Title: My New Order
Subtitle: Hitler's Speeches
Date: 1941
Notes: Edited by Raoul de Roussy de Sales. Introduction by Raymond Gram Swing. Quoting Ted: “Series I, #3, pp. 253-254. The name 'Nicomus Bagley' is fictitious. The quotation actually is from a book of Adolf Hitler’s speeches titled 'My New Order.' I was a little embarrassed to put a quotation of Hitler in my notebook.”– Ted's Notes on his Journals (Feb. 1996)
Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock.

    [Front Matter]

      [Title Page]






    PHASE I: The Rise to Power; 1918 — January 30, 1933


      SPEECH OF APRIL 12, 1922 Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JULY 28, 1922: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1922: Munich


      SPEECH OF APRIL 10, 1923: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF APRIL 13, 1923: Munich


      SPEECH OF APRIL 24, 1923: Munich


      SPEECH OF APRIL 27, 1923: Munich


      SPEECH OF MAY 1, 1923: Munich


      SPEECH OF AUGUST 1, 1923: Munich


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1923: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 26, 1924: Before the Munich Court


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 27, 1924: Before the Munich Court


      SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 23, 1926: Essen, Party Convention


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1930: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 27, 1932: Duesseldorf, Industry Club


        The Speech


    PHASE II: Arming Germany; January 30,1933 — March, 1936





        The Speech


      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 15, 1933: Stuttgart

        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 23, 1933: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF APRIL 8, 1933: Sportpalast


      SPEECH OF MAY 10, 1933: Congress of the German Work Front


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MAY 17, 1933: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JULY 22, 1933: Radio broadcast from Bayreuth


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF AUGUST 27, 1933: Tannenberg


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1933: Nuremberg, Festhalle of the Luitpoldhain


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER. 3, 1933: Nuremberg

        The Speech


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 14, 1933: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 17, 1933:

        The Speech


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 30, 1933: Frankfurt

        The Speech


      SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 10, 1933: Siemensstadt

        The Speech


      SPEECH OF DECEMBER 11, 1933:


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1934: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 19, 1934: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 21, 1934: Unterhaching


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JULY 13, 1934: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF AUGUST 17, 1934: Hamburg


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1934: Nuremberg


        The Speech

      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1934: Nuremberg


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 15, 1935



        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 1, 1935: Saarbruecken


        The Speech


      PROCLAMATION OF MARCH 16, 1935 — Radio Broadcast


        The Proclamation


      SPEECH OF MAY 1, 1935 — Berlin


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MAY 21, 1935 — Berlin, Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1935: Nuremberg, Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1935: Nuremberg, Reichstag


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 16z 1935: Nuremberg, Address to Army

        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 15, 1936: Detmold


        The Speech

      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 12, 1936: Schwerin


        The Speech


    PHASE III: Scrapping the Treaties; March, 1936 — March, 1938


      SPEECH OF MARCH 7, 1936 Berlin, Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 20, 1936 Hamburg


        The Speech




        The Proclamation


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1936: Nuremberg, Labor-Front


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1936: Nuremberg


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1937: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MAY 1, 1937:


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JULY 18, 1937: Munich


        The Speech .

      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1937: Nuremberg


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1937: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 20, 1938: Reichstag


        The Speech




    PHASE IV: Bloodless Conquests; March, 1938 — March, 1939



      SPEECH OF MARCH 12, 1938 Linz (Austria)


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 18, 1938 Berlin, Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 25, 1938 Königsberg


      SPEECH OF APRIL 9, 1938 Vienna


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MAY 7, 1938 Rome


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MAY 26, 1938 Failersleben (To inaugurate new automobile plant)


        The Speech

      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1938 Nuremberg, Proclamation


        The Proclamation


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1938: Nuremberg (Kultur-Sagung)


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1938: Nuremberg


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1938:


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 3, 1938: Eger, Czechoslovakia


        The Speech

      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 4, 1938: Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 5, 1938: Sportpalast, Berlin


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 9, 1938: Saarbruecken


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 6, 1938: Weimar


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 8, 1938: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 12, 1939:


        The Speech

      SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1939: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 24, 1939: Munich; To the Old Guard


        The Speech



    PHASE V: The Road to War; March 15, 1939 — October 6, 1939


      SPEECH OF MARCH 23, 1939; Memel, Town Theater


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF APRIL 1, 1939; Wilhelmshaven


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF APRIL 28, 1939: Berlin, Reichstag

        The Speech










      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1939: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 19, 1939: Danzig


        The Speech


     PHASE VI: The "Phony" War; October 6, 1939 — April 9, 1940


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 6, 1939: Reichstag


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF OCTOBER 10, 1939: Sportpalast


        The Speech


        The Speech OF NOVEMBER 8, 1939: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1940: Sportpalast, Berlin


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 24, 1940: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 10, 1940:


        The Speech


    PHASE VII: Blitzkrieg in the West; April, 1940 — October, 1940



      SPEECH OF JULY 1% 1940: Reichstag


        The Speech




        The Speech


    PHASE VIII: War on the British Empire; October, 1940 — June, 1941


      SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 8, 1940: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF DECEMBER 10, 1940: Rheinmetall-Borsig Works


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1941: Sportpalast


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 24, 1941: Munich


        The Speech


      SPEECH OF MARCH 16, 1941: Zeughaus


        The Speech




        Order of the Day


      SPEECH OF MAY 4, 1941: Reichstag


        The Speech


    PHASE IX: Blitzkrieg in the East; June 22, 1941





    [Back Matter]
































[Front Matter]

[Title Page]


Edited with Commentary
by Raoul de Roussy de Sales

With an Introduction
by Raymond Gram Swing

Reynal & Hitchcock
New York



All rights reserved, including the right to
reproduce this book, or portions
thereof, in any form



Introduction by Raymond Gram Swing

Editor's Foreword

PHASE I: The Rise to Power—1918-33

PHASE II: Arming Germany—1933-35

PHASE III: Scrapping the Treaties—March, 1936- March, 1938

(a Occupation of the Rhineland

(b The Spanish War

PHASE IV: Bloodless Conquests—March, 1938- March, 1939 ... 451

(a Annexation of Austria

(b Munich

(c Dismemberment of Czechoslovakia

PHASE V: The Road to War—March, 1939-October, 1939 . 603

(a The Danzig Crisis

(b The Partition of Poland

(c Offers of Peace

PHASE VI: The "Phony" War—October, 1939-April, 1940

PHASE VII: Blitzkrieg in the West—April, 1940October, 1940 793

(a Invasion of Scandinavia

(b Invasion of the Lowlands

(c The Fall of France

PHASE VIII: War on the British Empire—October, 1940-June, 1941 857

(a The Siege of England

(b The Invasion of the Balkans

(c The Battle of the Life-lines

PHASE IX: Blitzkrieg in the East—June, 1941

(a The Invasion of Russia

Special Index to Policies and Ideas

General Index


The editor has used italics throughout the text of the speeches in this book to emphasize some of the most significant statements of Hitler. The Fuehrer's own words appear in quotation marks.


by Raymond Gram Swing

My New Order, a collection of Hitler’s speeches set in a running commentary, is a sequel to Mein Kampf. Though Mein Kampf rates as a written work, indeed as Hitler’s only written work, it is not prose but rhetoric, and his speeches follow upon it logically as of the same fabric. The understanding of Hitler, his origin, development and techniques, entails an analysis of his oratory. The analysis is not easy. Hitler has been one of the most prolific orators of his time. He is a special kind of orator, not of the classic school, but of a unique and modern category. It is oratory for the masses, and the masses were never accessible until twentieth-century inventions made it possible for one man to be heard by millions. It is soapbox oratory heard in all corners of the nation, and at times in all corners of the world. Soapbox oratory is based on what an intellectual scorns as an emotional appeal to the baser passions. In the listener it stirs hatred and feeds self-vindication, and whether on paper it bears inspection for consistency, logic or soundness is immaterial. Yet Hitler’s oratory contains all there is of Hitler’s mind. It may even be questioned whether in his private moments he thinks un- oratorically, or can for long discourse with those about him without stepping onto a soapbox. So the analysis of Hitler’s oratory is the one revelation of Hitler’s thought. Since his thought has engendered, first a party, then a regime, and now a power which spreads over Europe and may reach out to dominate the world, the analyst must approach his oratory with the keenest excitement of search.

He finds present even in the early speeches of the party leader fighting for local power the elements of the doctrines which by now have shaken the foundations of the world. He finds, too, that the doctrines, recently more clearly developed, are still delivered with the vulgarity and turgid emotionalism of the young party leader. He comes to recognize, not the political plans, but the themes, like musical themes, that run through Hitler’s output of words. Hitler is not only a philosophical Wagnerian, he composes his oratory with recourse to Wagnerian leitmotivs, which recur insistently, not as statements of political wisdom underlying his plans for government, but as detached concepts to be called upon for repeated reference and modulation. They may contradict other concepts, but that is only an ultimate contradiction, since the themes are not played at the same moment. They are brought forward, then omitted. But as in music, one discovers that they all are woven together into the final structure of the composition.

Since Hitler has been an indefatigable orator, the compilation of a sequel to Mein Kampf involves severe editing of a prodigious output. Millions of words have had to be eliminated, so as to retain only such speeches, or parts of speeches, as make a readable and instructive book. Elimination on such a wholesale scale cannot be a scientific task, for the true Hitler is expressed not only by the clear concepts to be identified, but by the very contrast between these concepts and the verbal profusion in which they were set. So this volume is not quite right proportionally, though it is an approximation whose inaccuracy is all in Hitler’s favor, in that it helps a reader to grasp more firmly the nature of Hitler’s thought than if he had to find his way through Hitler’s tempestuous reiterations and perplexing inconsistencies without the editor’s aid.

The editor of this volume has made his choices and presented his material so that an American reader can follow the course of Adolf Hitler from his status as No. 7 of the German Workers’ Party to his mastery of Europe and his bid for the domination of the world. His comments will depict Hitler’s evolution. He will not attempt to answer the question whether Hitler knowingly and from the outset willed to become the supreme leader of Germany and ultimately the ruler of the world, or whether he is a Man of Destiny. The evolution is there, and the facts which reveal it are pointed out. The editor reveals the Hitlerian methods, which are fairly constant, though his immediate objectives changed with a dazzling confusion.

