Adolf Hitler’s Speech on 19th Anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch-1942
Munich, 8 November 1942
My German fellow-countrymen and women! Party Comrades! It is, I think, something very extraordinary when a man after about 20 years can stand before his old followers, and when in doing so he has not had to make any revisions of his program during these 20 years.
Today’s gathering, however, reminds us most of all of the evening which we were able to celebrate in the former hall 10 years ago. It reminds us of this because at that time too we were in the midst of a very hard fight. Our fight to take over power in, Germany was just as decisive for our fate as the fight which we are waging today. It was only during the past year that this became known to us in all its meaning, and if victory had not been achieved in 1933, then Germany would have remained what it was then, that is, a powerless nation with an Army of 100,000 men, which would necessarily have (had to submit) to destruction.
And at the same time, a colossus had arisen in the East with only a single thought in mind, to fall upon this weak, lazy, defeatist and internally-torn Europe. And if at that time this challenge had not been successfully taken up, then the power which alone was capable of opposing this danger would not have entered world history.
Today we know that there would probably not be any Europe left. Therefore the battle which we fought then was only apparently an internal struggle for power. In reality, even then it was a struggle for the preservation of Germany and, in the broadest sense of the word, for the preservation of Europe. At that time, we were close to victory. And yet when, 10 years ago, we met in the former hall, no one knew exactly how close it was. Only one thing went without saying as far as we were concerned, namely the conviction that this victory, no matter what happens, must come and will come.
It is with the same conviction that I now stand before you, and it has never left me, either, since the day on which, as an unknown man in this city, I began the struggle, first for the soul of the German people, and then, on beyond this city, forever more and more followers. And in the beginning I did not have much more to give than faith, the faith that if anyone pursues a just aim I with unchanging and undisturbed loyalty and never lets himself be diverted from it, but puts everything into it, then others will be found who are determined to be his followers, and that from this host an ever stronger faith must gradually radiate to the whole people, and that out of this host the worthiest part of the whole people must one day finally find themselves together, and that finally this worthiest part must acquire the power in the state.
And today I stand by this same view. Fate, or Providence, will give the victory to those who most deserve it. We could have had it before, in the year 1918. The German people did not deserve it at that time. They had grown confused and untrue to themselves. And that was the reason that I, an unknown, a nobody, at that time resolved to build up this movement in the midst of utter ruin and complete collapse, the reason why I also had faith that it would have to succeed, because I saw before me, not the defeatist phenomena of a crumbling bourgeois-Marxist world, but the millions of brave men who had done their utmost and who faltered only because the homeland was no longer worthy of them in the critical hour-because it had failed. I then had the conviction that if only the effort to bring back internal order to the German people and to get hold of the soundest kernel in them proved successful, that then another 1918 could never be repeated.
Since I made this resolve, many more than 20 years have gone by. Ten years ago we were about to have a dress rehearsal, after the movement had already encountered the greatest difficulties-in a preceding ten-year period, many had lost their faith, and our opponents already were saying that we were dead. We need only recall that time. It was no wonder, either. A movement which was just getting ready to seize power collapsed completely. Its leaders were either dead or wounded, or in prison or in flight because of their activities.
And yet barely ten years were enough for this whole movement to rise anew from its ashes, like a phoenix. And when we met here 10 years ago, we had just had another setback. Many-especially our enemies-believed that we had lost our chance because we had not acted at the moment we were offered something which would only have burdened the movement, but not made it at all possible to realize its real aims. At that time, too, I stood before you, my old party comrades, with the same faith as now, absolutely convinced that victory will be his who best deserves it, and that therefore our only task will be to deserve it.
And when now, after 10 years, I again survey this period, I can say that upon no people has Providence ever bestowed more successes than upon us. The miracles we have achieved in the last three years in the face of a whole world of enemies are unique in history, especially the crises we very naturally often had in these years.
I need only remind you of the one great crisis we had to go through in Norway, where, indeed, it was a toss-up, and where we might have asked ourselves, will we be able to hold Narvik? Won’t the entire Norwegian undertaking go to pieces? One needed boundless faith in order not to become despondent at that time, and this faith was finally rewarded. Far from the homeland, with barely a single sure line of communication connected with this advanced out-post, a small, heroic German force then was fighting. Finally they were forced to evacuate Narvik. Our opponents were jubilant. But, thanks to bravery and a fanatical determination not to capitulate under any circumstances, the final result was victory for us and not for our opponents.
If we look back over this entire period, and let everything pass before our eyes, one thing will become obvious to us: We are. facing the same opponents, whom we always have had before us nothing has been changed. . . . In the Great War there were the same opponents whom we have had to conquer in this war, and there is only one thing which differentiates the present from that time: First of all, a clearer recognition of the background of the actions of that opponent, of the driving forces, and secondly, the successes which have been gained in the meanwhile, successes which are unique in the history of the world.
For perhaps many a person will ask himself the question, why are we fighting at such great distances? We are fighting at such great distances in order to protect our homeland, in order to keep the war as far removed from it as possible and to spare it what would otherwise be its fate, and which now only certain German cities are experiencing and must experience. It is therefore preferable to keep the front line at a distance of 1,000 and if necessary 2,000 kilometers from the borders of the Reich, than to hold that front somewhere near the border of the Reich and to be forced to hold it there.
