Adolf Hitler - appeal for the fourth Kriegswinterhilfswerk
Fuhrer Headquarters, May 10, 1943
Another winter has passed which has imposed difficult battles and heavy burdens on our soldiers. And again it goes to the credit of our men in the east that they have successfully overcome a crisis by which any other armed forces in the world would have been broken. How great the physical and spiritual demands on our soldiers were cannot be appreciated by the homeland. It is due only to their heroism that they not only stopped the attack by the enemy in the end, but also forced him back through heavy counterattacks. Much is being asked of the German homeland as well, in terms of labor duties and willingness to sacrifice. Alas, all these sacrifices pale in comparison with the privations and sufferings which our soldiers must bear for a second time in the east.
Such accomplishments are only conceivable due to the love for your own Volk, which will be saved, and for your own country, which will be spared the horrors of war. After all, it is the German Volk, its women and children, for whom our men risk their life time and again at all fronts of this mighty struggle.
Alas, the German homeland has also become brave. The war has been carried to its cities, market towns, and villages. Still, its privations and sacrifices cannot be compared with the superhuman hardships that our soldiers face in fighting at the various fronts, especially in the east. Therefore it is the duty of the homeland, its debt of honor, to show them that, regardless of the difficulties which it must bear itself, it never for one second forgets its soldiers at the front.
Above all, it will not neglect to undertake whatever is necessary for the healing of its fighters’ wounds in order to harden in practice the National Socialist German Volksgemeinschaft through the activation of a common spirit of sacrifice.
Therefore, I call on the German Volk for the fourth time to reaffirm its common bonds through its readiness to sacrifice for the Kriegshilfswerk of the German Red Cross and thus to offer that type of thanks to our soldiers that they so richly deserve. Just as the German rose above himself as a soldier this winter, I expect that the homeland will surpass itself in the new Kriegshilfswerk of the Red Cross.