Only a first-rate political journalist is competent for such an editing task. The political journalist is imbued with a sense of history-in-the-making not to be expected of the historian. Indeed the true historian gathers his authority from the backward, not the contemporary look. Perspective and data are his handmaidens. The political journalist must labor without either. He must perceive in the present both the past and the future.

The craftsman of this sequel to Mein Kampf is one of the few first-rate political journalists in this country. He is a Frenchman, but he is unique in that the greater part of his journalistic career has been lived in this country as a foreign correspondent. And the foreign correspondent is probably the most objectively trained of all those who write about politics. He sees partisanships as parts, and his real study is the whole.

Raoul de Roussy de Sales was New York correspondent for the Paris-Soir, and political correspondent for the Havas agency in the pre-Vichy days. Unlike most correspondents, he entered his profession at the top, and cannot be reckoned a product of the Paris journalistic school. He is a journalist who has matured in the United States, so that his powers are an unusual combination of French civilization and American political observation and experience. His French roots are deep, as he is a descendant of two old French aristocratic families, the de Sales and the de Roussys. In his veins flows the blood of St. Francis de Sales, who was made the patron saint of journalists by the late Pope. Though he had an American and Spanish grandmother, and an education both in France and in England, he is as representative of French culture and refinement as any man of his race I have known. But beyond that, he is a citizen of the world, a political thinker of profundity and detachment, and a superb crafts- man. His writings both in France and this country have been recognized and honored. He won the Strassburger Prize for the best Franco-American journalism, and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor, and among his colleagues in New York he served two years as president of the Association of Foreign Correspondents. These biographical tidbits are not mentioned to add to his stature, which is measured in his professional work, as for example his writings in the Atlantic Monthly about this country and France. I know of no American who could write with more valid judgment about this country, and none who could write as authentically about France, and certainly no one equipped to write about both countries with so much sensitivity and wisdom. Only a mind of this clarity is capable of bearing the responsibility of editing the sequel to Mein Kampf. That M. de Sales helped in the preparation of the American edition of Mein Kampf adds to the logic of his selection to prepare this volume.

Raymond Gram Swing


ADOLF HITLER is one of the most prolific orators of all time. Approximately 400 to 500 of his speeches have been published in various forms but the total to date is well over 1500. During the period 1933-36, when he was already much absorbed by the duties of Chancellor of the Reich, he nevertheless found time to deliver about 600 speeches. But besides speaking frequently, Hitler also speaks abundantly. Most of his speeches are very long. From one and a half to two hours is normal length. There are several speeches of three and even four hours’ duration.

From this mass of verbiage this volume seeks to eliminate the non-essential and to present what is significant and important to an understanding of Hitler’s strategy. Many speeches have been eliminated and most have been cut. Admirers or critics of Hitler may deplore certain omissions. The reason for the editorial policy is that the only way to make the speeches of Hitler at all accessible to the public is to sacrifice a very large portion of them.

Care has been taken, however, to preserve such speeches and such fragments as will enable the reader to have a complete picture of Hitler’s doctrine and to follow his rise to power and the expansion of his domination over Europe. In view of the fact that Hitler is extremely repetitious, only the most striking and clearest version of each of his ideas has been selected. This does not mean that all repetitions have been eliminated. To use constantly and untiringly the same arguments, and to pound into the heads of his listeners the same formulas, is part of Hitler’s oratorical technique. But whatever repetitions are found in this volume, the reader should bear in mind that they are but an infinitesimal sample of Hitler’s prodigious capacity for reiteration.

In order to facilitate the reading of the speeches, they have been presented in chronological order and divided into chapters or phases which correspond to the historical development of the last twenty years.

This procedure has not been chosen arbitrarily, but is justified, I believe, by the fact that Hitler being at once a propagandist, a leader of men and a conqueror, it was important to show how he used the platform and the microphone firstly to gain power in Germany and secondly to extend his domination over Europe.

Hitler’s speeches are weapons, as much a part of his strategy of conquest as more direct instruments of warfare. Hitler is past master at throwing up verbal smoke screens to conceal his intended moves. He knows equally well the effectiveness of massive oratorical assaults that shake the nerves of his victims or opponents and break down their resistance. He knows how to give pledges, that will be broken later, but will serve temporarily to divide and confuse and to create the illusion of security. He uses insults and lies in the same manner as his generals use Stuka planes and tanks, to break through the respectable but often weak front of his adversaries. He contradicts himself constantly, but his contradictions often produce the effect of a psychological pincer-movement which crushes the best defenses of logic and ordinary morality.

Each chapter is preceded by an explanatory comment intended to bring out the salient aspect of each particular phase, and, furthermore, a running chronology of world events places each speech against its proper background.

Most speeches are followed by comments from the world press to give an idea of the reaction of public opinion at the time. In the early phases, quotations from the liberal German newspapers have been selected, in order to show the frequent similarity between the attitude of the German opposition to Hitler while he rose to power and that of the outside world later on.

To establish the English text of the speeches, several sources have been utilized, among them the London Times, the New York Times, the Associated Press or the official German version. We acknowledge particularly the courtesy of The New York Times and the Associated Press in permitting the use of their dispatches. But special mention should be made of the important translation prepared by the Royal Institute of International Affairs of London, under the editorship of Professor Norman Baynes, which gives substantial excerpts of Hitler’s speeches from 1922 to September, 1939. Thanks to the Institute and to the Oxford University Press of London and New York, which is later publishing this translation in America in two volumes, it has been possible to utilize this valuable documentation for this volume.

In many cases, however, special translations have had to be made, either because no English text could be found or because those available did not appear satisfactory.

It should be noted that no translation into English can give a true impression of the original German. Hitler’s style reflects the incompleteness of his early education. His grammar is incorrect; his sentences often confused to the point of obscurity. His crudity frequently borders on downright vulgarity. Any translation, however clumsy, is more readable than the original.

I wish to thank the many persons who have helped me in this work, but more particularly the nine research workers— most of them journalists—who have collected the material for this book. My deepest gratitude goes to my friend and former collaborator on Paris-Soir, Curt Riess, without whose help, advice, and untiring zeal this work could not have been completed.

It is the purpose of the publishers of this book to keep future editions up to date by adding to them further speeches and comments in order to follow Hitler’s progress in the establishment of his New Order, or to register his failure.


PHASE I: The Rise to Power; 1918 — January 30, 1933


THE speeches of Adolf Hitler are the most complete expression of his personality. More than any other ruler, it is through the spoken word that he can best be judged. He is essentially a speechmaker, and although today it is his deeds and his conquests that most impress the world it should not be forgotten that he started as a soap-box orator and spoke his way to power.

His career as an orator began at the end of the World War when his commander sent him around to the various camps to keep up the morale of the soldiers. But his real career as a professional speaker started when he joined the German Workers’ party which was later to become the National Socialist party.

The Party, then little more than a Verein, had no program as yet. The members knew only that they were against the Republic and against the Jews, two ideas which they held in common with about twenty other little parties.

On the advice of his friend, Dietrich Eckart, a former Berlin newspaper editor who had sensed Hitler’s oratorical talent, he asked for the post of Chief of Propaganda in the new Party. The first public meeting of the Party with Hitler as the main speaker took place in Munich on February 24, 1920, before an audience of 107 people. Curiously enough, Hitler nearly lost his chance to speak at this meeting because the other Party members considered him too nervous and excitable and distrusted his bourgeois leanings. He was finally allowed to speak for twenty minutes. The audience applauded. No doubt he was effective, but on the following day no Munich newspaper even mentioned his name.

From then on the building of the Party was achieved entirely through meetings at which Hitler spoke.

The increasing size of his audiences measures his growing influence: On February 3, 1921, speaking for the first time at the Zirkus Krone, the largest hall in Munich, he had an audience of 5,600. On November 4, 1921, at a meeting in a Munich Brauhaus, there occurred the first brawls between Hitler’s Storm Troopers, then called “Order Troops,” and the opposition speakers. On November 30, 1922, five mass meetings were held in Munich with 14,000 participants. On December 13, 1922, ten mass meetings were held in the same town with an audience of 20,000.

The movement was now well under way; Hitler was established as a leader who could influence the masses. He was no longer the Chief of Propaganda but the Fuehrer of the Party.

No one knew better than Hitler himself that his real power was his voice. To increase his effectiveness he took elocution lessons from a Munich actor called Basil. To arouse his public he resorted to means which were in strange contrast to the hard and even Spartan spirit of the Party. He did not hesitate to weep before his audience and implore it in a choked voice to follow his leadership.

In these early days Hitler was not taken very seriously by the inner circles of the Party. They spoke of him as “our puppet” and found him singularly incompetent in matters of serious organization. He not only refused to work regularly in the Party office but whenever he appeared there he made scenes, ranted at everybody, and threw himself into fits of rage or hysterics.

But Hitler’s apparent lack of self-control and his outbursts of violence were to be among the strong points of his technique. His first premature attempt to seize power, the Putsch of November 9, 1923, was not the result of prolonged consideration and conferences but was born almost spontaneously during a meeting in the Bráuhaus. While the meeting was already in full swing, Hitler was still undecided as to whether he dared make the attempt, and even his most intimate friends were bewildered when he suddenly took the floor and announced the Putsch as a fait accompli. Thus his first bid for power was an orator’s effort to extend his influence beyond the walls of the hall.

A born orator seldom misses an opportunity to make himself heard and Hitler even utilized the chances which defeat offered. During his trials he made two speeches in which he appealed beyond the Court to the whole of Germany and to the world. Perhaps the real reason he wrote Mein Kampf was because he was a prisoner in Landsberg. : ;

After his release he found the Party in a state of collapse, but this does not seem to have disturbed him half as much as the fact that he was forbidden to speak anywhere in Germany. He spared no effort to get the ban lifted. His future and that of Germany depended on it.