Our opponents are the same, and behind these opponents there stands the same eternally driving force, the international Jew. And it is again by no means an accident that these forces were on the inside, and have now met again on the outside. Internally, in the “coalition” which we know only too well, they included all the enemies of the Reich, beginning with the Frankfurter Zeitung, and the entire stock market speculator-group, all the way to the Rote Fahne (Red Banner) in Berlin, and everything which lay in between.
And outside, we have again today the same coalition as before, from the chief of that international Masonic lodge, the half-Jew Roosevelt, and his Jewish brain trust, to the Jewry of purest water in Marxist-Bolshevik Russia. They are the same enemies as before, the same foes as then. In the World War we had them as external foes, in our struggle as internal foes, and now, as a National-Socialist State, as external foes again.
And again it is no accident that the same State which at that time thought it could bring about the collapse of Germany by a flood of lying propaganda, now again sends a man on the same mission. Then his name was Wilson; now his name is Roosevelt. The Germany of that time, without any education in state and national politics, without any unity, without any enlightenment on the problem of the Jewish question and the working of that power, fell victim to that attack.
The great mistake is that our enemies now imagine it will happen a second time. For if at that time we were perhaps the best organized people in the world, without doubt again we are now the best organized people in the world. And if anyone in the rest of the world imagines he can shatter this people, he does not know the enduring heart of this people today, nor the enduring power, the knowledge which guides this people politically today-the National Socialist Party and its mighty organization.
Neither has he any idea of what this movement has achieved since then, how it has taken hold of our people by its accomplishments, and how it has fulfilled the Socialist ideal-which is free of all international cheating, all the “lying tirades,” how it has fulfilled these Socialist ideals in a way that no other State has even begun to approach up to now, to say nothing of attain.
I am calm therefore when I face any German who is fighting in the East, or who comes home on leave-and I can tell each one of them, just look at our organization. Compare our home cities, compare the workers’ settlements which we are building, compare our social organization with what you have seen on the other side. Compare the fate and the lot of the German farmer with the lot of that Russian farmer. Compare all of that, my dear friend, and then give me your judgment as to who has managed things better, and above all else, who has had more honorable intentions?
Not one man has as yet returned, who could express any other opinion than that if a Socialistic State were in the process of being realized anywhere, it was in Germany only that it was actually taking place. That is still another reason why this other world which so willingly represents capitalistic interests in particular, is attacking us. It is a combine, which even today still pretends to be able to rule the world according to its private capitalistic interests, to manage it, and when necessary, to keep on ruling it.
When, for example, a few days ago, a regular snobbish, perfumed hooligan like this Mr. Eden declared: “We English have had experience in ruling,” then the only thing one can say is: “In ruling? In exploitation! In plundering!” What does experience in ruling mean, when in a country which, with 46,000,000 persons itself, is administering 40,000,000 square kilometers over the entire world, there were 2,500,000 unemployed at the beginning of the war.
Where is this art of ruling, to say nothing of the art of leadership? It is only the unscrupulousness for robbery. And when this same man then says: “We have a fine instinct for idealism and material values.” Yes indeed they have. They have destroyed idealism everywhere, and they have grabbed and taken possession of material worth and always grabbed and taken possession of it, too, by brutal force only. For in 300 years that nation has oppressed and yoked and subjected nation after nation, people after people, race after race.
If they were really such brilliant rulers, then they should now be able to leave after the Indian people have expressed their explicit desire that they do, and then to wait and see whether the Indians call them back again. They have been careful not to leave, although they know how to rule so wonderfully, and in this they are completely of one mind, these plunderers, whether they run around in a Marxist cap (Translator’s note: This refers to the typical workman’s visored cap used in post-war Germany as a symbol of communism) or in a capitalistic one.
No, my friends, they don’t know how to rule. They can only subjugate peoples and then pauperize them for their own benefit. A handful of people-very rich ones, to be sure-of both Jewish and non-Jewish origin are determining the fate of the world. And we can say with calmness that Germany itself has had an example of the ability of these people to rule. For when in the year 1918 the Reich collapsed, the blinded German people turned then in its blind faith to these people, in the hope that they might be shown a path by them which would lead them back out of-their misery, the democratic Germany, not the National-Socialist Germany.
For we would not have come at all, if this democratic Germany had not been plundered and oppressed in that way. They did their best to make a second India out of Germany, and they were even successful to a large extent. They brought it about for us, too, that finally many millions of persons had no sort of livelihood whatever, and many other millions were working part-time. They brought it about for us, too, that finally not ten thousands, but hundreds of thousands of farmers were evicted from their ancestral plots of ground. They brought it about for us, too, that commerce and exchange finally came to a standstill, and that social welfare provisions of any kind were non-existent. They tried out on us their governmental experiments, just as in India or elsewhere, and if this head-tramp-I can’t describe him in any other way-Roosevelt comes and declares that they had to rescue Europe by American methods, then the only thing I can say is, that this gentleman could best-or should best-have rescued his own country, and then he would not have had to enter the war at all. It would have been more fitting for him to get rid of his own 13,000,000 unemployed than to throw the world into a war, but he did it, because he could not solve his internal problems and because he was setting out to plunder, just like his British allies, not recognizing merely idealism, but primarily the material values, for Mr. Roosevelt knows as little about idealism, aside from …, as an Englishman.
