Adolf Hitler – speech in Nuremberg City Hall
September 8, 1936
The fact that you, Mr. Mayor, have presented to me on behalf of the city of Nuremberg the old plans and sketches of the fortifications, towers, battlements, and trenches so familiar to us all, is a particular pleasure to me. The work will serve me not only as a dear remembrance of our City of the Reich Party Congresses, but also as a token reminder of the most difficult year of my own historic role, by means of which, with God’s help, I succeeded in strengthening the military potential of the Reich and increasing its security.
What would they [the opponents in 1933] have said to my prophecy that before four years had passed, this Volk, then so torn apart, would march to the polls-99 percent of it-for the National Socialist policy of restoration and the honor and freedom of the nation, and that 99 percent would declare their approval?
We are not so much concerned with the question of whether there is more or less butter or whether eggs have grown scarce; rather, it is our duty to be primarily concerned that the broad masses of our Volk retain their jobs and their earnings and can thus save themselves from slipping back into the terrible plight of unemployment.
Thus it is the task of the National Socialist leadership of the state and the economy to thoroughly investigate whether requisite raw materials, fuels, etc., can be manufactured within Germany.
The resulting foreign exchange savings should be used in the future toward helping to safeguard the food supply and toward purchasing those materials which cannot be obtained here under any circumstances. And today I am now establishing this as the new Four-Year Program: In four years, Germany must be completely independent of foreign countries with respect to those materials which we are capable of obtaining ourselves in any way with the aid of German ability, with our chemical and engineering industries, and with our own mining industry! The rebuilding of this great German raw-materials industry will at the same time provide employment to the masses of people who will be free after rearmament has been concluded [!], employment which is useful in terms of our national economy. We hope that this will enable us to once again increase national production in many sectors, namely, in the internal cycle of our economy, so that receipts from our exports can he reserved foremost for foodstuff supply and for procuring supplies of the raw materials we still lack.
I have just issued the directives requisite for the implementation of this gigantic German economy plan.182 The execution will be performed with National Socialist energy and drive. Independent of this, however, Germany cannot waive its claim to a solution of its colonial claims. The German Volk’s right to live is just as great as the rights of the other nations! I know, my National Socialist Volksgenossen, that this new program represents an enormous task; however, in many areas it has already been solved in scientific terms: the production methods are already being tested and, in part, have already been chosen and specified. Hence making this program a reality will be but a question of our own energy and determination. As National Socialists, we have never known the word “impossible,” and we, therefore, do not plan to add it to our vocabulary in the future.
In four years we will once more account to the nation for this gigantic task of securing its food supply and thus its life and independence.
We have gathered our experiences these past eighteen years. We know the lot of those who believe that, without making any effort on their part, they have a right to expect justice from others or even assistance. All around us we see the signs of growing evil. We preached for years about the greatest world menace of this second millennium of our Christian history now coming to an end, and now it is becoming a horrible reality.
Everywhere the burrowing work of the Bolshevist wire-pullers is beginning to take effect. In an age where bourgeois statesmen talk of non-intervention, an international Jewish center of revolution in Moscow is undertaking to revolutionize this continent via wireless stations and thousands of channels of money and agitation. One thing we do not want to be told is that we are developing an anxiety psychosis by repeatedly drawing attention to these facts and these dangers in Germany.
Even today we have no fear of a Bolshevist invasion of Germany-not because we do not believe in such a thing, but because we are determined to make the nation so strong that, just as National Socialism was able to deal with this worldwide incitement within, it will ward off every attack from without with the most brutal determination.
This is the reason for the measures we have taken in the military sphere.
These German measures will rise or fall proportionate to the degree of the dangers surrounding us increasing or decreasing. We do not gladly ban the energies of our Volk to arms plants or barracks. However, we are also men enough to look this necessity in the face and remain cold and unflinching. I would like to say here in this proclamation before the entire German Volk that, convinced as I am of the necessity of maintaining Germany’s peace without- just as I have safeguarded its inner peace-I will not shrink from any measure conducive to making the nation not only feel secure, but above all to make us, under all circumstances, feel convinced of the independence of the Reich. The Muscovite Communist rabble-rousers Neumann, Bela Khun and cohorts, who are today devastating Spain on behalf of the Comintern Movement, will play no role in Germany, and the agitation of the Muscovite radio station calling for support to reduce unhappy Spain to rubble, will not be repeated in Germany.
Thus after having consulted [!] the Reich Minister of War, I have directed that the two-year period of conscription now be introduced without delay. I know that young Germans will bow to this necessity without blinking an eye.
The leadership governing Germany today has a right to demand this from the Germans, for we all not only served two years in peacetime, but four years in the most gigantic war of all time. And we did it for Germany, for our Volk, for our German homeland. And the National Socialist Movement struggled for fifteen years and demanded from its followers the greatest sacrifices to rescue Germany from the inner Bolshevist foe and adversary.
Now generation after generation will make this most noble sacrifice a man can be asked to make. The German Volk put an end to the age of its historic dishonor in 1936, in the fourth year of the National Socialist regime.
Long live the National Socialist Movement, long live our National Socialist Army, long live our German Reich!