Adolf Hitler – speech in the Sportpalast
Berlin, September 30, 1942
My German countrymen and countrywomen!
It is now a year since I was last able to speak to you and to the German people from this place. In retrospect, it is in many ways to be regretted, first because I myself very much regret not being able to stand oftener before the nation, and second because I am naturally afraid that my speeches thereby are becoming worse rather than better, for in this regard practice is necessary. My time is unfortunately much more limited than the time of my worthy adversaries. Naturally he who can travel around the world for weeks at a time, with a broad sombrero on his head, wearing a white silk shirt here, and some other outfit there, can naturally occupy himself much more with speeches.
All this time I have really had to be busy managing and doing rather than speaking. Besides, I cannot of course speak every week or every month. For what am I to say? What has to be said will be said by our soldiers. Moreover, the subjects on which I might speak are naturally more difficult than the subjects of the discourses of my adversaries, who are accustomed to send their numerous chats over the world from the fireside or other places. The subject matter of my possible speeches is more difficult, for I do not deem it proper to occupy myself now with the shaping of things for the future. I consider it more appropriate for us to occupy ourselves with that which the immediate present demands of us.
Naturally it is very simple to concoct an Atlantic Charter. This nonsense will of course be valid for only a few, very few years. It will simply be cast aside by hard facts. For other reasons also it is somewhat easier for our opponents to talk, for now they have suddenly discovered our party program after many years of vain effort. And we now see with astonishment that they promise the world for the future just about what we have already given our German people and for which we, in the final analysis, were involved in a war by the others.
It is very witty, when, for example, a President says: "We wish in the future that everyone should have the right not to suffer from want," or something similar. To this one can only say: It probably would have been much more simple, if this President, instead of plunging into a war, had used the whole working strength of his country to build up useful production and to care for his own people, so that want and misery might not reign and 13,000,000 people might not be unemployed in a region which has only 10 people per square kilometer to support. These men could have accomplished all these things.
When they now appear and suddenly represent themselves to the world as saviors, and declare, "In the future we will see to it that there shall be no want, as in the past; that there will be no more unemployment, that every man will own a home"-these owners of world empire should have been able to do that in their own countries long ago-before we did it ourselves. They suddenly discover nothing but the basic principles of the National Socialist program.
Now when I hear that a man says-I believe it was Mr. Eden, but one really doesn't know what nonentity is speaking over there-when he now says, "This is the difference between the Germans and us: the Germans have a faith and we also have a faith; but the Germans believe in something in which they don't believe, while we believe in something in which we really believe-." To that I can only say: If they truly believe in what they profess to believe, they should have been able to acknowledge this belief sooner. Why have they declared war on us? For their aims are certainly not very different from our own.
We have not only believed in something, but have also acted upon what we believed in! And now we believe that we have to strike the enemy until final victory is won. That is what we believe-Naturally, we cannot reach common ground with these people over the concept of "belief."
He who believes, for example, that Namsos was a victory, or who believes that Andalsnes was a victory, or who believes that even Dunkirk was quite the greatest victory in the history of the world, or who believes (it is all the same to me) that any expedition that lasts 9 hours is an astonishing and encouraging sign of a victorious nation-with such a one we, with our modest successes, cannot of course be compared. For what are our accomplishments as compared with these? If we push forward a thousand kilometers, that is really nothing-an absolute failure!
If we, for example, in the last two months-it is really only for two months that war can be carried on sensibly in that country-have pushed to the Don, down the Don, finally reached the Volga, attacked Stalingrad-and we shall take it, too, you can depend on that-that is nothing at all. If we push on to the Caucasus, then that also is nothing. If we occupy the Ukraine, if we get the Donetz coal into our possession, all that is nothing. If we are getting 65 or 70 percent of Russian iron, that is nothing at all, absolutely nothing. If we actually open up to the German people, and thereby to Europe, the largest grain area of the world, nothing. If we secure for ourselves the sources of oil there, that is also nothing. All that is nothing.
