing about the National Socialist State envisaged by Adolf Hitler. There are still more departments in this one Movement alone, but space forbids their description.
Much, indeed, has been written about the new Germany. In England and America so much attention has been directed to its political aspect, that these others have been neglected. Of that attention, moreover, by far the greater part is highly inimical, highly critical. Few outside Germany yet realise why Hitler is prepared to go to all lengths to save this new Germany from being torpedoed either from within or without. He saves it in his own way and from those he considers its enemies, whether his action is understood abroad or not.
Let those disbelieve it who will, Adolf Hitler has done more for Germany since he came to power than any other statesman at any other time, and the wrecking of his work would not only spell the final ruin of Germany, but the ruin of Europe at large.
1. Germany’s political development has been along lines totally different from those in England, and has led to a type of political public opinion very different from that of the average Englishman. The latter make a great mistake to judge of affairs in another country as if they had happened in their own. This is the universal mistake of the onlooker and critic: perhaps it accounts for two-thirds of the international misunderstanding in Europe today.
2. Vide the period of the Soldiers’ and Workmen’s Councils in Munich.
In the diary and belongings of an SS man who killed himself, the following sentence is often repeated: „My life no longer has value!“ What did he mean by that, and did he have a right to talk that way?
The SS man was 21 years old. His love – which had bound him with two different girls, one after the other, was not of a frivolous kind. He had sought a worthwhile union, an equal wife, who would give him healthy children in a lasting marriage. He gave up the first girl when medical examinations clearly showed the girl would remain infertile. But then, when a new dear love had bound him to another girl, he learned in the hospital that he himself through his own fault had become sterile. Since then the sentence about the purposelessness of his life was often repeated in his writings, and that he had lost everything he had lived, loved and fought for the perpetuation in his children.
What did the SS man want to achieve through his suicide? Did he want to make up for his self-inflicted infertility or did he wish to escape a childless existence, which seemed poor and empty to him?
We will gladly leave the examination of these questions to the psychiatrists. For us SS men, in this case, as in all cases of suicide, only one question is necessary and important: Did the deed help or hurt the folk?
Nobody can deny that the deed of the SS man mentioned here caused serious damage to the folk. For through it nothing was atoned for or made good. Quite the opposite: not only did the SS man deprive his folk of progeny, but through his own death he also deprived it of himself and of his own work-strength and fighting-strength. Hence, he added to his guilt.
There may be cases where a great guilt can only be atoned for through death. Then there is the case where the continued life of the guilty person can mean an unbearable burden for the community. In all other cases there is only one atonement and reconciliation, namely the total life effort for the community.
In his order of March 19, 1939, the Reichsführer SS clearly took a position to suicide. It says:
„At most 15% of suicides are committed for reasons that can be accepted, so for example the ending of life after a crime that hurts the community and tarnishes honour. 85% of the suicides, however, are committed for reasons that can never be accepted, such as fear of punishment, fear of a test, after reprimand from a superior, after an argument with parents. after the dissolution of an engagement, out of jealousy, after an unlucky love affair etc.
„Suicides of this kind have nothing do to with heroism or heroic spirit. They are viewed by we SS men as an escape, as a desertion from struggle and from life itself.”
„The SS has never had understanding for people who avoid struggle. Therefore, I decree that in all cases where an investigation instigated by the superior clearly determines that the reason for the suicide cannot be accepted, that no notice be given to the death of the man, and that the SS does not participate in the burial.”
Your life does not belong to you, but to your folk.
– H. Kl
– English Torpedo Planes Attack Planes Convoy Headed for Africa.
February 20, 1938
My Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag!
I know that you, and with you the German Volk, expected to be called together for a commemoration of the fifth anniversary of our take-over that you, as the duly elected representatives of the Reich, might commemorate with me that so memory-laden beginning of a new historic departure of our Volk.
The decision to convene the Reichstag today instead was made for two reasons:
For you all have good reason to expect that such a day will provide not only a retrospective on the past, but also a glimpse into the future. Both of these shall be the objective and the content of my speech to you today.
When, at noon of January 30 five years ago, Reich President and Field Marshal von Hindenburg entrusted to me the chancellorship and hence the leadership of the Reich, we National Socialists perceived this to constitute a turning point for the fate of Germany.
The day I entered the building on the Wilhelmsplatz as the head of the largest opposition party and emerged as the Fuhrer and Chancellor of the nation was a turning point in the history of our Volk, then, now, and for all time to come.
When in a country hundreds of thousands of peasants are faced with the loss of their buildings and land-when hundreds of thousands of industrial workers lose their daily bread-when tens of thousands of companies are forced to close their gates, and their staff and workers are dismissed-when an army of more than six million unemployed, which is steadily increasing, weighs ever heavier on the finances of the Reich, the Lander and the communities, and in spite of this support can scarcely afford the bare necessities of life-when a spiritual proletariat evolves for which the education they have enjoyed turns out to be more a curse than a blessing when old, flourishing industrial cities decay, and large sectors virtually begin to become extinct for lack of markets for their products-when in others, the children do not have teeth at three or four years old as a result of horrendous poverty and its ensuing undernourishment-when neither bread nor milk can be procured for them-when the remark of a hardhearted foe to the effect that twenty million people too many are living in our German Volk is nearly proven true by the horrors of reality, then such a Volk will not cry out for journalistic scribes or parliamentary gabblers; it will not cry out for investigation committees, for international debates, for ridiculous referenda, or for the shallow clichés of foreign and domestic socalled “statesmen!” No! It cries out for the action that will bring salvation, beyond talk and stupid newspaper articles. It has no interest in the literary treatises of drawing-room-Bolshevist international correspondents; its interest lies solely in the help which will jerk it back from the outermost edge! And above all: he who feels himself called upon to take on the task of leading a Volk in such an hour is not responsible to the laws of parliamentary procedure, nor is he under obligation to a certain democratic standpoint; he is bound exclusively to the mission assigned to him. And he who interferes with this mission is an enemy of the people-regardless of whether he attempts to interfere as a Bolshevist, a democrat, a revolutionary terrorist, or a reactionary dreamer.
