Adolf Hitler – proclamation to the German Wehrmacht
Fuhrer Headquarters, March 11, 1945
In the Treaty of Versailles, the same enemies as today made it a condition that Germany totally disarm and maintain a ridiculous professional army instead of popular armed forces. They solemnly promised that this disarmament would only be a prerequisite for the general disarmament of the world. That was all swindle and fraud! Barely had Germany laid down its arms for good when an age of blackmail and exploitation began. The Reich was hacked to pieces in the peace treaty. The enemy powers armed as never before, at their head the Soviet Union.
Concealed from the eyes of the rest of the world, this state built up gigantic armed forces, never denying their goal of suddenly attacking from the east a Europe made defenseless by Jewry. How well they were armed, my soldiers in the east, you know best yourselves. Had Germany remained in this state of military impotence, then today Europe would already have become the victim of Bolshevism, that is, the war of extermination against the European people would long ago have got underway.
Realizing that the impending future lies beyond our continent, I ordered immediately after the seizure of power that the Reich be prepared for its defense to the extent that at least a light attack no longer needed to be feared. I did so only after my countless proposals for general disarmament-the limitation of the air force, the elimination of bomb warfare, the abolishment of heavy artillery and tanks, the restriction of troop strength to a minimum-had been rejected by our adversaries. This rejection at the same time revealed the aggressive intentions of our enemies.
Ten years have now passed since those days in March 1935, when I announced my general conscription and thereby obtained for Germany those instruments of power that were necessary for its self-assertion. Without this action, there would be no Germany today.
The Jewish alliance between capitalism and Bolshevism, which today threatens Europe, had in the meantime lifted the veil from the gigantic armament for the destruction of our continent. In spite of this, the German Reich, which has been dishonorably betrayed by most of its allies, has put up military resistance for nearly six years now, and has gained successes of unparalleled greatness. Even if everything now appears to be going against us, we still do not doubt that, with steadfastness, courage, perseverance, and zeal, we will overcome these setbacks again, as so often before.
There is no great historic state of the past that did not face similar situations: Rome in the Second Punic War against the Carthaginians, Prussia in the Seven Years’ War against Europe. These are only two examples among many.
Therefore, it is my unalterable decision, and it must be our general and unyielding will, to set no worse example for posterity than earlier ages have set for us. Thus, the year 1918 will not be repeated. We all know what Germany’s fate would otherwise be. Intoxicated with victory, our adversaries have made it clear: extermination of the German nation! On this day, on which the introduction of general conscription returns for the tenth time, there is only one commandment: to do with grim determination everything in order to defy the dangers; to bring about a turn of events and, to this end, to reinforce materially and spiritually the power of resistance of our Volk and its Wehrmacht. No less great should our zeal be in the destruction of those who try to put up resistance to that. If a great nation like the German one, with a history of nearly two thousand years, never allows the belief in success to be taken from it, but instead fanatically does its duty, no matter whether the times ahead are good or bad, then the Lord Almighty will in the end not deny it His blessings.
In history, that alone falls which is judged to be too light. The Lord of the worlds will help only him who is determined to help himself.
What is impending for our Volk we already see in large sections of the east and in many areas in the west. What we must therefore do is clear to everybody: to put up resistance and pound our enemies until they become weary in the end and nevertheless break down! Therefore, let every man do his duty!