But when Canadian vanguards with a small English tail as appendage come to Dieppe and manage to hang on there-one may say painfully-for nine hours-to be destroyed in the end-that is an encouraging, an astonishing sign of the inexhaustible, victorious power which is the British Empire's own! In contrast to that, what is our air force, what is the performance of our infantry, what is the performance of our tank arm, what by comparison is the accomplishment of our engineers, our railway construction troops and so forth, of our whole gigantic traffic system which has opened up and re-built half a continent in a few-one may even say months? That is nothing!
U-boats, also nothing, of course. Even back in 1939 they were nothing. At that time Churchill came out and said: "I am able to give you the good news that the U-boat danger may be regarded as disposed of once and for all. We have destroyed more U-boats than the Germans had altogether. Or-one moment-that was not, no, that was not Churchill; that was Duff Cooper. But as I said, each one of these is a bigger swashbuckler than the other, and you are constantly getting them mixed up.
The fact that we have thrown them out of the Balkans, that we conquered Greece, that we occupied Crete, that they have been chased back in North Africa, all that, too, is nothing. But if, let us say, a few men land anywhere at all to take us unawares at a lone advance post-then those are deeds, those are accomplishments. Anyone who thinks that way will never understand our beliefs. But if the English really believe in what they pretend to believe-seriously-then one can only be sorry for their intelligence.
In any event, in contrast with these deeds, of course, they also have claims on the future. They say: "The second front will come!" When we moved eastward, they said: "The second front is already under way! Attention! About face!" We, however, have not stood at attention, and have not about-faced, but have calmly marched forward. In that connection I shall not say, though, that we have done nothing to prepare for a second front. When Mr. Churchill says: "We wish now to leave it to the Germans to ponder in their anxiety where and when we shall open it." I can say to Mr. Churchill merely: "So far you have never caused me any anxiety."
But he is right in saying that we must ponder. If I had an opponent of stature, of military stature, then I could calculate pretty closely where he would attack. But when one faces military idiots, one cannot know, one cannot know where they will attack. It may be the craziest sort of undertaking, and that is the one unpleasant thing-the fact that in the case of these mentally sick or perpetually drunk persons one never knows what they are really up to.
For this reason we must naturally be prepared everywhere, and I can give Mr. Churchill assurance-whether or not he chose with cleverness and military shrewdness the first spot at which he wished to start the second front; opinions in England are already divided on this, and that will be evident on all sides from now on-that it does not matter where he is looking for the next spot. He can call it good luck anywhere if he can remain on land for nine hours.
In my eyes, the year 1942 already has behind it the most fateful trial of our people. That was the winter of '41 to '42. I may be permitted to say that in that winter the German people, and in particular its Wehrmacht, were weighed in the balance by Providence. Nothing worse can or will happen. That we conquered that winter, that "General Winter," that at last the German fronts stood, and that this spring, that is, early this summer, we were able to proceed again, that, I believe, is the proof that Providence was content with the German people.
It was a very difficult and a very hard test and trial, you all know that. And in spite of that, we not only got over that most difficult time, but we managed very calmly to organize the attacking divisions, the Mot (Motorisierte, or motorized) and tank formations anew, which were designed to initiate the resumed offensive. This offensive is now taking its course not in the manner which our enemies may have imagined. Is it not necessary, however, that we should proceed according to their formula, because up to now these formulas have certainly not been very successful.
I believe that if we look back we can be satisfied with the three years that we have left behind. It was always a very sober goal that was set up. Often very daring, where it had to be daring. Deliberate, where it could be deliberate. Cautious where we had time. Careful where we believed we had to be very careful-but we were also very bold where boldness alone could save us.
For this year we had laid out a very simple program. First: Under all circumstances to hold what had to be held. That is, to let the others advance where we ourselves did not intend to go forward, as long as they want to advance. To hold unflinchingly and wait to see who will be the first to weaken.
Second: To attack relentlessly where the attack is necessary. The goal here is very clear: destruction of the right arm of those international plotters of capitalism, plutocracy, and Bolshevism. It is against the greatest danger which ever hovered over our German people in modern times that we have defended ourselves for over a year now and against which we must proceed.
And here we set ourselves some goals, and I may mention them quite briefly, just in the form of catchwords, to make you aware, and to make every German aware, of what was accomplished in these few months. The first goal was the safeguarding of our dominating position on the Black Sea by the final mopping-up of the Crimean Peninsula. Two battles, the battle for Kerch and the battle for Sevastopol, served this purpose. If in these three years our opponents, I dare say, had achieved only one single such success, we would not be able to speak with them at all, because they would not be on the earth, but floating in the clouds. Blown up by nothing but imagination.
