Adolf Hitler – speech in Karlsbad
October 4, 1938
Germans! Volksgenossen! People of Karlsbad!
Twenty years ago, you were so unfortunate as to set out on a path which led you on to what appeared to be a hopeless future. I set out on my path back then, too: I believed in the resurrection of Germany, in the restitution of my Volk and in the greatness of the coming German Reich. You remained faithful to your Deutschtum throughout the years as I remained faithful to my belief! And today we both find ourselves living in that German Reich I had envisioned then and in which I believed. This Reich has become reality, and it will remain so eternally.
Just as you must take care of that Greater German Reich which we share, and the citizens of which you have now become, this Germany will take care of you! Seventy-five million other Germans reciprocate your feelings of love and dedication, of loyalty and willingness to sacrifice.
It was a difficult decision that led me here. This decision was backed by the will to resort to force, if need be, in order to free you. We are all the more happy and grateful that this last and most difficult step needed not be taken in order for us to secure our rights. We are proud to take over this country with all its natural beauty. We are determined to immediately begin with improvements here as well, to improve what needs improvement, to build up what can be built up, and to let the wounds of the past heal.
I did not know which paths would lead me here. But that I would stand here one day, that I knew! As I stand before you now, you will not only thank me but I wish to thank you as well for your loyalty, faithfulness, and your willingness to sacrifice. Just as you are proud of this Greater German Reich whose leader I am, so this Germany takes great pride in you Sudeten Germans.
At this hour, we can but think of our eternal German Volk and our Greater German Reich!