Adolf Hitler – speech in Krumau
October 20, 1938
Germans! Volksgenossen! Meine Bohmerwaldler!
As I greet you here today as the new citizens and members of our great German Reich, I wish to, first of all, thank you for your loyalty to your Volkstum and for never losing faith in the great German Volk and Reich.
You must also, however, thank those millions of Germans in the Reich who were willing, if need be, to make the greatest of all sacrifices for you, the German people of this land. For Germany was willing and determined to fight for your liberation till the end had this been the only solution! You will now experience the great joy of being citizens of so great a Reich, a Reich that spans from Konigsberg to Aachen, from Hamburg and Schleswig- Holstein to the Karawanken, and in the midst of which you lay embedded today. To reach this Reich, you had to tread along a most difficult path.
Throughout the centuries we had to fight for this Reich, and it was our generation that had to make the greatest sacrifices within the last decades. This makes the Reich twice as dear to us! Just as this Reich will take up the cause of each one of you, so must each German in turn be willing to dedicate his entire existence to this Reich and to serve this community. Germany cannot give more to each of us than we ourselves are willing to give to Germany! There are many Germans who would gladly sacrifice it all to Germany and who are not as fortunate as we are to be members of this community. Alas, they are prevented from doing so. All the more grateful should those of us be who partake in this great happiness! For all of us this entails one great responsibility, to do everything that might be of benefit to the Reich. At that point at which it becomes necessary to do so, all of us must set aside our personal interests and serve the greater interest of Germany. For we ourselves mean nothing; our Volk means all.
If the German Volk perishes, then every single German will perish along with it! If our great German Reich, however, is once more mighty and strong, then a ray of this fortune will shine upon every single German! All of us live in Germany and through Germany! To this we faithfully pledge ourselves in these memorable and moving hours.
Fortune has blessed us. Providence allowed us to make good what the weak generation before us failed to do. Providence has allowed us to restore internal order to our Volk, to eliminate discord, to overcome fratricide and hatred, and to lead back to our great shared Reich those millions of Germans to whom it had already appeared to be lost forever.
The year 1938 will go down in history as a most memorable one! This year, we have added about ten million Volksgenossen and far more than 100,000 square kilometers of territory to the German Reich and hence to the German Volkstum. We have secured them for the Reich for eternity. And we achieved this without having to resort to an all-out effort. However, this was only possible because we stood armed and prepared for that all-out effort and because we were determined to see it through, if need be! We thank the Lord that we and so many other German Volksgenossen were spared this suffering. All the more fervently, we pledge ourselves to fulfilling our duties and to doing all that is to the benefit of our Volk and to refrain from doing all that might he to its detriment.
This we promise as Volksgenossen in this mighty and great German Reich to which we have pledged ourselves for a life time, body and soul.
Our German Volk and Reich-Sieg Heil!