After we brought that into order, it appeared necessary to us that a bubble which existed at Volkhov be removed. It was pinched off and the enemy destroyed or taken prisoner. Then came the next task, preparation for the break-through to the Don. Meanwhile, the enemy at this time selected a great operational objective, namely, of breaking through from Kharkov to the bank of the Dnieper, in order in this way to bring about the collapse of our entire southern front.
You will probably still recall with what enthusiasm our opponents followed these operations. They ended in three battles with the complete annihilation of more than 75 divisions of our Russian foe. After that followed our attack in our own great offensive. The goal was: First, to take from the enemy his last big wheat regions. Second, to take from him the last remaining coal which can be made into coke. Third, to move up to his sources of oil, to take them, or at least to isolate them.
Fifth (does not mention any "fourth"-Ed.) the attack was to be carried on to cut off his very last and greatest communication artery, namely the Volga. And here the goal set was the region between the bend of the Don and the Volga, and the locale set was that of Stalingrad, not because this locality bears the name of Stalin-that is altogether a matter of indifference to us-but exclusively because this is a strategically important point. And since in general we realized that with the elimination for Russia of the Dnieper, Don, and Volga as communication lines about the same thing results for Russia or even worse, that would result for Germany if we should lose the Rhine, the Elbe, the Oder, or the Danube. For, on this gigantic river alone, the Volga, in six months about 30,000,000 tons of goods are shipped. This corresponds to a whole year's shipments on the Rhine.
This is cut off and has been cut off now for some time. The occupation of Stalingrad, which will also be carried through, will deepen this gigantic victory and strengthen it, and you can be sure that no human being will drive us out of this place later on.
Now, as far as the further objectives are concerned, you will again understand that I do not speak of them because they are objectives which are being pursued at the present time. Mr. Churchill is talking about that. But the moment will come when the German nation will have had these further objectives made fully clear to them.
But I must now tell you a seventh (there is no mention of any sixth-Ed. Note) thing: That we set as another task for ourselves-naturally, the organization of this gigantic territory which we have occupied. For we did not care to say that we have marched so and so many thousand kilometers, but in reality we aim to make this vast territory secure for the conduct of our war and, in a wider sense, not only for feeding our people and safeguarding our raw materials, but for the support of all Europe.
To this end, first of all, traffic had to be put in order. The English too have achieved things in this sphere. For example, they have built a railroad from Egypt to Tobruk, which now serves us in extraordinarily good stead even though they finished it in a fairly short time. What does it count for in comparison with the railroads which we must build? And, indeed we wish to build them not so that they should be useful to the Russians, but for ourselves.
There are tens and tens of thousands of kilometers of railroad lines which we now put in operation again, or have put in operation long since, thanks to the energy and efficiency and devotion of many tens of thousands of German soldiers, railroad engineering troops, men of the Todt Organization, other organizations and so forth, of the Reich Labor Service, for example.
This vast net of communications, which today is already operating again for the most part on German rail gauges, was completely destroyed. Not only hundreds, but thousands of bridges had to be built anew, blasted sections had to be removed, crossings had to be rebuilt. All that happened within a few months and, making allowances for circumstances, will be completed within a few weeks.
Now, my party comrades, you will understand one thing. There are people, on the side of our opponents, who say: "Why do you stop suddenly?" Because we are prudent, because-let us say-we do not first run to Benghazi or still farther, in order then to be obliged to run back again, but because we stop somewhere long enough to establish our lines of communication. Naturally people who do not have military schooling will not grasp this. For this reason they have not been successful. All those, however, who have even the slightest military schooling, will grant that the area which we conquered in a few months is absolutely unique in world history.
And I say this also because there may be also among us some smug old reactionary, who suddenly says: "Indeed, what is the trouble? They have been at a standstill for a week now." Yes, my dear old smug reactionary, you're on the wrong track. Why don't you go there yourself and try "regulating traffic?" The German people, I know, has in its entirety unlimited confidence in its military leadership and the achievements of its soldiers. It knows very well that there will be no pause without reason.
