Adolf Hitler – speech in the Sportpalast
Berlin, January 30, 1942
My german fellow countrymen and women, my comrades
At present everybody speaks before the forum which seems to them the most fitting. Some speak before a parliament whose existence, composition and origin (are well known).
I believe that I should return again today whence I came, namely to the people. Because you are all representatives of this nation with the one difference that you are not getting any salaries, and often it is more difficult for you to come to such demonstrations, more difficult than for the so-called qualified representatives of those democracies.
Before we enter the tenth year of the National Socialist German State, it is appropriate that we should look into our past, and once again occupy ourselves with the principles of our existence, of our life, and of our victory.
Quite often we hear today the remark that this war is really the second world war. It means that this struggle is identified with the first, which most of us lived through as soldiers. This is not only correct ... that also this struggle which in reality encompasses almost the whole world, it is even more correct when we consider that it is a question of the same aims; that the same powers which brought about the first world war are responsible for the present one, and that these powers and states have the same aims which they had at that time ...; they had the same intentions which are the true cause and purpose of this struggle.
They are not only the same causes, but, above all, they are the same individuals. And I can proudly say that the only exceptions are the very nations which today are embodied as allies by the German Reich, by Italy, by Japan, and so on. For certainly no one can deny that Churchill even in 1914 was one of the most rabid (literally: mean) war-mongers of his time; that Roosevelt was then the disciple of President Wilson; that the capitalistic countries then also had thrown the weight of their alliance into the scales on the side of war. Just as no one can deny the reverse, that we were entirely innocent in (starting) that war. We were all only very ordinary soldiers, just as you are now, my dear wounded men sitting here before me. Unknown and nameless men, whom duty had simply called, nothing else, and who in response had fulfilled their duty as faithfully as they were able.
The same motive forces which were to blame for the first world war are now responsible for the second (static). Germany then was a monarchy; in other words not a National-Socialist dictatorship. The Germany of that period was democratic, that is, not a national-socialistic state, and the Germany of that period was parliamentarian, that is, not what Germany is today, to say nothing of all other differences. There had to be reasons therefore, which led to the attack of these powers then as today, and which had nothing to do with the respective forms of government, although both sides pretend that it is just this which called them into the field of battle.
We Germans cannot possibly imagine that if a country near us suddenly decides on a certain form of government, we must declare war on this country just because that particular form of government doesn't suit us. We can't understand this at all, and naturally the others can't understand it either. They did not enter the war for this reason. They did not enter and are not at war because they were irritated by the form of the state. They are capable of embracing the vilest type of government when necessary and of fraternizing with it. No, no, it is not a question of a form of a government, but other reasons which brought them previously into a war against the German state.
At that time England was the principal initiator of this struggle, England, which during 300 years ... through a continuous succession of bloody wars subjugated roughly a quarter of the globe. Because at that time it wasn't as if one day a few Indian princes or Indian localities or Indian representatives proceeded to London with the request "Britishers, come to India, reign over us or lead us," but it was the English who went to India and the Indian people did not want any British and tried to get rid of them by force. (Static-part of the sentence unintelligible). People once subjugated to be kept in subjugation.
By force they made one state after another pay them tribute and become their servants. ... this force, which scents business everywhere where a state of disturbance exists, our international Jewish acquaintances. In this manner England has subjugated the world over a period of a few hundred years; and, to make secure this conquest of the world, this subjugation of people, England endeavors to maintain the so-called balance of power in Europe.
This means in reality that it endeavors to make sure that no European state is able to win over a certain measure ... and perhaps in this way rise to a leading-role in Europe. What they wanted was a disunited, disintegrated Europe, a Europe all of whose forces completely offset one another.
To reach this goal, England conducted one war after another in Europe. She has seen first its powerful position menaced by Spain. When they had finally conquered Spain, they turned their attentions to the Netherlanders. When Holland seemed to represent no further danger, British hate concentrated itself against France. And when finally France was crushed with the help of all Europe, to be sure, they then imagined that Germany must be, of necessity, the one factor which might possibly be suited to the unification of Europe.
Then it was that the struggle against Germany began, not out of love for the nations, but only in their own most sober interests. ... it was said, it turned against the Jews, who, in every struggle between nations, know how and are capable of making profits and winning wherever there is confusion and wrangling. It is well-known that they have always been the instigators of unrest among the nations, because they were able to profit only in time of unrest, and because a period of peace might lead to reflection and hence, also, to an insight into the ways of these evil-doers of all nations.
When, in 1914,a world coalition against the German Reich of that time was first brewing, ... they ... for a justification. They then said, "Germany must first of all be freed from its Kaiser." This, of course, should have been of no concern to the English, but rather an internal matter for the German people. But the English always feel concerned for other nations, and for that reason they wanted to free Germany of its Kaiser, then as now.
They said: "It is Germany's militarism which makes the German people unhappy and oppresses them."
The English are everywhere against the oppression and against the misery meted out today. Finally, they said, "There shall be no more war. Therefore let us wage war upon war." A wonderful, enticing, splendid perspective. If only one wanted to apply it in retrospect. That means, if one wanted to say, "We agree that war is an injustice because only brutal force decides war. We will eliminate all coercion. Hence we will abolish everything arisen through coercion up to now."
A very difficult beginning, indeed, because the whole world hitherto has been built up in accordance with the principle that might makes right. But still it would have been wonderful if England had led the way to the rest of the world in its abhorrence of war in this manner, that it would have liberated the fruits of its own wars, that is, that it would have placed them again at the disposition of the rest of the world. If England had done that, if it had therefore declared: "We abhor war. Therefore, we will immediately return South Africa; because we won it through war. We hate war. Therefore, we will return the East Indies; we also won those in a war. For instance, we hate war. Therefore, we will also leave Egypt; because this also we have subjugated through force. We shall also retire from the entire Near East; because this also became ours through force."
It would have been a beautiful gesture, to have declared war on war in this fashion. However, the struggle against war meant something entirely different in England; namely, this war against war was interpreted to mean every possibility of making good the injustices already existing in this world;
and so finally they take the power from him who has power, and all possibility of power from him who has none.
It is about the same as the attitude we recognize also in domestic policy, when people say: "We want no change in the social order. He who is rich is to stay rich; he who is poor must stay poor. As things are, so are they willed; and as they are willed, so they are to remain; for man should not rise against that which is once willed, because it is so."