From out of this art of government of our foes and its horrible results in our democratic Germany, the National Socialist movement gradually developed. For if they had really made Germany happy, we would not have had any reason at all, and I would not have had any ground, for devoting myself to this work day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
You know that too, all my old fellow-combatants. I wasn’t loafing then. I didn’t speak in a fine club here and there, and I didn’t sit down now and then at a fireplace, and deliver a little chat. Then I was making pilgrimages up and down through the German countryside, from North to South and from East to West, and wore myself out, only in order to save my people from this misery, into which these rulers of international capitalism had forced it.
This conspiracy of Jews and capitalists and Bolsheviks of that time, we wanted to do away with. And we finally have got rid of it. And hardly had it been done away with, when this other world immediately began its encirclement.
At that time it was the Germany of the Kaiser. Now it is National Socialist Germany. At that time it was the Kaiser. Now it is I. There is only one difference: the Germany of that time was theoretically an empire, practically it had all gone to pieces internally.
The Kaiser of that time was a man who lacked all force for resistance against these enemies. But in me, now, they have to face an opponent who does not even think of the word “capitulate.”
That’s always been the way, ever since I was a boy-at that time perhaps it was improper behavior but as it is, perhaps it is a virtue after all-my habit of reserving the last word for myself. And all our opponents can be convinced that the Germany of former times laid down its arms at a quarter to twelve. On principle I have never quit before five minutes after twelve. My domestic foes found that out ten years ago. They too did not believe it, and it really was not surprising, because naturally the position of my internal foes was different from the position of my external foes of today, because the internal foes of that time-
God-you know, my Party Comrades, when I began, uh, uh, it was already easy to prophesy that . . . my whole work would have to miscarry. On the one side this power of the press, this power of capital, this conspiracy of influential circles, this . . . parliamentarians, petty politicians and so forth, and the labor unions, and on the other side the employers’ organizations, and then the . . . and the parliaments and the Reichstag. How could one single man with a small group of supporters overcome all that? And even in the year 1932, they were still able to believe he would fail regardless, because they could say: “We are still stronger; we still have more men behind us than the others.”
Today, I must say, the faith that they would stifle by their might is already dead anyway, because in actuality today we are the stronger. When I compute the number of men who are in our camp today, and who are fighting in our camp, working in our camp, it exceeds the number of those who today have taken up positions against us. There is certainly no longer any comparison with the situation of that time. And there is something else besides: this battle is now being waged on a military basis.
And now, my Party Comrades, here we have behind us a great German history. The English say they have never yet lost a war. They have lost many wars; but in every war they have fought to their last ally. That is correct, and that probably distinguishes the English method of waging war from ours. Germany has a great history behind her, and I need only select one hero from this history and compare his fate with our fate-Frederick the Great against whom in his worst time there was actually a coalition of 54,000,000 to about 3,900,000.
And today, when I compare our position with his-our bastions, our fronts advanced everywhere far beyond the borders-then I must say they are completely stupid if they imagine that they can ever crush Germany. And especially if they imagine that they could possibly impress me in any way or could make me afraid. I know perfectly well that the battle is a very hard one, for that is probably just the difference between me and, let us say, a man like Churchill. Churchill said that we-the Reichsmarshal and I-had made whining speeches recently. I don’t know if I hit someone right and left and then he says that is absolute defeatism, then one can have a good laugh.
Since 1939 I haven’t felt like whining at all. Previously, I was of course very sad, because I had done everything to prevent the war. Recently Sven Hedin published a book in which he gratifyingly now quotes word for word my offer to the Poles which was conveyed at that time through the English. I must say that I really felt a chill when I read through this offer again recently, and I can only thank Providence that it has managed everything otherwise.
Then, too, from what I now know since then, because if at that time this offer had been accepted, then Danzig would be German, to be sure, but for the rest everything would have remained as it was. We would have devoted ourselves to our social tasks, we would have worked, we would have beautified our cities, we would have built dwelling settlements, we would have put our roads in order, we would have established schools, we would have built up a real National Socialist state.
And then, of course, we probably would have expended only very little for the Wehrmacht, and one day this storm would have broken loose from the East, would have passed over Poland, and, before we knew it, would have been a mere 150 kilometers east of Berlin. For that I thank the gentlemen who refused it then. At any rate, 3 years ago I could not yet guess that either. Three years ago I was sad about it, and therefore when the Polish campaign was at an end, I wanted to offer my hand once more in peace, which would have cost these enemies nothing, either. As you know, it was refused. Then I was forced to conduct another campaign, and still another.
In the year ’40 I tried again to offer my hand in peace once more. It was refused again. With that the case was settled for me, because every offer of peace was interpreted by these enemies as weakness, and therefore really turned to the disadvantage of the German Reich. Thus it would have been disloyal to try anything like it again. It was clear to me-now only one thing matters-a state or a world must now fall. Either ours or the other. We shall not fall; consequently the other must fall.
You will recall, my old comrades-in-arms, how often, in exactly the same way, I held out my hand to the internal enemies. How long I wooed them. What pains I took with them. What didn’t I do to bring about a sensible understanding! Only after it was useless did I decide to take those measures which are the only ones that can be carried out in this world when reason is stilled. And to this we owe our Brown Shirts, to this we owe our Storm Troops, to this we owe our S. S. Elite Guards; and at last the hour came when we were rid of these enemies, and rid of them how? And this struggle within was perhaps only seemingly easier than the external struggle. In reality the men who led the struggle within were once the fighters externally, too, and they are today the fighters both within and without; because, my Party Comrades, one thing certainly is a reason for us National Socialists to be rather proud.
