Adolf Hitler – proclamation to the soldiers
of the Eastern Front
Fuhrer Headquarters, October 2, 1941
Soldiers of the Eastern Front!
Filled with grave concern for the existence and the future of our Volk, I decided on June 22 to direct an appeal to you in order to forestall the threatening attack of an opponent at the last minute. As we know today, it was the intention of the rulers in the Kremlin to destroy not only Germany, but also Europe. Comrades, you have realized two things in the meantime:
1. This opponent armed himself militarily for his attack to such an enormous extent that even our greatest fears were surpassed.
2. Lord have mercy on our Volk and on the entire European world if this barbaric enemy had been able to get his tens of thousands of tanks to move before we could. All of Europe would have been lost. For this enemy does not consist of soldiers, but, for the most part, of beasts (Bestien).
Now, my comrades, you have personally seen this ”paradise of workers and peasants” with your own eyes. In a country, whose vastness and fertility could feed the whole world, a poverty reigns that we Germans cannot imagine. This is the result of nearly twenty-five years of Jewish rule which, as Bolshevism, basically reflects the basest form of capitalism. The bearers of this system are the same in both instances: Jews and again Jews! Soldiers! When I called on you to ward off the danger threatening our homeland on June 22, you faced the greatest military power of all time. In barely three months, thanks to your bravery, my comrades, it has been possible to destroy one tank brigade after another belonging to this opponent, to eliminate countless divisions, to take uncounted prisoners, to occupy endless space. And this space is not empty, it is a space in which this opponent lives and from which his gigantic war industry receives raw materials of all types. In a few weeks, three of his most vital industrial districts will be completely in your hands! Your names, soldiers of the German Wehrmacht, and the names of our brave allies, the names of your divisions, regiments, your ships and squadrons, will be tied for all time to the mightiest victories in world history.
You have taken over two million four hundred thousand prisoners, you have destroyed or captured seventeen thousand five hundred tanks and over twenty-one thousand guns, you have downed or destroyed on the ground fourteen thousand two hundred planes. The world has never seen anything like this! The area which the German troops and those allied with us are occupying today is more than twice as large as the German Reich in the year 1933, more than four times as large as the English motherland.
Since June 22, the strongest system of positions has been broken through, mighty streams have been crossed, countless towns stormed, fortress and bunker installations smashed or smoked out. Starting in the far north, where our exceedingly brave Finnish allies showed their heroism a second time, down to the Crimea, you stand today, together with Slovak, Hungarian, Italian, and Romanian divisions, about a thousand kilometers deep in enemy territory.
Spanish, Croatian, and Belgian units now join you, others will follow.
Because this struggle, perhaps for the first time, is regarded by all European nations as a common action to save the continent of the most valuable culture.
Mighty also is the work which is being done behind your gigantic front.
Nearly two thousand bridges over twelve meters in length have been constructed; four hundred five railroad bridges have been set up; twenty-five thousand five hundred kilometers of railroad have begun operation again; yes, over fifteen thousand kilometers of railroad have already been adjusted to European gauge. Thousands of kilometers of road are under construction.
Vast areas have already been taken over by civil administration, and normality of life is quickly being reestablished under reasonable laws.
Enormous stores of provisions, fuel, and ammunition are ready! This greatest success of the struggle was secured by sacrifices, the numbers of which-while most difficult for the individual comrade and his family-on the whole do not amount to five percent of those of the World War.
What you, my comrades, together with our brave allied soldiers, have behind you in terms of accomplishments, bravery, heroism, privations, and efforts in the last three-and-a-half months, no one knows better than someone who himself once did his duty as a soldier in the past war.
But in these three-and-a-half months, my soldiers, the preconditions were finally created for that last gigantic blow, which shall crush this enemy before the onset of winter! As far as is humanly possible, all preparations have been completed. This time, everything was prepared step by step and according to plan in order to bring the opponent into such a situation that we can deal him the deadly blow now.
Today, the last great decisive battle of this year begins.
It will have a crushing effect on this enemy and, at the same time, on the instigator of this war itself, England. By beating this opponent, we will eliminate England’s last ally on the continent. Thereby, we will free Germany and all of Europe from a danger, the like of which has not imperiled the continent more dreadfully since the times of the Huns and later the Mongolian invasions. The German Volk will therefore be with you even more in the coming few weeks than ever before.
What you and the soldiers allied with us have accomplished already obliges us all to profound gratitude. The entire German homeland accompanies you in the coming difficult days with bated breath and good wishes. Because, with God’s help, you will give it not only the victory, but also the most important prerequisite for peace.
Adolf Hitler Fuhrer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht