Adolf Hitler – speech at the laying of the cornerstone for the House of German Tourism
on Potsdamer Strasse in Berlin
June 14, 1938
Once more we National Socialists cannot leave the resolution of such important issues, which we today can already anticipate, to posterity. It has always been our principle to approach such problems ourselves and to resolve them ourselves! It is for this reason that the newly constructed roads were not built for the years 1938, 1939, or even 1940. Rather they were constructed to account for the gigantic increase in flow of traffic certain for the coming decades, indeed for the coming centuries.
Yes, it is at this time-now that we can more easily deal with these issues- that we see to avoiding in Berlin the traffic problems we are witnessing today in many another metropolis. One day posterity will judge what many perhaps cannot comprehend today as a beneficial decision and its implementation as a most fortunate occurrence.
And so we are building not only great traffic circles in this city, but also we are constructing two great veins of traffic flowing through Berlin: one in the East-West direction and one in the North-South direction.
Parts of the East-West axis are already under construction and, in all likelihood, they will be opened for traffic within a few months’ time.
Completing the corresponding connection to the East will be a task for the coming years. And today, in a sense, we find ourselves placing the cornerstone for the North-South axis at this location as well. These great sections will later be connected to the great Reichsautobahn ring. In the future, they will lead the motorist from outlying areas directly into the heart of the city of Berlin. Again both stretches are not planned for the year 1940, but for centuries to come. For I believe in an eternal Germany, and hence 1 believe in its capital! I believe that just as we today are grateful to those men who three hundred years ago planned and brought to life the Unter den Linden Avenue, posterity will be grateful to us three hundred years from now! With this road system, we will find a generous solution for the suburban fast train traffic which no doubt will remain the primary means of transportation for the masses. Millions of people already utilize these trains to go to work each day and people will use them increasingly in the future. Thus this problem, too, has found a most generous solution for the immediate future.
There is yet another consideration which compels us to carry through this project: we want to introduce a planned order into cultural construction. My Volksgenossen, all which will be built here within the next ten, fifteen or twenty years, would be built in any event. However, as experience has shown, everyone would build precisely as he wished and where he wished to build.
With this plan, all these construction projects will be synchronized, planned and more correctly carried through. Furthermore, buildings and constructions designed to bring benefit to the inner city, but which were consistently postponed, will he built. [-] Just imagine where it would lead if everyone-the Reich, the Land, the Movement, the community, economy, trade, industry, etc.-built as he pleased in such a city, choosing a spot somewhere and putting up his house there. That could only lead to complete chaos. It is here that I intervened and led construction in this city into more orderly avenues! And on this foundation the new Berlin will be built! In addition, there is the necessity to create new residential areas and to link these tip to the suburban fast train system that leads into the city. For the first time in over one hundred and fifty years, methodical order will be restored to the appearance of the city of Berlin! And thus it is a day of great pride for me as I lay the cornerstone to the first building in this city, a building that owes its existence to the new planned order.
The Haus des deutschen Fremdenverkehrs justly deserves to be the first in a series of new buildings in the inner city of Berlin. After all, everything we are building here today will one day lead to an immense increase in foreigners visiting Germany. The mighty structures we are erecting in the Reich today will pay off in the end as Germany increasingly becomes the center for tourism we imagine. The world will come to see us and will above all want to ascertain that this Germany is indeed a stronghold of European culture and human civilization. [-] I am placing this cornerstone for the remodeling of the Haus des deutschen Fremdenverkehrs in Berlin, and hence I order commencement of the restructuring work for Greater Berlin!