When bourgeois Germany was fighting, the Germany composed of Marxists and Bourgeois and Center, then, to take but one example, two deputies of the Reichstag were killed in the course of the war out of more than two million dead. The National Socialist Reichstag has thus far already left 39, I believe, on the field of battle, out of a total, however, of hardly 350,000. Yes, that is certainly a different ratio, and when I calculate the ratio of the party comrades I can say that wherever my Storm Troopers or Party comrades or where the Elite Guards stand at the front, they do their duty in exemplary fashion.
Here too the Reich has changed. And above all, they fight also with a different comprehension: they know the fate that would be in store for us if the other world should be victorious. Because we know this fate and know it well, there is not even the slightest thought there of any compromise. When the gentlemen say from time to time that there is another peace offer from us, they do it only to make up for something to their own people. From us there will be no more peace offers at all. The last one was made in the year 1940.
There is only one thing left, that is to fight. Just as I said at a certain moment to the internal enemies: “It is not possible to come to an understanding with you peacefully; you want force, so now you’ll get it.” And these internal enemies have been taken care of.
Another power, too, which was very strong in Germany has meanwhile been able to learn from experience that the National Socialist prophecies are no mere phrases; it is the main power to which we owe all this misfortune-international Jewry. You will recall the Reichstag session at which I declared: “If Judaism imagines by any chance that it can bring about an international world war for the extermination of the European races, the result will not be the extermination of the European races, but the extermination of the Jews in Europe.”
They have always derided me as a prophet. Today countless numbers of those who laughed at that time, laugh no longer. Those who are still laughing now, also will perhaps laugh no longer after a while . . . will spread beyond Europe and over the whole world. International Jewry will be recognized in all its demoniac peril. We National Socialists will see to that. This peril is recognized in Europe, and country after country is adopting our legislation. Thus today we see in this vast struggle only one single possibility; it is that of complete success, and there now remains only the question of whether there are any reasons at all to doubt this success.
If we follow our enemies’ propaganda, then I must say that it is to be compared with the quotation: “Rejoicing to heaven, depressed unto death.” The slightest success anywhere and they literally turn somersaults for joy. They have already destroyed us. Then the page turns and they are again completely cast down, and are again depressed. I need point to only one such example:
If you read the Russian communiqués since June 22, you will read the following every day: “Fighting of unimportant character” or maybe “of important character.” “We have shot down three times as many German planes.” “The amount of sunken tonnage is already greater than the entire naval tonnage, greater than all types of German tonnage before the war.” They have so many of us missing that they amount to more divisions than we can ever muster. But above all, they are always fighting in the same place. Here and there they then say modestly, after 14 days, “We have evacuated a city.” But in general they have been fighting since June 22 in the same place, always successfully; we are constantly being beaten back, and in this continued retreat we have slowly come to the Caucasus. I say “slowly”!
I should say that for my enemies, not for our soldiers. For the speed with which our soldiers have now traversed territory is gigantic. Also what was traversed this year is vast and historically unique. Now I do not always do things just as the others want them done. I consider what the others probably believe, and then do the opposite on principle. So if Mr. Stalin expected that we would attack in the center, I did not want to attack in the center, not only because Mr. Stalin probably believed I would, but because I didn’t care about it any more at all. But I wanted to come to the Volga, to a definite place, to a definite city. It accidentally bears the name of Stalin himself, but do not think that I went after it on that account.
Indeed, it could have an altogether different name. But only because it is an important point, that is, there 30 million tons of traffic can be cut off, including about 9 million of oil shipments. There all the wheat pours in from those enormous territories of the Ukraine, of the Kuban territory, then to be transported to the North. There the manganese ore was forwarded. A gigantic terminal was there; I wanted to take it. And do you know, we’re modest: that is, we have it; there are only a couple of very small places left there.
Now the others say: Why aren’t you fighting there? Because I don’t want to make a second Verdun but would rather do it with very small shock units. Time plays no part here. No ships come up the Volga any more-that is the decisive thing.
They have also reproached us, asking why it took us so long at Sevastopol? Because there, too, we did not want to cause an enormous mass murder. Blood is flowing as it is-more than enough. But Sevastopol fell into our hands, and the Crimea fell into our hands. We have reached goal after goal, stubbornly, persistently.
And if the enemy, on his part, makes preparations to attack, don’t think I want to forestall him there, but at the same moment we let him attack also. Because then defense still is less expensive. Then just let him attack; he’ll bleed to death that way, and thus far we have always taken care of the situation anyhow.
At any rate, the Russians are not at the Pyrenees or before Seville; that, you see, is the same distance as for us to be in Stalingrad today, or on the Terek, let us say;-but we are there; that can really not be disputed. That is a fact, after all.
Naturally, when nothing else will do any more, they also say it’s a mistake. Then they suddenly turn around and say: “It is absolutely a mistake for the Germans to have gone to Kirkenes, or to have gone to Narvik, or now perhaps to Stalingrad-what do they expect to do in Stalingrad? For Stalingrad is a capital mistake, a strategic mistake.” We will just wait and see whether that was a strategic mistake.