In such a time of crisis, he who lazily meanders across the land quoting the Bible and spending the live-long day either doing nothing or criticizing the actions of others, is not acting in the name of God; instead, it is he who lends his prayer the most sacred form which connects a man to his God: labor! And when today I account for myself before the German Volk, I can proudly and openly face all those hundreds of thousands and millions who are forced to work themselves to earn their daily bread in the city and the country.
In these past five years, I too have been a worker. Yet my personal concerns were multiplied by the concern for the existence and the future of sixty-eight million others. And just as these others rightly refuse to tolerate that their work is disrupted by good-for-nothings or layabouts, I too refused to tolerate that my work be obstructed by good-for-nothings, n’er-do-wells, or malicious or lazy elements.
I had a right here to turn against anyone who, instead of doing his part, regarded his mission as consisting solely in the critical observation and appraisal of our work. Neither does faith relieve one of the obligation to fall into line with the work of those who are accomplishing the salvation of a nation. The fact that I had a right to protect my work and the work of all of us from such public troublemakers is something I would now like to document in the fruits of this work. They are undisputed, yet above all: they are all the more remarkable because, in most cases, I did not have the models of past achievements to rely upon as examples; I had only my own sound common sense and the earnest desire to never capitulate before obstacles, but instead to spite them with courage and bravery.
At this time I would also like to make another observation: if today Germany has in fact been rescued economically, the German Volk owes this solely to its own leadership and its own effort. Foreign countries have had no part in this at all. With the exception of hate-filled rejection or a stupid knowall manner, we are aware of nothing which could even be seen as a positive interest for Germany, not to mention help.
Allow me now to give you a short excerpt from our economic life which proves in plain figures whether and to what extent National Socialism has solved these problems.
And when I now round out this picture of the upswing of German life which I wish to show you, using only very few proofs and figures taken from the huge number available, I can find no closing more splendid than the one illustrated in our increasing number of births! In the year 1932, 970,000 children were born. This figure was increasing annually and reached the mark of 1,270,000 in 1937. All told, since National Socialism took power, approximately 1,160,000 more children have been bestowed upon the German Volk! Not only are they a reason for us to be proud of our German women; they are also a reason to be grateful to our Providence. To enable the nation to accomplish its incomparable work in peace, 1,160,000 young new Volksgenossen were bestowed upon it in the space of five years, living proof of the tremendous work of the National Socialist uplifting of our Volk and the blessing of our Lord God.
My Deputies! Men of the Reichstag! In this very brief excerpt, I have attempted, by presenting stark and plain figures, to lay before you and the German Volk documentary evidence for the work of construction, a work which is unique in terms both of its dimensions and its effect. My entire staff and I myself-and with us the entire German Volk-can be proud of five years in which such gigantic achievements were accomplished in every area of our economic life. How ridiculous, in comparison, is the criticism of all those who have nothing to offer in the face of the National Socialist work of reconstruction other than the mumbling (Gestammel) of their stupidity or their spitefulness!
In the past few weeks, you have been hearing certain foreign journalists with their, for us, simply incomprehensible talk, in which they claim-in 1938-that the influence of National Socialism has just spread to the Foreign Office, or that at present there is a struggle going on between the Reichswehr- the fact that, in the meantime, there is a German Wehrmacht is something these miserable wretches (armselige Tropfe) have apparently missed out on- and the Party, or that the National Socialist “wing” is about to draw the economy into its sphere of influence, and more of the same nonsense. How little they understand the essence of our National Socialist Revolution!
Thus within the space of but a few years, National Socialism has compensated for what centuries before it had omitted, and put right what countless generations before it had done wrong.
One of these accomplishments [of National Socialism] is above all the formation of a leadership of the Volk and State that is as far removed from parliamentary democracy as it is from a military dictatorship. In National Socialism, the Volk has been given the leadership which, as a party, has not only mobilized but also organized the nation, and organized it such that the supremely natural principle of selection would appear to indicate that the continued existence of a secure political leadership is guaranteed. And this is perhaps one of the proudest chapters in the history of the past five years.
Contrary to what a small international scribe perhaps believes, National Socialism did not conquer the Foreign Ministry in Germany on February 4; it has possessed Germany in its entirety since that day I emerged from the building on the Wilhelmsplatz five years ago as Reich is Chancellor, and possessed it totally and without exception. There is not a single institution in this state which is not National Socialist. [-] In terms of leadership, the greatest safeguard of the National Socialist Revolution at home and abroad lies in the fact that the National Socialist Party encompasses, in a comprehensive sense, the Reich and all its facilities and institutions. The Reich’s protection against the world, on the other hand, lies in the new National Socialist Wehrmacht.