We are not only bringing our communications into order, but we must build roads, for the blessed land of the proletarians and the peasants unfortunately has no roads, or only fragments of roads. So these must be built. The first really tremendous roads there are being built by our organizations. In many regions roads must be laid out through swamps, regions in which it was formerly believed that communication was altogether impossible. If somebody now remarks: "Well, the Russian manages to get through,"-well, he is a kind of swamp man anyway. That we have to admit. He is not a European. For us it is simply somewhat harder to move forward in this morass than it is for this nation born in the morass.
Secondly, behind it we are organizing our agriculture also. Proof: the territory is to be opened up after all, and that isn't so simple either, for it isn't a question of what is sown and what is reaped but it is a question of practical value coming into evidence here. That means that these products are brought to the railway over endless stretches; that they can be loaded; that we can readjust part of this whole agriculture; that thousands of tractors which are damaged or eliminated be replaced or repaired, or that some other substitute be found for them.
And I can only tell you, that what has been accomplished here is really tremendous. While the front is fighting up ahead, some soldiers are fighting a few kilometers behind the front with the sickle and the scythe. They are already tilling the fields again, and behind them are our Labor Service Girls and their agricultural organizations.
And when some blockhead-I can't call it anything else-take Duff Cooper or Eden or some such fellow, if you like-says: "That was a big mistake for the Germans to have gone into the Ukraine, to say nothing of the Kuban region," then he will see whether we made a mistake in going into these wheat regions.
The first, if only modest results of this action we were able to impart to the German people already to our good fortune-I may well be permitted to say. But you may be convinced that we are only at the beginning. The whole past year was one of battle. A horrible winter. And now we are fighting again. But even during this coming year this region will be organized entirely differently and the English can depend on that. We now understand how to arrange this.
And finally farther behind that follows the organization of general economy, for this whole economy must be gradually brought into operation. Thousands of businesses and factories, canning factories and so on, mills and so on, all this must be brought back into operation. It has all been destroyed.
And behind all this is mining. This also must be exploited. In order to do this one must have electric current, and I can tell you if you could see how we are working there and what we are creating there and how we know precisely, on such a day this work will be done, and on such a day this electric power will be added; how we produce on this predetermined date so and so many thousands of tons of coal per day, and on another predetermined date so many thousands of tons. We no longer need to transport coal from Germany to the east, but on the contrary, we are going to build up our own industrial states there. . . Then you would understand that even at a time when apparently nothing is being done, nevertheless tremendous things are being achieved.
And then there is the liberation of the populace from the oppression of a Bolshevik power which spiritually, even today, holds millions of people there in a state of despair, and one may well say, of fear, of which one can hardly have any idea in Germany and other countries. It is the fear of the Commissar. It is the fear of the G. P. U., the fear of the whole regime, which still fills millions of people. All that will gradually be eliminated and is being eliminated, and there are many regions where the whole population is already working with us by the millions, and there are other regions in which it is already fighting in our ranks and on our side.
The result of this whole gigantic activity, which I have only been able to point out to you with a few sentences, are tremendous. While in the north of Europe, in the west, and on all other fronts we are on the defensive, we are here fulfilling one of the greatest prerequisites for the organization of Europe for war and for this war.
Of course you know that our enemies are constantly accomplishing miracles,-uh-of course there is not a tank that they build which isn't the best tank in the world, of course there is not a plane which isn't the best in the world. When they build a cannon, one measly cannon, then it is the cannon par excellence, the most amazing cannon in the world. They make a new machine gun or a new automatic pistol. It's a marvel, this pistol. They say this new pistol is absolutely the biggest invention in the world.
Then if you take a look at this junk you can only say that we wouldn't even put it in the hand of a German soldier. In everything they are far superior to us. Of course they are ahead of us in their incomparable generals. They are ahead of us in the bravery of their individual soldiers. Of course, any Englishman can handle three Germans just like that. Only unfortunately he can't find them, can he?
They are superior to us in their equipment. What is a German tank worth against an English one, to say nothing of an American one, and so on? What is a German plane worth against one of theirs? But at any rate, the great heroes of this war, they will some day be written down in history on our side. And in this, history will only be honoring justice and truth.