We see already from present indications whether it was such a great mistake that we took possession of the Ukraine, that we-uh,-took possession of the ore region of Krivoi Rog, that we got our hands on the manganese ores, or whether it was really such a great mistake that we got hold of the Kuban region, the greatest granary in the entire world, perhaps, whether it was a mistake that we, and I can safely say this, have now destroyed or got into our own possession four-fifths or five-sixths of all their refineries, that we alone either have right in our hands or have completely shut off, a production of 9 or 10 million tons of oil, and we have further cut off the transportation of perhaps 7, 8 or 9 million tons over the Volga.
And everything else which we plan to do there, whether all-that was really so mistaken, we will soon see. Now I really don’t know, if the English had managed to take the Ruhr valley, or the Rhine too, and then the Danube and the Elbe also, it would be-and then also Upper Silesia, that is just about the same as the Donetz region, and that is the Krivoi Rog ore region, and the Kerch ore region, if they had also after that got a portion of our petroleum sources, and if they had also got the Magdeburg Stock Exchange, whether they would still say to us: “We made a great mistake to take those things away from the Germans.” That was an extraordinary mistake.
If they impose on their own very narrow-minded, provincial people with that, uh-there may be a certain number of them who will believe it. And yet everyone does not seem to believe it, because you do hear press comments which sometimes become very angry, and say that they should leave off with that stuff now. If they say that in order to impose on us, well, I must say then that they are really confusing present-day Germany with a Germany which may have existed numberless centuries ago. They cannot convince present-day Germany of that, and if they perhaps wish to convince me, then I can only say: “I have never yet made my strategic plans according to the receipts or ideas of others.”
It was certainly a mistake that we made the break through France that time and went around from above; but still it paid. In any case the English have been marched out of France, even after they had been in France for a rather long period of time. I believe that they had frequently boasted that they had 1,000,000 men there, and we don’t want to forget one thing, my Party comrades men and women,-they were then very near to our borders. They had 13 divisions there, and besides that more than 130 French divisions, approximately another 24 Belgian divisions, and also 20 Dutch divisions, all right at our borders on our Rhine, and where are they now?
And so if they say today that they are for all I care advancing somewhere or other in the desert, well, they have already-made advances several times before, and they moved back again. The decisive thing in this war is who will deal the final blow, and you can be sure of it that we will be the one.
It’s the same way with their production. Of course they manufacture everything and above all, they make everything much better than we do. Whenever the Americans come out with something new,-for instance, I read a few days ago that they have constructed a new submarine,-as I read it, I thought at once: “Surely, that will again be the best.” And I was right. It said below: “The best submarine in the world, with by far the most ingenious construction. It is fastest in submerging and the best in every respect.” Compared to them we are real amateurs in the construction of submarines.
My German racial comrades, we are not asleep. Our builders are not asleep either, and let me point out only one thing to you. During the winter of 1939-1940 a certain Mr. Churchill stated: “The submarine danger is eliminated. Hitler is finished.” He has destroyed two, three, five submarines daily. At that time, he destroyed more than we even had then. He was exhausted. He had destroyed nothing, for then I again committed a very great error. The error was: I had only a very small number of our submarines fighting and held back the greater part of the submarines in order to train the crews for the new submarines being launched.
At that time the number of submarines operating against the enemy was so small that I am today still ashamed even to speak of it. Most of them, more than nine-tenths, remained at that time in our home waters and trained the new crews, for we started mass production at a certain moment. They just can’t comprehend anything but American mass production. They always act as if they are the only ones who understand it. We understand it just as well. When they say they build so-and-so many warships per year-well, when they count all their corvettes and all their uh-uh-herring boats and the rest of them and stick a cannon on them, they act as if this . . . If we figure in everything, then I guarantee that we are not building fewer ships, only I think we are building more useful ships than they.
In any case, this has again been proved. We have now at any rate sunk more than 24,000,000 tons, that is almost 12,000,000 tons more than in the World War, in all. And the number of U-boats is considerably greater than the number of U-boats in the World War. And we go on building and constructing and do it with all types of weapons, and when the gentlemen over there say they have wonderful new weapons, then they haven’t the slightest idea whether we haven’t possessed a better one for a long time already.
And here it is my practice only to put out a new weapon when the old one actually is of no use any more. Why disclose new weapons in advance? So far this policy has always proved right. We have always had worse weapons. Of course. We have worse soldiers. That is perfectly clear. We had a far worse organization. Who should be surprised at that? If one compares the organization of such geniuses as-uh-Churchill and Duff Cooper and Chamberlain and all those people, or even Roosevelt, this organizer of . . .
If one compares these people, then, from the point of view of organization, we, of course, were nothing but blunderers. That is true. But so far we have achieved one success after another. Regarding internal affairs, my dear party members, it has been just the same. We were also continuously worse in internal affairs. We have been incompetent. We have had no qualifications at all, but one day we came into power. That was decisive.
It is understandable that one may not expect a new success perhaps each week in a struggle of world-wide extent such as we are confronted with today. That is an impossibility. Neither is it at all decisive. Decisive is the fact of gradually occupying the positions which must (eventually) crush the enemy, of holding and of fortifying those positions in such a way that they cannot be retaken. You may well believe me: Whatever we once conquer, we actually hold on to so tightly that in this way at least no one else can dislodge us from wherever we gain a foothold. You may rely upon that.