Party Comrades! At this time eighteen years ago, I first announced the program of the Party.
Back then, in the time of utter German humiliation, of the greatest impotence and unimaginable misery, I proclaimed the goal of the National Socialist Party as being, among other things, the elimination of the mercenary army forced upon us by the Treaty of Versailles, and the formation of a great, strong German Volksheer.
It was as an unknown German soldier at the front that I put together this bold program, fighting for it for fourteen years in opposition to a world of domestic foes and foreign haters, and in the space of five years I have now turned it into reality! I do not need to go into detail on this, the greatest accomplishment of the new Reich. I only want to announce the following: The German peace army has been assembled! A tremendous German Luftwaffe is protecting our homeland! A new power at sea is protecting our shores! In the midst of a gigantic increase in our general production, it has been possible to build up an armament beyond compare! If it serves as an inner comfort to the wise men abroad, then as far as we are concerned, let them believe that there are God knows how many disputes between the Wehrmacht and National Socialism in Germany. We would be the last to deprive them of this type of inner self-satisfaction. Yet if they should ever come to other conclusions beyond these, let them be told the following: In Germany there is no such thing as the problem of the National Socialist State and the National Socialist Party, nor of the National Socialist Party and the National Socialist Wehrmacht. In this Reich, everyone who holds any type of responsible position is a National Socialist! Every man wears the sovereign symbol of National Socialism on his brow. Every institution in the Reich is under the command of the supreme political leadership, and all the institutions of this Reich are sworn to and united in the will and the resolve to represent this National Socialist Germany and, if necessary, to defend it to their last breath. May you not be persuaded to believe otherwise by those elements who have already revealed themselves in Germany to be the worst prophets. The Party is leading the Reich politically and the Wehrmacht is defending this Reich militarily. Every institution in this Reich has its appointed task, and there is no one in any responsible position in this state who has any doubt that I am the authorized leader of this Reich and that the nation has given me a mandate, by virtue of its trust, to represent it at all times and at all places.
Just as the German Wehrmacht is dedicated to this National Socialist State in blind faith and blind obedience, this National Socialist State and its leading Party are likewise proud of and pleased with our Wehrmacht. In it we see the crowning glory of a National Socialist education which captivates the German man from youth onwards. What he learns in the political organizations and in his political and spiritual attitude is supplemented here by the training and education to become a soldier. In this hour I cannot help paying tribute to those men who, as trustees of the Wehrmacht, the Army, the Navy, and the Luftwaffe, have helped me to shape this magnificent instrument.
I was forced to respect the wish of Field Marshal von Blomberg that, upon the completion of the first great phase of formation, his weakened health [!] be spared, now that there have been so many aggravations in his private life.
However, at this time I would like to express my thanks and the thanks of the German Volk for the so infinitely faithful and loyal work this soldier has accomplished for the new Reich and its Wehrmacht. In history, this work will never again be able to be divorced as such from the history of the founding of this Reich. The same applies to the work and outstanding achievements of Colonel General Fritsch. And of all those who, in an utterly noble spirit, placed their positions at the disposal of younger political and military personnel within the scope of the rejuvenation of our political and military leadership corps.
We know what the 100,000-man army of the former Reichswehr accomplished in the way of prerequisites for the so very swift rearmament of the German Wehrmacht. Yet we also know that, to accomplish the new and tremendous tasks, an ever-replenished stream of young men is required. And above all we know that the tasks of the future will necessitate a stronger consolidation of the political and military power of the Reich than was perhaps requisite in the past. Therefore my decision, following Field Marshal von Blomberg’s retirement, to exercise my power of command over the three branches of the Wehrmacht first-hand and put the Wehrmacht Office, as the Highest Command of the Wehrmacht, under my personal control, is one which I hope will enable us to achieve within the shortest space of time that reinforcement of our military instrument of power which the general circumstances of our time indicate to be advisable today.
There is one promise I would like to make before the German Volk today as its elected Fuhrer: as much as we are attached to peace, we are just as attached to our honor and the inalienable rights of our Volk. As much as I advocate peace, I will just as strongly ensure that never again will that instrument of our Volk be weakened or much less taken away which, in my opinion, is the only means which can most safely and successfully preserve the peace in these so troubled times! And as much as I can convey to the world the promise of the German Volk’s sincere and deep love for peace, 1 am just as determined not to leave any doubt that this love of peace has nothing to do with either limp surrender or dishonorable cowardice.
If ever the international smear campaign and well-poisoning should attempt to disrupt the peace of our Reich, steel and iron shall stand up for the German Volk and the German homeland. And then the world will instantly (blitzschnell) see how very much this Reich-Volk, Party, and Wehrmacht-is filled with one spirit and zealously fanaticized in one will. In other respects, it is not my intention to take a special stand for the honorable German Officers’ Corps against the slander of a certain international journalism. Moreover, there is no reason to do so. For journalists happen to be divided into two different types of people: those who love the truth, and on the other hand hypocritical, inferior swindlers, traitors to the peoples, and warmongers. But there is only one type of German officer!
Our reason for not being in the League of Nations lies in our belief that it is not an institution of justice, but more an institution for the defense of the injustice of Versailles. [-] Were the League of Nations to last for one hundred years, this would lead- because it is obviously incapable of grasping historic or economic necessities and of meeting the resultant demands; and conversely because the interests of the peoples, as far as concerns their existence or non-existence, are ultimately stronger than formal considerations-to a strange situation in the world.