And then on our side there is the further development of our alliances, the cooperation with our allies, first and foremost with our oldest ally, with Italy. Not only on one front do we fight jointly, but on a whole series of fronts. And that is good, for it shows that all the hopes of these enemies who believe they can dissolve this alliance are idiocy, are madness.
We know very well what would happen to our two countries, indeed, we learn from the goals set by these enemies, from the crazy and idiotic goals they set up, what the fate would be of the German and the Italian peoples, but we know, beyond that, what the fate of Europe would be, if that other world could ever win a victory.
If they say today "Yes, of course, we would then take over the protection of Europe against Bolshevism," then I can only say in reply: "England had better see to it that she knows how to protect herself against Bolshevism." We do not need her protection! We got rid of Bolshevism within, we shall also get rid of it outside. That we have proved.
But if, in a country, archbishops hold sacred Masses and have on one side of their altar cloth the Bolshevik symbol, then I see a black fate for that country. We know better what that leads to. The English will find that out yet. Perhaps fate will punish them just as it once punished the old Germany for thinking it could deal with these people. Germany and Italy, just like Spain and a whole number of other European nations, such as Rumania and so on, have taken care of the problem. Whether the other world will also take care of it is still to be revealed by this war.
But that this other world will not take care of us, of that you may be assured. If we take together all of our allies and those who are fighting on our side, Rumanians and Hungarians, Croats and Slovaks, and above all the Finns in the north, and then the Spaniards and so forth; when we take them all together, then we can really say that this is already a European crusade today.
And then there are the Germanic volunteers of our Armed Elite Guard and the Legions of individual European states. It is really Europe which has gathered together here, just as it did in olden times against the assaults of the Huns or the Mongols.
And now also, since I spoke to you last, Japan has likewise entered this war. Of course it too has only suffered defeats, and of course, the Japanese generals are absolutely no good as against these incomparable heroes, these famous generals of England, to say nothing of America.
MacArthur! What kind of general is that! What is a little Japanese against him! Only these Japanese took Hong Kong, and they made themselves masters of Singapore, and they took possession of the Philippines, and they are installed in New Guinea, and they will take complete possession of New Guinea, and they occupied Java and Sumatra.
But of course all this is nothing against the endless victories which England and America have won there. Battles, naval battles, such as the world has never seen before. Only Roosevelt will of course not say a word about the losses, in no case will he express himself normally, and never say what he thinks. We certainly know these heroes too well. It is today really a worldwide alliance, not only of the have-nots, but of all the peoples who are fighting for honor and decency, and who are determined to get rid of this vilest coalition that the world has ever seen.
In speaking of that I must come to something else. I have already mentioned that as early as 1939 neither Churchill nor Duff Cooper had completely destroyed the German U-boats. There were no more U-boats. And then from time to time reports kept coming again and again: "But now they are finally eliminated." Since then their success, supported by the heroic efforts of our air force formations, has grown greater from month to month.
Now our adversaries explain: "We have enormous defense resources. We have new methods. The British and American genius has invented entirely new machines, with which we will tame this danger." I can tell you one thing: The German genius does not rest either. We also are working. Our U-boats have exceeded all previous accomplishments by far, and I can assure the gentlemen that this will not change. We are remaining uninterruptedly up to date, of that you can rest assured. Also uninterrupted is not only continued construction but especially new construction of weapons. Up to the present we have appeared every year with a new weapon, which has been superior to the enemy's. It will continue to be so in the future.
Therefore we can also, if we examine the collective result, confirm that the last months of this year have also been successful and that those in the future will surely also be successful. Now of course besides the second front, they have another method. The man who invented bombing warfare against the innocent civilian population declares that soon this bombing warfare will be expanded very strongly against Germany.
I would like to express one thing here: In May, 1940, Mr. Churchill sent the first bombers against the German civilian population. I warned him at that time and for almost four months but of course in vain. Then we struck and indeed so thoroughly did we strike, that he suddenly began to cry and declared, it was barbarism and it was terrible. England would take revenge for it. The man who has all of this on his conscience! If I take no note of the war-monger general of this war, Roosevelt-the one to blame for all of this-he (Churchill) was the one who then dared to represent himself as innocent.