Hitler’s speeches are no models of oratory. His German is sloppy and often full of grammatical errors. The sentences are long, full of clichés and bourgeois smugness. His voice is not pleasant and he often shouts himself hoarse. The substance of his speeches is usually confused and repetitious. Especially in his early years, his method consisted in repeating and rehashing indefinitely the same theories, in hurling the same accusations at his opponents, and in drowning his audience under an avalanche of words. In no other country but Germany, where orators are rare, could Hitlerian eloquence be tolerated by an average audience, with an average taste and an average endurance.

But Hitler’s appeal to the masses was undeniable, and, from the earliest days, he showed that he had the gift and the power to stir the German people and to restore their selfconfidence. His energy, his daring, his fanatical faith in his own mission were inspiring. To a country humiliated by defeat, impoverished by postwar inflation, and profoundly demoralized by the sense of its own weakness and impotence, Hitler spoke of hope for the future, of conquest, wealth, and power. He told the Germans that they had not lost the war, but had been betrayed, and that, provided they had faith in themselves and in him, all the glorious dreams of the past would come true—that they would be strong and proud again, and masters of the world.

To defy the Treaty of Versailles, the Weimar Republic, the “November criminals,” and all the established powers— if only in words—was sweet music to the ears of Hitler’s listeners. No one had spoken such words to them in years, nor held such promises of revenge. No one had told them that they were still a great people, that the sword was nobler than the plow, that they were innocent of all guilt, and that they were right—right in the eyes of God, right in the eyes of history, always and absolutely right, merely because they were Germans. Hitler told his listeners that they belonged to a superior race, but also that they were victims. He told them that what was wrong with the war was not the war itself, but that they had lost it. He told them that the whole world was arrayed against them and wanted the destruction of Germany. He showed them that the Weimar Republic was allied with their enemies because it was a democracy, and therefore international and Jewish. He told them that they had a mission: to regenerate Germany, and to achieve this end, they must be brutal, intolerant and ruthless. He preached violence and hatred to people whom anxiety and despair had made meek and spiritless. Small wonder that Hitler, the ex-soldier, who owned nothing, as he said himself, but a zinc plate with his name on it, should be hailed as a savior when he exclaimed: “Our task is to give to the dictator when he comes a people that is ripe for him. German people, awake! It draws near today!”

The program of the Party, as expressed in Hitler’s speeches, was never very coherent or very stable. It changed with circumstances and contained ideas and promises which were mutually exclusive. He promised everything to everybody and offered to fulfill all wishes and hopes. He told the peasants that they would get land, and he promised the Junkers that they would lose no property. He made pledges to the workers that they would get higher wages, and to the employers he promised that labor costs would be reduced.

But these irrelevancies were of no importance, either to Hitler or to his followers. His technique has always been to overlook contradictions and to answer criticism by violent counter attacks. In fact lies and slander were hurled at the Republic in such a way as to give the impression that Hitler was acting in self-defense and that his patience was constantly being tried beyond human endurance. These tactics were to become part of the Hitlerian system of strategy and he made ample use of them when, having assured his power in Germany, he defied Europe. They were to be used before he annexed Austria and before he conquered Czechoslovakia and Poland.

More important, in these early days, is the development of what might be termed the technique of the leitmotiv:

Hitler does not seem to have had much interest in practical politics. His object was not to propose concrete reforms but to implant in the consciousness of his followers a certain number of ideas which—through endless repetition and emphasis—would assume the character of obsessions.

The name of Wagner has often been mentioned in connection with Hitler, not only on account of his passionate admiration for that musician, but because the world has sensed that there was a deep affinity between the conceptions of the two men. Without going into the philosophical aspect of this affinity, it can be said, however, that Hitler’s method of presenting his ideas and of conveying impressions can indeed be compared to Wagner’s use of musical themes, which through their recurrence and development serve to identify certain characters and certain concepts.

The main difference between Wagner and Hitler, in this respect, is that whereas the former is an artist, the latter has no sense of proportion or construction. When Hitler develops an idea—one of his three or four basic leitmotivs—there actually seems to be no limit to his resourcefulness and imagination. To make a point, he is bound neither by logic, nor plausibility, nor historic accuracy. His method is to assert as gospel truth both truths and lies and never to concede that he might possibly be in the wrong or even that a doubt could exist.

Hitler uses words as weapons, and his ideas or leitmotivs, although fairly consistent, are modified according to the circumstances and the immediate effect which he wishes to obtain. But the technique is always the same: whatever resistance opposes him must finally be broken down by the sheer accumulation of words.

In his early days, Hitler made use of two fundamental themes: anti-Semitism and the denunciation of the Versailles Treaty.

To make the Jew a scapegoat has always been an easy trick for a certain type of demagogue. The relative defenselessness of the Jewish minorities in each country has made them a convenient and safe target all through history. But in the case of Hitler, the Jew has been elevated, so to speak, to a degree of evilness which he had never attained before. In Hitler’s conception of the world, the Jew becomes positively demonic and everything to which the qualification “Jewish” can be attached is automatically foul, destructive, and beyond redemption. The Jew has become the symbol of all impurity, and, by extension, all forms of impurity are more or less caused by the influence of the Jews.

By arousing latent anti-Semitic prejudices in his followers and by denouncing as Jewish everything which opposed him, Hitler succeeded in giving to his doctrine a queer mystical unity. He created a new notion of Sin and Evil, a new rallying point for a modern crusade the aim of which is to destroy everything which he denounced as Jewish.

Thanks to Hitler’s imagination, he demonstrated to his followers that such words as internationalism, socialism, democracy, capitalism, art, intellectuals, etc., could be made into symbols of evil by the simple process of affixing to them the epithet “Jewish.” Communism and Bolshevism were of course the most obvious manifestations of “Jewish” corruption and he made no distinction between Marxism as a political and economic theory and its applications in Russia or elsewhere. To rid Germany of Bolshevism was indeed the first aim which Hitler proposed to his followers. He was later to amplify it and to propose a universal crusade against it to save civilization and Christianity.

As an antithesis to the evilness of the Jews, Hitler opposed the purity, sanctity, and transcendental virtue of the Aryan or Nordic race. To establish the primacy of this “race,” Hitler appealed to legends, superstitions, and vague beliefs which lay dormant in the soul of his German followers. Such mystic and barbaric ideas as the doctrine of “Blood and Soil,” based on ancient cults, were revived and somewhat modernized and bolstered up with dubious “scientific” references. German science, pan-Germanic teaching, and barbaric atavism were blended into one great revelation—the Hitlerian myth.

Hitler’s ideas concerning foreign policy were neither clear nor co-ordinated in these early days. They were in fact determined by considerations of internal politics. He repeated many times that there can be no such thing as a foreign policy for a nation as long as that nation has not proved its internal strength and unity of purpose. His first task was therefore to create that unity. Before Germany could have a foreign policy, there must first of all be a Germany, Hitler’s Germany.

Nevertheless, as Mein Kampf shows, and as confirmed by his speeches, there were a few definite points firmly fixed in Hitler’s mind.

The first was that the Versailles Treaty was not only unfair but criminal. Its purpose, according to Hitler, was not to make peace but to destroy Germany or to keep her enslaved forever. Moreover, it was not the result of a defeat of the German armies. The German armies, asserted Hitler, had never been defeated; they had been betrayed, stabbed in the back by Bolshevism, Jews, and the “November criminals” (the Weimar Republic). The duty of the German people was therefore clear: they had to repair this monstrous injustice, and to do this nothing should stand in their way. Treaties, signatures, pledges, international contracts were nothing more than instruments of the oppression that Germany had the right to disregard and violate.

A second point in Hitler’s program was the reunion of all Germans into one community. This he justified on the principle of the right of self-determination—a principle established by Woodrow Wilson, but which, in the case of Germany, had been shamelessly violated.

The third idea was that Germany should seek no alliance, except perhaps with Italy and England. England, in Hitler’s estimation, could be considered as a member of the Nordic race. As for Italy, her alliance should be sought, first of all because Mussolini had originated Fascism, and secondly because it would help to destroy France, the eternal and archenemy.

It is not possible to determine how much of Hitler’s program seemed to him susceptible of practical achievement, in these early days, and how much was merely intended to stimulate the ardor of his followers. It should be noted, however, that he has but slightly varied from his fundamental objectives, and that the strategy which he employed to seize power in Germany was to be used again, with very little variation, when he undertook to become master of Europe.

There is little doubt that Hitler could have been stopped inside Germany if his opponents had been sufficiently aware of his growing power and of the necessity for uniting against him. But their whole attitude was a préfiguration of the divisions and weaknesses which were to seal the doom of so many European nations at a later date.

In fact, the opposition to Hitler in Germany went through a series of phases which correspond roughly to the same phases, projected in the field of foreign conquest and expansion.

At first the opposition tried to ignore Hitler. Up to the Putsch of 1923, his name hardly appeared in the Berlin press. He was then considered as a purely local, Munich phenomenon.

In the second phase, when he could no longer be ignored, there was a concerted refusal to take him seriously. The democratic newspapers ridiculed his program and were content to prove his lack of logic and his inconsistencies.

The third period was that of appeasement. It follows the fall of Chancellor Bruening, when von Papen had taken over the government. Von Papen wanted to govern without Hitler, but needed the votes of the Nazis in the Reichstag. He succeeded in obtaining them for a while but soon learned, as other appeasers were to learn later, that one can keep Hitler appeased only as long as Hitler himself wants to be appeased.

Then followed an internal “war of nerves,” a phase during which opposition parties tried to create a defensive block against the Nazis. General Schleicher attempted to form a coalition against the Nazis embracing the conservatives, the Reichswehr, the labor unions and the Strasser wing.

By then it was too late to stop Hitler. And a fifth phase began: the opposition tried to make treaties with Hitler. Those who had helped Hitler to power, wealthy industrialists like Thyssen, members of the Reichswehr, Junkers, and conservatives, convinced President Hindenburg to make a deal with Hitler. He was offered the post of Chancellor and it was argued that he would be useful in crushing the Communists and liberating Germany from the Versailles Diktat. The Nazis were to have only two other posts in the Cabinet. Moreover Hitler had given his promise to Hindenburg that he would collaborate’ loyally with his conservative colleagues.

Five months later the leader of the Conservative party, Hugenberg, and all his colleagues were out of the government and their party was effectively dissolved. Seven years later Thyssen fled the country as an exile.