For in the year 2036, new nations might very easily have been established or others become things of the past without Geneva having been capable of registering this new state of affairs.
Germany was once forced, by virtue of its membership in the League of Nations, to take part in one such unreasonable action. In what threatened to become the second such case, it was able, as a result of its withdrawal from the League-thanks and praise be to God-to act in accordance with reason and fairness. However, gentlemen, today I wish to inform you that I have now resolved to make the necessary correction dictated by history in the first case as well. Germany will recognize Manchukuo. I have decided to take this step in order to here, too, draw the final line between a policy of the fantastically inconceivable and one of sober respect for the facts of reality.
Hence, in Summary I would like to declare once more that Germany-and above all following Italy’s withdrawal from the League of Nations-has no further intention whatsoever to ever return to this institution.
We perceive Bolshevism, even more than in the past, as the incarnation of the human drive for destruction.
Since Great Britain quite frequently proclaims through the mouthpieces of its responsible statesmen that it is interested in maintaining the status quo in the world, then this should also apply there.
Every Bolshevization of a European country constitutes a change in this status quo. For these Bolshevized territories are then no longer autocratic states with a national life of their own, but sections in the Muscovite Center of Revolution. I am aware that Mr. Eden does not share this view. Mr. Stalin shares it, and openly admits it, and in my opinion, at present Mr. Stalin is personally a more reliable expert on and interpreter of Bolshevist ideas and intentions than a British minister!
No matter when and no matter how the events in the Far East come to their ultimate conclusion, in its position of defense against Communism, Germany will always regard and value Japan as a safeguarding factor-namely, in safeguarding human civilization. [-] The friendship between Germany and Italy has gradually evolved for certain reasons to become a factor serving to stabilize European peace. The relations of both states to Japan comprises the largest obstacle by far to a further penetration of Russian Bolshevist violence.
I am also no longer prepared to sit idle and tolerate that unrestrained method of constantly denigrating and insulting our country and our Volk. From now on we will respond, and respond with National Socialist thoroughness. What has been strewn about only these past few weeks in the way of altogether crazy, stupid and reckless allegations about Germany is simply outrageous. What can one possibly say, when Reuters invents attacks on my life, and English newspapers talk about huge waves of arrests in Germany, about the closing of the German borders to Switzerland, Belgium, France, etc.; when yet other newspapers report that the Crown Prince has fled Germany, or that a military putsch has taken place in Germany; that German generals have been taken prisoner, and on the other hand that German generals have stationed themselves with their regiments in front of the Reich Chancellery; that a quarrel has broken out between Himmler and Goring on the Jewish question, and as a result I am in a difficult predicament; that a German general has established contact with Daladier via intermediaries; that a regiment has mutinied in Stolp; that 2,000 officers have been dismissed from the army; that the entire German industrial sector has just received orders to mobilize for war; that there are extremely strong differences between the Government and private industry; that twenty German officers and three generals have fled to Salzburg; that fourteen generals have fled to Prague with Ludendorff’s corpse; and that I have completely lost my voice, and the resourceful Dr. Goebbels is presently on the lookout for a man capable of imitating my voice to allow me to speak from gramophone records from now on. I take it that tomorrow this journalistic zealot of truth will either contest that I am really here today or claim that I had only made gestures, while behind me the Reich Minister of Propaganda ran the gramophone.
In a recent speech, Mr. Eden waxed eloquently on the various liberties in his country. However, one particular liberty was left out: the liberty of journalists to insult and slander other peoples, their institutions, men and governments without reprimand or restriction! One thing which increased-if this is even possible-our liking for Italy is the fact that there, the leadership of state and the policies of the press go hand in hand, instead of letting the leadership of state talk about understanding while the press is launching a smear campaign in the other direction! This chapter on the disruption of international relations should also include the audacity to write letters to a foreign head of state with the request for information on court judgments. I recommend that the deputies of the British House of Commons concern themselves with the verdicts of British courts-martial in Jerusalem instead of with the judgments of German people’s courts. While we might be able to understand an interest in German traitors, it does not help to improve the relations between England and Germany.
Furthermore, let no one delude himself that he might be able to influence German courts or the German penal system by such tactless meddling. In any case, I will not allow deputies of the German Reichstag to worry themselves with the affairs of British justice. The interests of the British world empire are certainly quite extensive, and we recognize them as such. But as regards the concerns of the German Volk and Reich, the German Reichstag and I myself as the delegate of the Reichstag decide, and not a delegation of English letterwriters.
I think it would be a commendable deed were one able to internationally outlaw not only the dropping of toxic, incendiary, and explosive bombs on the civilian population, but above all to ban the distribution of newspapers which have a worse effect on the relations between the states than toxic or incendiary bombs could ever have.
Since this international smear campaign of the press must naturally be interpreted not as a reconciling element, but as one presenting a threat to international peace, I have resolved to undertake the reinforcements of the German Wehrmacht which will lend us the certainty that this wild threat of war against Germany will not one day be transformed into a bloody reality.
These measures have been in progress since February 4 of this year and will he continued with speed and determination.