Again today they are conducting this warfare and I would like to express one thing here: The hour will come this time also in which we will answer. May both of the chiefs of this war and their Jewish backers not begin to squirm and whine if the end for England is more horrible than the beginning.
On the first of September, 1939, we made two pronouncement in the Reichstag session of that date: First, that now that the, have forced this war upon us no amount of military force and no length of time will ever be able to conquer us; and second, the if Jewry is starting an international world war to eliminate the Aryan nations of Europe, then it won't be the Aryan nation which will be wiped out but Jewry.
They have drawn nation after nation into this war. The men who pull the strings of this demented man in the White House have managed actually to draw one nation after the other into this war. But to just the same degree a wave of anti-Semitism has swept over nation after nation. And it will move on farther. State after state that enters this war will one day become anti-Semitic.
In Germany too the Jews once laughed at my prophecies. I don't know whether they are still laughing, or whether they have already lost the inclination to laugh, but I can assure you that everywhere they will stop laughing. With these prophecies I shall prove to be right.
The historic successes of these last months have been so stupendous that it is really necessary to think of those to whom we owe these successes. For we read in the newspapers of great victories, of great battles of encirclement; but often for weeks we also read nothing at all except that "the operations are progress in," or "the operations are progressing favorably," or "such and such fronts are quiet" or "on other fronts attacks have been repulsed." My comrades, you have no idea what is concealed under the simple words of the communiqué of the Highest Leadership of the Armed Forces. The communiqué must remain terse. In it we must try to find an equilibrium in order to view the actual deeds with regard to their importance in relation to the whole.
That does not mean merely that the fighting, where it is wholly unimportant measured by the events of the war, is easier for the individual German soldier than where it is a matter of very great decisions. It is always the man and his life that has to be taken into consideration. Often there are hundreds of thousands of brave soldiers of all service branches-the infantry, the army, engineers, artillery, squadrons of the Armed Elite Guard, squadrons of the air force or, at sea, our warships, on the surface and under water-all of them, at such a moment, often for days at a time, must risk their lives, and you then read nothing more than "Defensive fighting," or "Attacks of the enemy repulsed," or "Enemy who broke through destroyed," or "A break-through accomplished," "Advance in such-and-such a region," "Crossing of such-and-such a stream," "Capture of such-and-such a city."
You do not realize what is hidden beneath these words in the way of human heroism, and also of human pain, and suffering, and we may say, often anxiety too, naturally, deathly anxiety on the part of all those who, especially for the first time, are placed before the trial of God in this highest court.
All that reads simply, and is nevertheless infinitely hard. It similar to the situation in the World War when many soldiers returned home and were asked; "How is it really?" And then finally they had to realize it cannot be explained to someone who has not experienced it. One cannot tell him. He who has not lived through it himself doesn't know what it is; he does not understand it, one cannot tell him about it, and it is for this reason that many remain silent altogether and say nothing, because they have the feeling: "You just can't describe how it really is." And this is especially true when one has a barbaric, bestial opponent, as the one in the east, an opponent of whom one knows that he knows no pardon, an opponent who recruits not among men but actually among beasts.
There is infinite suffering, infinite devotion, infinite heroism, infinite energy behind all these dry statements. When you read that so and so has received the Knight's Cross, that is a very brief description which is published in the local, probably in . . . press. But what this description embraces in detailed achievement, the great mass of our people will not be able to conceive.
It is impossible for the individual to know exactly what it means when a pilot shoots down 30, 40 or 50 planes, when he shoots down 80, when he shoots down 100; those are not 100 battles, because in them oftentimes he risks his life a thousand times; or when he finally shoots down 150, or 180, or 200 planes that is more than were ever shot down in the last war.
Or when U-boat commanders attack again and again, when commanders of the same U-boat carry out their assignments again and again, mine-sweeping units perform their assignments, it is always an uninterrupted service which one can only mention-I might say-in one sentence,-a service of many weeks and months of continuous devotion of their lives against a sentence which is then printed in a newspaper.
If we keep this in mind, then we must realize that with all that the homeland is doing, it cannot thank its soldiers anywhere nearly enough. And that doesn't apply only to our soldiers; it applies to all the soldiers of the other nations allied with us who are fighting on our side.