The death of President Hindenburg lifted the last restraint on Hitler’s absolute power over Germany. It had been a long road from the day he first addressed 107 people in a small room in Munich to the supreme position of President and Chancellor of the Reich. Hitler had said: “The domestic battle must come before the battle with the world without. . .

This first battle he had won by the sheer power of his voice. To win the next he needed more than words. Germany had to be armed.

SPEECH OF APRIL 12, 1922 Munich



March 7—Meeting of 26 “independently organized” factory workers to form a “Labor Committee for a Good Peace”—the predecessor of the National Socialist party.

October—First public meeting of the group.


January 5—Formation of German Workers party.

July 10—Treaty of Versailles ratified by the German National Assembly (by British Parliament, July 25).

September 19—Hitler becomes the seventh member of the German Workers party in Munich.


January 10—The League of Nations automatically comes into being under the terms of the Versailles Treaty.

February 25—The program of the National Socialist German Workers party is proclaimed in a mass meeting in Munich.

November 2—Bavaria is requested by the Interallied Control Commission at Munich to disband its militia.


January 16—Aristide Briand forms a liberal cabinet in France.

February 20—The first local branches of the National Socialist party are established.

March 20—In Upper Silesia, a plebiscite is held.

April 29—Italian Fascists seize Fiume.

July 23—The Bavarian national guards deliver to the Allies more than half of their 250,000 rifles.

July 26—General strike in Rome. Conflict between Communists and Fascists.

July 29—Hitler is elected to the leadership of the National Socialist German Workers’ party.

August 26—Mathias Erzberger, former Vice Chancellor and during the war head of the Kaiser’s foreign propaganda, is assassinated by extreme nationalists.

September 30—The Reichstag ratifies the American Peace Treaty.

October 22—Karl of the House of Habsburg tries to regain the Hungarian throne by flying from Switzerland with his wife Zita, but fails.

December 6—Proclamation of the “Irish Free State.”


January 72—French Premier Briand resigns, and is succeeded by Raymond Poincare.

January 29—First public meeting of the National Socialist party in Munich.

March 28—Reich Chancellor Wirth denounces the Reparations Commission to the Reichstag, saying it is impossible to meet the demand of a tax levy of 60,000,000 marks before May 31.

March—In the Bavarian Assembly, Minister of State Schweyer says, . The expulsion of Hitler is being considered.”

April 3—General staffs of Germany and Russia sign a military agreement at Berlin.

The Speech

AFTER the War production had begun again and it was thought that better times were coming. Frederick the Great after the Seven Years War had, as the result of superhuman efforts, left Prussia without a penny of debt: at the end of the World War Germany was burdened with her own debt of some 7 or 8 milliards of marks and beyond that was faced with the debts of “the rest of the world”—“the so-called reparations.” The product of Germany’s work thus belonged, not to the nation, but to her foreign creditors: “it was carried endlessly in trains for territorities beyond our frontiers.” Every worker had to support another worker, the product of whose labor was commandeered by the foreigner. “The German people after twenty-five or thirty years, in consequence of the fact that it will never be able to pay all that is demanded of it, will have so gigantic a sum still owing that practically it will be forced to produce more than it does today.” What will the end be? and the answer to that question is “Pledging of our land, enslavement of our labor-strength. Therefore, in the economic sphere, November 1918 was in truth no achievement, but it was the beginning of our collapse.” And in the political sphere we lost first our military prerogatives, and with that loss went the real sovereignty of our State, and then our financial independence, for there remained always the Reparations Commission so that “practically we have no longer a politically independent German Reich, we are already a colony of the outside world. We have contributed to this because so far as possible we humiliated ourselves morally, we positively destroyed our own honor and helped to befoul, to besmirch, and to deny everything which we previously held as sacred.” If it be objected that the Revolution has won for us gains in social life: “they must be extraordinarily secret, these social gains—so secret that one never sees them in practical life—they must just run like a fluid through our German atmosphere. Some one may say ‘Well, there is the eight-hour day!’ And was a collapse necessary to gain that? And will the eight-hour day be rendered any more secure through our becoming practically the bailiff and the drudge of the other peoples?” One of these days France will say: “You cannot meet your obligations, you must work more.” So this achievement of the Revolution is put in question first of all by the Revolution.

“Then some one has said: ‘Since the Revolution the people has gained “Rights.” The people governs!’ Strange! The people has now been ruling three years and no one has in practice once asked its opinion. Treaties were signed which will hold us down for centuries: and who has signed the treaties? The people? No! Governments which one fine day presented themselves as Governments. And at their election the people had nothing to do save to consider the question: there they are already, whether I elect them or not. If we elect them, then they are there through our election. But since we are a self-governing people, we must elect the folk in order that they may be elected to govern us.

“Then it was said, ‘Freedom has come to us through the Revolution.’ Another of those things that one cannot see very easily! It is of course true that one can walk down the street, the individual can go into his workshop and he can go out again: here and there he can go to a meeting. In a word, the individual has liberties. But in general, if he is wise, he will keep his mouth shut. For if in former times extraordinary care was taken that no one should let slip anything which could be treated as lese-majeste, now a man must take much greater care that he doesn’t say anything which might represent an insult to the majesty of a member of Parliament.”

And if we ask who was responsible for our misfortune, then we must inquire who profited by our collapse. And the answer to that question is that “Banks and Stock Exchanges are more flourishing than ever before.” We were told that capitalism would be destroyed, and when we ventured to remind one or other of these “famous statesmen” and said “Don’t forget that Jews too have capital,” then the answer was: “What are you worrying about? Capitalism as a whole will now be destroyed, the whole people will now be free. We are not fighting Jewish or Christian capitalism, we are fighting every capitalism: we are making the people completely free.”

“Christian capitalism” is already as good as destroyed, the international Jewish Stock Exchange capital gains in proportion as the other loses ground. It is only the international Stock Exchange and loan-capital, the so-called “supra-state capital,” which has profited from the collapse of our economic life, “the capital which receives its character from the single supra-state nation which is itself national to the core, which fancies itself to be above all other nations, which places itself above other nations and which already rules over them.

“The international Stock Exchange capital would be unthinkable, it would never have come, without its founders the supra-national, because intensely national, Jews. ...”

“The Jew has not grown poorer: he gradually gets bloated, and, if you don’t believe me, I would ask you to go to one of our health-resorts; there you will find two sorts of visitors: the German who goes there, perhaps for the first time for a long while, to breathe a little fresh air and to recover his health, and the Jew who goes there to lose his fat. And if you go out to our mountains, whom do you find there in fine brand-new yellow boots with splendid rucksacks in which there is generally nothing that would really be of any use? And why are they there? They go up to the hotel, usually no further than the train can take them: where the train stops, they stop too. And then they sit about somewhere within a mile from the hotel, like blow-flies round a corpse.

“These are not, you may be sure, our working classes: neither those working with the mind, nor with the body. With their worn clothes they leave the hotel on one side and go on climbing: they would not feel comfortable coming into this perfumed atmosphere in suits which date from 1913 or 1914. No, assuredly the Jew has suffered no privations! . . .”

“While now in Soviet Russia the millions are ruined and are dying, Chicherin—and with him a staff of over 200 Soviet Jews—travels by express train through Europe, visits the cabarets, watches naked dancers perform for his pleasure, lives in the finest hotels, and does himself better than the millions whom once you thought you must fight as ‘bourgeois.’ The 400 Soviet Commissars of Jewish nationality—they do not suffer; the thousands upon thousands of sub-Commissars —they do not suffer. No! all the treasures which the ‘proletarian’ in his madness took from the ‘bourgeoise’ in order to fight so-called capitalism—they have all gone into their hands. Once the worker appropriated the purse of the landed proprietor who gave him work, he took the rings, the diamonds and rejoiced that he had now got the treasures which before only the ‘bourgeoisie’ possessed. But in his hands they are dead things—they are veritable death-gold. They are no profit to him. He is banished into his wilderness and one cannot feed oneself on diamonds. For a morsel of bread he gives millions in objects of value. But the bread is in the hands of the State Central Organization and this is in the hands of the Jews: so everything, everything that the common man thought that he was winning for himself, flows back again to his seducers.

“And now, my dear fellow-countrymen, do you believe that these men, who with us are going the same way, will end the Revolution? They do not wish the end of the Revolution, for they do not need it. For them the Revolution is milk and honey.

“And further they cannot end the Revolution. For if one or another amongst the leaders were really not seducer but seduced, and today, driven by the inner voice of horror at his crime, were to step before the masses and make his declaration: ‘We have all deceived ourselves: we believed that we could lead you out of misery, but we have in fact led you into a misery which your children and your children’s children must still bear’—he cannot say that, he dare not say that, he would on the public square or in the public meeting be tom in pieces.”

But amongst the masses there begins to flow a new stream— a stream of opposition. “It is the recognition of the facts which is already in pursuit of this system, it already is hunting the system down; it will one day scourge the masses into action and carry the masses along with it. And these leaders, they see that behind them the anti-Semitic wave grows and grows; and when the masses once recognize the facts, that is the end of these leaders.”

And thus the Left is forced more and more to turn to Bolshevism. “In Bolshevism they see today the sole, the last possibility of preserving the present state of affairs. They realize quite accurately that the people is beaten so long as Brain and Hand can be kept apart. For alone neither Brain nor Hand can really oppose them. So long therefore as the Socialist idea is coined only by men who see m it a means for disintegrating a nation, so long can they rest in peace.”

“But it will be a sorry day for them when this Socialist idea is grasped by a Movement which unites it with the highest Nationalist pride, with Nationalist defiance, and thus places the Nation’s Brain, its intellectual workers, on this ground. Then this system will break up, and there would remain only one single means of salvation for its supporters: viz. to bring the catastrophe upon us before their own ruin, to destroy the Nation’s Brain, to bring it to the scaffold—to introduce Bolshevism.”

“So the Left neither can nor will help. On the contrary, their first lie compels them constantly to resort to new lies. There remains then the Right. And this party of the Right meant well, but it cannot do what it would because up to the present time it has failed to recognize a whole series of elementary principles.

