"Artzy" Art during World War II
|Unit-At-A-Glance/Lesson Plans||Artzybasheff Bibliography|
|Teacher Resources||Supplemental Activities|
|World War II WebQuests||Literary Terms and Vocabulary|
|Student Chatroom||Student Portfolios|
|Home||University of North Texas|
|TEKS/TAKS Standards||Online Tutorials|
|WWII Letters Links||Initial Artzybasheff images|
Letter #4--American civilian response needed
Return to American civilian perspective
Skim over the following speech given by Adolf Hitler. Then write a 1-2 page response to Hitler, about one or two points that he makes in his speech. Respond to this speech from the perspective of an American civilian.
TEXT OF SPEECH BY CHANCELLOR ADOLF HITLER, AT BERLIN SPORTS PALACE
January 30, 1941 
My German countrymen, men and women, (long pause) Changes of Government have occurred frequently in history, and in the history of our people. It is certain, however, that never was a change of Government attended with such far-reaching results as that eight years ago. At that time the situation of the Reich was desperate. We were called upon to take over the leadership of the nation at a moment when it did not seem to develop towards a great rise. We were given power in circumstances of the greatest conceivable pressure, the pressure of the knowledge that, by itself, everything was lost, and that, in the eyes of the noblest minds, this represented a last attempt, while in the eyes of evil-wishers it should condemn the National-Socialist Movement to final failure. Unless the German nation could be saved, by a miracle, the situation was bound to end in disaster. For during a period of 15 years, events had moved downwards without respite. On the other hand, this situation was only the result of the World War: of the outcome of the World War, of our own internal, political, moral, and military collapse. For these reasons it is particularly important on a day like this to think back to the course of that entire national misfortune.
What was the cause of the World War? I do not want to explain it from the personal aspect, about which so many treatises have been written. Ordered by the present President Roosevelt, American scholars have investigated the cause of the World War and made sure that there could be no German guilt. In moments of so great importance in contemporary history, individuals can play a significant part only if they enter the scene as really outstanding personalities. This was not then the case. Neither on the German nor on the other side were there personalities cast in an unusual mould. The cause, therefore, could not be due to the failure or to the will of individuals. The reasons went deeper. The German form of government, certainly, could not have been the cause of that war, for Germany was a democracy already-and what a democracy! Strictly copied from the western countries, it was compromise between monarchy and parliamentary leadership. On account of its form of government then, this State could certainly not be the cause of the war waged by the democracies against the Reich as it was then. Germany, considered as a political factor in the world, was much more of a cause, for after centuries of disruption and ensuing weakness, the German tribes and states had at last combined into a new State which naturally introduced a new element into the so-called Balance of Power, an element which was regarded as an alien body by others. Even more potent, perhaps was dislike of the Reich as an economic factor. After Germany had tried for centuries to remedy her economic distress by letting people gradually starve or forcing them to emigrate, the increasing consolidation of the, political power of the Reich gave rise to a development of economic power. Germany began to export commodities rather than men, thereby securing the necessary markets in the world, a process, natural and just from our point of view, but others regarded it as encroachment into their most sacred domains.
Here we come to the State which regarded this encroachment as intolerable-England.
Three hundred years earlier England had gradually built her Empire, not perhaps through the free will or the unanimous demonstrations of those affected, but for 300 years this World Empire was welded together solely by force. War followed war. One nation after another was robbed of its freedom-one state after another was shattered so that the structure which calls itself the British Empire might arise. Democracy was nothing but a mask covering subjugation and the oppression of nations and individuals. This State cannot allow its members to vote if today, after they have been worked upon for centuries, they should freely choose to be members of this Commonwealth. On the contrary, Egyptian Nationalists, Indian Nationalists in their thousands are filling the prisons. Concentration camps were not invented in Germany; it is the English who were the ingenious inventors of this idea. By these means they contrived to break the backbone of other nations, to remove their resistance, to wear them down, and make them prepared at last to submit to this British yoke of democracy.
In this process, a formidable weapon was that of lying, that is, of propaganda. A proverb says that if the Englishman speaks of God he means cotton. And so it is today. Considering how pious and religious are the outward gestures of men who deliberately, and with a cold heart, drive nation after nation into a struggle serving only their material interests, one is compelled to state that rarely has human hypocrisy reached such a pitch as that of the English today. At any rate, at the end of the blood-stained path of British history over three centuries stands the fact that 46,000,000 Englishmen in the mother country are ruling about a quarter of the globe.
This means that there are 46,000,000 men for about 40,000,000 square kilometres. It is important, my countrymen, to shout this to the world again and again, for they are brazen democratic liars who assert that the so-called Authoritarian States are out to conquer the world, while in fact, the conquerors of the world are our old enemies. The British World Empire has left behind an icy stream of blood and tears in the path of its creation. It rules today, undoubtedly, a tremendous section of the globe. But this world government is affected not by the power of an idea, but essentially by force, and where force does not suffice, by the power of capitalist or economic interests.
