Adolf Hitler – speech before 200 000 political leaders
Nürnberg, September 7, 1934
For the first time in years, I am once again taking part in a convention of National Socialist women and thus of National Socialist women’s work. I know that the prerequisites for this have been established by the work of innumerable individual women and, in particular, by the work of their female leaders. The National Socialist Movement has not only seen but also found in woman its most loyal assistant from the time of its conception onwards.
I remember the difficult years of the Movement’s fight and especially those times in which good fortune seemed to have turned away from us; those times when many of us were in prisons, others had once more become fugitives, still others were in foreign parts; many of us were lying wounded in sick bays or had been killed. I remember the time when there were those among us who turned back, believing that we would never make it in the end; a time in which the spirit pervading Germany arrogantly believed that it could approach the problems only from the angle of reason, and when many lost faith in us as a result. I know that back then there were innumerable women who remained unshakably loyal to the Movement and to me.
At that time, the power of emotion truly proved itself to be stronger and better. We have seen that the clever mind can be misled only all too easily, that ostensibly intellectual arguments can cause men of weak intellect to falter, and that it is particularly in these times that the most profound inner instinct of preservation of the self and of the Volk awakens in a woman. Woman has proven to us that she knows what is right! In those times when the great Movement seemed, to many, to falter and all were united against us, the stability and sureness of emotion prevailed as stable factors when confronted with brooding intellect and supposed knowledge. For only very few are endowed with the talent of penetrating superficial knowledge to the most profound inner meaning. But this most profound insight is ultimately the root of the world of emotion. That which perhaps only few philosophically gifted intellects are capable of analyzing scientifically can be sensed by the nature of an unspoiled human being with instinctive certainty. The feeling and, above all, the nature of woman has always acted throughout the ages as a supplement to the intellect of man.
And if at times in the course of human life the working spheres of men and women have shifted to become unnaturally aligned, this happened not because woman aspired to rule over man; rather, the reason lies in the fact that man was no longer capable of completely fulfilling his task. That, of course, is the miraculous thing about Nature and Providence: no conflict is possible in the relations between the two sexes as long as each fulfills the task assigned to it by Nature.
The catchword “Women’s Liberation” is merely a phrase invented by the Jewish intellect, and its contents are marked by the same spirit. The German woman will never need to emancipate herself in an age supportive of German life. She possessed what Nature gave her automatically as an asset to maintain and preserve; just as the man, in such an age, never had to fear that he would be ousted from his position in respect to woman.
Woman has been the last to contest man’s right to his position. Only when he was no longer sure of himself in recognizing his duty did the immortal instinct of survival and preservation begin to revolt in woman. After this revolt, a shift took place which was not in accordance with Nature’s design, and it prevailed until both sexes returned to what an eternally wise Providence assigned to them.
If it is said that a man’s world is the State, that the man’s world is his struggle, his willingness to devote himself to the community, one might perhaps say that a woman’s world is a smaller one. For her world is her husband, her family, her children, and her home. But where would the larger world be if no one wanted to care for the small world? How could the larger world survive if there was no one who would make the cares of the smaller world the content of his life? No, the large world is built upon this small world! This greater world cannot survive if the small world is not firm. Providence assigned to woman the care of this, her very own world, and it is only on this foundation that the man’s world can be formed and can grow.
However, these two worlds are never opposed to one another. They mutually complement each other, they belong together, just as man and wife belong together.
We do not feel that it is right when a woman forces her way into a man’s world, in territory belonging to him; instead, we feel it is natural when both of these worlds remain divorced from one another. One of the worlds is home to the power of feelings, the power of the soul! The other is home to the power of recognition, the power of toughness, of resolution, and of fighting morale! In one case, this power requires the full willingness of the woman to devote her life to maintaining and multiplying this important cell, and in the other case it requires the willingness of the man to safeguard life.
What a man sacrifices in struggling for his Volk, a woman sacrifices in struggling to preserve this Volk in individual cases. What a man gives in heroic courage on the battlefield, woman gives in eternally patient devotion, in eternally patient suffering and endurance. Every child to which she gives birth is a battle which she wages in her Volk’s fateful question of to be or not to be.
And hence both must mutually value and respect each other by recognizing that each part is accomplishing the task assigned to it by Nature and Providence. The performance of these two tasks will necessarily result in mutual respect.