You know, my comrades, our National Socialist conception, on the other hand. We see in each state and at each moment of this world the evidence of a never interrupted process of life; and it is impossible to say at a certain moment, "Here ceases this evolutionary process." And it lies in the nature of the complete evolution of all things that every stabilization of this life process must lead to extinction. It lies, on the contrary, in the essence of Nature, that ever and again ... are created and stamped out.
That means therefore that from the domestic life of peoples the ... must be freed of poison, that they cannot be locked up in social orders, that in the domestic life of peoples it is impossible to reach a stabilization of financial circumstances, but that domestically, too, one must take care that a continuous stream of fresh blood rises from below toward the top, and that everything above which is lazy because it is sluggish should die, because it must die, because it is ready to die.
And so the talk of war on war has been proved quite false. The best proof for that is that the moment the war was over, the conditions for a new war could by no means be avoided, nor the instruments for waging the new war, either. It would have been a wonderful gesture if after the disarmament of Germany, as it ... had been looked after, then England, America, and France had also disarmed. We suggested it to them often, begged them to at the time of the Weimar Republic, and still later demanded that they do it.
They considered it not at all. On the contrary, the wars went on. Only the defeated people, the German people, lost every prospect ever in this world to change its condition once more for the better.
The methods which they used in the first World War were like those with which they are fighting today. At first the war from outside, and war in the form of creating coalitions. Here fits a piece of Churchill's shamelessness, who says today: "England was never in a position to carry on war by herself alone against Italy or Germany." But this same man has through his lieutenant year after year given out promises of guarantee to the whole world. Then he himself admits that they were never in a position to fight alone.
But they guaranteed the Baltic states; they guaranteed the Balkans. They went on around: Every state in the world, they declared, needs a guarantee. Great Britain will put her whole strength behind them and will protect them. Today this same arch-liar says: "But we were really never in a position to carry on the war alone." But that is right; even in the World War they were not in a position to carry on the war alone. Therefore they cooked up a coalition against us of world-wide extent.
The methods have likewise remained the same. Promises to all those of little faith, the credulous, or stupid, who wanted to trust these promises, moreover, the attempt to allow their own interests to be represented with as much other blood as possible.
It must always be remembered that the British world empire in the 400 years of its origin had to shed in countless wars, barely 10% of the blood that Germany needed to defend alone its bare existence, and in spite of that, we have always lost always more and more. This truth is connected with the second British method, that is, with the method of division. In that time that the British Empire had its origin, Germany tore herself apart. There were at that time modes of thought that we no longer understand, modes of thought of a religious kind, that unfortunately were fought out only with the sword, modes of thought that became horrible among the people, that seem insufficient to us in their inner being. Only these grievous internal struggles, that cost the German people endless blood, gave England the opportunity in this same period, to raise up a world claim, that never belonged to her either in number or in significance. Then I must always point out that it is not true that we Germans are like upstarts, but if one wants to talk about upstarts, then it is unconditionally the English and not ourselves! We have an older history, and in a time when Europe had a powerful German Empire, England was a quite insignificant, small, green island.
In the last World War the possibilities of this splitting up lay in another sphere. Afterwards the religious problems did not provoke any more bloodshed, especially since the priests themselves would not have been ready any more to sacrifice their lives for these causes.
After the impossibility of involving the German people in the dark interior crisis, (there was) a new possibility of the parties' game. We lived through it then. The parties of the right and the parties of the left, which further broke up in a dozen bourgeois aspects, in a half dozen proletarian aspects, and ever split up some more, and having begun with these parties, from the bourgeoisie of the bourgeois center up to the KPD (Communist Party of Germany), succeeded (this refers back to the parties of the right and left) in undermining and breaking down the German people slowly from within. In spite of that, the course of the war was a glorious one. The years 1914-1918-they proved it: in which not even the opponents triumphed.
A low, common revolt was plotted by Marxian-demoralizing-Liberal-Capitalistic subjects-behind all of it as a driving force was the eternal Jew. They brought Germany to its collapse at that time. We know this today from the verdict of the English themselves, that they at that time in 1918 were at the end, just before their own collapse, when perhaps a quarter hour before 12 o'clock the revolt in Germany was realized. Only the cowardice of the then rulers, their indecision, their halfway measures, their own uncertainty brought it on. And so the First World War could not alone be lost by the merit of our opponents, but exclusively by our own fault.
The consequences of this collapse in November were not that world democracy stretched out open arms to Germany, were not the concern of others to free the German people from its burdens and to lift the German people to a higher standard of culture. For that they could have no concern at all, for they themselves had a much lower one. But the consequence was just their collapse, the most frightful one, politically and economically, that a people has ever experienced.
At that time there came to us a man who has done the German people immeasurable harm, Woodrow Wilson, the man who lied with a straight face. If Germany would lay down her arms, then she would get a compassionate, an understanding peace! Then she would not lose her colonies! But the colonial problems were fixed up, all right! The man lyingly promised us that there would be a general disarmament, that we would then be accepted on equal terms among nations, peoples, etc. with equal rights! He lyingly promised us that then secret diplomacy would be done away with, and that we too would then enter into a new age of peace, of equality, of reason, etc.! (Screams the last sentence.) This arch-liar's stooge was the President Roosevelt of today! He was his right hand. Our German folk believed this man then. They had no idea that they were dealing here with an American President, that is, with a man who has no regard for truths; who, for example, can calmly say before an election: "I shall vote against war," and after the election can say: "I vote for war." And who, when he is then called to answer for it, can explain as calmly as ever: "I said that then because I thought that there would be dumbbells who would take it for the truth."
But we had no idea of a thing like this, that we were in fact dealing with a paralysis victim, with a madman, who was then head of this people, with which the German people had never in their history had a conflict! So there came the hour then (the German people) got its disappointment at the moment when the German subordinate emissaries entered the car in the Compiegne forest, now known to us for the second time. And there right away came the rude question: "What are you gentlemen doing here?" There was an armistice which in reality meant total defenselessness already. And the sequel to this armistice was then the peace treaty, the complete removal of our people's arms and therewith the removal of its rights, and with that the plundering and ravaging by an international financial combine which threw our people into the depths of misery.