Bearing in mind the history of the British Empire, we can understand the process itself only as a result of the complete absence of the European Continent as an entity in face of this development, particularly by the absence of the German Reich. For 300 years, Germany was practically non-existent. While the British talked of God without losing sight of their economic interests, the German nation, overstrained to the limit, raised religious problems to such importance that bloody wars, lasting for centuries, ensued. This was one of the conditions which made the formation of the British Empire possible, for in the same measure with which the German nation spent its strength internally, it was eliminated as a power internationally, and in the same measure England could, undisturbed, build her Empire through robbery.
Not only was Germany practically eliminated from competition on this globe during those three centuries; the same holds for Italy, where there were similar phenomena as in Germany, but of a political and dynastic rather than a religious nature. For other reasons again, another great nation in East Asia was eliminated, which also for nearly four centuries had gradually withdrawn from the rest of the world, and ceasing to regard its own living space as vital plunged into voluntary solitude.
In this way a system arose, particularly in Europe, which England called the Balance of Power, which means, in fact, disorganization of the European Continent in favour of the British Isles. For this reason it was for centuries the aim of British policy to maintain this disorganization, not under the name of "disorganization" of course, but with a better sounding name. Just as they do not speak of cotton, but say "God," they do not speak of the disorganization of Europe but of the "Balance of Power." And this so-called Balance of Power, that is the real internal importance of Europe, enabled England again and again to play one State against another, so keeping the forces of Europe involved in internal struggle. Thus England could thrust forward undisturbed into other areas offering comparatively little resistance.
And yet to speak today of England's World Power or of England as the master of the world, is nothing but an illusion. To begin with her internal situation: England, in spite of her world conquests is perhaps socially the most backward State in Europe. Socially backward-that is, a State orientated entirely in the interests of a comparatively small and thin upper stratum and the Jewish clique with which it is allied. The interests of the broad masses are of no weight in determining the orientation of this State. Here again propaganda phrases must serve. One speaks about freedom, one speaks about democracy, one speaks about the achievements of a Liberal system meaning nothing but the stabilization of the regime of a section of society, which, thanks to its capital, is able to get hold of the Press, to organize and direct it, and to create public opinion. Thus, in a State commanding the riches of the world, having gigantic living space at its disposal, in a State with altogether hardly one inhabitant per square kilometre, in a State so blessed by nature, millions are excluded from these benefits, and live in greater poverty than the population of any of the over-populated central European States. The country which is a paradise for a few, is nothing but continuous misery for many, that is, for the masses. Misery in nourishment, misery in clothing, misery particularly in housing; misery in security of income, and in the entire social legislation. And if all of a sudden a British Labour Secretary, who, incidentally, as a member of the Opposition, is paid by the State, appears and says: "After this war, after victory, England will have to tackle social problems; we will have to care for the wide masses," I can only reply, "We have done this long ago."
It is only interesting to us as a confirmation of our thesis that England in reality is socially the most backward country in the world. Thus, considered internally, this gigantic external wealth is really barren as far as the masses as distinct from the few are concerned. But even externally this world domination is only a figment. New centres have been given to the world. Gigantic States have arisen which can be neither attacked nor even threatened by Great Britain. The whole British idea of world domination was based on getting others to proceed against the Continent. But outside this European Continent or far beyond it great States have come into existence which are completely unassailable by England. British diplomacy may only attempt to maintain its position there by clever manipulations and by trying to bring other forces into play, which means that it must now attempt to raise the so-called Balance of Power in Europe to a Balance of Power in the world. In other words, it has to play Great Powers against each other in order to maintain at least a semblance of a World Power.
In Europe, itself, however, the awakening of the nations has already done away with the theory of the so-called Balance of Power, that is, disorganization of the Continent.
The national development of Germany and the creation of the new German Empire pierced into this disorganized European Continent and to the south of us, Italy did the same. To this must be added new elements which make the Balance of Power appear an illusion. It exists no longer. Therein we really see the real reason for the World War. Since 1871, when German tribes began to organize themselves and, under the leadership of a statesman of genius, formed an Empire once more, and the national rebirth of the German nation found expression in a united state, Great Britain has been persecuting this new apparition. In 1871, even in 1870, immediately after the battle of Sedan, British newspapers began to point out that this new structure was more dangerous to Great Britain than France had been. It had been hoped even then that Prussia might succeed, perhaps, by a long war, in throwing back France, but there was no wish that from Prussia's rise there should emerge a national German re-birth or, even more, a new German Empire.
Thus began the period from 1871 to 1914, in which Great Britain continually plotted for a war against Germany, in which she was hostile and aggressive to Germany at every opportunity, until finally the World War broke out, the work of quite a small group of international, unscrupulous rogues. And Great Britain received foreign help for this World War, which, again, she was only able to wage with foreign help.
It is interesting to visualize the development of the British policy of world domination during the last 400 years. First, there was Spain, with Dutch help; then the fight against the Dutch, with the help of other European States, France amongst them; then, finally, was against France, with the help of Europe and that part of the world at Great Britain's disposal.
