Adolf Hitler - proclamation to the German Folk
Fuhrer Headquarters, February 24, 1945
National Socialists! Party Comrades!
A sense of duty and my work prohibit my leaving headquarters at this time, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day on which the principal program of our movement was proclaimed and accepted in Munich. The evening of February 24 was marked by the anticipation of a development whose terrible significance is perhaps clear to many people in its full extent only today.
At the time, the same coalition of irreconcilable enemies as today had already joined forces in the fight against the German Volk. The unnatural alliance of exploiting capitalism and misanthropic Bolshevism that today attempts to suffocate the world was the enemy to whom we sounded the battle cry on February 24, 1920, for the preservation of the nation. Just as today, the apparent contradiction of terms in the cooperation of extremist forces was only an expression of the unified will of a joint agitator and beneficiary. For a long time already, international Jewry has made use of both forms in the destruction of the freedom and social happiness of the nations.
When we met for the first time in Munich on February 24, 1920, we already had a clear idea of the tendencies and consequences of the strategy of both attackers. Capitalism and Bolshevism once divided our Volk internally and disarmed it, in order to exploit and destroy it in the end. In contrast to the lesson which history teaches us today, that was only a preliminary exercise.
This vilest conspiracy and bloodiest tyranny of all times against the freedom of all people tries to rise up to strike down the thousands of years of development of civilization in Europe.
There is a tremendous difference between the Germany of 1920 and that of 1945. Back then, it was a nation completely paralyzed-today, it is a military Volk fighting with the utmost fanaticism. Back then, it had an antiquated, disintegrating social order-today, it has an unshakable Volksgemeinschaft which is in the process of building things up. Had the old Germany had only a fraction of the power of resistance of the present one, then it would never have collapsed. Had the Germany of today had only a fraction of the weaknesses of back then, it would have died long ago! It is because of this that February 24, 1920, will one day go down in history as one of the great turning points in the evolution of mankind. Nameless and unknown men-with myself at their head-turned to a nation in the process of disintegration, and proclaimed a program whose theses were not understood by countless others and whose tendencies were rejected by the overwhelming majority. Today, we know the following: without this program, a new socialist German Volk and state would never have happened. Without this creation of the National Socialist German state, neither a German Reich nor a German Volk would exist today! After all, the substance of states, that is, the people themselves, are not eternal; they are born, they grow, and they pass away, according to what they are worth.
Providence does not show mercy to the weak. Instead, it only recognizes the right to live for the healthy and strong! That the National Socialist movement, which came out of nothing, was, after a long struggle, able to seize power in the year 1933 by legal means was the result of a dogged and fanatical struggle which at times almost appeared hopeless. Whoever admires the miracle of today’s resistance or fails to understand it, should consider what it meant for me at the time to begin as an unknown and nameless man to wage the struggle for an idea and, thereby, the struggle for power, facing a united world of enemies. Who among our later critics would have been able, under similar conditions and starting out from nothing, to begin and complete such a work? What an incredible amount of work, will to fight, and strength of faith characterized those years of the struggle for power! What hurdles and setbacks had to be overcome! Only our doggedness and our unshakable will gained the victory in the end. Even though the framework of the struggle at the time may appear limited to us today, the objective in this fight and its course were the same as they are today. The stake was and is the existence of our German Volk! And that is why this fight was as sacred for us at the time as it is today. After all, on its success depended and still depends our race’s existence or nonexistence in the future. Who can still doubt today that, without the National Socialist revolution and its reorganization of the German Volkskorper-seen only in domestic terms-Germany would never have been in a position to face the present crisis? Who can deny that, without the material armament of the German Volk achieved by the National Socialist revolution, even the strongest will would not have sufficed to defy the devilish coalition which threatens us today! Only a bourgeois blockhead can delude himself into thinking that the flood from the east would not have come, had Germany opposed it with international laws on paper instead of with cannons, panzers, and airplanes! This century and our own age will weigh us in accordance with whether we were steadfast enough to oppose this invasion by Central Asia, the like of which the world has repeatedly witnessed since the turn of the era. As the invasion of the Huns was not repelled with pious wishes and admonitions, as the century-long invasions of our Reich from the southeast were not thwarted by diplomatic artistry, as the Mongol invasion did not stop at the borders of ancient cultures, so this danger cannot be eliminated by right alone, but by the strength which stands behind this right. Right means the duty to defend the life given to us by the Creator. It is the sacred right of self-preservation. The success of this self-preservation depends exclusively on the greatness of our risk and the willingness to take on every sacrifice in order to preserve this life for the future.
By so doing, we are not doing anything different from what the Germanic and Latin races had to do in the age of the migration of the people; it is no different from what our ancestors had to do in the long years of the Turkish Wars and what eventually kept the Mongol invasion from transforming our continent into a desert. No League of Nations’ assembly but the Battle on the Catalaunian Fields broke Attila the Hun’s power. No chatter at Geneva or any type of convention will drive back Asian Bolshevism but only the will to win of our resistance and the force of our arms.
We all know how difficult the fight is. Whatever we may lose in it stands in no relation to what we will lose if it is not now nearing its victorious end.