“In the first place the Right still fails to recognize the danger. These gentlemen still persist in believing that it is a question of being elected to a Landtag or of posts as ministers or secretaries. They think that the decision of a people’s destiny would mean at worst nothing more than some damage to their so-called bourgeois-economic existence. They have never grasped the fact that this decision threatens their heads. They have never yet understood that it is not necessary to be an enemy of the Jew for him to drag you one day on the Russian model to the scaffold. They do not see that it is quite enough to have a head on your shoulders and not to be a Jew: that will secure the scaffold for you.

“In consequence their whole action today is so petty, so limited, so hesitating and pusillanimous. They would like to —but they can never decide on any great deed, because they fail to realize the greatness of the whole period.

“And then there is another fundamental error: they have never got it clear in their own minds that there is a difference or how great a difference there is between the conception ‘National’ and the word ‘dynastic’ or ‘monarchistic.’ They do not understand that today it is more than ever necessary in our thoughts as Nationalists to avoid anything which might perhaps cause the individual to think that the National Idea was identical with petty everyday political views. They ought day by day to din into the ears of the masses: ‘We want to bury all the petty differences and to bring out into the light the big things, the things we have in common which bind us to one another. That should weld and fuse together those who have still a German heart and a love for their people in the fight against the common hereditary foe of all Aryans. How afterward we divide up this State, friends—we have no wish to dispute over that! The form of a State results from the essential character of a people, results from necessities which are so elementary and powerful that in time every individual will realize them without any disputation when once all Germany is united and free.’

“And finally they all fail to understand that we must on principle free ourselves from any class standpoint. It is of course very easy to call out to those on the Left, ‘You must not be proletarians, leave your class-madness,’ while you yourselves continue to call yourself ‘bourgeois.’ They should learn that in a single State there is only one supreme citizen-right, one supreme citizen-honor, and that is the right and the honor of honest work. They should further learn that the social idea must be the essential foundation for any State, otherwise no State can permanently endure.

“Certainly a government needs power, it needs strength. It must, I might almost say, with brutal ruthlessness press through the ideas which it has recognized to be right, trusting to the actual authority of its strength in the State. But even with the most ruthless brutality it can ultimately prevail only if what it seeks to restore does truly correspond to the welfare of a whole people.

“That the so-called enlightened absolutism of a Frederick the Great was possible depended solely on the fact that, though this man could undoubtedly have decided ‘arbitrarily’ the destiny—for good or ill—of his so-called ‘subjects,’ he did not do so, but made his decisions influenced and supported by one thought alone, the welfare of his Prussian people. It was this fact only that led the people to tolerate willingly, nay joyfully, the dictatorship of the great king.

“And the Right has further completely forgotten that democracy is fundamentally not German: it is Jewish. It has completely forgotten that this Jewish democracy with its majority decisions has always been without exception only a means towards the destruction of any existing Aryan leadership. The Right does not understand that directly every small question of profit or loss is regularly put before so- called ‘public opinion,’ he who knows how most skilfully to make this ‘public opinion’ serve his own interests becomes forthwith master in the State. And that can be achieved by the man who can lie most artfully, most infamously; and in the last resort he is not the German, he is, in Schopenhauer’s words, ‘the great master in the art of lying’—the Jew.

“And finally it has been forgotten that the condition which must precede every act is the will and the courage to speak the truth—and that we do not see today either in the Right or in the Left.

“There are only two possibilities in Germany; do not imagine that the people will forever go with the middle party, the party of compromises; one day it will turn to those who have most consistently foretold the coming ruin and have sought to dissociate themselves from it. And that party is either the Left: and then God help us! for it will lead us to complete destruction—to Bolshevism, or else it is a party of the Right which at the last, when the people is in utter despair, when it has lost all its spirit and has no longer any faith in anything, is determined for its part ruthlessly to seize the reins of power—that is the beginning of resistance of which I spoke a few minutes ago. Here, too, there can be no compromise—there are only two possibilities: either victory of the Aryan or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew.

“It is from the recognition of this fact, from recognizing it, I would say, in utter, dead earnestness, that there resulted the formation of our Movement. There are two principles which, when we founded the Movement, we engraved upon our hearts: first, to base it on the most sober recognition of the facts and second, to proclaim these facts with the most ruthless sincerity.

, “And this recognition of the facts discloses at once a whole series of the most important fundamental principles which must guide this young Movement which, we hope, is destined one day for greatness:

“1. ‘National’ and ‘social’ are two identical conceptions. It was only the Jew who succeeded, through falsifying the social idea and turning it into Marxism, not only in divorcing the social idea from the national, but in actually representing them as utterly contradictory. That aim he has in fact achieved. At the founding of this Movement we formed the decision that we would give expression to this idea of ours of the identity of the two conceptions: despite all warnings, on the basis of what we had come to believe, on the basis of the sincerity of our will, we christened it ‘National Socialist.’ We said to ourselves that to be ‘national’ means above everything to act with a boundless and all-embracing love for the people and, if necessary, even to die for it. And similarly to be ‘social’ means so to build up the State and the community of the people that every individual acts in the interest of the community of the people and must be to such an extent convinced of the goodness, of the honorable straightforwardness of this community of the people as to be ready to die for it.

“2. And then we said to ourselves: there are no such things as classes: they cannot be. Class means caste and caste means race. If there are castes in India, well and good; there it is possible, for there there were formerly Aryans and dark aborigines. So it was in Egypt and in Rome. But with us in Germany where everyone who is a German at all has the same blood, has the same eyes, and speaks the same language, here there can be no class, here there can be only a single people and beyond that nothing else. Certainly we recognize, just as anyone must recognize, that there are different ‘occupations’ and ‘professions’ [Stände]—there is the Stand of the watchmakers, the Stand of the common laborers, the Stand of the painters or technicians, the Stand of the engineers, officials, etc. Stände there can be. But in the struggles which these Stände have amongst themselves for the equalization of their economic conditions, the conflict and the division must never be so great as to sunder the ties of race.

“And if you say ‘But there must after all be a difference between the honest creators and those who do nothing at all’—certainly there must! That is the difference which lies in the performance of the conscientious work of the individual. Work must be the great connecting link, but at the same time the great factor which separates one man from another. The drone is the foe of us all. But the creators—it matters not whether they are brain workers or workers with the hand— they are the nobility of our State, they are the German people!

“We understand under the term ‘work’ exclusively that activity which not only profits the individual but in no way harms the community, nay rather which contributes to form the community.

“3. And in the third place it was clear to us that this particular view is based on an impulse which springs from our race and from our blood. We said to ourselves that race differs from race and, further, that each race in accordance with its fundamental demands shows externally certain specific tendencies, and these tendencies can perhaps be most clearly traced in their relation to the conception of work. The Aryan regards work as the foundation for the maintenance of the community of the people amongst its members. The Jew regards work as the means to the exploitation of other peoples. The Jew never works as a productive creator without the great aim of becoming the master. He works unproductively, using and enjoying other people’s work. And thus we understand the iron sentence which Mommsen once uttered: ‘The Jew is the ferment of decomposition in peoples/ that means that the Jew destroys and must destroy because he completely lacks the conception of an activity which builds up the life of the community. And therefore it is beside the point whether the individual Jew is ‘decent’ or not. In himself he carries those characteristics which Nature has given him, and he cannot ever rid himself of those characteristics. And to us he is harmful. Whether he harms us consciously or unconsciously, that is not our affair. We have consciously to concern ourselves for the welfare of our own people.

“4. And fourthly we were further persuaded that economic prosperity is inseparable from political freedom and that therefore that house of lies, ‘Internationalism,’ must immediately collapse. We recognized that freedom can eternally be only a consequence of power and that the source of power is the will. Consequently the will to power must be strengthened in a people with passionate ardor. And thus we realized, fifthly that

“5. We as National Socialists and members of the German Workers party—a Party pledged to work—must be on principle the most fanatical Nationalists. We realized that the State can be for our people a paradise only if the people can hold sway therein freely as in a paradise: we realized that a slave state will never be a paradise, but only—always and for all time—a hell or a colony.

“6. And then sixthly we grasped the fact that power in the last resort is possible only where there is strength, and that strength lies not in the dead weight of numbers but solely in energy. Even the smallest minority can achieve a mighty result if it is inspired by the most fiery, the most passionate will to act. World history has always been made by minorities. And lastly

“7. If one has realized a truth, that truth is valueless so long as there is lacking the indomitable will to turn this realization into action!

“These were the foundations of our Movement—the truths on which it was based and which demonstrated its necessity.

“For three years we have sought to realize these fundamental ideas. And of course a fight is and remains a fight. Stroking in very truth will not carry one far. Today the German people has been beaten by a quite other world, while in its domestic life it has lost all spirit; no longer has it any faith. But how will you give this people once more firm ground beneath its feet save by the passionate insistence on one definite, great, clear goal?

“Thus we were the first to declare that this peace treaty was a crime. Then folk abused us as ‘agitators.’ We were the first to protest against the failure to present this treaty to the people before it was signed. Again we were called ‘agitators.’ We were the first to summon men to resistance against being reduced to a continuing state of defenselessness. Once more we were ‘agitators.’ At that time we called on the masses of the people not to surrender their arms, for the surrender of one’s arms would be nothing less than the beginning of enslavement. We were called, no, we were cried down as, ‘agitators.’ We were the first to say that this meant the loss of Upper Silesia. So it was, and still they called us ‘agitators.’ We declared at that time that compliance in the question of Upper Silesia must have as its consequence the awakening of a passionate greed which would demand the occupation of the Ruhr. We were cried down ceaselessly, again and again. And because we opposed the mad financial policy which today will lead to our collapse, what was it that we were called repeatedly once more? ‘Agitators.’ And today?

“And finally we were also the first to point the people on any large scale to a danger which insinuated itself into our midst—a danger which millions failed to realize and which will nonetheless lead us all into ruin—the Jewish danger. And today people are saying yet again that we were ‘agitators.’

“I would like here to appeal to a greater than I, Count Lerchenfeld. He said in the last session of the Landtag that his feeling ‘as a man and a Christian’ prevented him from being an anti-Semite. I say: my feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to the fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as sufferer but as fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and of adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago—a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people.

