Adolf Hitler – speech at the funeral ceremony for Viktor Lutze
May 7, 1943
In a time when the war demands of our Volk the painful sacrifice of so many men, women, and regrettably even children, it takes a particularly heavy toll of blood from our National Socialist Party. There are members and sympathizers of our movement in all formations of the army, navy, Luftwaffe, and Waffen SS, and they fulfill their duty in an exemplary fashion. From the National Socialist Reichstag to the higher age groups of the Hitler Youth, the numbers of our movement’s dead represent a far higher percentage of the total than the average of the rest of the Volk.
Alas, the war not only claims our men and women, it also brings truly saddening misfortune. It is particularly tragic for me to have to witness almost every year how the one or other irreplaceable fighter, coworker, and fellow designer of our new Reich is called to join the flock of those whom the poet of the National Socialist revolutionary song has accompany us in spirit. After the plane crash that took the unforgettable and irreplaceable party comrade Dr. Todt from us, it is a car crash this time that robs the SA of its chief of staff and me personally of a man who was always loyally attached to me.
What can be said about the life story of this old National Socialist fighter has been said by the speaker before me, who was one of his oldest friends. I met the SA Fuhrer Viktor Lutze for the first time in Westphalia in 1925–1926. Since then I have become attached to him and his family not only through the common fight but also in a profound personal friendship. Nevertheless, on this day, I wish to commemorate primarily the man who unconditionally tied his own destiny to mine, who throughout the years was such a loyal and unshakable comrade in arms for me that, in a most bitter and painful hour, I felt I could entrust the leadership of my SA to him, as the most competent man.
As one of my most staunch supporters, he fulfilled his mission and developed the SA into an instrument which was capable of carrying out all the great tasks which I set for it in the course of the year.
My SA chief of staff, Viktor Lutze, was a soldier all his life. Because of this way of thinking, he had the fervent desire to be allowed to go to the front himself, a request which he made to me and which I was unable to grant.
Nevertheless he has now died in a manner which puts a manly end to his life as a National Socialist.
I want to express my profound gratitude to you, my dear Lutze, before the movement, the SA, and the entire German Volk, for your loyal fight. From the mighty struggle, in the midst of which we find ourselves today and to which you so richly contributed through your life’s work, will one day emerge the goal which once led us to each other and for which we fought over many decades in a sacred faith and with the greatest devotion: the Greater German Reich, secured by its own power against its enemies and supported by a true Volksgemeinschaft! In the annals of history, the name of Chief of Staff Viktor Lutze will live on eternally as one of the founders of the new Reich.
My dear Mrs. Lutze, you have my heartfelt sympathy on the death of your husband and your child. I wish both your sons a speedy recovery.
I believe that I cannot secure a worthier future significance for the highest medal that our party can award than by awarding it to the first pioneers of the new Reich and, thus, to the deceased. Through this, it is ennobled for all those who will one day have the honor of bearing it while alive.