The World War which shook Europe from 1914 to 1918 was exclusively the longed-for result of British statesmanship. Although the whole world had at that time been mobilized against Germany, Germany was actually not defeated. We may safely state this today.
I should not like to be a critic of the past if I had not improved upon it. But today, as one of the historic men who have improved matters, I may critically examine and judge the past, and all I can say is that the result of the year 1918 is merely the consequence of a rare accumulation of personal inefficiency in the leadership of our nation, a unique accumulation which had never existed before in history, nor-let me tell these gentlemen-will it ever be repeated. In spite of all this, this country and the German soldier for four years withstood the attack of a hostile world, and the German nation still believed in the honor of the remaining democratic world and its statesmen.
This credulity of the German nation, which was at the time regretted by many, received a terrible reward. If today Englishmen come along and believe that it is only necessary to put on the gramophone the old propaganda records of the years 1917-18 in order to achieve a new result, I can only say they have not forgotten anything, but unfortunately for them, they have not learned by experience. In this respect they differ from the German people. The German nation has learned since then; nor has it forgotten anything.
We do not wish to be mean. Many times there have been broken pledges in the past. But what happened in the years following 1918 was not one broken pledge; broken pledges were mass-produced. Not a single pledge has been fulfilled. Never before has a great nation been deceived as the German nation was then deceived. It had received so many assurances, this credulous nation had been promised so much, and what did they do to our nation? It was plundered, it was exploited. A foreign statesman, an American, was employed to make the German people even more credulous. Perhaps this was really the reason why the German people were duped by this manoeuvre. But in this respect, too, they are immune against any similar attempts. The German people had opportunities, year after year, to ponder the sincerity of democratic promises and assurances and the honesty of democratic statesmen, to make comparison and to test them against their own experiences. It was in this period that the National Socialist movement originated.
If they now say: "But why did they pounce on a new ideology?" my answer is "Because the old one failed miserably." Not only in the interior-Heavens! democracy was a pitiful thing with us! When 40 or 50 odd parties compete with their gigantic philosophical interests, ranging from that of property down to the level of cyclists' clubs, estate owners and so on, that in itself is a very bad sight; but quite apart from that; if we only had been rewarded externally for this miserable internal democratic distortion of our lives, we could at least say: "Well that stuff has certainly failed at home, but at least you received decent treatment outside." At home the whole thing was, of course, nothing but a joke, but foreign countries took you seriously-or at least they pretended that they wanted to take you seriously. If they had kept some of their promises because you were willing to be good democrats on the pattern of others. Oh, if at least this had been the case! But who was it they blackmailed? Who was it they sweated? Was it the National Socialist State? It was the German democracy!
When I came home in 1918 and lived through the winter of 1918 and 1919, I realized, like many other people, that we could not expect regeneration from the existing political world in Germany, and so I began to search-as did so many others-and this was how that conception originated which later conquered the German nation as National-Socialism. I started from the one insight: the German nation fell because it indulged in the luxury of spending its strength at home. This use of strength in the interior took away external strength according to an external law.
The German nation had hoped to gain, in turn, the goodwill of others but it met only the naked egotism of the cruelest and meanest vested interests, which began to loot everything there was to loot. One should not have expected anything else. But now the die was cast. One thing seemed obvious to me: any rise could not originate from outside. First, the German nation had to learn to understand its own political struggle, which enabled it to rally Germany's entire strength above all its idealistic strength. And this idealistic strength was at the time only to be found in two camps; in the Socialist and in the Nationalist camps. But these were the camps between which there was the most mortal feud and strife. These two camps had to be fused into a new unit.
Today, my countrymen, when millions and millions are marching under the symbol of this unity, this appears to be obvious. But in the years 1918 and 19l9, this seemed to be the product of a diseased imagination. At best, people pitied me. Perhaps, my countrymen, it was lucky that it was so. If people had taken me seriously at that time, they would probably have destroyed me, and the movement at that time was much too small to be able to survive such a destruction. But it was perhaps destiny willed by nature or by God, that they laughed at us, mocked us, and that a certain type of propaganda only ridiculed us and regarded us as a joke. Thus we succeeded, gradually, in forming the first germ, and the first nucleus of a new national community-an almost incredible historical phenomenon started by unknown people and willing followers among the masses of the people itself.
There is only one other State in which this process may be regarded as having come to a successful conclusion: Italy; nowhere else in Europe. In many States we see, perhaps, a beginning and in all the democracies they fully realise the importance of such a process, and believe that they can achieve similar results by swindle. They forget one thing: such a rebirth of a nation is really a miraculous event, an event which pre-supposes faith rather than so-called abstract and super-clever knowledge.
The fact that in the years 1918 to 1921 the simple belief of the broad masses slowly came to us, was the beginning of our Movement. That made the little man from the factories and the mines, from the farms, from the offices, believe in his future, in the future of this idea and this Movement, and in the victory which was yet to come. At that time our point of view was that if the German nation were not to repair its prestige in the world, that is to say, did not again become a powerful factor, Germany would shortly have 20,000,000 people less. This was a matter of simple deduction.