“Then indeed when Rome collapsed there were endless streams of new German bands flowing into the Empire from the North; but, if Germany collapses today, who is there to come after us? German blood upon this earth is on the way to gradual exhaustion unless we pull ourselves together and make ourselves free!

“And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress which daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see it work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week it has only for its wage wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people is plundered and exploited.

“And through the distress there is no doubt that the people has been aroused. Externally perhaps apathetic, but within there is ferment. And many may say, ‘It is an accursed crime to stir up passions in the people.’ And then I say to myself: Passion is already stirred through the rising tide of distress, and one day this passion will break out in one way or another: and now I would ask those who today call us ‘agitators’: ‘What then have you to give to the people as a faith to which it might cling?’

“Nothing at all, for you yourselves have no faith in your own prescriptions.

“That is the mightiest thing which our Movement must create: for these widespread, seeking and straying masses a new Faith which will not fail them in this hour of confusion, to which they can pledge themselves, on which they can build so that they may at least find once again a place which may bring calm to their hearts.”


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF JULY 28, 1922: Munich



June 24—Walther Rathenau is assassinated by a nationalist gang.

The Speech

. IT IS a battle which began nearly 120 years ago, at the moment when the Jew was granted citizen rights in the European States. The political emancipation of the Jews was the beginning of an attack of delirium. For thereby there were given full citizen rights and equality to a people which was much more clearly and definitely a race apart than all others, that has always formed and will form a State within the State. That did not happen perhaps at one blow, but it came about as things come about today and always do come about: first a little finger, then a second and a third, and so bit by bit until at last a people that in the eighteenth century still appeared completely alien had won equal citizen-rights with ourselves.

“And it was precisely the same in the economic sphere. The vast process of the industrialization of the peoples meant the confluence of great masses of workmen in the towns. Thus great hordes of people arose, and these, more’s the pity, were not properly dealt with by those whose moral duty it was to concern themselves for their welfare. Parallel with this was a gradual ‘moneyfication’ of the whole of the nation’s labor-strength. ‘Share-capital’ was in the ascendant, and thus bit by bit the Stock Exchange came to control the whole national economy. The directors of these institutions were, and are without exception, Jews. I say ‘without exception,’ for the few non-Jews who had a share in them are in the last resort nothing but screens, shop-window Christians, whom one needs in order, for the sake of the masses, to keep up the appearance that these institutions were after all founded as a natural outcome of the needs and the economic life of all peoples alike, and were not, as was the fact, institutions which correspond only with the essential characteristics of the Jewish people and are the outcome of those characteristics.

“Then Europe stood at the parting of the ways. Europe began to divide into two halves, into West Europe and Central and Eastern Europe. At first Western Europe took the lead in the process of industrialization. Especially in England crowds of farm laborers, sons of farmers, or even ruined farmers themselves, streamed into the towns and there formed a new fourth estate. But here one fact is of more importance than we are accustomed to admit: this England, like France, had relatively few Jews. And the consequence of that was that the great masses, concentrated in the towns, did not come into immediate contact with this alien nation, and thus feelings of aversion which must otherwise necessarily have arisen did not find sufficient nourishment for their development. In the end the fifty or sixty thousand Jews in England—there was hardly that number in England then—with supreme ease were able so to ‘Europeanize’ themselves that they remained hidden from the primitive eye of the ordinary member of the public and as ‘Captains of Industry,’ and especially as representatives of capital on a large scale, they could appear no longer as foreigners but themselves became Englishmen. This accounts for the fact that anti-Semitism in these States could never attain to any native vigor; for the same is true of France. And precisely for this reason in these countries it was possible to introduce the system which we have to represent to ourselves under the concept of ‘Democracy.’ There it was possible to create a State-form whose meaning could only be the mastery of the herd over the intelligentsia, the mastery over true energy through the dead weight of massed numbers. In other words: it must be supremely easy for the Jewish intelligentsia, small in numbers and therefore completely hidden in the body of the British people, so to work upon the masses that the latter, quite unconscious of whom they were obeying, in the end did but serve the purposes of this small stratum of society. Through the press propaganda, through the use of the organs of information, it was possible in England to found the great model parties. Already in those early days they saw to it shrewdly that there were always two or three groups apparently hostile to each other, but in fact all hanging on a gold thread, the whole designed to take account of a human characteristic—that the longer a man possesses an object, the more readily he grows tired of it. He craves something new: therefore one needs two parties. The one is in office, the other in opposition. When the one has played itself out, then the opposition party comes into power, and the party which has had its day is now in its turn the opposition. After twenty years the new party itself has once more played itself out and the game begins afresh. In truth this is a highly ingenious mill in which the interests of a nation are ground very small. As everyone knows, this system is given some such name as ‘Self-Government of a People.’

“Besides this we always find two great catchwords, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Democracy,’ used, I might say, as signboards. ‘Freedom’: under that term is understood, at least amongst those in authority who in fact carry on the Government, the possibility of an unchecked plundering of the masses of the people to which no resistance can be offered. The masses themselves naturally believe that under the term ‘freedom’ they possess the right to a quite peculiar freedom of motion—freedom to move the tongue and to say what they choose, freedom to move about the streets, etc. A bitter deception!

“And the same is true of democracy. In general even in the early days both England and France had already been bound with the fetters of slavery. With, I might say, a brazen security these States are fettered with Jewish chains. . . .”

“In consequence of this widespread aversion it was more difficult for the Jew to spread infection in the political sphere, and especially so since traditionally loyalty was centered in a person: the form of the State was a monarchy, and power did not lie with an irresponsible majority. Thus the Jew saw that here it was possible for an enlightened despotism to arise based upon the army, the bureaucracy, and the masses of the people still unaffected by the Jewish poison. The intelligentsia at that time was almost exclusively German, big business and the new industries were in German hands, while the last reservoir of a people’s strength, the peasantry, was throughout healthy. In such conditions if, as industry grew, a fourth estate was formed in the towns, there was the danger that this fourth estate might ally itself with the monarchy, and thus with its support there might arise a popular monarchy [Volkskönig] or a popular ‘Kaisertum’ which would be ready and willing to give a mortal blow to those powers of international supra-State finance which were at that time beginning to grow in influence. This was not impossible: in the history of Germany princes had from time to time found themselves forced, as in Brandenburg, to turn against the nobility and seek popular support....”

But this possibility constituted a grave danger for Jewry. If the great masses of the new industrialized workmen “had come into Nationalist hands and like a true social leaven had penetrated the whole nation, if the liberation of the different estates [Stände] had followed step by step in an organic development and the State had later looked to them for support, then there would have been created what many hoped for in November, 1918, viz., a national social State. For Socialism in itself is anything but an international creation. As a noble conception it has indeed grown up exclusively in Aryan hearts: it owes its intellectual glories only to Aryan brains. It is entirely alien to the Jew. The Jew will always be the born champion of private capital in its worst form, that of unchecked exploitation. . . . Voltaire, as well as Rousseau, together with our German Fichte and many another—they are all without exception united in their recognition that the Jew is not only a foreign element differing in his essential character, which is utterly harmful to the nature of the Aryan, but that the Jewish people in itself stands against us as our deadly foe and so will stand against us always and for all time.”

The master-stroke of the Jew was to claim the leadership of the fourth estate: he founded the Movement both of the Social Democrats and the Communists. His policy was twofold: he had his “apostles” in both political camps. Amongst the parties of the Right he encouraged those features which were most repugnant to the people—the passion for money, unscrupulous methods in trade which were employed so ruthlessly as to give rise to the proverb “Business, too, marches over corpses.” And the Jew attacked the parties of the Right. Jews wormed their way into the families of the upper classes: it was from the Jews that the latter took their wives. “The result was that in a short time it was precisely the ruling class which became in its character completely estranged from its own people.”

And this fact gave the Jew his opportunity with the parties of the Left. Here he played the part of the common demagogue. Two means enabled him to drive away in disgust the whole intelligentsia of the nation from the leadership of the workers. First: his international attitude, “for the native intelligence of the country is prepared to make sacrifices, it will do anything for the life of the people, but it cannot believe in the mad view that through the denial of that national life, through a refusal to defend the rights of one’s own people, through the breaking down of the national resistance to the foreigner, it is possible to raise up a people and make it happy. That it cannot do, and so it remained at a distance. And the Jew’s second instrument was the Marxist theory in and for itself. For directly one went on to assert that property as such is theft, directly one deserted the obvious formula that only the natural wealth of a country can and should be common property, but that that which a man creates or gains through his honest labor is his own, immediately the economic intelligentsia with its nationalist outlook could, here too, no longer co-operate: for this intelligentsia was bound to say to itself that this theory meant the collapse of any human civilization whatever. Thus the Jew succeeded in isolating this new movement of the workers from all the nationalist elements. .. .”

“More and more so to influence the masses that he persuaded those of the Right that the faults of the Left were the faults of the German workman, and similarly he made it appear to those of the Left that the faults of the Right were simply the faults of the so-called ‘Bourgeois,’ and neither side noticed that on both sides the faults were the result of a scheme planned by alien devilish agitators. And only so is if possible to explain how this dirty joke of world history could come to be that Stock Exchange Jews should become the leaders of a Workers Movement. It is a gigantic fraud: world history has seldom seen its like.

“And then we must ask ourselves: what are the final aims of this development?”

So soon as millions of men have had it hammered into them that they are so oppressed and enslaved that it matters not what their personal attitude may be to their people, their State, or economic life, then a kind of passive resistance must result which sooner or later will do fatal damage to the national economy. Through the preaching of the Marxist economic theory the national economy must go to ruin. We see the results in Russia: the end of the whole economic life of the State: the handing over of the community to the international world of finance. And the process is furthered through the organization of the “political strike.” Often there are no adequate economic grounds for a strike, but there are always political grounds and plenty of them. And to this must be added the practical political sabotage of the State, since the thought of the individual is concentrated on the idea of international solidarity. It is clear that a nation’s economic life depends upon the strength of a national State: it does not live on such phrases as “Appeasement of the peoples” or “Freedom of the Peoples.”

“At the moment when no people supports the economic life of a nation, ready to give it its protection, at that moment economic life collapses. The breaking in pieces of a nation’s strength is the end of a nation’s prosperity, the national existence must cease altogether.”

