Adolf Hitler – addressed Benito Mussolini
Berlin, September 26, 1937
As Fuhrer and Chancellor of the German Volk, today it is an honor to me and my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to Your Excellency in the Capital of the Reich. The German nation joins me in this solemn hour to hail you as the brilliant creator of Fascist Italy, the founder of a new empire (Imperium).
On your journey through Germany, Your Excellency will have concluded from the great enthusiasm with which all the classes of the German Volk greeted you that your visit means more to us than a mere diplomatic event and hence a purely conventional meeting.
In an age in which the world is full of tensions and uneasy confusion, in which the most dangerous elements are attempting to attack and destroy the old culture of Europe, Italy and Germany have joined in sincere friendship and mutual political cooperation.
This cooperation is supported not only by the same indestructible will for life and self-assertion common to the Italian and the German peoples, but, moreover, by strongly affiliated political ideals as well, which in our opinion constitute a foundation for the internal strength and solidity of our nations. The fact that these shared basic political views act as a sturdy bond linking our two peoples is further complemented by the fact that, as regards the real vital interests of Italy and Germany, there are no elements dividing the two, but only those which supplement and join. The talks Your Excellency and I have had these past days have served to verify this anew.
We are confident, in this context, that our political work of safeguarding the peace and the full flower of European culture cannot be interpreted as the formation of a block directed against other European states. On the contrary: we are of the conviction that, by virtue of our joint efforts, we are best serving the interests of our two countries and, furthermore, the goal so close to our hearts-that of a general international understanding.
It is in this spirit that Italy and Germany, side by side, will weigh and approach the coming political tasks, in order to thereby counter any and all attempts to divide these two nations or to play them off against each other.
I may raise my glass and drink to the health of His Majesty, the King of Italy, the Emperor of Ethiopia, your esteemed sovereign, and the personal wellbeing of Your Excellency himself, and to the glory and prosperity of the Fascist Italian nation.
Excerpts of Benito Mussolini’s reply:
In the person of the Fuhrer and Chancellor of the Reich, I greet the combatant who has restituted consciousness of its greatness to the German Volk. In his person, I greet the man who has refashioned a nation which shares such manifold bonds of common spirit and shared work with Fascist Italy. The Fascist Revolution and the National Socialist Revolution have been, and always will be, creative revolutions. On their soil, Germany and Italy have erected great monuments testifying to cultural achievement and progress. New, and by no means inferior, feats will be accomplished in the future.
The German-Italian solidarity is a lively and active one. It has not come about as a product of political opportunism or diplomatic engineering, but rather is the expression and result of an inherent feeling of solidarity and mutual interest. It is not and never will be a reclusive or exclusive alliance which fearfully and suspiciously hides itself away from the rest of the world. Italy and Germany are willing to work together with all other peoples, provided they demonstrate their good will. All both our nations seek is respect and understanding of our needs and justified demands. All we ask in return for our friendship to all nations is that no one seek to question the principles upon which our glorious European culture is based.
My talks with Your Excellency have reinforced the friendship between our nations and thereby have made it immune to attempts to undermine it and to efforts to drive a wedge between us, no matter what their origin.
As I return to Italy, I take with me memories of your powerful troops, your mass rallies and the great feat the German Volk has accomplished under its Fuhrer, both with regard to spiritual and technical aspects of the reconstruction of your homeland.