Adolf Hitler – speech at the opening of the second Winterhilfswerk

(Short excerptions)



Berlin on October 9, 1934


Thus prosperity means not only an increase in the possibilities of enjoyment, but above all an increase in obligations. The view that the spending of a fortune of any size is the private affair of the individual requires revision in the National Socialist State all the more because no single individual could enjoy such a privilege without the collaboration of the whole.


If I turn particularly to these circles who enjoy average to above-average standing, I am doing so because I am sufficiently acquainted with the willingness to sacrifice exhibited by the broad masses of our Volk in the cities and out in the country and know that the latter, who have so often suffered firsthand from the curse of unemployment and economic misery, have the most sympathy with their Volksgenossen who are still unfortunate today.


However, I believe that it is necessary to point out one thing in particular here: The insurance business in Germany today has been built up to cover a large network. Today, people insure themselves against fire and water damage, against theft, against burglary, against hailstorms and drought, against sickness and death-and spend billions doing so. But woe betide a people which forgets that the most precious possession it should insure is its political common sense. That same political common sense which is soundly embodied in the Volksgemeinschaft.


The German Volk can pride itself today that it has found its way back to this common sense. But let everyone be conscious of how tremendous is the benefit for all which generates from this sound political development.


You might care, my Volksgenossen, to shift your gaze from Germany for just a moment to take a critical look at the conditions in other countries. Riots, civil war, social strife, and economic crises follow each other in uninterrupted sequence. The torches of revolt are being carried far and wide. Strikes and lockouts are eating up millions of the people’s assets, but the misery remains great nearly everywhere. In Germany, we have overcome all of that.


Yet not because a few economists put their factories back in operation, but because the Volksgemeinschaft created by National Socialism abolished this political and economic madness, thus securing orders for the factories and an income for workers and entrepreneurs.