Adolf Hitler – speech at a youth rally in Lustgarten
Berlin, May 1, 1934
If we want a strong Germany, you must one day be strong, too. If we want a powerful Germany, you, too, must one day be powerful. If we want an honorable Germany, you must one day uphold this honor. If we want order in Germany, you must maintain this order. If we want to once again create a loyal Germany, you yourselves must learn to be loyal. You are the Germany of the future, and thus we want you to be what this Germany of the future must and will be.
Therefore you must also avoid anything which impressed the stamp of dishonor upon the Germany of the past. You must cultivate the spirit of the great community. The German Volksgemeinschaft is anchored in you. For many centuries, people longed for what has become reality today. The nation expects you to be worthy of this great age. Above all, that is what this old, good Germany expects, a Germany which once made incalculable sacrifices for the Reich and the nation. Above all, this is what the great representative of this Germany of old, who has today become the benefactor and patron of our Volk, expects. Therefore let us greet the man who, for us, personifies three generations and in whom we see a symbol of the immortal life-force of the German Volk: to the German Volk, the German Reich, and our Reich President, Field Marshal von Hindenburg:
Heil! Heil! Heil!
Adolf Hitler – speech at a youth rally in Tempelhofer Feld
Berlin, May 1, 1934
Only a person who is better able to solve a problem is justified to criticize. We have come to terms with the problems in Germany better than our former opponents and current critics. We thus do not intend to allow the necessary authority accorded to the nation’s leadership to be attacked by those who perceive nihilism as the only fitting framework for their own futile activities.
Whenever criticism becomes an end in itself, chaos must be its ultimate consequence. And just as we defend ourselves against these critics in order to preserve confidence in the nation’s leadership, we for our part also want to do everything to reinforce this confidence.
Millions of people who want to take an active part in reconstruction have offered me their support. Millions of our former opponents are today standing in our ranks and, thanks to their work and thanks to their skill as helpers in our reconstruction, are held in no less regard than our own longstanding party comrades. I may affirm before the German Volk that we do not perceive the nature of our authority in the effectiveness of cannons and machine guns, but rather in the actual confidence vested in us.
And just as we struggled as a Party for the trust and confidence of the Volksgenossen for fifteen years, we are now struggling and will continue in the future to struggle for the trust and confidence of the nation. For the belief that we-who were once laughed at and mocked-will one day be able to save the German Volk from misery and ruin was not founded in a confidence in the strength of any power we had, but based exclusively in a trust in the inner value of our German Volk. It is the blood-based essence of our nation which has prevailed again and again throughout so many centuries, which we knew and which thus never let us despair. For this reason, too, we will allow no one to destroy the trust placed in these values. The despondent weakling who sees the great events of our age only from the perspective of his own inadequacy can keep complaining, for all we care, but he should not confuse others.
In this past year, we have thus eliminated all those organizations which we were forced to regard as breeding grounds for phenomena which undermine the self, cause discord in the Volk, and lead ultimately to national and economic ruin. When we initiated the destruction of the German party system on May 2 of last year by taking over the unions, we did so not in order to rob any Germans of their useful representative bodies, but in order to liberate the German Volk from those organizations whose greatest damage lies in the fact that they were forced to encourage that damage be done in order to justify the necessity of their own existence.
Thus we have delivered the German Volk from an infinite amount of internal strife and discord which was of benefit to no one except those directly interested, but was a constant source of fatal harm to the entire Volk. Perhaps there are some employers and entrepreneurs who today are unwilling to comprehend why we have proclaimed this May Day a public holiday for which the employer must pay wages. An explanation is called for, and I would like to give it to you here: In the past, the German economy paid hundreds of millions of marks per year for the strife and discord between organizations which had torn employee and employer apart and transformed them into hostile advocates of two different causes. The total losses of national assets caused by strikes and lockouts were enormous. The National Socialist State has eliminated these primitive and senseless methods of reconciling economic interests. The resultant savings to the economy are extraordinary. It is only a very small sacrifice when, in return, the employers pay wages to their employees for a day which is to be the symbol of the fact that these conflicts have been overcome and that a true Volksgemeinschaft has been created.
In this past year, we began to establish this Volksgemeinschaft not only in a purely theoretical sense; we have also endeavored to secure the practical foundations it requires. For it is not sufficient to overcome unemployment as such, to simply train new workers; rather, it is necessary to gradually enlighten the millions of our Volksgenossen as to the nature of the new concept of work.