Furthermore, this war has been actually far extended to our allies, the Italians, the Rumanians, the Hungarians, and the Finns and all the other European peoples, such as the Slovaks, the Croats, and the Spaniards, to the volunteers, . . . the Nordic volunteers. A real world power has been achieved, a world power which also has been suffering continuous defeats.
Since the beginning of Japan’s entrance, there were nothing but failures; everything the Japanese did was a mistake. But when the mistakes are added up, the result amounts to something brilliant. Just in this process they have acquired about 98 percent of the rubber production of the Americans. In this process they have acquired the greatest tin production in the world. They have acquired an enormous wool production. They have acquired gigantic oil wells. So if you do nothing but make such mistakes and this is the result, you can be quite content.
And conversely, the others have carried out none but the right operations. Full of genius, brave, heroic, calculating, they have indeed great generals, MacArthur, or Wavell, or one of those very great ones such as the world has never seen before. In between, the generals are already writing books about the other generals. And in spite of this, in spite of all this, the people who had no generals have first of all got a bit further in the war than those blessed with generals. Thus I can speak on the very day that brings us indeed the recollection of the greatest collapse of our movement, a collapse which at that time really seemed to mean also . . . the end of the Party. All our enemies (were certain) that National Socialism was dead.
Now on that very day I can only say: For us National Socialists, recollection must now mean an enormous strengthening, a strengthening for the defiance of all dangers, never to waver and never to yield, to meet every emergency with courage and to hold out even when the enemy is ever so menacing.
There one must really adopt Luther’s precept: “And if the world were full of devils, we must and shall succeed.” Precisely today we look into the future with so much confidence, now that we have survived the past winter, a winter which indeed we could not comprehend in all its terrible danger when I spoke to you a year ago. Today I look into the future quite differently.
That time somehow, many even leading and thinking people were oppressed by the recollection of Napoleon’s fate in 1812, and the winter of 1812 was exactly 50 percent as cold as the winter we put behind us last year.
This year we are indeed prepared quite differently. Here too, this or that person may lack this or that and miss it, and so on. Then, in any case, we turn to the nation with the request that it might give this, perhaps, or give that or contribute something else besides, but for this winter we are equipped differently. That I can say. Even if it should prove to be exactly as severe as the last one, all that happened to us this last winter will no longer happen to us this time.
And I have already said once: A great philosopher declared that when a blow does not knock a man down it only makes him stronger. There I can only say: The blow which did not knock us down last winter has only made us stronger.
It is immaterial where the front may be, Germany will always ward off the blows and will always advance and attack, and I do not doubt for a moment that our method will be successful in the end.
If today Roosevelt conducts his attack upon North Africa with the remark that he must protect it from Germany and from Italy and so on, we need not waste words regarding these lies by this one scoundrel. He is beyond a doubt the chief gangster of this whole outfit we are confronting. But one may be sure that Mr. Roosevelt will certainly not have the last decisive word in the matter.
We shall prepare all our blows thoroughly, as we always have done, and they always have been struck at the right time. And not one blow which the others intended to strike against us so far has been successful. There was once triumphant shouting, when the first Englishman landed at Boulogne and then advanced. Six months later this triumphant shouting was over. Events turned out differently. They will be different again, today.
You may have full confidence. Your leaders and the Armed Forces will do all that must be done and all that can be done. And I have unyielding confidence that, above all, the German homeland is behind the leadership and the armed forces, and that the entire National Socialist Party particularly, stands behind me as one pledged community. That which distinguishes our period from the last one is the fact that at that time the people did not stand behind the Kaiser while behind me stands one of the most splendid organizations that has ever been built up on this earth, and that organization represents the German people.
Vice versa, however, what distinguishes the present time from then is the fact that at the head of this people there is no one who would ever, in critical times, go to a foreign land, but that at the head of this people is someone who has never known anything but struggle, and who has always known but one principle: “Strike, strike and strike again.”
Another factor distinguishes the present German people from those of that time. Then there was a leadership that had no roots in the people, because in the last analysis it had been a . . .
Today we are in the midst of the completion of what grew out of the war of that time, because when I returned from the war I brought the front experience into the homeland with me. From that front experience I built up at home my National Socialist community of the people.
Today the National Socialist community of the people goes to the front, and you will perceive from many things how this Wehrmacht grows more National Socialistic from month to month, how it constantly takes on more and more the imprint of the new Germany, how all privileges, class prejudices and so on are being eliminated more and more, how the German community of the people here becomes more dominant from month to month, and how at the end of-this war the German community of the peoples will have proved itself most in this very war, perhaps. This distinguishes the present Germany from the Germany of that time.
And to this we owe, on the one hand, immeasurable heroism at the front, a heroism of millions of iron soldiers, known and unknown, a heroism of tens and tens of thousands of brave officers who today feel themselves more and more in closer community with their men. They have in part already sprung from these men. They have in fact put aside all obstacles.
Just as in the Party, anyone can reach any position, if he is capable, and just as even the poorest child of our nation can aspire to any government position, even the highest one, ever since this Party has been in power, so also it is exactly the same in the armed forces. And as a matter of fact not only theoretically, or merely as an exception which occurs here and there, but in actual practice. Today there are the Oak Leaf wearers, the subordinate officers or the corporals. Knight’s Crosses were given to numerous iron men who have distinguished themselves heroically. Countless officers have advanced from the ranks. We are building an army in the midst of the war which is unparalleled in the history of the world.