They told us beforehand: "He who says that we intend to take away Germany's colonies lies!" They took them away from us! They said: "He who says that the intention is to take from Germany her ... is not telling the truth!" They took them away from us! They said beforehand: "He who says that we want to take away part of the German people is inciting the people!" Later they took away one part after another! They had broken all their promises! In a few months the German people sank into a state of unimaginably deep despair and despondency-starving people without hope any longer. A people that did not get its war-prisoners back, even after the armistice and peace-treaty had been signed! A people that was not given food, even after it was defenseless! A people that was now repeatedly coerced,-if one carefully studies those times-from whom re-subjection was again and again demanded, extorted by some new repression. When one reflects upon this even today, one falls even now into a state of burning hatred and rancor against a world in which anything like this is possible.
Well, it was at that time, my racial comrades, when everything was broken up, when the upper leadership had faithlessly fled abroad, when others were surrendering, when the Wehrmacht had to give up its weapons, when the people disarmed themselves voluntarily,-it was at that time, when the (agitation?) was raging against Germany within our borders, (when people were saying that?) it is a good thing that we lost the war, when (men?) without character were declaring, "We should not have been permitted to win that war"-it was at that moment, when anyone who even thought of Germany at all, or spoke about it (trembled?) to stand up,-at that time, when the renunciation of life was being preached as an ideal, so to speak, and when one was ashamed to face the world as a German altogether,-it was at that very time, my racial comrades, that I entered my political career with the determination of resurrecting Germany!
It was such a mad determination in the eyes of those others, that my closest friends did not understand me. I found the strength for this determination only from my knowledge of the people. If, at that time, I had only known the upper ten thousand, believe me, my German people-I would not stand before you today, I would never have found courage for this thought which is capable of revolutionizing a people. ... I knew at that time first and all the people itself; I knew ... the comrades; I knew that these men, who for years have done what could not be left undone, who have done work without precedence, could be trusted,-I knew that if they only would have had the right leadership, that they never would have agreed to a capitulation, not these comrades, since each knew that so many comrades had already fallen for what I was fighting for. I could not abandon that, for it would have been to betray my own comrades, who were just as badly ... by life as I myself, who had also contributed their lives.
I have come to know the great mass of the German people, ladies and gentlemen, from living with them. And these masses have not only upheld my belief in the people, but have restored it, and constantly strengthened it through all the years since then, in the face of contrary circumstances, or when any misfortune seemed to threaten the realization of my plans. It was clear to me that this whole development, just as in the last 20 years or 30 years before the war, could lead only to collapse. But I had already formed the resolve to declare war on this whole development. That is not merely to declare: "I will get a German Wehrmacht, I will get an army or an air-force"; it was clear to me that the inner structure of the social order must be altered, so that in the dead body of our people the blood would flow again, and that society should hold firmly ... to the goal.
I have always looked upon this undertaking as possible, as within the power of the country. But I was of the conviction that strength could only be given to a body in which the sight and the essence of the new condition was already incorporated. Therefore, I was resolved to build up a small movement, beginning with those people who should already have within themselves that which appeared later as really essential to the whole of society. And this was perhaps not so hard as I thought, inasmuch as I was already on guard against the danger of unworthy place-seekers or selfish persons joining my ranks.
For whoever joined this movement in those years from 1919-23 had to be a boundless idealist. Any other kind of man would only say: "He is an utter fool. He wants to build a new people, to found a new state, to organize a new Wehrmacht, to make the Germans free again-and he hasn't even a name, no money, no press, no political clique, nothing. The man is mad." They had to be boundless idealists who came to me then, for we had nothing at all to gain, but always only to lose, always to sacrifice. And I can say that of all my followers, all of them who at that time and later supported me: they had nothing to win, and everything to lose. And how much have they all lost for my sake. I have now begun this battle, first against stupidity, stupidity and inertia, under the so-called higher strata; I have begun it against the cowardice which spreads caste far and wide, the cowardice which always pretended to be cleverness and came around and said: "We must submit; we must be patient"; or, as Herr Erzberger said, "We must sign everything, we must sign everything they put before us; then they will forgive us; then it will be all right again." Against this immeasurable cowardice which did everything rather than take a stand, I had to fight then, in small and gradually larger circles. Often we have experienced ... but it always comes to conflicts ... provoke ... only to be quiet! And we were not quiet. I then formed the program: "The German language belongs to the German." And I have won them over, these German masses, not by the cleverness of the cowards, but the bravery of these daredevils who at that time attached themselves to me and who were ready to fight and make the street free again and to go (?) among the enemy and slowly bring back the German masters again to these German streets, the German markets, villages and cities. And I had at that time to fight on further against selfish (?) interests of all individuals. The man of the Left said to me: "You are going against my interests" or "You are going against my interests. My interests are class interests. And these class interests oblige me to slay the other fellow." And the other ... said to me: "Sir, keep away from our interests. We have the interests of station, we too have our interests, ... Do not come in here!" I had to turn against both sides. And above the interests which seemed to be found in station or in class, stood (sic) the interests which lie in the folk, in that community which cannot be torn apart, all this appears today to be so obvious a thing to get all these ... refinements into the cross-grained skulls of our people of Left and Right.
One group did not want to accept this idea, ..., because they said: "What? We want our old filth ...", and the others did not want to accept it because of their limitations or stupidity, because of sluggish thinking, when they said: That was not until now ..., and you cannot demand of me that I should have anything to do with these persons who come from the people: That I cannot do.
Eventually you will even demand of me that I should add one ... after the other. To me also it is obvious, we want ..., but from a distance, from a distance, gentlemen.
All that was thus not so simple, slowly to draw one thing after another out of this people, and how many have quite simply run away from it. It was not, indeed, my national comrades, as if every one who came to me at that time, on that account also remained with me. Many a time I had to bring fifty or sixty somewhere ..., and three months later they were again only seven or eight. All the others were gone again. And one had to begin again. I made a calculation at that time. If I win a hundred over, and have only ten remain to me, and the other ninety always leave me, then gradually they will become a hundred if I win a thousand. If I win ten thousand, they will be a thousand, and gradually the number of those who remain will grow ever larger. And if one had departed for the second or third time, perhaps, then perhaps he will be embarrassed to go the fifth time, and then he too will remain.
And thus, with unbelievable patience and with perseverance and persistence I will slowly build up a group that is a majority in the German Reich itself. The others may laugh or mock as much as they wish. It does not matter. They may go against us. That does not matter; then we will defend ourselves. We will not capitulate. We will not get off the street, we will not give up our places until we ... have the upper hand, or until others force us out themselves.