What the Jewish intellect maintains is not true-that respect is determined by the overlapping of the spheres of activity of the two sexes-but rather this respect requires that neither of the sexes endeavors to do what belongs to the other. This respect ultimately lies in the knowledge of each half that the other is doing everything necessary to maintain the whole! Therefore, woman throughout the ages has always been the helpmate of man and thus his most loyal friend, and man, too, has been the protector of his wife throughout the ages and thus her best friend. And both perceived in this manner of living the common foundation for the existence of what they loved, and of its continued subsistence in the future. Woman is an egoist in maintaining her small world, putting man in a position to preserve the greater world, and man is an egoist in maintaining this greater world, for the one is indissolubly bound up with the other. We will stand up against an intellectualism of the most depraved sort which would tear asunder what God hath joined.
Because woman originates in the most basic root of all, she is also the most stable element in the preservation of a people.
Ultimately, she has the most infallible sense for whatever is necessary to prevent a race from ceasing to be, for her children would bear the major brunt of all the suffering.
Man is often far too mentally instable to find the right path by means of these basic insights. However, given favorable times and a good education, man will know just as well what his task is. We National Socialists have therefore protested for many years against deploying woman in political life, for in our view this would be unworthy. A woman once said to me: you must see to it that women join parliament, for woman alone is capable of ennobling it. I do not believe, I replied to her, that human beings were meant to ennoble what is bad by its very nature, and a woman who became caught in the gears of this parliamentary system would not ennoble parliament; rather, this system would dishonor such a woman. I do not want to leave something to women which I intend to take away from men. Our opponents claimed that we would then never gain women for the Movement. But we have gained more than all of the other parties put together, and I know that we would have won over every last German woman had she been given but one opportunity to study parliament and the degrading role women play there.
For this reason we have integrated woman in the fight of the völkisch community in accordance with the decrees of Nature and Providence. To us, our women’s movement is thus not something which inscribes on its banner the fight against man as its program, but rather something which takes up in its program the mutual fight together with man. It is thus that we have strengthened the new National Socialist Volksgemeinschaft, thus that we have gained, in millions of women, the most loyal and zealous fellow fighters. Female fighters for a life together in the service of together preserving our life. Fighters who fix their gaze not upon the rights which a Jewish intellectualism pretends to offer them, but upon the obligations which Nature has burdened upon us all.
Whereas in the past, the liberal and intellectualistic women’s movements included many, many items in their programs which originated in a so-called intellect, the program of our National Socialist Women’s Movement actually contains only a single item, and this item is: the child, this tiny creature who must come into being and flourish, who constitutes the sole purpose of the entire struggle for existence. For what would be the purpose of our fighting and struggling if there were not something to come after us which can make use of and pass on what we attain today for its own benefit and avail? What else could be the purpose of humanity’s entire struggle? Why else the worry and the suffering? For the mere sake of an idea? Only for an idea? Only for a theory? No, that would not be worth traversing this earthly vale of tears.
The only thing which allows us to overcome all of that is shifting, our gaze from the present to the future, away from ourselves to that which is growing up to follow us.
A few moments ago, I spoke before the youth rally. It is a glorious thing to look out over this golden youth in the knowledge that it will one day be Germany when we no longer exist! It will preserve the sum of what we are creating and building up. It is for this youth that we are working. That is the real purpose of the entire struggle! And in recognizing this, the most elementary and lapidary goal of Nature, the labors of the two sexes will logically and rightfully fall into place for us, no longer in conflict, but in a common fight for the real life.
You, my female party comrades, are waging this battle as leaders, organizers and helpers. You have joined in taking on a glorious task. That which we wish to shape within our Volk on a large scale is that for which you must internally form a firm support and a solid foundation. You must impart spiritual and emotional reinforcement and stability from within! In this battle which we are waging today for the freedom, equality of rights, honor, and peace of our Volk, you must be a complement to man, so that we can prevail as real fighters before our Volk and for our Volk with our sights set on the future.
Then strife and discontent will never be able to flare up between the two sexes, but they will instead traverse this life fighting together, hand in hand, fulfilling the wishes of a Providence which created both of them for this purpose. And then the blessings of these mutual endeavors will not be withheld.
Then no mad fight over theories will flare up, then man and woman will not turn against one another because of false notions, for then the blessing of the Almighty will rest upon their joint struggle for life!