Adolf Hitler - an official statement on Italy’s withdrawal
of the League of Nations
December 12, 1937
This [Italy’s withdrawal] shall provide to the League of Nations its just reward for its political achievements. At no time during its existence has it proven itself capable of making a useful contribution toward settling the respectively relevant problems of world polities. On the contrary: it has constantly had only a harmful and indeed dangerous influence on the entire political development of postwar times.
Today, the utter failure of the League of Nations is a fact which requires no further proof and no further discussion. The hopes which were placed in the League of Nations, above all by certain lesser states268 have progressively dwindled with the growing awareness that the Geneva policy of collective security has led, in reality, to a collective insecurity. Today, unlimited support of the ideals of Geneva can only be heard from Moscow.
The attempts which are made here and there to ascribe the institution’s downfall to its lack of universality constitute a quite obvious case of confusing cause and effect. The reasons which have forced first Japan, then Germany and now Italy to leave the League of Nations are quite evident proof of where the radical error in its construction lies and where the political currents are which rule it.
Whether or not the Great Powers remaining in Geneva are still willing to include the League of Nations as a serious factor in their policies is their affair.
However, they no longer have the right to present the League of Nations as the appointed representative of the nations of the world and as the highest organ of international cooperation.
In any case, the Reich Government-in complete consensus with the Italian Government-will allow nothing to sway it in the conviction that the political system of Geneva has not only miscarried, but is, moreover, corrupt. Therefore, Germany’s return to the League of Nations is out of the question for all time to come.