Adolf Hitler – speech at Reichenberg
December 2, 1938
In this year, the German Volksgemeinschaft has proven itself to be a reality for the first time, a Volksgemeinschaft that does not shrink from threat or blackmail.
We have limited our foreign policy goals in a most reasonable fashion, yet there comes a point where international rights cease to exist and where the national rights of all peoples make their appearance! And it is for this national right to life that we stood up this year; we were determined to see it through even if this should demand the utmost of us.
Millions of Germans were not able to spend this summer, this fall, with their families. For many months, they were in the barracks or at military training sites. In this manner, they made a solemn vow that for them the German Volksgemeinschaft is more than simply a term or a phrase. To them it is a holy duty for which each man for himself is immediately willing to sacrifice his life, if need be, as so many millions have done before us.
From this determination, the Greater German Reich arose. It has cleared the path into this great Reich for you as well, my Volksgenossen, now that it has taken you in! That with all your heart you have pledged yourselves to this greatest of communities, this most social of communities which exist on this earth todaythis I know! Now you must avow your heart’s desire before all the world! This is what you are called upon to do on December 4 of this year!
Now you, too, shall step before the face of all the world at the completion of this year, profess your faith, reaffirm it, and hence solemnly avow your faith.
I know what this avowal will be. Actually, it would not even be necessary to avow it. However, it is necessary to render complete the birth certificate of the Greater German Reich! The birth certificate of the Second Reich was signed by the German Princes.
The birth certificate of the Third Reich will be issued and verified by the German Volk.
Beneath this birth certificate of Greater Germany, all men and women of our German Gaus have set their hand already this year, be they from East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Brandenburg, Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Hanover, from Central Germany, from Franconia, Swabia, from the Rhine, from the South, from our Ostmark all the way to Vienna. And now you, too, will set your hand to it so that its validity shall remain for all eternity! Greater Germany has arisen out of the will of the German nation! This is confirmed by all men and women of this Volk! And one day the German youth will pledge itself to this Reich forever. It is this that I demand of you now!