Adolf Hitler – speech at Tempelhofer Feld
Berlin, September 28, 1937
Men and Women!
At present we are witnesses of a historic event which is unprecedented in this form and in such magnitude! More than one million people have gathered here for a rally in which 115 million members of two races are participating with fervent emotion, and which hundreds of millions of people in the rest of the world are following as more or less interested listeners! What moves us all first and foremost at this moment is the great joy we share in the knowledge of having as a guest in our midst one of those rare men of the ages whom history does not put to the test, but who themselves make history! Secondly, we sense that this rally is not merely another of the assemblies that are always taking place elsewhere; instead, it is expressing a pledge to shared ideals and shared interests. A pledge being made by two men which a million people are hearing here, but which 115 million are anticipating and affirming with hearts aglow! And hence this evening is no longer a public assembly, but instead a rally of the nations.
The most profound purpose of this rally of the nations lies in the sincere desire to guarantee for our countries the peace which is not the reward for the cowardice of resignation, but rather the result of having responsibly secured our volklich, spiritual and physical-as well as our cultural-characteristics and values.
Here, too, we believe that we are best able to serve those interests which, above and beyond our two peoples, should truly be the interests of all of Europe.
The fact that we are in a position today to hold this rally is something which enables us to gauge how the times lying behind us have changed. No Volk can yearn more for peace than the German Volk, but neither has any other Volk come to know the terrible consequences of feeble credulity more than ours has! For behind us, prior to the National Socialist accession to power, there lies a period of fifteen years which comprised a single succession of suppression, of extortion, of rights denied, and hence of unspeakable spiritual and material distress.
In our country, the ideals of Liberalism and Democracy have not rescued the German nation from the worst violations conceivable in history. Therefore, National Socialism has had to establish a new and more effective ideal in order to restore to our Volk those basic human rights which had been denied it for one-and-a-half decades. In that time of bitterest trials-this is something I must state this evening before the German Volk and the entire world-Italy, and especially Fascist Italy, had no part in the humiliation of our people. During those years, it proved itself capable of showing understanding for a great nation’s demands for equal rights, for the bare necessities of life, and not least of all for its honor as a Volk.
Thus it filled us with genuine satisfaction that the hour came in which we were able to remember this-and, I believe, we have remembered it!200 From the mutuality of the Fascist and National Socialist Revolutions, there has developed today a mutuality not only of views, but of actions as well. This is fortunate in an age and a world in which the currents of destruction and deformation are visible at every turn. Fascist Italy has become a new imperium by virtue of the brilliant, creative work of a constructive man.
You, Benito Mussolini, will have ascertained one thing about the National Socialist State after having seen it with your own eyes, namely, that Germany, too, by virtue of its volkisch attitude and its military strength, has become a world power once again. The force of these two empires today constitutes the strongest guarantor of the preservation of a Europe which still possesses a sense of its cultural mission and is not prepared to succumb to the decay caused by destructive elements! For all of you who are gathered here in this hour or are listening in the world must acknowledge that here two autocratic national regimes have found their way to one another and are standing by one another, in a time in which the ideas of a democratic and Marxist International have nothing to show but demonstrations of hatred and hence of disunion.
Every attempt to break apart or dissolve such a community of peoples by playing one against the other, by raising suspicions or by imputing false aims will likewise be defeated by the desire of those 115 million who, in this hour, comprise this rally of community, and above all by the will of the two men who are standing here before you and speaking to you!
Benito Mussolini speaks after the Führer
As stated before, there are no ulterior motives for my visit to Germany.
No web of intrigue has been woven to widen the gap between the already sufficiently divided nations of Europe. The ceremonious reaffirmation of the Rome-Berlin Axis is not directed against other states.
All of us, National Socialists and Fascists, desire peace and are always willing to work for peace, for a viable and fertile peace. We endeavor to resolve-and not tacitly to ignore-the problems that naturally come about when so many nations live together. In response to the world that is fixing its worried eyes upon Berlin to see whether war or peace will be the result of our meeting, the Fuhrer and I can turn to and confidently declare: It will be peace!
Without economic autonomy, the political independence of a nation cannot be guaranteed, and even a people of great military strength can be victimized by an economic blockade. We have come into direct contact with the effects of such a situation, when we had to face the criminal economic sanctions upon which the fifty-two states assembled in Geneva had decided. The latter saw to the strict and unrelenting implementation of these measures, which, however, completely failed them in the pursuit of their goal. Indeed, their only result was to give Fascist Italy the opportunity to prove to the world its power of resistance. In spite of international pressure, Germany did not heed the call to impose economic sanctions upon Italy. We will never forget this. Precisely at this point, the compatibility-yes, indeed, the need-for National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy to stand together became apparent for the very first time. What has come to be known throughout the world as the Rome-Berlin Axis was developed in the autumn of 1935. In the course of the last two years, it has led to an increasing rapprochement between our two peoples, and thus it has greatly strengthened the efforts to ensure peace in Europe on an ever larger scale.
Fascism has its own ethical principles to which it strives to remain true, and these ethics are mirrored in my own personal morals: to speak clearly and frankly. And when you have a friend, to march alongside him till the end!
When words no longer suffice and circumstances necessitate it, one must take up arms! This was the case in Spain, where thousands of Italian Fascist volunteers died in defense of European culture.
It has been for twenty years now that your great Fuhrer has hurled at the masses the uplifting cry that was to become the battle cry of the entire German Volk: Deutscbland erwacbe! Germany has awoken. The Third Reich is here.
I do not know if and when Europe will awaken. This has been a bone of contention at the Party Congress in Nuremberg. Though well known to us, there arc secret forces at work, striving to turn a civil war into a worldwide sea of flames. What is important is that our two great nations-which today comprise the enormous sum of 115 million people, a figure that is constantly on the rise-stand together as one in our single unshakeable determination. Today’s gigantic rally serves as proof to the entire world of our ambition.