The feeling of the National Socialist is today obvious to us. However at that time, these were new ideas, new learnings, which were neither understood, nor of course, accepted by many. And another thing was added to this, a cursed tradition, in which every single ... question, from which one thought it possible to free oneself, particularly this entire question of education, this ... behind which there lies much more serious problem than any other; one individual could not bring himself to mix with the broad masses of the people, because he didn't belong to them socially; while another could not because he also came from others. It was a fight against traditions, and also, naturally, against the elements of cultural up-bringing.
Some said, ... "I, as a cultured person, cannot be made to expect to associate with a ..., such as a day-laborer." I had to first of all make them understand that leadership had nothing to do with an abstract learnedness, which had been pumped up in an institution of studies. One is studied, taught, hammered in, in God knows how many homework hours, and the other is innate (born) and will always come to the fore, and will know how to find a following among his natural and necessary talents of leadership. It was a struggle against almost all of the things which we were accustomed to in life. Besides this, there was a fight against certain natural interests. ... . "If I should really join you, I shall lose my business," (said one) and another would say: "It would be scandalous, because my colleagues would not stand for this." Can you imagine, my countrymen, what a hero one had to be to be the first National Socialist in any group, in any factory, and also, I concede, to be the first National Socialist in any salon? For some, because . . . the ones, because they are bodily, the others because they are spiritually threatened. I do not know what is more evil, a bodily threat rather than a spiritual suppression which can perhaps break down a person even faster than a physical threat. There have been heroes who have come forward at that time. And I should like to explain something about that: These heroes have in reality continued the war of 1914-1918. One sees them yet so displayed as if they were soldiers (in my eyes) and their party, no, that the soldiers have been once, and indeed the best soldiers. They were the best soldiers that have ever been, who would not and could not bear the acquiescence, thus we recognize it today, that a really good National Socialist will also be always the best soldier.
And now came the organized opponents also. They were first of all approximately 46 or 47 parties, who hesitated accordingly to unite together the bicyclists, or the small gardeners, or cottagers, or other people. But there were some 48 parties. An Allied Opposition. And here above all the party secretaries, their functionaries, . . . For where, after all, was a ... party position to arrive, represented by its syndics, party secretaries, and so on, and where a proletarian party itself, represented by trade-union leaders and again party secretaries, if now suddenly someone comes and says: "All that rubbish is again plain madness. You are fighting here for something that can be of no use to anyone. You will both have to get off your high horse. In the long run you cannot do without each other. It is more sensible for you to come to an intelligent agreement with each other than that you should each bring about the other's ruin." One could say that, of course, to the individual, but to a secretary it meant making the man think, immediately, (end of sentence unintelligible), that then his entire existence was over. ... with millions one does not conduct a political struggle. ...
And as an example he says, or he makes rejoinders, which ... can be fought, and thereby must be exposed to reason. Where, then, do the trade-union secretaries and the syndics get? And most of all, where then do the dear Jews get, who had, indeed, their interests so much in both camps, who on the one hand directed capital, even, and on the other hand led the anti-capitalists, and often, indeed, as one family with two brothers in both camps.
My dear national comrades! When at that time I began this fight, I knew very well that it was a fight against an entire condition of things, and how hard it was only my fellow-fighters can know, who realized that for me the last war had offered clear ... .
I continued to fight when I could speak again, and I have gone up and down the country, and from city to city, and have spoken and labored again and again, always with the single thought to loose the German people from this bond, to deliver them from their lethargy, and (voice is fading).
Not only have I found comrades in arms, but also countless people in the course of these years, who have now helped us, women and men, who have given all, for whom the Party, in particular, was everything. The other wretched bourgeois, especially, cannot understand that. Only those can understand who belong to National Socialism, for whom the movement means everything, so that they have thought of their movement the whole day, so that they have risked all, and have offered every sacrifice. Now the whole nation understands it; what was then counted not even a thousand, today totals millions of fellow countrymen, who are going to the gathering places, and are giving, for the National Socialist Union, their last fur and pullover. (several words unintelligible).
This good fortune, to be able to give ..., to be able to sacrifice for it, that millions today have, was had formerly by only the few National Socialists of our movement. How great the good fortune was only those can measure, apparently, who today can say of themselves: "I am doing everything for my people, everything for our soldiers, so that they may stand fast."
Now, my fellow countrymen, from this small beginning has sprung the German Union. Slowly, it is true, but it was well so; it needed time, but it came into existence. This movement exists today; it was not an uninterrupted growth, but there were then again also days of the most severe distress and of doubt, dark days.
I need only remember the year 1923. The enemy stood in the Ruhr district, Germany was in inflation, the whole German people ruined, and seemed to be going under in unparalleled misery, (several words unintelligible) and they profited by our misfortune. And then I tried at that time to get in my hand the power to bring misfortune to a stop. And at the moment when I might believe that I would get the power, then fate struck me down, and I came, instead of into power, into prison.
And then, at this time, then the movement had to be on guard, and of course, I myself, also. And I may now say that at this moment, when I had yet scarcely come to my senses, I did not lose my head for a minute, but had soon recovered my faith. (One sentence unintelligible) one needed to have no further hesitation about it, one no longer needed even to choose, National Socialism (fading). After 13 months I came back again and began again from the beginning. (two sentences unintelligible-Hitler is screaming.)
And then Providence freed the whole volume (?), then came the struggle with these gadflies of fate. Years of waiting. Then after the first hard blow I got great increases in the movement. What that cost in work is known only to those who were there then. But I kept then also my boundless faith, faith in my own person, too, (Remainder of sentence unintelligible-Hitler is screaming.)
I took to heart then the saying of a German philosopher: "The blow of an old . . ." (Remainder of the quotation is drowned out by shouting.)
At this time the rest of the world took no notice at all of us . . . The rest of the world followed the example of the Sir Diplomats, and the diplomats moved in circles which at that time we National Socialists could not move in, were absolutely forbidden to move in, and as far as I am concerned, didn't have to move in. These diplomats sent wonderful reports to their governments, in which they depicted the ... justified (political plays) actions of the Reich, and the power of their ..., and were certain that they would take over this entire Reich some day. They treated the Germany of that day as though there never would exist, or never had existed a National Socialism.
