Adolf Hitler - campaign speech in Berlin (Deutschlandhalle)



March 24, 1936


I am not leading the life of a parliamentarian working in the dark; I am standing openly before the entire Volk; it can follow my path and my every action and come to its own conclusions.


At that time [1933] action was called for! There could only be one leadership, one will, and one resolve. Not forty-seven deeds, but one deed. And he who justly assesses these three years will not be able to deny that events of import in terms of world history have been accomplished within this short time: Germany has not only become united, but has also become stronger in every area of its life. Today it is a different Volk from four or five, or even ten years ago.


Today this Volk has a different spirit. It is guided by a different will and borne up by a different faith! The world should know that this ostensible Germany of old no longer exists today! They should not be surprised that it no longer exists. In reality, it never existed! The rest of the world was only led to believe that it did! The German Volk has remained honest and pure all those years, even though its former representatives dragged it through the mud! [-] Let the rest of the world cling to the letter, I cling to an eternal moral! Let them cite sections to me, I pledge myself to the eternal right of a Volk to live! To equal rights and to equal obligations as well.


Let the others try to spell confessions of guilt from those letters and sections; I am forced, as representative of the German Volk, to stand up for the nation’s right to live, for its honor, for its freedom, and for its vital interests.


He who would believe he might refuse to grant us honor and equality of rights should not talk about peace! He does not believe in peace and does not want peace. He wants to sow discord among the peoples, perhaps in order to make political deals where this discord thrives. [-] For three years now I have been fighting for these principles of German equality of rights. We do not want to deprive others of anything, but neither will we allow Germany to be deprived of anything! We do not want to offend anyone else’s honor, but neither will we allow German honor to be treated lightly, as is being done in the spirit of Versailles. [-] We do not want to rob other peoples of their peace and their freedom. But we also want to have our own freedom and our peace! [-] When they say, “Why does that have to be now, in these three years-of course those are very pretty ideals, without a doubt, but why does it have to be now of all times?” my answer is: because I am living now, that’s why it has to be now.


Each generation has a duty to make up for what has been done wrong through its actions and in its time. Our generation has fallen, and our generation must rise up once again! [-] The peoples are yearning for peace, indeed-but for a peace that allows them to live side by side with equal rights. I do not believe that today any Volk seriously wants a neighboring people to be oppressed. I do not believe that any Volk wants a neighboring people to be humiliated, to be subjected to unreasonable demands91 which would make any decent man grow crimson with shame. I do not believe that! I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany. It is the most wonderful battle and the most splendid task which can be assigned to mortal man: to stand up for a Volk which lies prone, which is being insulted, whose honor people think they can trample upon. [-] When today other statesmen place unreasonable demands upon us which they would probably reject with great indignation when applied to their own people, they should not be surprised if the same rejection echoes back to them from Germany today.


My actions are those the entire Volk wants! Not one person is standing up in Germany; a Volk is rising! We have hence submitted a clear program to the world, and next Tuesday” I will repeat this program in even clearer and more urgent terms. I wish to show the world what is possible, what we are prepared to do-just as I have told it today what is impossible and what we will never do.


I am not the Fuhrer of the German Volk in order to make gestures. I have been appointed by the German Volk to simply represent its interests. That is my intention.


If there is talk of a “symbolic act” we are to perform-I have already performed it. I have announced to the world a program for international peace for a quarter of a century. I have pledged my word and the word of the nation to it.


I now call upon Germany to show the rest of the world symbolically on March 29 that this gesture reflects its will. And I would like-I may repeat-to invite other statesmen to perform this same symbolic act!