Individual areas in the east of our Reich are now experiencing what Bolshevism is in reality. What this Jewish plague does to our women, children, and men in these areas represents the cruelest fate that a human brain is capable of concocting. There is only one way of opposing these Jewish-Bolshevik annihilators of mankind and their west European and American pimps: the deployment with utmost zeal and dogged steadfastness of all the strength a merciful God allows man to find in the most difficult times in the defense of his life. Whatever becomes weak in this will fall, must and will fade away. Just as the cowardly bourgeois parties of compromise first were cornered by the Bolshevik wave and then swept away, so today those bourgeois states disappear whose narrow-minded representatives believed they could enter into an alliance with the devil in the hope of being more cunning than he is satanic. A horrifying repetition of the domestic events is taking place today in the mighty international political sphere of the present events. But just as in the end we struck the Bolshevik enemy to the ground by defeating the narrow-minded small-party particularism and founded the National Socialist Volksstaat, so we will today achieve victory by defeating the jumble of bourgeois-democratic views of the state, and we will crown it with the annihilation of Bolshevism.
When Rome faced its most difficult hour after the Battle of Cannae, it won not through the attempt of a cowardly compromise but through the uncompromising decision to continue the struggle for its existence by summoning the remaining strength of its people. Even though the Second Punic War failed to arrest the African advances once and for all, the Third [Punic War] put an end to them! When the greatest king in our history, Frederick II, seemed likely to succumb to an overwhelming world coalition in his Seven Years War, it was likewise only because of his heroic soul that the germ cell and the core of a coming Reich remained victorious in the end.
What we have so often preached at home about the essence of the enemy coalition has now been confirmed: it is a devilish pact between democratic capitalism and Jewish Bolshevism. All nations whose statesmen have signed this pact will sooner or later become the victims of the demonic spirits they have summoned. Let there be no doubt that National Socialist Germany will wage this fight for as long as it takes for this historic turn of events to come about here, too, and this will happen still this year.
No power on earth will make us weak at heart. They have destroyed so many of our beautiful, magnificent, and sacred things that there remains only one mission in our lives: to create a state that will rebuild what they have destroyed. Therefore, it is our duty to preserve the freedom of the German nation for the future and not allow German manpower to be abducted to Siberia, but to deploy it for the rebuilding and dedicate it to the service of our own Volk. They have taught us so many horrible things that there is no more horror for us. What the homeland must endure is dreadful, what the front must accomplish is superhuman. Yet when, in the face of such pain, a whole nation proves itself as reliable as the German Volk, then Providence cannot and will not deny its right to live in the end. As always in history, it will reward its steadfastness with the prize of earthly existence. Since so many of our possessions have been destroyed, this can only reinforce us in our fanatical determination to see our enemies a thousand times over as what they truly are: destroyers of an eternal civilization and annihilators of mankind! And out of this hatred will grow a sacred will: to oppose these annihilators of our existence with all the strength God has given us and defeat them in the end.
Our Volk has survived so many terrible times in its two-thousand-year-old history that we have no right to doubt that we shall also overcome the present times of need! If the homeland continues to do its duty as it does now, even increases its will to do its utmost, if the frontline soldier follows the example of the brave homeland and risks his life for his homeland, then the whole world will be shattered when it runs up against us! If front and homeland continue in their joint determination to destroy him who dares to fail when he confronts the commandment of preservation, who reveals himself to be cowardly, or who sabotages the fight, then they will jointly prevent the destruction of the nation.
Then the German victory will stand at the end of this confrontation! And here we feel pride and joy: when the World War was nearing its end what we feared most was the corruption of our youth. When this war is over, we will place the victory in the hands of a young generation that has been steeled by thousandfold suffering and fire and is the best Germany has ever called its own.
It will set an example in the cities and in the countryside for countless coming generations. This, too, is an accomplishment of the National Socialist education and a result of the challenge to fight which came out of Munich twenty-five years ago.
My own life is given value only by what it means for the nation. I therefore work incessantly for the resurrection and strengthening of our fronts for the defensive and the offensive, the production of old and new weapons, their deployment, the reinforcement of the spirit of our resistance, and if necessary- as in former times-for the elimination of the vermin that does not wish to join the preservation of our Volk but wish to oppose it.
My dear party comrades! These days I read in British papers that there is a plan to destroy my Berghof. I almost regret that this has not yet happened.
After all, whatever I call my own is not worth more than what belongs to my Volksgenossen. I would be happy to bear everything, down to the last detail and as far as humanly possible, that others must bear. The only thing that I would not be able to bear right now would be a sign of weakness from my Volk. What therefore makes me the happiest and the proudest man is the belief that the German Volk demonstrates its strong character precisely in the hour of greatest despair. May every German in the coming weeks and months remember that he is obliged to place everything into the service of our joint preservation for the coming millennia. Whoever is in a bad situation should and must know that many Germans have lost far more than he has. The life which remains for us can be dedicated to only one commandment, namely, to make up for what the international Jewish criminals and their helpers have done to our Volk.
Just as twenty-five years ago we set out, as a community, to obtain compensation for the injustice done to our Volk, so today we again fight as a community to obtain compensation for the suffering which they once more inflicted upon us, the oppression which they brought to us, the damage which they caused here. Therefore, it must be our unshakable will to think of Germany even when we draw our last breath. We must do so at a time when men and women in the cities and in the countryside, down to our youth, live in compliance with the commandment to risk everything in order to free our Volk from this misery, to restore after the war its culture in the cities and in the countryside, and its National Socialist communal life. Above all, they must never again abandon the path to the establishment of a true Volksstaat, one far away from every ideology and [all] classes; a state which rises above the conceit of the individual social strata, which is inspired by the conviction that the eternal values of a people find expression in its best sons and daughters, who must be searched for, educated, and deployed as a merciful God gave them to us, regardless of their birth or origin.
My party comrades! Twenty-five years ago I announced the victory of the movement. Today, I prophesy-as always inspired by my faith in our Volk- the final victory of the German Reich!