And how they treated this Germany! Their Germany, their democratic Germany. The child which they had ... suckled. This freak of parliamentary democracy, constitution of Weimar and body of laws from Versailles! How they mishandled this monster-child, oppressed it, wrung it out. If today they act as though they are against us National Socialists, or turn against National Socialist Germany, still, did they not ... formerly democratic Germany? Only there is one difference: they cannot ... us at all, but unfortunately they could ... democratic Germany. To us it makes no difference what their opinion of us is: I have never, even to the slightest degree, counted on having foreign countries ... me,: that doesn't matter to me in the least. If it should come to pass that my enemies should praise me, then the German nation can send me to the devil.
So to me, and to us, it doesn't matter; but they mistreated democratic Germany, that Germany, which crept ..., which was satisfied with a few crumbs which fell from the tables of these so-called "proprietary (moneyed-) classes." They were treated like beggars, but they at least should have had the honor of sitting in Geneva. They were refused every human right, but they should have had the right, now and then, to participate in an international conference, or even to preside there.
They misused the right of self-determination of the German nation, they didn't worry about anything, but they should at least have been allowed to speak on the subject of the rights of self-determination of other nations at the League of Nations in Geneva, and they would have been satisfied and happy with that.
The disarmament: If today it is said, that our Germany, this National Socialist Germany, forced us to arm, putting aside the fact that ... . There was once a Germany which had no arms at all. But why didn't they disarm then? They could have done it, or does anyone believe that perhaps Stresemann or Marx, or any one of these men, Wirth, Bauer, Eberth, Scheidemann, would have declared the might of war? Well, that cannot be told anyone. They didn't believe that themselves. That is when they should have disarmed. They didn't do it; on the contrary, they pushed the war on farther. Some of them got themselves well-fixed in one place, some in another. The English didn't worry any further about their Allies; they betrayed the Arabs on the subject of their self-determination, as for the Indian people, whom they needed in the war, they later on abruptly took away everything they had promised them. They knew very well why Germany had to be disarmed. They added all of this to the name Democracy. And then the terrible unemployment. ... Where was all the economic ...?
Where were the wonder-workers (magicians)? If today they can lie so in the newspapers, so that President Roosevelt declares that America will give the world a new economic order. It may very well be a new order, but a very miserable one. Such is the system, a system with which he has himself gone bankrupt, so that he now believes that only through a war can he preserve the justice of nations.
Politico-economically, the German people has not received what was promised it before the days of the Versailles Treaty. On the contrary, as the other world went to pieces progressively, unemployment grew and continued to grow greater. The years 1913 to 1930 are years of continuous experimentation, continuous economic ruin, an uninterrupted prostitution of the political sovereignty of the German people; also an abandonment of economic materials. And we had to witness all this.
At that time I fought, but during those years, my countrymen, there were many setbacks for forbidden parties, (one sentence ...) Then again local groups were dissolved, then again, over all of German states the movement was forbidden. In short, there was a continuous fight against uninterrupted setbacks.
Then, finally, came September, 1930, and we walked into the Reichstag with our 106 mandates-another was added-107 mandates. Then we should have been given part in the government, but that was when the real opposition (sidetracking) came, and it grew greater uninterruptedly. It was a continuous battle, which eventually ... . How many party members did we lose at the time? ... foully murdered, over 40,000 wounded, we could count in these few years. Then came the year 1932. The first presidential election, again a setback. The second presidential election, the party saw ..., and so the fight for the inside power in this state continued in ... battle after battle. It was a fight in which all was at stake. Many persons again had to pay with their lives that year. Many persons went to prison. And then came July, with a ... . Then everyone cried: "This is the hour in which to take over power," and again the hour passed by, it had to go by.
And then came another reversal. And then-a final battle. And finally the day, the memory of which we are celebrating.
Now, my compatriots (countrymen), I have related this to you only very briefly, in order to show you above all else that: the victory which we are celebrating today, did not come to us at that time as an easy gift, which fell into our laps. This victory was bound up with great efforts, with sacrifices, with deprivations, with unceasing labors, and also with setbacks. And if you had asked anyone on January 15, "Do you believe that this person"-that was I at that time-"will get into power?" everyone would have answered you, even on the 25th and the 28th, "Never." And when we did get into power on the 30th, then many a wise man said:-"It's only for six weeks." Today, it is nine years.
And now I must mention something else. I told you what I found conditions to be in the year 1919 to 1920, when I brought the party into existence; I have depicted for you the situation, after my first great defeat.
But I must recall to your memory, in just a few sentences, what I had taken upon myself on that 30th of January. It was a heritage which hardly anyone wanted any more to take over at all.
Everything ruined, the economy destroyed; 7,000,000 people without a living, and it was increasing from week to week; 7,000,000 part-time workers. The Reich finances an enormous deficit of nearly three billions. The ... trade finances and other (?) deficits, which were jointly (?) in debt up to here(?). The peasantry on the verge of complete collapse, on the verge of having land and soil auctioned off. Trade crippled, commerce brought to a halt, our shipping no longer in existence. In general, everything in Germany seemed now to be dead.
But I took that over. It was no bright heritage, but I looked upon it as an honor to take over something not at the moment when it is flourishing, but to take it over at the moment when others say: "Everything is already ruined. Everyone can, of course (?)."
I ventured it then. It was altogether clear to me that (?) if it did not succeed I would probably be stoned. I would have been beaten to death, I dared and I won. ... to be able to attack sensibly all the economic problems without becoming thereby permanently upset. ...
I began to stabilize the German currency by relentless pressure from above. I began, however, to stabilize it so ... pressure from above, but by the fact that I finally ... the German mark ... German production ... All that is easy to tell today, but it was not so easy then, for if it had been so easy, why did my opponents not do it?
I immediately began with the repression of all the foreign elements in Germany; I mean our cosmopolites. I began also at this time to bring individual provinces into the Reich. When the year '34 came, I had really got through with the most essential internal preparations toward getting for the German people at last the benefit of its labor. Instead of numberless economic organizations a combination of all in one single bureau. At first, of course, everyone complained whose interests were thereby threatened. But one thing no one can dispute, from either the right or left: In the end everything went better than before. ... and moreover what an individual perhaps had to give up for the moment he got back again, got back through reason which lay at the bottom of all transactions, through insight into what was necessary.