And one can see constantly how wonderfully the Stock Exchange Jew and the leader of the workers, how the Stock Exchange organ and the journal of the workers, co-operate. They both pursue one common policy and a single aim. Moses Kohn on the one side encourages his association to refuse the workers’ demands, while his brother Isaac in the factory incites the masses and shouts, “Look at them! they only want to oppress you! Shake off your fetters. . . .” His brother takes care that the fetters are well and truly forged. The Stock Exchange organ seeks without intermission to encourage fevered speculation and unparalleled corners in grain and in the food of the people, while the workmen’s newspaper lets off all its guns on the masses, telling them that bread is dearer and this, that, and the other is dearer: up Proletarians! endure it no longer—down with . . .

How long can this process last? It means the utter destruction not only of economic life, but of the people. It is clear that all these apostles who talk their tongues out of their heads, but who spend the night in the Hotel Excelsior, travel in express trains, and spend their leave for their health in Nice—these people do not exert their energies for love of the people. No, the people is not to profit, it shall merely be brought into dependence on these men. The backbone of its independence, its own economic life, is to be destroyed, that it may the more surely relapse into the golden fetters of the perpetual interest-slavery of the Jewish race. And this process will end when suddenly out of the masses someone arises who seizes the leadership, finds other comrades and fans into flame the passions which have been held in check and looses them against the deceivers.

“That is the lurking danger, and the Jew can meet it in one way only—by destroying the hostile national intelligentsia. That is the inevitable ultimate goal of the Jew in his revolution. And this aim he must pursue; he knows well enough his economics brings no blessing: his is no masterpeople: he is an exploiter: the Jews are a people of robbers. He has never founded any civilization, though he has destroyed civilizations by the hundred. Fie possesses nothing of his own creation to which he can point. Everything that he has is stolen. Foreign peoples, foreign workmen build him his temples, it is foreigners who create and work for him: it is foreigners who shed their blood for him. He knows no ‘people’s army’: he has only hired mercenaries who are ready to sro to death on his behalf. He has no art of his own: bit o

by bit he has stolen it all from the other peoples or has watched them at work and then made his copy. He does not even know how merely to preserve the precious things which others have created: as he turns the treasures over in his hand they are transformed into dirt and dung. He knows that he cannot maintain any State for long. That is one of the differences between him and the Aryan. True, the Aryan also has dominated other peoples. But how? He entered on the land, he cleared the forests; out of wildernesses he has .created civilizations, and he has not used the others for his own interests, he has, so far as their capacities permitted, incorporated them into his State and through him art and science were brought to flower. In the last resort it was the Aryan and the Aryan alone who could form States and could set them on their path to future greatness.

“All that the Jew cannot do. And because he cannot do it, therefore all his revolutions must be ‘international.’ They must spread as a pestilence spreads. He can build no State and say ‘See here! Here stands the State, a model for all. Now copy us!’ He must take care that the plague does not die, that it is not limited to one place, or else in a short time this plague-hearth would burn itself out. So he is forced to bring every mortal thing to an international expansion. For how long? Until the whole world sinks in ruins and brings him down with it in the midst of the ruins.

“That process today in Russia is practically complete. The whole of present-day Russia has nothing to show beyond a ruined civilization, a colony ripe for development through alien capital, and even this capital in order to supply resources in labor for its practical work must introduce Aryan intellects, since for this again the Jew is useless. Here, too, he is all rapacity, never satisfied. He knows no ordered economy, he knows no ordered body of administrators. Over there in Russia he is laying his hands on everything. They take the noble’s diamonds to help ‘the People.’ The diamonds then stray into foreign societies and are no more seen. He seizes to himself the treasures of the churches, but not to feed the people: oh no! Everything wanders away and leaves not a trace behind. In his greed he has become quite senseless: he can keep hold of nothing: he has only within him the instinct for destruction, and so he himself collapses with the treasure that he has destroyed.”

It is a tragic fate: we have often grown excited over the death of a criminal: if an anarchist is shot in Spain we raise a mighty howl over “the sacrifice of valuable human blood . . . and here in the East thirty million human beings are being slowly martyred—done to death, some on the scaffold, some by machine guns . . . millions upon millions through starvation. ... A whole people is dying, and now we can perhaps understand how it was possible that formerly all the civilizations of Mesopotamia disappeared without a trace so that one can only with difficulty find in the desert sand the remains of these cities. We see how in our own day whole countries die out under this scourge of God, and we see how this scourge is threatening Germany, too, and how with us our own people in mad infatuation is contributing to bring upon itself the same yoke, the same misery.

“We know that the Revolution which began in 1918 has covered perhaps but the first third of its course. Two things, however, there are which must scourge it forward upon its way: economic causes and political causes.” On the economic side, the ever-growing distress, and in the political sphere, “are not nearly all Germans in their hearts—let each one admit it—in despair when they consider the situation which leaves us quite defenseless in face of a Europe which is so hostile to Germany? And why is Europe hostile? We see how over there in this other Europe it is not the peoples which agitate against us, it is the secret power of the organized press which ceaselessly pours new poison into the hearts of these peoples.

“And who are then these bandits of the press? The brothers and the relatives of the publishers of our own newspapers. And the capital source which provides the energy which here —and there—drives them forward is the Jewish dream of World Supremacy.”

Today the idea of international solidarity has lost its force, one can still bring men out of the factories, but only by means of terrorism. If you ask for an honest answer the worker will confess that he no longer believes in this international solidarity. And the belief in the so-called reasonableness of the other peoples has gone too. “How often have we been told that reason will lead them not to be too hard with us: true, reason should have moved them thus, but what did move them had nothing to do with reason. For here there is no question of the thought of reasonable peoples: it is the thought of a wild beast, tearing, raging in its unreason, that drives all of them to the same ruin as that to which we ourselves are driven.

“So the masses of the people in Germany are becoming, in the political sphere, completely lost. Yet here and there people are beginning to get some practice in criticism. Slowly, cautiously, and yet with a certain accuracy the finger is being placed on the real wound of our people. And thus one comes to realize: if only this development goes on for a time, it might be possible that from Germany the light should come which is destined to light both Germany and the world to their salvation. And at that point the everlasting lie begins to work against us with every means in its power. . . .”

“It is said, if one criticizes the state of affairs to which we have been brought today, that one is a reactionary, a monarchist, a pan-German. I ask you what would probably have been the state of Germany today if during these three years there had been no criticism at all? I believe that in fact there has been far, far too little criticism. Our people unfortunately is much too uncritical, or otherwise it would long ago have not only seen through many things, but would have swept them away with its fist! The crisis is developing towards its culmination. The day is not far distant when, for the reasons which I have stated, the German Revolution must be carried forward another step. The leaders know all too well that things cannot always go on as they are going today. One may raise prices ten times by 100 per cent, but it is doubtful if in the end even a German will accept a milliard of marks for his day’s wage if in the last resort with his milliard-wage he must still starve. It is a question whether one will be able to keep up this great fraud upon the nation. There will come a day when this must stop—and therefore one must build for that day, before it comes.

“And so now Germany is reaching that stage which Russia has drunk to the lees. Now in one last stupendous assault they will finally crush all criticism, all opposition, no, rather whatever honesty is still left to us, and that they will do the more rapidly the more clearly they see that the masses are beginning to understand one thing—National Socialist teaching.

“Whether for the moment it comes to them under that name or under another, the fact is that everywhere more and more it is making headway. Today all these folk cannot yet belong to a single party, but, wherever you go, in Germany, yes almost in the whole world, you find already millions of thinking men who know that a State can be built only on a social foundation and they know also that the deadly foe of every social conception is the international Jew.

“Every truly national idea is in the last resort social, i.e., he who is prepared so completely to adopt the cause of his people that he really knows no higher ideal than the prosperity of this—his own—people, he who has so taken to heart the meaning of our great song ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,’ that nothing in this world stands for him higher than this Germany, people and land, land and people, he is a Socialist! And he who in this people sympathizes with the poorest of its citizens, who in this people sees in every individual a valuable member of the whole community, and who recognizes that this community can flourish only when it is formed not of rulers and oppressed but when all according to their capacities fulfill their duty to their Fatherland and the community of the people and are valued accordingly, he who seeks to preserve the native vigor, the strength, and the youthful energy of the millions of working men, and who above all is concerned that our precious possession, our youth, should not before its time be used up in unhealthy harmful work—he is not merely a Socialist, but he is also National in the highest sense of that word.

“It is the teaching of these facts which appears to the Jews as leaders of the Revolution today to constitute a threatening danger. And it is precisely this which more than anything else makes the Jew wish to get in his blow as soon as possible. For one thing he knows quite well: in the last resort there is only one danger which he has to fear—and that danger is this young Movement.

“He knows the old parties. They are easily satisfied. Only endow them with a few seats as ministers or with similar posts and they are ready to go along with you. And in especial he knows one thing: they are so innocently stupid. In their case the truth of the old saying is proved afresh every day: ‘Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first strike with blindness.’ They have been struck with blindness: therefore it follows that the gods wish to destroy them. Only look at these parties and their leaders, Stresemann and the rest of them. They are indeed not dangerous. They never go to the roots of the evil: they all still think that with forbearance, with humanity, with accommodation they can fight a battle which has not its equal in this world. Through gentleness they think that they must demonstrate to the enemy of the Left that they are ready for appeasement so as to stay the deadly cancerous ulcer through a policy of moderation.

“No! A thousand times No! Here there are only two possibilities: either victory or defeat!

“What today is the meaning of these great preparations for the decisive battle on the part of bolshevist Judaism?—

“To make the nation defenseless in arms and to make the people defenseless in spirit.

“Two great aims!

“Abroad Germany is already humiliated. The State trembles before every French Negro-captain, the nation is no longer dangerous. And within Germany they have seen to it that arms should be taken away from the decent elements of the people and that in their stead Russian-Jewish-bolshe- vist bands should be armed. Only one thing remains still to do: viz., the muzzling of the spirit, above all the arrest of the evil ‘agitators’—that is the name they give to those who dare to tell the people the truth. Not only are their organizations to be known to all, but the masses are to be incited against their persons. Just as the Jew could once incite the mob of Jerusalem against Christ, so today he must succeed in inciting folk who have been duped into madness to attack those who, God’s truth! seek to deal with this people in utter honesty and sincerity. And so he begins to intimidate them, and he knows that this pressure in itself is enough to shut the mouths of hundreds, yes, of thousands. For they think, if I only hold my tongue, then I shall be safe in case they come into power. No, my friend. The only difference will be that I may hang perhaps still talking, while you will hang—in silence. Here, too, Russia can give us countless examples, and with us it will be the same story.

