Adolf Hitler - speech about Winterhilfe (Winter Relief)



Berlin, September 13, 1933




For many years we have fought at home against the idea of international Marxist solidarity. We perceived in this supposed international solidarity only the enemy of a truly national attitude, a phantom which drew men away from the only reasonable solidarity there can be: from the solidarity eternally rooted in the blood.


But we have also always been conscious of the fact that one cannot eliminate this idea without having another take its place. Thus the motto governing this great act of assistance must be the phrase, “National Solidarity.” We have smashed international Marxist solidarity within our Volk in order to give the millions of German workers another and better solidarity in exchange. It is the solidarity of our own Volk, the indivisible bond not only in good times, but also in bad; a bond not only with those who are blessed by good fortune, but also with those who are dogged by fate.


If we correctly understand this idea of national solidarity, we must understand it as an idea of sacrifice, i.e. if someone says it is too much of a burden, that one is constantly required to give, then the only reply is: “But that happens to be the meaning of a true national solidarity.” Taking cannot be the meaning of any true national solidarity.


If one part of our Volk has come to suffer hardships due to circumstances for which all are responsible, and the other part, spared by fate, is willing of its own volition to take upon itself only a part of this hardship which has been forcefully imposed upon the other, all we can say is: a certain amount of hardship should be intentionally imposed upon a part of our Volk so that this part may aid in making the hardships of the other more bearable. The greater the willingness to make such sacrifices, all the more quickly will the hardships of the other side be able to be reduced.


Every person must understand that giving only has any real value, in the sense of bringing about a true Volksgemeinschaft, when the act of giving involves a sacrifice on the part of the giver. This is ultimately the only way to build up the superior solidarity to which we must aspire if we want to overcome the other solidarity.


When this Volk has correctly grasped the fact that these measures must mean sacrifice to everyone, then these measures will not only result in alleviating material want but will also produce something much more tremendous-the conviction that this community of the Volk is not merely an empty phrase, but something which is really alive. We need this community more than ever in the difficult struggle of the nation. Were Germany blessed by good fortune, it might be able to be accorded somewhat less significance. But when we are made to endure difficult times, we must be conscious of the fact that these can only be overcome if our Volk holds together like a single block of steel.


We will only be able to achieve this if the masses of millions who are not blessed by good fortune are given the feeling that those who are more favored by fortune feel with them and are willing to voluntarily make a sacrifice in order to document to the entire world the indivisible solidarity of our Volk.


Whatever the German Volk sacrifices today will-and everyone can be assured of this-be refunded to our Volk in kind, with interest and compound interest; for what are material sacrifices made voluntarily in contrast to the greatest gift, namely the gift of being a joint, unified Volk which feels that it belongs together, which is willing to set upon its earthly path of destiny as one and to fight a united struggle? The blessing which comes from this mutuality, from this national solidarity, is much greater and much more beneficial than the sacrifice which the individual person makes for its sake. This campaign against hunger and cold must stand under the motto: we have smashed the international solidarity of the proletariat, and in its place we shall build the living national solidarity of the German Volk.