The strong yearning for true neutrality which we have been able to observe in a number of European states fills us with deep and sincere satisfaction. We believe that we can interpret this as a sign of increasing reconciliation and hence increasing security. Yet on the other hand, we are also aware of the painful consequences of the confusion introduced to the European map and the economic and political constellation of the peoples by the insane act of Versailles. Two of the states at our borders alone encompass a mass of over ten million Germans. Until 1866, they were still united with the German race as a whole in a political federation. Until 1918, they fought shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers of the German Empire in the Great War. Against their own free will, they were prevented from uniting with the Reich by virtue of the peace treaties. This is painful enough in and of itself. Yet let there be no doubt in our minds about one thing. The separation from the Reich under public law must not lead to a situation in which the races are deprived of rights; in other words, the general rights of volkisch self-determination-which, incidentally, were solemnly guaranteed to us in Wilson’s Fourteen Points as a prerequisite for the Armistice-cannot simply be ignored because this is a case concerning Germans! In the long run, it is unbearable for a world power to know that there arc Volksgenossen at its side being constantly subjected to the most severe suffering because of their sympathy or affiliation with their race, its fate, and its world view! We well know that it is scarcely possible to establish borders in Europe which will satisfy everyone. Hence it would be all the more important to avoid unnecessarily tormenting national minorities in order not to add to the pain of political separation the further pain of persecution for belonging to a certain Volkstum. The fact that it is possible, given good intentions, to find ways to achieve a balance or lessen the tension, has been proven.
Yet he who wields force in attempting to prevent a balance from being achieved in Europe in that the tensions are lessened will at some point inevitably call violence into play between the peoples. It cannot be denied that, as long as Germany was powerless and defenseless, it had no choice but to tolerate this unremitting prosecution of German beings at its borders. However, just as England looks after its interests in every corner of the earth, modern Germany, too, shall know how to look after and protect its-albeit much more limited-interests. And these interests of the German Reich include protecting those German Volksgenossen who are not, of their own power, in a position to secure for themselves on our borders the right to general human, political, and weltatnschaulich freedom! In the fifth year following the first great foreign policy agreement of the Reich, it fills us with true satisfaction to be able to say that, particularly as regards our relations with the state with which we would perhaps have the greatest differences, not only have tensions lessened; moreover, in the course of these past years, an ever friendlier rapprochement has come about. I well know that this was due first and foremost to the fact that, at the time, Warsaw did not have a Western parliamentarianism but a Polish Marshal who, being an outstanding figure, sensed how very significant a lessening of German-Polish tensions was for Europe. The work of that time, which many questioned, has proven itself in the interim; and I may well say that, when the League of Nations finally abandoned its unremitting attempts to cause disruption in Danzig and furthermore appointed a new commissioner who was a man of personal stature, this very spot that presented the greatest threat to European peace lost its dangerous significance.
The Polish nation respects the national conditions in this state, and this city and Germany both respect Polish rights. Hence it was possible to pave the way for an understanding which, starting with Danzig, has been capable of completely removing the poison from the relationship between Germany and Poland, transforming it into one of truly friendly cooperation-despite the attempts of troublemakers here and there.
I am pleased to be able to tell you, gentlemen, that within the past few days a further settlement has been reached with the country with which we have a special affinity for various reasons. Not only is it the same Volk; it also has a long, kindred history and a shared culture which link the Reich and German-Austria.
The difficulties arising in connection with the execution of the July 11 agreement necessitated that the attempt be made to do away with misunderstandings and obstacles to a final reconciliation. For it was obvious that a situation that had become intolerable in and of itself would one day, with or without premeditation, be capable of evolving into a very grave catastrophe. It is usually no longer within the power of human beings to bring the wheels of fortune to a halt once they have been put in motion by neglect or lack of circumspection! I am happy to be able to note that these ideas also coincided with the views of the Austrian Chancellor, whom I had invited to see me. The idea and intention were to bring about a lessening of the tensions in our relations by granting to that part of the German-Austrian Volk which is National Socialist in terms of its views and Weltanschauung those rights within the limits of the law which are the same as those to which other citizens are entitled.
In this context, a great pacification shall come about in the form of a general amnesty and a better understanding between the two states, prompted by closer amicable relations in the various sectors of political, personal and concrete economic cooperation-all of which is a supplement to the agreement of July 11. At this time, I would like to express before the German Volk my sincere gratitude to the Austrian Chancellor for the great consideration and warm-hearted readiness with which he accepted my invitation and endeavored, with me, to find a solution doing equal justice to the interests of both countries and the interests of the German race as a whole, that German race whose sons we all are, no matter where the cradle of our homeland stood. I believe that we have thereby also made a contribution to European peace.
The most conclusive proof for the accuracy of this assertion lies in the outraged anger of those democratic world citizens who, although they are always talking about peace, never miss an opportunity to agitate for war. They are infuriated and incensed by this act of reconciliation. Hence one has every reason to assume that it is good and right.
Perhaps this example may serve to bring about a gradual lessening of tension in Europe on a larger scale. Germany in any case, supported by its friendships, will do everything to preserve that possession which constitutes the prerequisite for the tasks we envision for the future: peace.
My Party Comrades, I may assure you here once more that our relations with the other European and nonEuropean states are either good and normal or very friendly. I need only draw attention to our altogether warm friendship with, for instance, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and many other states. Our foreign trade balance has given you a vivid picture of the magnitude of our economic cooperation with other peoples. The main emphasis lies on our cooperation with the two major powers which, like Germany, have recognized Bolshevism to be a world menace and are thus resolved to counter the Comintern movement with a united defense. It is my utmost desire that this cooperation with Italy and Japan may grow ever more intense. In other respects, we gladly welcome any lessening of tension that can be brought about in the general political situation.