Year after year unemployment increased and caused the confusion of national conceptions and of economic plans. The constant change of Governments prevented any wider vision. Projects could not even be made for two or three months ahead, because one could be sure that in three months the government would have changed. One would say-"Why should I clear up the mistakes made by others?" Another would say, "Why should I make improvements only for someone else to benefit?" There was no longer any reason to attempt any efficacious and real solution. But this state of affairs naturally increased national weakness, and the economic decline, and caused more unemployment. The burden became greater, the capacity to carry it less, and the end had to be a collapse, the result of which could not be foreseen.
It was well to be believed that the kind and humane prophecy of the great democrat Clemenceau that we had 20,000,000 people too many would become the truth. Thus the programme of unification of the German forces, of blind obedience to a goal was created to assure our right to live forever and ever.
By so doing we chose a path between two extremes. The one of these extremes was holding our people: It was the liberal-individualist extreme which made the individual not only the centre of interest but also the centre of all action. On the other hand, our people were tempted by the theory of universal humanity which alone was to guide the individual. Our ideals were between the two: we saw the people as a community of body and soul, formed and willed by Providence. We are put into this community and within it alone can we form our existence. We have consciously subordinated all considerations to this goal, have shaped all interests according to it, and all our actions. Thus the National-Socialist world of thought arose which has overcome individualism, but not by cutting down individual capacities or individual initiative, only by asserting that the common interest is superior to individual liberty and the initiative of the individual. This common interest regulates and orders, if necessary, curtails, but also commands.
Thus we started a struggle against everyone in those days, against the individualist as well as against the humanitarians. And in this struggle we slowly conquered the German nation during 14 years. The 1000 members which this Movement counted at the end of its first year of life, a number which was to increase steadily-these followers were but Germans who had come from other movements. Hundreds of thousands of my SA and SS had been fighters in other organizations, whom we had all convinced and conquered by winning their inner allegiance. That was perhaps the greatest battle of souls in our history. I could not force anybody to go with me, to enter my organization-they all had to be inwardly convinced and this conviction caused them to make great sacrifices. This struggle was to be really fought out in the spirit by word, form and writing. Only when an ill-willed opponent said: "I cannot defeat you in the spirit, but I am stronger than you," only then did I, the former soldier, rightly answer violence with violence. Before I (apparently one or two words left out by Hitler) . . . the fighting movement which fought by the spirit as long as the opponent kept to spiritual weapons.... But I did not hesitate to appeal to violence when the other thought he would help the spirit by violence.
Our opponents at that time were those who have always fought us inside as well as outside the country: a conglomeration of people who feel, think and act according to international ideas. We know the coalitions of that time. In this battle of the spirit we have defeated them everywhere. For when at last I was called to power, I came in the legal way, under the Presidency of Reichs General Field Marshal von Hindenburg because I was backed by the strongest movement.
This means that the so-called National Socialist Revolution has defeated democracy, within democracy, by democracy. We acquired power legally and today, too, I am facing you here on a mandate given to me by the German nation, a mandate more comprehensive than that which any one of the so-called democratic statesmen possess today.
When we came to power in 1933 our road was clearly mapped out. It had been defined in a struggle of 15 years, which in a thousand demonstrations had put us under an obligation to the German people. And I would be dishonourable and deserve to be stoned if I had deviated but one step from this programme, or if I were to do so now. The social part of this programme meant unifying the German people, overcoming all class and race prejudices, educating the German for the community, and if necessary, breaking any opposition to this unity. Economically, it meant building a National German economy which appreciated the importance of private initiative, but subordinated the entire economic life to the common interest. Believe me, here, too, no other aim is thinkable. In times in which the sons are arrayed for defence in battle, and where no difference can be made between those who represent much, and those who represent little, economic advantages or privileged positions to the disadvantage of the total community cannot be maintained. As everywhere, I proceeded here by teaching, educating and slow adaptation, for it was my pride to carry out this revolution without one single window-pane being broken in Germany. A revolution which led to the greatest changes ever achieved on earth, but which destroyed nothing, only slowly reorganized everything, until at last the entire great community had found its new road,-that was my goal.
It was the same in foreign politics. My programme was to do away with Versailles. People all over the world should not pretend to be simpletons and act as if I had only discovered this programme in 1933, or 1935 or 1937. These gentlemen should only have read what I wrote about myself a thousand times instead of listening to stupid emigre trash. No human being can have stated and written down as often as I what he wanted, and I wrote it again and again: "Away with Versailles!"
And this was not a whim of ours, but the reason was that Versailles was the greatest injustice and the most abject ill-treatment of a great people ever known in history. Without the abolition of this instrument of force-meant to destroy the German people-it would have been impossible to keep this people alive. I came forward as a soldier with this programme, and spoke about it for the first time in 1919. And I have kept to this programme as to a solemn obligation during all the years of the struggle for power, and when I came to power I did not say like democratic politicians (follows a quotation from Schiller's Fiesco meaning roughly: "The monster has carried out his work, now he can be dismissed.") But at that moment I said to myself: "Thank God, for having brought me to a point where I can put my programme into action."