More than one year ago, the National Socialist Party was victorious in Germany. All power and authority in the State is now in the hands of this organization. Millions of people voluntarily subjected themselves to it, and millions of others were brought into line. However, that does not mean that all of them became National Socialists. The purpose of the National Socialist idea-to put together a Volksgemeinschaft by overcoming rank, profession, class, and confession-is not fulfilled by simply registering with a party. One can become a party comrade by subscribing, but one can only become a National Socialist by adapting one’s perception, by urgently appealing to one’s own heart.
The National Socialist State is resolved to build the new German Volksgemeinschaft; it will never lose sight of this goal and, even if only gradually, it is certain to reach it. The gigantic organizations of our Movement, its political institutions as well as the organizations of the SA and SS, the structure of our Labor Front, and the State Organizations of our Army are all national and social melting pots in which, albeit gradually, a new German individual is being formed. What we do not successfully accomplish with the present generation we will achieve with the coming one. For just as doggedly as we have fought and fought again for the adult man and the adult woman, we shall fight for German youth. It is growing up in a different world and will be the first to do its share to build another world. In our National Socialist Youth Organization, we have created the school for the education of the individuals who will people a new German Reich.
With faith in their hearts and a strong sense of purpose, this youth will one day be a better link in our Volk’s genealogical chain than we ourselves were and perhaps can be today.
The national May Day holiday, which we are celebrating today throughout Germany, plays a special and enormously significant role in this program of forming our Volk anew. All of us talk about human culture and personal achievements, but only very few perceive in them the joint product of mental and physical strength. In the course of the centuries, it became all too customary to talk about the entrepreneur, the artist, the builder; to extol the technicians and to praise the engineers; to admire the architects; to follow the work of chemists and physicists with astonishment-but most of the time the worker was forgotten. People talked about German science, German craftsmanship, German economy as a whole, and they only ever meant one side of it. And that is how it came about that the most loyal helper of all was not only forgotten, but ultimately lost.
When you regard the symbol of today’s celebration74 which a German artist created for us, then it should convey to you the following: sickle and hammer were once the symbols of the German peasant and the German worker. The arrogance and lack of reason of a bourgeois age abandoned and lost these symbols. Ultimately, Jewish international litterateurs stole the tools of hardworking people and nearly succeeded in exploiting them for their own designs and purposes. The National Socialist State will overcome this ill-fated development. The hammer will once more become the symbol of the German worker and the sickle the sign of the German peasant, and the intellect must form with them an indissoluble alliance, just as we have been preaching and propagating it for a decade and a half. Therefore we have gathered together this day not only to celebrate German labor, but also to celebrate a new German individual. Just as an entire year has been praised in thousands of announcements, articles in the press, and speeches of the mental workers, today we wish to partake in celebrating the fame of that army of millions who-as unknown and nameless soldiers of work-have, by the sweat of their brow, made a loyal contribution in the cities and the country, on the fields, in the factories, and in the workshops, to produce those goods which rightfully elevate our Volk to join the ranks of civilized nations in the world and allow it to prevail in honor. And it is thus also our will that, on this day every year for all eternity, the entire German Volk may be conscious of what it has in common and, leaving behind it any disputes, may once more join hands in inner acknowledgement of its common alliance which we call the German Volksgemeinschaft.
But we do not wish to allow this day to pass without once more demonstrating in complete unanimity to the entire world our Volk’s joint claim to the vital right we all have. From its venerable Reich President all the way down to each and every worker and each and every peasant, the members of the German Volk have but one single desire: to become happy and blessed, each in his own way and by his own labors. The Volk has no notion of revenge and does not strive for conquests. It wishes to extend its hand to every nation in understanding and reconciliation. However, it will never waver in upholding its own right to live, and will defend it against any foe. Above all, it will never relinquish its claim to being a Volk with equal rights, but it is likewise willing at all times to make sacrifices more than equal to those which other nations are also willing to make toward the preservation of peace and welfare on this planet.
We want you, my German Volksgenossen, to celebrate this May Day with us in this hour in our tens of thousands of cities, towns and villages, but we also want you not to forget to humbly thank Him who allowed our work to prosper so well throughout the entire year, and we want to ask Him not to withhold His blessings from our Volk for the future as well. Above all, however, may Providence allow our most ardent wish to come true: that our German people come closer and closer together in mutual consideration and mutual understanding in order to finally attain that goal for which our Volk has fought for millenniums and for which many generations suffered and millions had to give their lives: a free German Volk in a strong German Reich.