For no matter how great the achievements of our Volk, we have no doubt that the positive effects for the well-being of all might be increased if international cooperation could be intensified. With every shred of its being, the German Volk is not a warlike, but a soldierly Volk; i.e. it does not desire war, yet it does not fear it, either. It loves peace, but it equally cherishes its honor and its liberty. Fifteen terrible years which lie behind us are both a warning and a lesson which, in my opinion, the German nation will forever heed and never again forget.
My Party Comrades! Deputies! Men of the Reichstag! It is to you who once established for me the foundation for my work by ratifying the Enabling Act, that I have accounted for five historic years in the life of the German Volk. I cannot conclude without having assured you of how great my confidence is in the future of the Volk and Reich we all so dearly love.
What once moved me as an unknown soldier to take up the battle for the German resurrection was, at the very bottom, faith in the German Volk. A faith not in its institutions, nor in its societal order and social classes, in its parties, in its governmental or political power, but a faith in the eternal inner values of this Volk. And above all, a faith in those millions of individual men and women who-just as I was in the past-are merely nameless pillars upon which rests the community of our life and Volk. It was for it, too, that I endeavored to build up this new Reich. For this Reich shall belong neither to a certain class, nor to a certain rank: it shall be the sole property of the German Volk. The Reich shall help it to more easily find its life-path on this earth and enable it to make its existence more pleasant. What I summoned to life during this time does not claim to be an end in itself. Nothing is or ever will be immortal. What remains for us is the body of flesh and blood called the German Volk. The Party, the State, the Wehrmacht, and the economy are all institutions and functions which are valuable only as being a means to an end.
In the eyes of history, they will be judged on the basis of the services they performed toward this goal.
Yet their goal is always the Volk. They are short-lived phenomena compared to those which alone are everlasting. To serve these latter with all my might has been and continues to be my life’s good fortune. To me, it is a pleasurable duty to thank the many outstanding members of my staff without whom this work could never have been accomplished. In this hour I would like only to ask the Lord God that, in the years to come as well, He might bestow His blessings upon our work and our actions, our insight and our resolve; that He might allow us to find the straight and narrow path which He, in His wisdom, has assigned to the German Volk; and that He might always grant us the courage to do what is right and never to falter or retreat from any form of force or danger.
Long live the National Socialist Movement, long live the National Socialist Army, long live our German Reich!
Published in „Siegrunen“ Magazine – Volume 7, Number 2, Whole Number 38, April – June 1985
By Wulf Schuldes
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.”
“Truth does not have to ask anyone’s permission!”
The purpose of this essay is to inform the general public about important events and depict the real forces which altered the course of history. In order to arrive at a more balanced perspective, I have referred to newly published source materials from both sides of the conflict. My essay differs from the old established “black-and-white” picture insofar that it attempts to describe what really happened.
Since World War II was a continuation of World War I, we should reflect upon the outbreak and ending World War I first. The three moving forces which triggered World War I were:
1) The rising Pan-Slavism in Russia and in the smaller Slavic nations.
2) Britain’s unwillingness to meet the German industrial and commercial enterprises on the world market in free competition.
3) France seeking revenge for its lost war of 1870-71, which was started by Napoleon III but won by Prussia. Beginning in 1904, Germany was increasingly surrounded by a number of treaties directed against her. The alliance of France-Russia-Britain was well knit long before the spark was lit in Sarajevo. The Tripple Entente, being aware of their superiority, were very optimistic. For Austria-Germany it was a fight for survival, from the first day on. Austria-Germany had 6.1 million men in uniform, while the Triple Entente had 9.9 million men. Germany’s navy with 1.2 million tons was greatly outnumbered by the 3.3 million tons of Britain, France and Russia.
In 1918, in good faith of Wilson’s “Fourteen Points,” (a propaganda ploy the Western Democracies had no intention of implementing) Germany laid down its arms. Brushing their promises aside, the victors proceeded in taking revenge for the fact that Germany had not been defeated on the battlefield.
At the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain (1919), large portions of German and Austrian territories with their German inhabitants were handed over to the victors. Unstable countries such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were created. Poland received a large part of Germany with 2.2 million inhabitants. The area was handed over despite the fact, that 85% of the population voted to stay with the German Reich (30 March 1921). This high percentage is even more remarkable, when we consider that Germany was a defeated country and that Poland employed scare-tactics and outright terrorism to intimidate the voters prior to the election. This terrorism was tolerated and encouraged by the French troops under General LeRonde who was assigned to supervise the elections.1
Taking into account that Poland had received so many minorities at Versailles, the dictators of the treaty felt somehow responsible and forced Poland against her vehement protests to sign a ‘minority protection act.’ As agreed, the League of Nations should have provided effective protection under this act, but failed to do so. The Poles sneered at all agreements.
The effect of one single year of Polish brutality on the native population was devastating. There was a mass exodus of German speaking natives, many of them with Polish family names.
Not being satisfied with the large area Poland had received at the Treaty of Versailles, they also wanted to take over the German colonies.2 Poland considered herself an equal of England and France.
Sensible men like the English Premier Lloyd George and the French Marshall Foch realized the injustice which the Polish ‘corridor’ represented (dissecting Germany). But none of these warnings influence the League of Nations in any way. This assembly saw their raison d’etre solely in the execution of the dictate of Versailles.