In '35 the freedom began already to permeate to external relations. You remember all that: introduction of military service; in '36 the throwing off of these oppressive Versailles shackles in regard to the Rhineland; recovery of our sovereignty; in '37 and '38 the completion of our armament, not without my having previously made numerous offers to the others, to obviate this armament. For one thing, my comrades, you must all admit, wherever you come from: Everywhere today you see works of peace which we could no longer continue on account of war. Everywhere you see great buildings, schools, housing projects, which the war has kept us from carrying on. Before I entered upon this war, I had begun a gigantic program of social, economic, cultural work, in part already completed. But everywhere I had in mind new plans, new projects.
When, on the other hand, I look at my opponents, what have they really done, now? They could rush easily enough into war. War did not rob them of a peaceful state, for they have accomplished nothing. This prattler, this drink-bold Churchill, what has he in reality accomplished in his life? This perfidious fellow is a lazybones of the first order.
If this war had not come, the centuries would have spoken of our generation and also of all of us and also of myself as the creator of great works of peace. But if this war had not come, who would speak of Churchill? Now he will one day be spoken of, to be sure, but as the destroyer of an empire, which he and now we destroyed. One of the most pitiful phrase-mongering natures of world history, incapable of creating anything, of accomplishing anything, or of performing creative acts, capable only of destroying.
Of his accomplice in the White House I would rather not speak at all, moreover-a wretched madman.
To be sure, the more we worked, the more we put Germany in order, the greater grew the hatred, unfortunately. For now there came something in addition. Now came the stupid hatred of the social strata abroad, who believed that the German model, the socialistic German model, could break in on them also, circumstances permitting. I have often heard that those in other countries said themselves: "Well, you know, ... for us those National Socialist ideas are, of course, not practicable."
... I do not even demand at all that they should be carried out. On the contrary, I am not here to concern myself with the happiness of other peoples, but I feel myself responsible exclusively for my own people. That is what I work for. To my sleepless nights I will not add a single one for other lands.
And yet right away they say: "And the example, your example, that's just it, the example that ... is offered . . . they travel with their ships among us, we cannot permit that no yachts should land among us. Why not? That only spoils our working class." How will that spoil our working class? They do not perceive that the German workingman has worked more than ever before; why should he not then recover? Is it not above all a joke when that man from the White House says: "We have a World Program and this World Program will give mankind freedom and the right to labor." Mr. Roosevelt, open your eyes, we have had that in Germany for a long time already. Or when he says that care will be taken of illness. Go and look at the battle-cry of our party program that is National Socialistic, not its doctrine, my dear sir, those are high ideas like those of a Democrat.
Or when he says: "We wish to raise (the standard of) prosperity, even for the masses. Those are prominent things in our program." He could have done that much more easily if he had not started a war. For we have also done that without a war. You have a war! No, this capitalistic babble does not even think of doing such a thing. They see in us only the bad example, and in order to tempt their own people, they must meddle in our party program and there snatch out single sentences, these pitiful blunders, and even then they do it badly.
We have had a united world against us here, naturally, not only from the right but also from the left, as those on the left say to us, "If that succeeds; this experiment, it actually creates, it brings it about, that it does away with homelessness. It makes it ready and establishes a school system whereby every talented youngster, irrespective of what kind of position. He completes it and makes a lawyer out of a former farm worker. He completed it . . . and really introduces care for the aged for a whole people, the man who finally brings it about and has really ... this people on leave of absence ... who brings them to an ordered, assured standard of living, what will we do then? Why, we live by the fact that that does not exist. We do live by that. War, then, against this National Socialism." What the others have said to me (?), for I must always say again that 10 years and my comrades have looked upon still greater losses.
We have now been at the helm for nine years. Bolshevism has now been at the helm since '17, i.e., nearly 25 years. This struggle will render the verdict, if this Russia is compared with Germany. What have we created in nine years, what is the aspect of the German people, and what has been created there? I do not even want to talk about the capitalist states, they are not at all concerned about their unemployed for that reason (?). To the American millionaire the unemployed person is something natural, something he does not have to see at all, since he does not go to the neighborhoods where they are, and they do not come to the neighborhood where he sits; they under-took a hunger march on Washington, to be sure, to the White House or to the Capitol, but they are dispersed somewhere by the police before they can do it with rubber truncheons and tear gas, and so on, all of them things which do not exist in autocratic Germany. We have not used these measures against our people at all, we manage without rubber truncheons and without these things, without tear gas. We are resolute in our renunciation of them, while in the case of the enemy it is understood that at the moment of taking power they increased it ... therein refuses to introduce a definite foreign policy. You know them already from my fighting period.
I travel with three countries, their ... increase, with England, with Italy and with Japan. Every attempt to come to an understanding with England was altogether to no purpose. Here there were people ... it did not seem that one could rid them any more of that crazy, mad ideology, prejudice and obstinacy. They saw in Germany an enemy, and that the world had changed essentially since the time of their great Queen Victoria, that people did not know at all that Germany never threatened England but that this England could be maintained only when she had found a close cooperation with Europe. This they did not realize. On the contrary, they fought on every occasion against Europe. This they did not realize.
... the man who I have mentioned several times already, Churchill, every attempt, even to offer this man the thought of an understanding failed, at his chair: "I want a war." It was impossible even to talk to this man and in order to ... of an aspect by Duff Cooper it is also said: ... when one only uses the name, those are really such flops. It is quite interesting as they themselves, when a man, who is really a man, arrives, he is thrown out immediately (?) But this doesn't mean anything. These are unbreakable eggs. Wherever they step they remain somewhere again, among enemies. On the whole they have been in the cold too long. They have been individually, generation, genders and even individual men, not mentioning the Jews in this Connection, (they are our old enemies as it is, they have experienced at our hands an upsetting of their ideas' and they rightfully hate us. just as much as we hate them) we are well aware that this war could eventually only end that they be out-rooted from Europe or that they disappear.
They have already spoken of the breaking up of the German Reich by next September, and with the help of this advance prophesy, and we say that the war will not end as the Jews imagine it will, namely, with the uprooting of the Aryans, but the result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews. Now for the first time they will not bleed other people to death, but for the first time the old Jewish law of 'An eye for an eve, a tooth for a tooth,' will be applied. And the further this war spreads, the farther will spread this fight against the world of the ... and they will be used as food for every prison camp, and ... in every family, which will have it explained to it why ..., and the hour will come when the enemy of all times, or at least of the last thousand years, will have played his part to the end.
This attempt of England's was forgivable, and I have forgiven them. ... as I .... to my .... have explained. I was more fortunate with the second state, with which I found some relationship. That is actually no wonder. However, it would be a real wonder, if it were otherwise. Because, already-as I said today in a ... -it is no accident, that a nation in the course of ... nearly ... years has also gone through the same experience and fate.
