Adolf Hitler – address to 6,500 Germans living abroad
Rome, Basilica of Maxentius, May 3, 1938
Party Comrades! My German Volksgenossen! My youth!
I have been greatly moved by the events of these past hours which I was allowed to experience here. It makes me happy in particular that I may greet you, my German Volksgenossen, here in this most hallowed city of mankind.
On this day, I wish to express to you my gratitude for your loyal devotion, devotion you have shown not only to the Reich itself, but above all to the Reich of today. We have created this Reich, and it bears the imprints of our traits of character, traits closely related to those of your host country. In particular, I wish to thank you for your avowal of faith in this new Germany, a faith you have professed so forcefully a few weeks ago. 1 had expected no less of you. For a citizen of the Reich who has a strong character can be nothing other than a National Socialist! I usually do not have the opportunity to convey my thanks to the German Reich citizens abroad for their avowal of faith and I am happy to be able to do so at this hour. Many of you have been so fortunate as to return to the Reich from time to time, to see it with your own eyes and to witness the progress made by it. Many of you, however, are not this lucky. They can but look to the Reich from afar, read about it or see it in pictures. However, its spell shall never desert them nor shall the power of the National Socialist Weltanschauung ever set them free. To the contrary, the further away they are from their homeland, the more fervent their dedication to it and the more resounding their avowal of that Weltanschauung which has converted their homeland, once so despised, oppressed, and trod upon, into a Reich of honor and dignity-because of character again! You who have been so fortunate as to live in this country, you shall find many traits familiar to you so that it is easier for you than for any other group of Germans abroad to comprehend the essence and import of today’s Reich.
You yourselves live in a state that glorifies those virtues and ideals so dear to us. I have come here to say this to you in few words and to remind you to form a Volksgemeinschaft on a small scale here away from home such as the entire German nation forms at home-a Volksgemeinschaft of mutual aid and support. Rest assured that no matter where a German brings sacrifices to his Volksgenossen, these sacrifices shall be weighed and valued in the same manner and these shall be regarded as sacrifices to the entire Volksgemeinschaft.
You have never forgotten Germany; I know it well! Germany is happy about this and shall never forget you either! We will take care of you and I am happy to be able to say this in a country which makes the administration of such care so easy. We will take care of you because we are convinced that the bonds of this Volksgemeinschaft can never and nowhere be severed! Let us now turn to what fills our hearts at this moment: our dear homeland, our dear German Reich.