Francesco Nitti, the Italian Prime Minister (1919-20) wrote: “But these treaties, born in hatred, almost exclusively by the will of France (Clemenceau), and that will was only to humble Germany, to choke and dissect her.”3
The League of Nations consistently denied Germany equal rights and rejected all six German disarmament recommendations during the period of 1932-35. As a result, Germany introduced military draft service and renounced the Versailles armament limitations on 16 March 1935.
The well-known British historian, A. J. P. Taylor wrote in his monumental book, The Origins of the Second World War: “The French had fired the starting-pistol for the arms race.”4
Hitler made one more offer for arms limitation: ‘This undeniably demonstrates our goodwill and desire to avoid an unlimited race for re-armament.”5
Two Interesting Notes
A Jewish newspaper in Paris (Le Droit de Vivre) admitted in 1937: “Hitler does not want war, but we will force it on him!”
Winthrop Aldrich, General Director of the Chase National Bank announced after returning from a “fact-finding-mission” in Europe: “England will create a political situation which will force Hitler to take up arms.”6
Poland’s Attitude towards her Minorities 1919-39
During the negotiations for the treaty of Versailles, the Poles demanded the use of the German City of Danzig. They claimed, that the Polish foreign trade could not function without the Danzig harbor.
In 1920, Danzig was severed from the German Republic, cynically declared a ‘Free City’ and the harbor facilities handed over to Polish control. In spite of this, Poland enlarged the harbor of Polish Dgingen, thus diverting away 66% of the normal traffic from Danzig. To further bankrupt the economy of Danzig, Poland quadrupled the number of Polish custom personnel in Danzig still on the German payroll.
The City of Danzig was forced to pay 3 million Guilders for a Polish ammunition dump which was built with the blessings of the ‘neutral’ League of Nations.
The large territories which Poland had received in 1919 had only wetted her appetite. Constant cries for more German land were heard: from the schools and public media.
Through ‘Land Reform’ Poland expropriated 750,000 hectares (1.85 million acres) of German land.
Germans were ‘fair game’ and could not find protection by the Policy Police. Murder and torture were common place.7
Between 1919-39, Polish schools, newspapers and radio broadcasts preached twenty years of hatred; a massive Government inspired Polonization effort!8
Manchester Guardian 17 October 1930: ‘The Polish terror in the Ukraine is worse than anything in Europe!”
Manchester Guardian 14 December 1931: “The aim of the Polish politics is the disappearance of the national minorities on paper and in reality.”
Winston Churchill (24 November 1932) in the House of Commons: “If the British Government really wished to act in favour of promoting peace, then she should take over the leadership and should on her side bring up the question of Danzig and the Corridor, as long as the victor nations are still in the superior. If these questions are not solved, no hope for lasting peace can be expected.”
By August 1939, 76,535 Germans had fled Poland. 4,000 had been killed, some of them tortured and mutilated.9 The total figure of German civilian victims prior to and during the Polish campaign is estimated at 20,000 of which 12,500 are confirmed by name.10
Hitler’s consiliatory offers were laughed at and taken as a sign of weakness.
A German offer to enter into negotations was answered by Poland with a threat of war.11
President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared in his New Year Message (4 January 1939) that the USA will act with: “…methods short of war.” He strengthened the war policy in London and Paris and urged the Poles through his special ambassador William Bullit: “Do not yield an inch!” A very strange attitude for an American president, whom the news media depicted as working toward peace.
Spring of 1939
23 March 1939. Poland had partially mobilized her army.
Hitler reacted calmly in order to avoid driving the Poles into the hands of the British. He did not counter this provocation with a military counter-measure. Hitler refrained from supporting the Ukrainian freedom movement. On the diplomatic front Germany agreed on independent Czech and Polish states and supported neutral and Vatican efforts for peace.
Germany sought an extension of the German-Polish non-aggression pact for an additional 25 years.
26 March 1939. Poland, through Ambassador Lipski rejected German proposals for negotiations and threatened war.
28 March 1939. The Polish army newspaper Polska Zbrijna in an article “We are prepared”: “…that the Poles, different to the Czechs, have no feeling of inferiority towards the powerful nations of the world, the number of foreign divisions does not frighten the Poles…” (Germany had fewer divisions at that time anyway).
The Last Few Days
Poland totally mobilized without a protest from neither Britain nor France (29-30 August).
Musolini proposed an international conference to be held on 5 September 1939.
Colonel Beck, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, did not want any kind of negotiations. He feared that a compromise could have been reached with Hitler. And that England would have forced Poland to accept such a compromise.
Hitler had actually planned his counter-measure on 26 August, but postponed his date in the vain hope that negotiations be given another chance. On 29 August he made his last offer on the diplomatic front, — he demanded:
Freedom for Danzig.
An extra-territorial road-and-rail link through the corridor.
Internationally supervised elections in the ‘corridor’ within a year. Exchange of small pockets of population on an even basis as a result of such an election.