But again I did not want to do this with violence. I talked as much as any human being can. My speeches in the Reichstag, which cannot be falsified by democratic statesmen, are evidence for history. What offers did I make them! How I begged them to be reasonable! I begged them to see reason and not to interfere with the existence of a great nation. I proved to them that they themselves would derive no benefit from it. I told them it was senseless, and that they would only do themselves harm. What have I not done in all these years to pave the way to an understanding? It would never have been possible to begin this armament race unless others had wanted it. I made proposals to them. However, every proposal, coming as it did from me, was sufficient to cause excitement among a certain Jewish-international-capitalist clique, just as it used to happen formerly in Germany when every reasonable proposal was rejected only because it was made by National Socialists.
My Reichstag speech on 17th May 1933, or for that matter, my later speeches, my innumerable announcements at public meetings, all the memoranda which I wrote in these days-they were all governed by the one idea: whatever happened it must be possible to find a method for a peaceful revision of this Versailles Treaty. That this Treaty was an infamous document, all its authors finally admitted. In fact, the possibility of a revision was to be left open. Only they made the League of Nations the agent for this purpose, and this institution was quite unsuited for its task. The League of Nations was established on the one hand to prevent a revision of the Treaty, and, on the other hand, was to have jurisdiction for such a revision.
At first we were not members of the League, and later German participation amounted in the last analysis to nothing but the payments of yearly installments. That was the only positive thing as far as Germany could see. Of course, Germany was then a Democracy and the Democrats of Berlin begged, on their knees. They went to Geneva before the International Tribunal. They begged: "Give us a revision." Everything was in vain.
I, as a National Socialist, recognized after a few months that this Tribunal would not help us. Accordingly, I did what I could, but I say our adversaries always confused us with the people with whom they had dealt since November 1918. The German nation had nothing in common with those men. That was not Germany. They were miserable individuals kept by England and France, who had doped them. That was not the German nation, and to connect the nation with such people we regard as a defamation.
If the others believed they could apply the same methods to us they applied to the November men, they were greatly mistaken. In that event both sides were at cross purposes. They could not expect us to go to Geneva and continue begging, to receive kicks, and to beg again. If they expected that, they mistook the former German soldier for the traitor of 1918. Of course, those November men could not do anything but give in, for they were in fetters; they were caught in the fetters of that other world. We, however, have no reason to give in to that other world, or do the English perhaps believe that we have an inferiority complex when we compare ourselves with them. (Several words drowned in applause.)
Then they forced us down by a lie; a trick, but the British soldiers did not defeat us. Neither did it seem during the Western campaign that any change has taken place.
I, myself, and in fact, all of us, made up our minds that voluntary negotiation at Geneva would not yield any result. The only thing to do, therefore, was to leave Geneva.
Never in my life have I pushed myself. Those who do not want to talk to me need not do so. Now here are 85,000,000 Germans looking into the future with pride and confidence. They are heirs of a great history. We had a world empire when England was nothing but a small island, and for a longer time than for 300 years. Indeed, they forced us to take the road which we took. The League of Nations only ridiculed and derided us. We left it. At the Disarmament Conference, the same happened, and we left it. We started on the road which we were forced to choose, but all the time we strove for understanding and conciliation. In this connection I may point out that our striving in one case, in that of France, almost succeeded. When the Saar Plebescite took place and the Saar territory was returned to the Reich, I made up my mind, with difficulty, and declared on behalf of the German nation that I would waive any further revision in the West. The French accepted this as a matter of course, but I told the French Ambassador of the day: Look here, this is by no means a matter of course as you seem to imagine. What we are doing is making a sacrifice in the interest of peace. We make this sacrifice, but we, at least, want to have peace in exchange for it.
But the ruthlessness of the capitalist plutocrats in these countries always broke through in a short time, fostered by emigrants who presented a picture of the German situation which was naturally quite mad, but was believed because it seemed agreeable and then, of course, it was propagated by Jewish hatred. This collection of capitalist interests on the one hand, Jewish instincts of hatred and the emigrants' lust for revenge, succeeded in increasingly beclouding the world, enveloping it in phrases, and in inciting it against the present German Reich, just as against the Reich which preceded us. At that time they opposed the Germany of the Kaiser, this time they opposed National-Socialist Germany. In fact, they opposed any Germany which might be in existence. But my decision was firm: in no circumstances to abandon one's rights, for in doing so it would not be theories which were given up, but the lives of millions of the future. I do not sacrifice some point or other in a party programme, for in such a case one sacrifices the future, a race, and nobody is entitled to do that unless he stands before the people and says: "I can no longer represent your interests; someone else must take over."
But we did not come to power having on our programme: "We are ready to abandon the interests of the German nation." I came with the oath: "I abandon no interests." For, my country, it was not as if the abandoning of interests would bring quiet for all time. We saw that from the old German Reich, which began with abandoning the Western Provinces of the Reich, and went on and on, and every decade demanded further sacrifices, until finally Germany was broken in pieces-then the century-long powerlessness came over the people. As against that, I am determined not to give way one step. Therefore when I saw that the old warmongers of the Great War were resuming their criminal activities in England, when Messrs. Churchill, Eden, Duff Cooper and Hore-Belisha and so on, and Vansittart, our great old friend, and then Chamberlain and Halifax-when these old men again began their warmongering then it was clear to me that these people were not concerned with reaching a just understanding with Germany, but that they believed they could again break Germany down, cheaply, and the quicker the easier.
You know what happened then, my countrymen. In those years, beginning in 1934, I armed. When in the Reichstag in September 1939, I outlined the extent of German armament, the rest of the world did not believe; for those who live by bluff think that others are only bluffing. But we have already experienced that internally. Here, too, my opponents never believed me. When it is said that the prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, I should like to extend it, and say that his prophecies are not esteemed. So it always was with me. And now it goes beyond our own country: we are having exactly the same experience as my National Socialist co-fighters had at home. Every one of our prophecies was laughed at, every statement was represented as ridiculous, every picture of the future described as a fantastic chimera. We were greeted only with mockery and laughter. Now I can only say to this world: "But I have armed and very much so." The German people know it today. But it does not know nearly all.
But it is not at all necessary that everything should be told. What is decisive is that everything has been done.
We have demanded nothing from the others. When France entered this war, she had absolutely no reason. It was merely the desire to fight against Germany again. They said, "We want the Rhineland; naturally we now want to split up Germany; we want to tear away the Ostmark, we want to disintegrate Germany." They actually wallowed in fantasies of the destruction of our Reich, which were completely unreal in the 20th Century, the century of the conception of nationality. It was simply childish.
And England? I held out my hand, again and again. It was actually my programme to reach an understanding with the English people. We had really no point of difference, absolutely none. There was a solitary point, the return of the German colonies, and on that I said, "We will negotiate that some time,-I do not fix any time." For England those colonies are useless. They cover 40,000,000 square metres. What do they do with them? Absolutely nothing. That is only the avarice of old usurers, who possess something and will not give it up; perverted beings who see their neighbour has nothing to eat, while they themselves cannot use what they possess. The mere thought of giving away something makes them ill. Moreover, I have demanded nothing which belonged to the English, I have demanded only what they robbed and stole in the years 1918 and 19l9. In fact, robbed and stole against the solemn assurance of the American President. We have not asked them for anything, not demanded anything, again and again I offered my hand for negotiations.
Evermore clearly it became apparent that it is German unification itself, this very State, which they hate-irrespective of its aspect, no matter whether Imperial or National Socialist, whether Democratic or Authoritarian. Most of all they hate the social progress of the Reich, and here, clearly, external hatred has combined with the meanest internal egotism. For they say: "Never shall we be reconciled with this world-it is the world of awakening social conscience . . . (end of sentence drowned in applause). As far as this goes, I can only tell the gentlemen on both shores of the Atlantic: "In the present war that side will achieve victory in the end where the social conscience . . . (several inaudible words). They can wage wars for their capitalist interests, but in the end these wars will open the way for social risings within the nations; for in the long run it is impossible that hundreds of millions of human beings should be aligned according to the interests of a few individuals. In the long run the greater interest of mankind is bound to prevail over the interests of these little plutocratic profiteers.
Proof that in other countries, too, a crisis is already beginning to develop in this sphere, is that English Labour Leaders now suddenly come out with new social conceptions, so worn out and antiquated that I can only say: "Put them back into the chest. We have already divested ourselves of this sort of material, it is out of date. If you want to know how these things are being done, then you must not take up programmes which in our country would have been modern in the 80's or 90's. You must come to us and study here, then you will learn something, gentlemen." But the mere fact that anything like that is suddenly put forward as an aim-for what then are these gentlemen actually waging war? First, they said it was to fight against National Socialism that the nations of the world had to be bled white, and now, suddenly they detect in their bottom drawers, points that were in the programmes of our predecessors. Why all this? They could have had all this cheaper. But this fact furnishes proof that there, too, the nations are showing signs of action, or if for instance a storm breaks out in England, because somebody-a colonel or a general, I believe-declares that in the England of such an advanced social standard, they cannot use officers taken from the lower section of the population, but only officers from the upper classes-the others are unfit-then I can only say, do you get exasperated because he has said this? You should not get exasperated because this is not the case, but not for the reason that somebody has at long last expressed it. It is interesting that no one gets exasperated over the fact that the reality is like this, that is to say, that in point of fact only representatives of the upper classes can attain a position there. This is what should exasperate you, and not the fact that by mere chance someone was, while this war is on, unwise enough to make that statement. In our country if you are interested to hear it, this was remedied long ago. Only a short time ago you pointed out to us that our officers and generals were incapable, because they are all too young and infested with National Socialist ideas. Meanwhile developments have shown which side has the better generals. If the war continues this will prove a great misfortune for England, and you will have ample opportunity to gain further experience. The English will make up their minds to send a commission which is to take over our soldiers. It is this social Germany which is hated most by this clique, a conglomeration of Jews, their financiers and profiteers. Our foreign policy, our policy in the interior and our economic policy have been clearly defined. We have set ourselves only one aim: the people. All paths upon which we set our feet will lead to this purpose. Furthermore, we recognize that unless one wants to destroy everything, one must start and proceed on this path with many compromises and many leniencies. But the movement is not the temporary appearance of one man. Many years ago, in Mein Kampf I said that National Socialism will put its stamp on the next thousand years of Germany history. You cannot conceive it without National Socialism. It will only then disappear when its programme has become a matter of course. But not before that time.
But even in war, the possibility of an understanding still existed. At once, after the war with Poland, I held out my hand. I did not ask anything from either France or England. It was in vain. After the collapse in the west, I again held out my hand to England. I was received with derision. They practically spat at me. They were indignant. All right. Everything is in vain. The financial interests of this Democracy are victorious over the true National interests. Once more, the nations' blood must be at the service of the money of this small group of interested people. Thus the war started and thus it will go on. But, looking back, I may point out one thing: the year behind us and the last part of the previous year have practically decided this war. The opponent which they first mobilized against us in the East was overthrown in a few weeks. The attempt to cut us off from Norway and the iron ore bases, and to gain a base for attack against Northeast Germany was dealt with in the same way, within a few weeks. The attempt to reach the border of the Ruhr and the Ruhr zones via Holland and Belgium collapsed after a few days. France went the same way. England was chased from the Continent.
I sometimes read now of a British intention to begin a great offensive somewhere. I have only one wish: that they should inform me of it in advance; then I would have this European territory cleared beforehand. I should like to save them the difficulties of landing and we should then introduce ourselves and discuss matters once more. And in the language which is the only one they understand they now have hopes. For they must have hopes. What are they expecting now?
We are now standing on this Continent and from where we stand nobody will be able to remove us again. We have created certain bases, and when the time comes we shall deal the decisive blows, and that we have made good use of our time will be historically impressed on the gentlemen during this year.
What are they waiting for? For the help of others? I can only say one thing: we have from the beginning allowed for any eventuality. That the German nation has no quarrel with the Americans is evident to everybody who does not consciously wish to falsify truth. At no time has Germany had interests on the American Continent except perhaps that she helped that Continent in its struggle for liberty. If States on this continent now attempt to interfere in the European conflict, then the aim will only be changed more quickly. Europe will then defend herself. And do not let people deceive themselves. Those who believe they can help England must take note of one thing: every ship, whether with or without convoy which appears before our torpedo tubes is going to be torpedoed.
We are involved in a war which we did not want. Otherwise one could not stretch out one's hand to the other side. However, if those financial hyenas want war, if they want to exterminate Germany, they will get the surprise of their lives. This time they are not up against a weakened Germany, as they were during the World War. This time, they have joined battle with a Germany which is mobilized to the limit of her power, able and resolved to fight. However, should the other side entertain hopes to the contrary, then I can only say, "I cannot understand you."
They speak of Italy's coming defection. Let those gentlemen not invent revolution in Milan, let them rather see that unrest does not break out in their own countries.
Those countries view the relationship between Germany and Italy as they do their own. If in democracies one gives aid to the other, he asks a quid pro quo-bases or something of the sort. These he then owns. When, therefore, the Italians sent aircraft formations to the Atlantic coast the English newspapers wrote that the Italians were putting their oar in the conduct of the war, and that they would in future demand an Atlantic base by way of compensation. On the other hand, now that German aircraft formations are in Sicily, they say that presumably Germany will confiscate that island. These gentlemen can be quite certain that no German or Italian is moved by such fine stories. Such tales show only the pathetic lack of spirit of those people who in England retail such anecdotes.
We can deduce from those writings that the people over there have not yet understood the meaning of the present war, but we have understood it very well. Wherever we can meet England we will meet her. However, if they regard the present setbacks of our partner as evidence of their victory, then I really cannot understand Englishmen. Whenever they have setbacks of their own they regard them as big victories. The gentlemen over there may be convinced our calculation is quite accurate, and the reckoning will be made after the war, foot by foot, square kilometre by square kilometre. Another thing these people must understand, the Duce and myself are not Jews nor out for bargains. If we shake hands, that is the handshake of men of honour. I hope that in the course of the year the gentlemen will acquire a more accurate understanding of this.
Perhaps they pin their hopes on the Balkans. If I were they, I would not give much for that. One thing is certain. Whenever England puts in an appearance we shall attack her, and we are sufficiently strong to do so.
Perhaps they pin their hopes on other countries which they can involve in this war. I don't know. But my Party comrades, men and women, you have known me for so many years as a careful man with foresight; I can assure you that every possible contingency has been weighed and calculated. We shall win final victory.
Perhaps, though probably not to the same extent, they expect famine. We have organized our lives. We know at the beginning that there would not be too much of anything in war time. However, the German nation will never starve, never, rather will the English nation, those gentlemen can be sure of that.