And back home, on the other hand, a people is working, and here I must also state before the German homeland what I have already stated in the Reichstag: In the year 1917-1918, the munitions factories went on strike. Today we have overtime, and work and more work. Today the-German worker in the homeland knows that he is forging the weapons for his comrades out there (on the front).
What is being accomplished here in the country and in the city, by men, and above all also by innumerable women, is tremendous. It is also quite clear, that there is one sphere in which we can not compete with our opponents.
Just as at one time the Party was the poorest among the parties existing then, and members solely on the strength of idealism, so it is natural today also that the German nation is perhaps the poorest of all the nations in the world as regards its gold reserves.
We have no gold. But what we have, is a capacity for work which is a real value. What we have, is sacred industriousness and a sacred will, and that is in the long run a thousand times more decisive than gold in such a struggle for life or death.
For of what value are their gold treasure (Translators note: Uses English term “treasures”) to the Americans now, except for having dentures made, or something of that sort? But of what real benefit is that to them? If they had ten synthetic rubber factories instead of gold, that would be worth more to them, than the entire gold reserves, which they have accumulated. I have had other things built for me. In any case we didn’t go into this war with gold, but with the provisions necessary for the conduct of this struggle, and anyway we Germans do not have a tank which is without rubber treads but the English do have them today.
We will see the war through as to material, and better than ever now. For they have put us in possession of regions providing raw materials which are necessary in order to be able to last through this war under all circumstances. And if anyone says, “Well, why don’t we see more of it?” well, it’s very simple.
Don’t get the idea, my internationalist gentlemen, or whatever I might call them-that we just stood there in front of the destroyed railroad bridges or the destroyed railroad tracks or the destroyed water power works or the destroyed ore mines or the destroyed coal mines and, our hands in our pockets, and contemplated them at length. During these years work has been done, and how! And now it is gradually beginning to pay dividends.
And when next year comes, only then will the fruits of this labor really appear, and I can say here with pride that the party has proven itself mightily in this, and innumerable brave party comrades are out there and are organizing with a handful of persons as experienced National Socialist district leaders or local group leaders, and are organizing gigantic regions, and opening up making these regions available for our efficient industrial economy, our nourishment, and in fact, in a broader sense, for the feeding and maintenance of all of Europe.
For this is not a war which Germany is waging for herself alone, but it is a war which is actually being fought for Europe, and only thus is it understandable that such willing-that so many willing volunteers have been found from the North to the South who are in part fighting in our own ranks and in part are arrayed as independent armies or independent detachments with us in this most tremendous front of world history. Therefore, it is our irrevocable determination that the peace which will come some time, because it has to come, will really be a peace for Europe, and one without the sponsorship of those men with the fine instinct for idealism and material values.
For what instinct Mr. Eden has for idealism we don’t know. He has never proved nor shown it anywhere. His behavior doesn’t indicate it either. Above all, the culture of his own country is by no means such as could possibly impress us. Of the man across the ocean I shall not speak at all in this connection. So their instinct for idealism is surely smaller than our instinct, for we probably have given more idealism to the world than the society which is in care of Mr. Eden. The same applies to the people who are our allies; some of them look back upon cultures compared to which the culture of the English Island kingdom is really an infinitely young, not to say infantile, culture.
Regarding the material values, however, I believe them; they do have a fine instinct for them. But we have it too. The only difference is that we want to make sure under all circumstances that the material values of Europe will in the future benefit the European peoples also, and not an extra-continental little international finance’s clique-that is our unshakable and inexorable resolve. The people of Europe are not fighting afterwards so that a few people of fine instincts should again come along and begin to plunder mankind and make millions of unemployed, just in order to fill their vaults.
We had good reason to depart from the gold standard. We wished to eliminate in that way one of the conditions for this kind of economic conception and economic management. And this is very certain: Europe will come out of this war much healthier economically than before, because a large part of this continent, which was hitherto organized against Europe, has now been placed in the service of the European nations.
If now I am told: “Ha, ha, so you want to transplant the Dutch,” well, I want to transplant no one, but I believe there will be many people who will be happy to get a bit of earth of their own and to be able to work on it, and not to have to drudge and slave, as is partly the case in this over-settled and overfilled continent. Above all, however, they will be happy if they themselves get the benefit of the reward for this work, if their peoples benefit, if their working men and women benefit, and not a vault which is in the Bank of London, if you wish, or in New York. I believe therefore that at the end of this war there will be collapse of this domination of gold, externally also, and thereby the collapse of this whole society which is to blame for this war.
We all know the mission of the National Socialist Party. I need not repeat it today. We started out to fight this enemy in the interior, we have done everything to find our way through this world by our work. What have we not organized! They have laughed at us, yes, always they have laughed whenever we had new substitute materials (Ersatzstoffe). We have not done this for pleasure. We were compelled to do it. Either millions of men would have not had work and unbelievable values would not have been produced or we would have had to adapt ourselves to new methods. We have done it.