A hundred years ago, Germany fought its way to a renaissance as a state, and its independence as a state, and Italy was fighting for its national united ... both states progressing along similar lines. Then these two states separated, and both nations fought without success and then came the ... revolution almost at the same time for both, with ideas which are as similar as they can be with two different peoples.
Both Revolutions had about the same course; each one had severe setbacks, but finally won the fight. Both nations brought about ... a socialistic, national renaissance. Both ... work. Both nations concerned people who could not find their daily bread on their own soil. Both nations found themselves one day standing opposite the same people, without wanting to, against the same international union, as already had occurred in 1935, when England suddenly turned against Italy, without any sort of preliminary warning; Italy had taken nothing from England, therefore it was for the reason that: "We do not wish Italy to have its free right to life," just as it was, with Germany, for the reason that: "We do not wish Germany to have its free right to life." What did we take from England? What do we want from England? or from France, or from America? Nothing. I offered each of them peace, more, I want to offer friendship. ... and the certain clique, in addition. ... On the other side an old freemason, who only believes in a war, to be able to salvage his bankrupt economy, perhaps, or at least to gain time. Thus both states again stand face to face with the same foe ... on the same front, and they are forced to fight with each other, to be joined together in the same life-and-death struggle.
And then, in addition, there is still a third thing-I have mentioned it today also: in both cases they are men, two men, who have come from the people ... and who ... the state. In the last few weeks ... a few days ... I have read about the history of the Italian Fascist Revolution, and it seemed to me as if I had the history of my own party before me, so similar, so identical, that ... the same enemies, the same opponents, the same ..., it is really a unique wonder, and now we are also fighting in the same theaters of war, Germans in Africa, Italians also in the East; they fight jointly, and let one not deceive oneself, this battle will be fought through to a joint victory.
And now finally the third state has joined us, another state with which we have always wanted to have good relations for the past many years. ... You all know it from "Mein Kampf"-Japan. Now the three great Have-Nots are united, and now we shall see who ... in this struggle, those who have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, or those who have everything to lose and nothing to gain. For, what does England want to gain? What does America want to gain? What do they want to gain? They have so much that they do not know what to do with what they have. A few persons per square kilometer need much more for all the cares which we are not the ones to have. A single poor harvest means for our national decades plundered, exploited, crushed, and in spite of that they could not eliminate their own economic need. They have raw materials, as much as they are willing to use, and they do not complete it, with their problems actually to found something reasonable in society, to the one who has everything and the one who wants to take from the other fellow who has hardly anything practically the last thing he owns, or to the one who defends that which he honors as his last possession.
Pray to God that he must send Bolshevism over Europe as a scourge. We wish only to say, "It will not come over Germany but whether it will come over England is another story." And then comes the hangman and the criminal with an attempt, whether he should propagate this British danger with a prayer.
We have never done anything to England, France, we have never done anything to America. Nevertheless there follows now in the year 1939 the declaration of war, and now it has gone further.
Now you must however out of my whole history understand me rightly. (One sentence unintelligible.) I said: "If the war is inevitable, then I should rather be the one to conduct it not because I thirst after this fame; on the contrary, I here gladly renounce that fame, which is in my eyes no fame at all. My fame, if Providence preserves my life, will consist in ... works of peace, which I still intend to create. But I think that if Providence has already disposed that I can do what must be done according to the inscrutable will of the Providence, then I can at least just ask Providence to entrust to me the burden of this war, to load it on me. I will beat it! I will shrink from no responsibility; in every hour which ... I will take this burden upon me. I will bear every responsibility, just as I have always borne them."
I have the greatest authority among this people; it knows me. It knows that I had endless plans in those years before the war. It sees everywhere the signs of works begun, and sometimes also the documents of completion. I know that this people trusts me. I am happy to know it. But the German people may be persuaded also of one thing, that the year 1918, as long as I live, will never return.
I am glad that so many allies have joined our soldiers: in Sweden, Italy, then in the north, Finland and the many other nations which are sending their sons here to the east, too, ... Rumanians and Hungarians, Slovaks, Spaniards, ... have many Frenchmen, and besides, the volunteers of our German States out of the North and West. Already today, a European war, and finally in the East, as a new Ally, who has already ... on this history will speak. 1939-the conquest of Poland; 1940-Norway and France and England, the Netherlands and Belgium; 1941-the Balkans and then finally, the nation which Mr. Cripps assured us a few days ago, in his loquacious manner, has been preparing itself for a fight with Germany. I knew that. As soon as I had become certain that there was false play going on here, in the instant that I became aware that Mr. Churchill in his secret meetings was already considering this ally, within the hour in which Molotov left Berlin, and took his leave because he had been able to come to a shrewd agreement, at that moment, it became clear to me, that this conflict was inevitable.
For this, too, I thank fate, that it placed me at the head of the Reich, so that I was in a position to strike the first blow. If one must fight, then I take the stand that the first blow is the decisive one. And we didn't stop to think it over very much.
We can only wish Japan good luck, because instead of playing around for a long time with this lying nation, it started to fight immediately.
Now, our soldiers have been fighting in the East since June 22, a battle which will some day go into the chronicles of history as a hero-song of our people. On the seas our naval forces (battleships), our U-boats, which have put all of Roosevelt's plans to shame. He meant to drive the German U-boats out of the oceans gradually, by making new decrees of the American spheres of influence, and to limit them to a very small territory, which the British would then take care of with their naval forces. And, my fellow country-men, that is also the reason for the regression of the number of U-boat sinkings, but not at all the number of damages or sinkings by our U-boats. On the contrary, the latter has risen greatly. Also not the lack of our occupational forces, nor the impossibility of ..., but exclusively the attempt to talk to us about our freedom of action, by means of decrees. You will understand that it has been a vindication for myself to decide whether one should finally conclude with the whole pack of lies for the sake of peace, and to bind oneself to the new limitations ... to which we must be subjected.
Japan has finally eliminated this necessity. Now there are U-boats on all the oceans of the world, now you will see how our submarines carry out their work, and however they may look, we are armed for everything, from North to South, from East to West.