Raw material shortage! That too, we have foreseen, and have for that reason made our Four Year's Plan. Maybe this has already dawned on some Englishmen.
There might be one other point. Perhaps they really believe that once again they will be able to dope the German nation with their lies, their propaganda and their empty words. To this I can only say that they should not have slept for so long. It would be better for them to look into the development of the German nation somewhat more carefully. In the same way, they were idiotic enough to try to estrange the Italian nation and the Duce. One British lord rises and appeals to the Italian nation no longer to follow the Duce, but his lordship. That is too idiotic. Such an ass (next words drowned). Then another lord rises and admonishes the German nation to follow his lordship, and to turn away from me. I can only tell these people: "Others in Germany have tried that game." Those people have no conception of the German nation, of the National-Socialist State, of our community, the army of our marching masses, of our people. Those people have no conception of our propaganda. Perhaps, because they themselves were not quite convinced of the effectiveness of their ideas, which they borrowed from some people in Germany. However, these people are those who so miserably failed here, the emigrants who had to leave. Such are their advisors, and we can see it by the pamphlets. We know for certain that this one was written by this fellow, that one by that fellow. Just as idiotic as (following drowned) in the time of the "system." Only at that time this stuff was labelled Vossische Zeitung and is now labelled Times or something, and those people imagine that these old, old stories, which were a failure in the Vossische Zeitung will now be successful because they are published by The Times or the Daily Telegraph.
A real softening of the brain has broken out in these Democracies. They can rest assured, the German people will do everything necessary for its interest. It will follow its leadership. It knows that its leadership has no other goal. It knows that today the man at the head of the Reich is not one with a packet of shares in his pocket and with ulterior motives. This German people, I know it and I am proud of it, is pledged to me and will go with me through thick and thin. An ancient spirit has come to life again in this people-a spirit which was with us once before, a fanatic readiness to accept any burden. We will repay every blow with compound interest. The blow will only harden us, and whatever they mobilize against us, and if the world were full of devils, we will succeed all the same (quote from Luther's hymn, "A mighty fortress is our God"). But when they end up by saying: "But think of all the mistakes they made!" God, who doesn't make mistakes! This morning I read that an Englishman, I don't know how, has calculated that I made seven mistakes last year. The man is mistaken. I have checked it. I did not make seven mistakes but 724. But I continued to calculate and found that my opponents had made 4,385,000. That is right. I have checked it carefully. We will manage to get on in spite of our mistakes. We will make as many mistakes this year as last year, and if I make as many mistakes as in 1940, then I must thank God on my knees at the end of the year for letting me make only seven mistakes. And if the enemies do as many clever things as last year, I shall be satisfied.
We go into the new year with a fighting force armed as never before in our German history. The number of our divisions on land has been enormously increased. Pay has been increased, the gigantic unique experience of war among the leaders and the file has been put to use. The equipment has been improved-our enemies will see how it has been improved (applause and commotion). In the spring our U-boat war will begin at sea, and they will notice that we have not been sleeping (shouts and cheers). And the Air Force will play its part and the entire armed forces will force the decision by hook or by crook. Our production has increased enormously in all spheres. What others are planning we have achieved. The German people follows its leadership with determination, confident in its armed forces and ready to bear what fate demands. The year 1941 will be, I am convinced, the historical year of a great European New Order. The programme could not be anything else than the opening up of the world for all, the breaking down of individual privileges, the breaking of the tyranny of certain peoples, and better still, of their financial autocrats.
Finally this year will help to assure the basis for understanding between the peoples, and thereby, for their reconciliation. I do not want to miss pointing out what I pointed out on 3rd of September  in the German Reichstag, that if Jewry were to plunge the world into war, the role of Jewry would be finished in Europe. They may laugh about it today, as they laughed before about my prophecies. The coming months and years will prove that I prophesied rightly in this case too. But we can see already how our racial peoples which are today still hostile to us will one day recognise the greater inner enemy, and that they too will then enter with us into a great common front. The front of Aryan mankind against Jewish-International exploitation and destruction of nations.
The year which lies behind us has been a year of great successes, but also, it is true, one of many sacrifices. Even if the total number of dead and wounded is small in comparison with former wars the sacrifices for each individual family concerned weigh heavy. Our whole sympathy, our love and care belongs to those who had to make these sacrifices. They have suffered what generations before us also had to suffer. Each individual German had to make other sacrifices. The nation worked in all spheres. German women worked to replace men. It is a wonderful idea of community which dominates our people. That this ideal, that our whole strength should be preserved in the coming year-this should be our wish today. That we will work for this community-let that be our vow. That we conquer in devotion to this community-that is our faith, one in which we are confident, and that the Lord should not abandon us in this struggle of the coming year-let that be our prayer. Deutschland! Sieg Heil!
 As recorded by the Monitoring Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, courtesy of the Research Project for Totalitarian Communication, New School for Social Research.
Return to American Civilian's perspective