Adolf Hitler - speech at the Party Congress
of the Gau of Thuringia in Gera
June 17, 1934
However unqualified our love for peace, however little Germany wishes for war, we will stand up all the more fanatically for German freedom and the honor of our Volk. The world must know: the period of Diktats is past! Just as, on the one hand, we do not intend to exert pressure on another people, on the other we will defend ourselves against any further attempt to subject the German Volk to continuous pressure. We do not have the feeling that we are an inferior race, some worthless pack which can and may be kicked around by anyone and everyone; rather, we have the feeling that we are a great Volk which only once forgot itself, a Volk which, led astray by insane fools, robbed itself of its own power and has now once more awakened from this insane dream.
Let no one believe himself capable of immersing this Volk in such a dreamstate again within the next thousand years; this lesson, which we have learned in such a terrible way, will be a historical reminder to us for millenniums. What happened to us through our own fault will not be allowed to happen to the German Volk a second time! My Volksgenossen, I wish only to bid and remind you to perceive the strength of our Volk in our inner unity of will, in our unity of spirit and our common way of thinking. Rest assured that strength is expressed not so much in divisions, in cannons and in tanks, but that it is ultimately expressed in the community of a single Volkswille. And further, may you be imbued with the conviction that men must be taught this community and that safeguards must be created for this purpose. Regard our National Socialist Movement as a great safeguard of this kind against the spirit of class conflict, class hatred and class division. Regard the National Socialist Movement and its organizations as one great school of education in achieving this community. Cling to this Movement, fight for it: in doing so, you are fighting for the German Volk and for the German Reich! For one thing is certain: the fate of the German Volksgemeinschaft is bound to the existence of this Movement; the fate of the German Reich, however, depends upon the stability of the German Volksgemeinschaft.
We are all aware that we are not an end in and of ourselves. The Party, the SA and the SS, the political organization, the Labor Service, the youth organizations-all of them are a means to the end of welding our body politic together and thus developing the powers inherent in our Volk to a truly peaceful, culturally advancing and also materially prosperous work.
It has been eight years since I first spoke in this city. What tremendous progress! In spite of all polarities, in spite of all resistance, in spite of all the doubters, in spite of all the carpers, in spite of all the critics: the Movement is great. Who can doubt that the coming years will bring about the same progress? Back then it was a handful of people who believed that the endeavor would succeed. Today there are millions who fanatically vouch for this endeavor, who profess their faith in it. And if, in the course of eight years, starting with a handful of men in this city too, this victory was achieved, then in the coming years and decades this victory will deepen, and all the little pygmies who fancy that they will be able to do anything to stop it will be swept away by the force of this common idea. For all these pygmies are forgetting one thing, no matter what fault they believe they have found: where is that anything better which could take the place of what is now? Where are they hiding what they would put in its place? It is ridiculous when such a little worm tries to fight such a powerful renewal of the Volk. Ridiculous, when such a littly pygmy fancies himself capable of obstructing the gigantic renewal of the Volk with a few empty phrases.
What would happen if these little carpers achieved their goal? Germany would once more fall apart as it fell apart before. But we can assure them of this: they did not have the power before to prevent the uprising of National Socialism, and now the German Volk has awakened, and never again will they be able to lull it back to sleep! The Party and its organizations will ensure that the blood victims and the sacrifices of the last fourteen years were not in vain. They should know that! They can carp as long as they want; it is all the same to us.
But if they should ever attempt to make even the smallest step toward turning their criticism into a new act of perjury, may they rest assured that what they are facing today is not the cowardly and corrupt bourgeoisie of 1918, but the fist of the entire Volk. It is the fist of the nation which is clenched and will smash anyone who dares to make even the slightest attempt at sabotage.
It is immaterial whether we exist or not. What is necessary is that our Volk exists. We know what those people made of our Volk. We witnessed it ourselves. Let them not say: we want to do it better the second time around.
You have given us one demonstration of how not to do it, and we are showing you now how it has to be done!
Germany must live!