This message was intercepted by Winston Churchill. When Chamberlain finally heard of it through a German radio broad-cast, he expressed in the House of Commons: “This is the first time I heard about it!”12
Hitler bitterly complained to Henderson (British Ambassador in Berlin), that the “British Government does not give a damn whether or nor German civilians are being murdered in Poland.” Lord Halifax on 30 August 1939) finally asked the Poles to stop the persecution. The reaction by Beck: “Without being authorized by the Polish Government…the Polish Foreign Minister forbids the British Government to express views and opinions about Polish problems.”13
31 August 1939
The situation was very tense! During the last weeks Poles had repeatedly fired at German civilian air planes. Pot shots and machine gun fire rang across the border into Danzig.14
Britain had approved of Poland’s general mobilization. Encouraged by England, France, and the United States, Poland ran the risk of war.
Poland had instructed its ambassador in Berlin, Lipski, to ask for ‘talks,’ but under no circumstances should he enter into any realistic conversation. Lipski had no authority to negotiate.
Goering did everything possible in his power to avoid a war. He realized that the generals were afraid of war and that the German economy was in no shape for a war. Since England had rejected Hitler’s plan to send Goering to London, Goering had asked the Swedish industrialist, Birger Dalerus, to act as a go- between. As Dalerus arrived in London, he telephoned Horace Wilson, Chamberlain’s trusted man in the Foreign Office. Dalerus suggested that the British Government should bring the Poles to their senses (down from their arrogance). Wilson answered over the phone: “Shut up!”ls
At the late hour of 2115 hours, “Radio Germany” broadcasted the much publicized “Final Offer” for the last time.
At 2300 hours “Radio Warsaw” answered by calling it an “insolent proposal,” it rejected any form of negotiations, sneered at the useless waiting by the “New Huns,” and declared that Poland’s answer can only be a military one!
Hitler had swallowed all the humiliations he could possibly take (although some ‘historians’ have argued that he should have shown more patience). The following morning, German troops entered Poland. The Polish cavalry never made it across the border in the direction of Berlin, as they had so often threatened.
2 September 1939
The Polish Marshall Rydz-Smigly realized that the war would be lost and started negotiations at once. But the British Government declared immediately that this must never happen and repeated its determination to help Poland with all its powers.
Germany continued her efforts toward peace. Dr. Fritz Hesse, the German Press Attaché in London, was given full authority to negotiate. He contacted Sir Horace Wilson in the Foreign Office, invited him to Berlin and presented the German proposals.
Germany is willing to withdraw her troops.
Germany will pay for damages.
Both points under the condition that England accepts the role of negotiator and occupies the area to protect the German minority from Polish terror.
Sir Horace, acting with full authority for the British Government, answered:
“Too late! France has now shown her willingness to enter the war (the French leaders learned that Italy will remain neutral). Secondly, Winston Churchill had joined the cabinet and thus the switches had been set for war! England cannot tolerate another power on the continent because she would either perish or lose the basis on which her empire and world prestige are built.”
“With this answer, Sir Horace was exceptionally blunt. For Britain, the issue was not whether the German minority in Poland was in the jaws of a vice, but whether Germany was on the verge of becoming a strong military power and an able industrial competitor.”16
At 0900 yours on 3 September 1939, Henderson submitted Britain’s “two-hour ultimatum” in Berlin. At 1130 hours Henderson said to Ribbentrop: “We are now at war!”
When Hitler was informed by Ribbentrop, he was flabbergasted. All he could say was: “Now what?”
The war was made possible by England’s cartel-blanche to Poland, by England’s rejection of Mussolini’s plan for an inter-national conference to be held on 5 September 1939 and by England’s rejection of all German efforts for an immediate cease-fire.
Although there are rumours that English money supported the Polish terrorists before the outbreak of the War, Poland’s army never received as much as a single bullet from Britain.
After the Polish campaign had ended, Hitler made another generous offer: to withdraw the German troops and hold internationally supervised elections in the German areas of Poland. This offer too, was rejected.
It must be noted that when the Soviet Union invaded Poland on 17 September 1939 (as a result of the German-Russian Pact signed on 23 August 1939) England and France were mute on this annexation of Polish territory. Furthermore, Britain and France tolerated the Soviet attack on Finland on 30 November 1939 and the occupation of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in the year of 1940. In other words, even though Stalin occupied 450,000 square kilometres of land with a 21 million population by the end of June 1940, a declaration of war was not made by Britain.
(1) Max Schwarte: Geschichte des Weltkrieges. Berlin 1932; George Franz-Willing: Der Zweite Weltkrieg, Druffel-Verlag Leoni 1980.
(2) Document on British Foreign Policy 1919-39, Vol. IV Document 189 and 306.
(3) Francesco Nitte: The Decadence of Europe, Rycrson 1923, Toronto.
(4) A.J.P. Taylor: The Origins of the Second World War, Hamish Hamilton, 1961.
(6) Alfred Lueckenhaus: Von Draussen gesehen, Duesseldorf 1955.
(7) Deutsches Weissbuch 1939 (German White Book).
(9) Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden, Vertreibungsverluste, p. 285.
(10) Seraphim, Maurach, Wolfrum: Ostwaerts der Oder-Neisse, p. 43.
(11) Deutsches Weisbuch No. 2, p. 208.
(12) British Blue Book, No. 105.
(13) Michael Freund: “Weltgeschichte der Gegenwart in Documenten 1938-1939” Vol. Ill, p. 348, Freiburg 1954-56.
(14) Deutsches Weisbuch No. 2, p. 208.
(15) Document on British Foreign Policy 1919-39, Vol. VII, Ooc. 589.
(16) Fritz Hesse: Das Vorspiel zum Kreige, Druffel-Verlag Leoni, 1979; Hitler and the English, London, 1954.