But about one thing they may be assured; as I have said before, today they are up against a different German people; now they are again up against Fredrichian people; we will fight where we stand, give no foot of ground, immediately push forward again. And we are, in fact, happy to know since yesterday that our General Rommel with his brave Italian and German panzers and men at the moment when they ... beaten him back, turned around right away and forced him back again. That will continue to happen to them until the war has ended with our victory.
With these two forces stands a third, our air-force. Its fame is immortal. What they have accomplished in their efforts in the Arctic cold of the Far North, in the East, or in the heat of the desert, or in the West, is everywhere the same, a heroism that honors cannot glorify.
There is just one thing which I must emphasize again and again; that is our infantry. And behind these forces stands a gigantic communications organization with tens of thousands of motor vehicles and railroads, and they are all going to work and will master even the hardest problems. For it is self-evident that the conversion from advance to defense in the East is not easy. It was not Russia that forced us to defense, but only 38 and 40 and 42 and sometimes 45 degrees below zero that did it. And in this cold, there, troops which are not accustomed to it cannot fight as in the red heat of the desert ..., or in certain mountains. But at this time, when the difficult transition was necessary, I again looked upon it as my task to take upon my shoulders the responsibility for that, too. I wanted thereby to save my soldiers from something worse.
And I want to assure them at this point, insofar as those who are on that icy front can hear me today: "I know the work you are doing. And I know also that the hardest lies behind us. Today is January 30. The winter is the big hope of the Eastern enemy.
It will not fulfill this hope for him. In four months we had fought almost to Moscow and Leningrad. Four months of Northern winter are now past. They have advanced a few kilometers at individual points and have made great sacrifices in blood and human lives there. They may be indifferent to that; but in a few weeks in the South the winter is going to break, and then the spring will move farther north, the ice will melt, and then the hour will come when the ground is again hard and firm, and when the new weapons will again flow there from our homeland, and when we shall beat them, and revenge those who now have fallen such lonely victims of the cold.
For I can tell you that the soldiers at the front have the feeling of ... superiority over the Russians. To compare him with them would be an insult. The decisive thing now is that this transition from attack to defense be successful, and I may say that it has been.
These fronts, as you shall see, where a few individual Russians break through, and where they sometimes even believe that they are occupying localities, there are no localities, there are only ruins. What does this mean, in comparison to what we have occupied, what we are bringing in order, and what the next spring and from then on, will bring into order? Behind this front there is today a dignified German homeland. I have recently, the other day, in view of this cold weather, appealed to the German people, for everything which had been prepared for protection against the frost has not sufficed. I wanted to express gratitude to the people themselves. This appeal then was also a plebiscite. While the others talk of democracy, this is true democracy. It has shown itself these days, when an entire people voluntarily sacrifices, and I know that so many small people, but this time also, many, many people, for whom this was difficult, and perhaps, formerly, seemed to find it impossible to part with a precious piece of fur, have today given it, with the knowledge that the most humble infantryman is of greater importance than the most costly fur.
And I have taken care, that things should not happen as they did in the first World War, in which the homeland delivered troops, and as the furnisher of such troops allowed itself a 2,260% dividend; in which the homeland had to furnish leather-goods, for example, and paid the leather-goods profit organizations 2,700% dividends. Whoever makes profits on the war in the Third Reich dies.
It is not a question of the hidden clothes, the poor infantryman who, perhaps, saves his hands by having warm gloves, or could be kept from freezing by a warm vest, which some one takes from home for him. I will here stand up for the interests of the soldiers, and I know that all the German nation stands behind me in this.
... And this January 30th. How this year is going to end I don't know. Whether or not the war will end this year I do not know; but I do know one thing. Wherever the foe may appear, he will this year be fought as before. It will again be a year of great victories; and even as I held the flag high before this, a all times, so I will hold it high even now; because, (?) is clear, I find myself in a different position.
My German countrymen, my soldiers. We have a full of fame and glory behind us. One likes so much to draw analogies from it. In this fight German heroes have fought in similar situations, which also seemed hopeless. We should not draw any comparisons with former times, at all. We have no right to do so. We have the strongest army in the world. We have the strongest air-force in the world. Frederick the Great had to fight against a preponderance of power, which was just as choking (in his time). As he waged the first Silesian war, he had 2,700,000 Prussians in the state of 15 million people. When he was compelled to wage a third one, for 7 years, there stood 3 1/2 million, or 3,700,000, or even 3,800,000 million against 50 or 54 million others. A man with all his willpower stood up in spite of all reverses so that he never despaired of his success, and when he despaired, he wished to pull himself together again and then take the flag in his strong hands. How do we wish to speak of that to-day?
We have an opponent in front of us, who may have an immense numerical superiority, but we will rival him at least in the birthrate by spring and also in regard to weapons. And so it will be in all things, and above all we have Allies today. It is also no more the time of the World War. What Japan is accomplishing in the East alone, is, for us, beyond evaluation.
No other way remains, but the way of battle and the way of success. That way may be hard, or it may be easy. In no case, is it more difficult than the way our forefathers went. It will not be any easier from now on, and we may not expect that it should be less difficult than the task we have during the last few battles. Thus we feel the entire sacrifice which our soldiers are making. Who can understand that better than myself, who was once a soldier, too? I look upon myself as the first Musketeer of the Reich. I know definitely that the musketeer (Infantryman) fulfills his duty. I fulfill my own duties also, unmistakably, and I understand all the sorrow of my comrades and know all that goes on with them. I cannot therefore use any phrase which they will misunderstand. I can only say one thing to them, the home-front knows what they have to go through. The home-front can well imagine what it means to lie in the snow and the frost in the cold of 35, 38, 40 and 42 degrees below zero (Centigrade) and defend our homes for us. But, because the home-front knows it, they will all do what they can to lighten your fate. They will work, and they will continue to work, and I will demand that the German patriots at home work and produce munitions, manufacture weapons, and make more munitions and more. You remain at home, and many comrades lose their lives daily. Workers, work, manufacture, continue to work so that our means of communication, our transportation facilities can take them to the front from behind the lines. The front will hold, they will fulfill their duty.
Thus the home-front need not be warned, and the prayer of this priest of the devil, the wish that Europe may be punished with Bolshevism, will not be fulfilled, but rather that the prayer may be fulfilled: "Lord God, give us the strength that we may retain our liberty for our children and our children's children, not only for ourselves but also for the other peoples of Europe, for this is a war which we all wage, this time, not for our German people alone, it is a war for all of Europe and with it, in the long run, for all of mankind."