And here there is something else to be mentioned, namely that the German Army does not carry on its fighting, say, like the English. We don't always send others to the places that are especially dangerous, but we regard it as our duty, as a matter of course, yes, and as an honor for us, to bear this burden of blood ourselves in full, honest measure. We have no Canadians and Australians to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for us, for we are fighting beside our allies as loyal, absolutely honorable associates.
But we consider all this also necessary, for out of this battle, perhaps the most difficult in our history, there will come in the end that which always hovered before us National Socialists who came out of the first World War, namely, this great Reich of a community of the people bound close together in sorrow and joy.
For this war does really bring to birth one great bright aspect-namely, the great comradeship. What our party always strove for in peace, to form a community of the people out of the experience of the first world war-that is now secured.
All the German racial stocks carry their share. Otherwise the founding of the Greater German Reich would have been only an act of constitutional law. As it is, it is an eternal document signed with the blood of all . . . a document which no one can destroy now, against which all the talk and babble of our enemies will be completely ineffectual, but above all a document which gives this State not only its form of authority, but its inner substance. You will also note, if you read the Knight's Cross citations, the simple man, the corporal or the non-commissioned officer, along with the sergeant-major, with the lieutenant and with the general, and, if you see the promotions of our young officers,-the National Socialist community of the people here begins to make its appearance to its full extent. There are no longer any birth certificates.
There is no former station in life, there is no conception of capital, there is no origin, there is also no more of our so-called education of former times. There is only one standard of value, that is the standard of the upright, courageous, faithful man; the capable man, the determined and daring man who is fit to be the leader of his people. In reality an old world has been torn down. From this war arises, established by blood, the community of the people, the hope of the old National Socialists after the last war, who were able to transmit our creed to the nation.
And that perhaps is the greatest blessing for our people in the future, that we will come out of this war improved in our community and absolved in our community and absolved of so many prejudices, that after this war it really will be proved how right the party program of our movement was and how correct, moreover, our entire National Socialist approach was, because one thing is certain: No bourgeois state will survive this war. In this case everyone sooner or later will have to declare where he stands.
Only the one who is able to weld his people to a unit, not only politically but also socially will come out of this war as the victor.
That we National Socialists laid this foundation, we owe, I personally owe, to the experience of the first World War. But, because the Greater German Reich has to fight this second war through, to that it will, one-day, be able to attribute a reinforcement and a deepening of this program.
That is why I am convinced today that they, the last remnant of a past from which they have learned nothing, who are hoping somewhere, by idle talk, or in one way or another, to experience some day, perhaps, a new dawn of their class world, will come to grief and suffer shipwreck.
World history will push them aside, as if they were not there at all. It is ridiculous even to fight against this fate. And besides, as a soldier returning from the Great War, I once expounded this world philosophy to the German people and created the foundation of the Party.
Do you believe that some German would be able to offer the soldier returning victoriously from this war another Germany than the National Socialist Germany in the sense of a real fulfillment of our ideas of a true community of the people? That is impossible. And in the future that will surely be, perhaps, the most blessed benefit of this war. Special expansion is not the decisive thing, but the decisive thing will be the filling of this space with a closely-knit, strong people, which must recognize this to be the most essential principle.
Among this people not only does every soldier carry the marshal's staff in his knapsack, and indeed not only in theory, but truly, but also among this people every single fellow citizen finds the road open, which his genius, industry, bravery, effort or preparedness in general might open to him.
I would like at this moment to refer to the homeland front. It also has to endure hardships. The German worker is working hard. Last spring, when the question arose of bringing out new defense weapons, I had the experience of noting how in numerous factories workers not only worked 10 and 1l hours a day, but even renounced their Sundays for weeks and weeks and weeks, with the one thought only-to give the front weapons.
I must point out, that in general the German worker accomplishes tremendous things and that he is true to the present state, to its leadership, and above all to his soldiers, to his comrades and labor colleagues. I must, however, point out that just so does the country population fulfill its duty-that millions of German women have aligned themselves into this labor process, that the peasant women today accomplishes the work of two men.
And finally I must point out that even our professions which require mental activity have sacrificed themselves fully, that here also millions upon millions sacrifice everything, in spirit and in thought, inventing and working in order to arm the nation and in order never again to give the front the example it gave in 1918.