By performing this work we have simultaneously identified ourselves with peace, for by doing so we wanted to maintain peace. Our enemies have rejected it. National Socialism was a fighting phenomenon, for many, many years in the interior, and today it has to be one against the exterior, there against the surroundings against the outside world. And so I expect each party member, above all, to be a representative of this faith in victory and in success, with the utmost fanaticism just as he was during the period of the struggle. Today it is much easier than it was then. Today, I must admire each of my party members of that party, all these many small men, who believed in the unknown nameless soldier of the world war, these men, who followed me at that time, who placed their lives at my disposal, so many of them who gave their lives, not only here, at that time in the old Reich, but also in the Eastern territories and in the Sudeten country, and also elsewhere in other countries.
I must admire them. They followed me at that time, when I was an absolutely unknown man. Today there appears before all of us together, the powerful, great Reich, and above all, what stands before us is the “to be or not to be” of our entire nation. Every National Socialist who believed in me then, can still be a fanatic for the fight on the outside today, and he must struggle through to the same fanatical consistency that we possessed at that time. We have opponents. There can be no mercy allowed them. On the contrary there is only one possibility: Either we fall or our opponent falls. We are aware of that, and we are men enough to look this knowledge straight in the eye, cool as ice. And that differentiates me from those gentlemen, in London and America; if I require much of the German soldier, I am demanding no more than I myself have always been ready to do also.
If I demand this of the German nation, I am calling for no more work than I myself do also. If I require overtime work of many of them, I don’t even know what overtime is in my life. That I don’t know at all. For every individual has the good for tune, perhaps, that at a certain time he can leave his work and then he is free. My work is the fate of the Reich. I can’t leave it. It pursues me day and night, because I have stepped to the head of the nation.
In these days of gray misery and wretchedness and grief and ruin, any leave at all for me would be ridiculous. After all, what is leave? A leave is always in my eyes one single thing; it is Germany, it is my people, it is its future, it is the future of its children. Therefore I demand from no one else . . . therefore I demand from no one else more than I demand of myself, or what I am ready to do myself.
I know that my old party comrades now actually constitute the core of this movement, and that in memory of the first blood sacrifices offered by us at that time, they are already leading the nation with their example, and that they are being joined by all the hundreds and hundreds of thousands, the millions, of National Socialist functionaries, of party members, and those who belong to the organizations associated with us are marching with us, all of our men of the Storm Troops, of the S. S. (Schutzstaffel or Elite Guard), are marching with us, the men of our Labor Front are marching with us, the men of the Reich Labor Service; in short, the entire National Socialist German people.
The wonderful thing today is that we are not isolated like people crying in the wilderness, as was once the case with me, but that every word which we address to the nation today, finds a thousand-fold echo.
And if the foe believes that he can soften us by any means whatsoever, he is mistaken. Nor can he influence me to turn aside from an objective. The hour strikes and then I hit back and I do it with interest and compound interest.
You will remember the long period when we had to be legal as party comrades. How often did my old party comrades come to me and say: “Fuehrer” and they also called me “Chief” in those days, or they said “Adolf Hitler, why may we not strike back? Why do we have to take that?” For years I had to force them repeatedly to be legal.
I had to expel party members from the movement with an aching heart, because they believed that they could not obey this command, year after year, until finally the hour came, when I could call upon them.
And that’s the way it is today too. Sometimes for months at a time I have to let things go somewhere. But don’t you believe that that does not make my heart feel like bursting with anger when I hear about these air-raids. You know that I did not do those things for months. I did not allow a single bomb to be dropped in the city of Paris. Before we attacked Warsaw, I called for surrender five times, I was always refused. I asked that at least the women and children be sent out. Not even the officer bearing the flag of truce was received. Everything was refused, and only then did I decide to do what is permitted by every law of war.
When the English started to drop their bombs, I waited three and a half months and did nothing. At that time there were many who said: “Why don’t we answer them? Why isn’t . . . ? We were already strong enough to do it. I waited, thinking simply that perhaps they would still come to their senses.
It turned out differently. Believe me, it is no different today. I am taking note of it all. They will still learn over there that the German spirit of invention has not rested, and they will get such an answer that it will leave them dizzy.
And I have already had to tell the people several times before that the fact that now and then I don’t talk for a long time, does not mean that I have lost my voice, but it means only that I did not consider it expedient to talk. Today it is the same. Why should I talk a lot now? Today in the last analysis it is the front that talks. Everything else is babble. Only on the rarest occasion would I like to take the floor, because what the front says is so forceful, it is such a unique language, that it is binding upon every single German anyway. Whoever reads the army communiqué or the Wehrmacht communiqué and then does not make himself fanatically one with his people, after hearing over and over again this tremendous number of heroic deeds, cannot be helped by talk either.
And as for the outside world-well, I do not speak for the benefit of the outside world at all. I have never yet spoken for the outside world. I speak only for my German people. Whether people abroad listen to me or not is entirely immaterial to me.
If Mr. Roosevelt says he does not hear my speeches, I can only say, I do not talk for Mr. Roosevelt’s benefit at all. Once he accosted me by telegraph, and thereupon I gave him my reply, as a polite man would, but otherwise I do not talk to Mr. Roosevelt at all. I now talk through that instrument through which one can only talk today and that instrument talks loud and distinct enough.
Otherwise I talk only on the rarest occasions to the movement and to my own German people, and all that I can say for such a speech is only one thing: Think incessantly, men and women, only of the fact that this war will decide the “To be or not to be” of our people. And if you understand that, each one of your thoughts and each of your actions will be one single prayer for our Germany.
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