Therefore, if I can say to the homeland today that it can be perfectly at ease, whether in the east or the west, in the north or the south, because the German front of our soldiers stands immovable, then I can say to the front, in exactly the same way: German soldier, you may rest assured; behind you stands your homeland, which will never leave you in the lurch. And that is no empty phrase. The good ones among our people from all strata of life are being welded together more and more into an indissoluble community, and this community will again reveal itself particularly, in the great relief work that we have to carry out this winter.
I have already pointed out often, that it would easily have been possible for us to take another road, but we did not do so because of the simple realization that it is better to acquaint the individual compatriot himself with the tasks which fall to the country and thus affect this individual, but above all to remind the more fortunate persons of the suffering of the less fortunate ones, to show them by continuous propaganda all that must still be done in order really to be able to speak here of a community of the people in the true sense of the word. It is not here a question of lip-service, but to this end every individual must devote all his means, willingly to serve this community, and no one has any right to exclude himself from this work, especially at a time when millions of others have to defend the community with their blood.
I address this appeal to the entire German people in the name of its soldiers particularly and of all others who sacrifice themselves in the armament factories or on the land or anywhere else.
But in this hour I want to assure you of one thing: namely, that we shall mercilessly destroy every saboteur of this community. Just a few weeks ago an English newspaper, in a lucid hour, wrote very correctly for once that one should not laugh at the German Winter Aid Collections (Winterhilfswerk). It said that it is true that if in England one person enriches himself at the expense of the others he gets at most a few weeks or months in prison and then lives better than any soldier at the front can live, but that anyone who commits a sin against the community in Germany is practically on the way to the grave. This newspaper is right.
At a time when the best of our nation must serve at the front and must serve there with their very lives, there is no place for criminals or good-for-nothings who destroy the nation. Whoever profits on the things designated for our soldiers, can count on being ruthlessly eliminated. Whoever profits on that which so many of the poor amongst our people have sacrificed for our soldiers shall not expect to find any grace.
Every German must know that everything he gives to his soldiers or to the suffering homeland really reaches those who deserve it or who were meant to have it. And above all no habitual criminal shall have the illusion that a new crime will save him beyond this war. We will take care that not only the decent fellow will die at the front but that under no circumstances the criminal or indecent fellow at home will live through this period.
I do not wish that a German woman, who perhaps has to go home from her place of work at night, constantly has to watch out anxiously that no harm will be done to her by some good-for-nothing or criminal. We shall eliminate these single cases. We have eliminated them and the German people owe it to this fact, that there is so little trouble now. I believe that I am acting in the spirit of the preservation of our community, but above all the spirit of the front. The soldiers demand the right that while they are risking their lives out there, their families, their wives and their other relatives be protected at home. At this moment I also have to assure the front of something else, of the boundless bravery with which this German homeland on its part too accepts and endures the war even where it strikes them and strikes them with dire severity.
I know a city, a Frisian city. I wished to evacuate it a long time ago, because it was attacked time and again. I wished to take the children away, and the women, in order to bring them to safety. It was out of the question. Again and again they went back to their city and they could not be taken away, although this city has suffered so severely.
Here, too, countless deeds of heroism were accomplished, not only by men but also by women. And not only by women but by boys who have hardly reached the fifteenth, sixteenth or seventeenth year. They set to work with their whole beings, in the knowledge that they are one single community in this war, consecrated to one another, and know very well that either all must survive victoriously together or be destined for extermination together.
If a soldier did not know that, you could not expect him to risk his life under these dismal circumstances. Conversely, the homeland, too, must know it, so that it will measure its own contribution accordingly.
And, therefore, I expect that the new Winter Relief will be an especially strong document of this indissoluble community spirit so that the nation will thereby give the whole world a testimonial, something besides a stupid lying, plebiscite; a testimonial of their sacrifice, in which they declare: "We stand behind our soldiers, as our soldiers stand before us. And we both stand together before our people and before our Reich and under no circumstances will we ever capitulate.
"Let our adversaries conduct this war as long as they are able to do so. What we can do in order to beat them, we certainly will do. That they ever will beat us is impossible and out of the question."
Nationalist Socialist Germany and the states which are allied with her will come out of this war with a glorious victory as young nations, as real peoples' states.