“We know that the so-called ‘Law for the Protection of the Republic’ which comes from Berlin today is nothing else than a means for reducing all criticism to silence. We know, too, that no effort will be spared so that the last outstanding personalities—those who within Germany foresee the coming of disaster—shall in good time—disappear. And to that end the population of North Germany will be scourged into opposition to Bavaria with every lie and every misrepresentation that comes to hand. Up there they have the feeling that in one corner of the Reich the spirit of the German people is not yet broken. And that is the point to which we National Socialists have to grapple ourselves. We National Socialists are, God’s truth! perhaps the most loyal, the most devoted of all men to our German Fatherland. For three years we have waged a war, often against death and devil, but always only for our German Fatherland. We got so far that at the last, as crown of all our labors, we had to land in prison. But in spite of everything there is one thing we would say: We do make a distinction between a Government and the German Fatherland. When today here in the Landtag or in the Reichstag at Berlin some lousy half-Asiatic youth casts in our teeth the charge that we have no loyalty to the Reich, I beg you do not distress yourselves. The Bavarian people has sealed its loyalty to the Reich with its countless regiments which fought for the Reich and often sank under the earth two or three times. We are convinced, and that in the last resort is our one great faith, that out of this bitterest distress and this utter misery the German Reich will rise again, but not as now, not as the offspring of wretchedness and misery—we shall possess once again a true German Reich of freedom and of honor, a real Fatherland of the whole German people and not an asylum for alien swindlers. There is today constant talk about ‘Federalism,’ etc. I beg you not to abuse the Prussians while at the same time you grovel before the Jews, but show yourselves stiff-necked against the folk of Berlin. And if you do that, then you will have on your side in the whole of Germany millions and millions of Germans, whether they be Prussians or men of Baden, Württembergers, men of Saxony, or Germans of Austria. Now is the hour to stand stiff-necked and resist to the last!

“We National Socialists who for three years have done nothing but preach—abused and insulted by all, by some mocked and scorned, by others traduced and slandered—we cannot retreat! For us there is only one path which leads straight ahead. We know that the fight which now is blazing will be a hard struggle. It will not be fought out in the court of the Reich at Leipzig, it will not be fought out in a cabinet at Berlin, it will be fought out through those factors which in their hard reality have ever up to the present time made world history. I heard recently in the speech of a minister that the rights of a State cannot be set aside through simple majority decisions, but only through treaties. Bismarck once used different language on this subject: he thought that the destinies of peoples could be determined neither through majority decisions nor through treaties, but only through blood and iron. .

“On one point there should be no doubt: we will not let the Jews slit our gullets and not defend ourselves. Today in Berlin they may already be arranging their festival-dinners with the Jewish hangmen of Soviet Russia—that they will never do here. They may today begin to set up the Cheka— the Extraordinary Commission—in Germany, they may give it free scope, we surrender to such a Jewish Commission never! We have the conviction, firm as a rock, that, if in this State seven million men are determined to stand by their ‘No’ to the very last, the evil specter will collapse into nothingness in the rest of the Reich. For what Germany needs today, what Germany longs for ardently, is a symbol of power, and strength.

“So as I come to the end of my speech I want to ask something of those among you who are young. And for that there is a very special reason. The old parties train their youth in the gift of the gab, we prefer to train them to use their bodily strength. For I tell you: the young man who does not find his way to the place where in the last resort the destiny of his people is most truly represented, only studies philosophy and in a time like this buries himself behind his books or sits at home by the fire, he is no German youth! I call upon you! Join our Storm Divisions! And however many insults and slanders you may hear if you do join, you all know that the Storm Divisions have been formed for our protection, for your protection, and at the same time not merely for the protection of the Movement, but for the protection of a Germany that is to be. If you are reviled and insulted, good luck to you, my boys! You have the good fortune already at eighteen or nineteen years of age to be hated by the greatest of scoundrels. What others can win only after a lifetime of toil, this highest gift of distinguishing between the honest man and the brigand, falls as a piece of luck into your lap while you are but youths. You can be assured that the more they revile you, the more we respect you. We know that if you were not there, none of us would make another speech. We know, we see clearly that our Movement would be cudgelled down if you did not protect it! You are the defense of a Movement that is called one day to remodel Germany in revolutionary fashion from its very foundations in order that there may come to birth what perhaps so many expected on the ninth of November: a German Reich and a Germanic and, so far as in us lies, a German Republic.

“Every battle must be fought to the end—better that it come early than late. And he ever stands most securely who from the first goes to the fight with the greatest confidence. And this highest confidence we can carry with us in our hearts. For he who on our side is today the leader of the German people, God’s truth! he has nothing to win but perhaps only everything to lose. He who today fights on our side can. not win great laurels, far less can he win great material goods —it is more likely that he will end up in jail. He who today is leader must be an idealist, if only for the reason that he leads those against whom it would seem that everything has conspired.

“But in that very fact there lies an inexhaustible source of strength. The conviction that our Movement is not sustained by money or the lust for gold, but only by our love for the people, that must ever give us fresh heart, that must ever fill us with courage for the fray.

“And as my last word, take with you this assurance: if this battle should not come, never would Germany win peace. Germany would decay and at the best would sink to ruin like a rotting corpse. But that is not our destiny. We do not believe that this misfortune which today our God sends over Germany has no meaning: it is surely the scourge which should and shall drive us to a new greatness, to a new power and glory, to a Germany which for the first time shall fulfill that which in their hearts millions of the best of our fellowcountrymen have hoped for through the centuries and the millennia, to the Germany of the German people!”


No comment in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1922: Munich

ECONOMICS is a secondary matter. World history teaches us that no people became great through economics: it was economics that brought them to their ruin. A people died when its race was disintegrated. Germany, too, did not become great through economics.

“A people that in its own life [völkisch] has lost honor becomes politically defenseless, and then becomes enslaved also in the economic sphere.

“Internationalization today means only Judaization. We in Germany have come to this: that a sixty-million people sees its destiny to lie at the will of a few dozen Jewish bankers. This was possible only because our civilization had first been Judaized. The undermining of the German conception of personality by catchwords had begun long before. Ideas such as ‘Democracy,’ ‘Majority,’ ‘Conscience of the World,’ ‘World Solidarity,’ ‘World Peace,’ ‘Internationality of Art,’ etc., disintegrate our race-consciousness, breed cowardice, and so today we are bound to say that the simple Turk is more man than we are.

“No salvation is possible until the bearer of disunion, the Jew, has been rendered powerless to harm.

“1. We must call to account the November criminals of 1918. It cannot be that two million Germans should have fallen in vain and that afterwards one should sit down as friends at the same table with traitors. No, we do not pardon, we demand—Vengeance!

“2. The dishonoring of the nation must cease. For betrayers of their Fatherland and informers the gallows is the proper place. Our streets and squares shall once more bear the names of our heroes; they shall not be named after Jews. In the Question of Guilt we must proclaim the truth.

“3. The administration of the State must be cleared of the rabble which is fattened at the stall of the parties.

“4. The present laxity in the fight against usury must be abandoned. Here the fitting punishment is the same as that for the betrayers of their Fatherland.

“5. We must demand a great enlightenment on the subject of the Peace Treaty. With thoughts of love? No! but in holy hatred against those who have ruined us.

“6. The lies which would veil from us our misfortunes must cease. The fraud of the present money-madness must be shown up. That will stiffen the necks of us all.

“7. As foundation for a new currency the property of those who are not of our blood must do service. If families who have lived in Germany for a thousand years are now expropriated, we must do the same to the Jewish usurers.

“8. We demand immediate expulsion of all Jews who have entered Germany since 1914, and of all those, too, who through trickery on the Stock Exchange or through other shady transactions have gained their wealth.

“9. The housing scarcity must be relieved through energetic action; houses must be granted to those who deserve them. Eisner said in 1918 that we had no right to demand the return of our prisoners—he was only saying openly what all Jews were thinking. People who so think must feel how life tastes in a concentration camp!

“Extremes must be fought by extremes. Against the infection of materialism, against the Jewish pestilence we must hold aloft a flaming ideal. And if others speak of the World and Humanity we say the Fatherland—and only the Fatherland!”


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF APRIL 10, 1923: Munich



November 25—The Italian Chamber gives Mussolini carte blanche to make reforms by decree until December 31, 1923.

December 72—Moscow Disarmament Conference between Russia and Poland breaks up owing to Russian refusal to sign non-aggression treaty.


January 10—Occupation of the Ruhr by French troops.

January 75—The Lithuanians occupy the neutral port of Memel.

January 27-28—Party Convention of the National Socialist party in Munich, originally planned as “putsch day.”

February 2—German authorities call for civil disobedience in the occupied Ruhr district.

The Speech

“. . . IN THE Bible we End the text, ‘That which is neither hot nor cold will I spew out of my mouth.’ This utterance of the great Nazarene has kept its profound validity until the present day. He who would pursue the golden mean must surrender the hope of achieving the great and the greatest aims. Until the present day the half-hearted and the lukewarm have remained the curse of Germany. . . .”

“To the half-heartedness and weakness of the parties in Parliament was added the half-heartedness of Governments. . . . Everything stood under the sign of half-heartedness and lukewarmness, even the fight for existence in the World War and still more the conclusion of peace. And now the continuation of the half-hearted policy of those days holds the field. The people, inwardly united in the hard struggle—in the trenches there were neither parties nor Confessions—has been torn asunder through the economics of profiteers and knaves. Appeasement and the settlement of differences would certainly soon be there if only one were to hang the whole crew. But profiteers and knaves are, of course, ‘Citizens of the State,’ and what is more important still, they are adherents of the religion which is hallowed by the Talmud.

“Even today we are the least loved people on earth. A world of foes is ranged against us and the German must still today make up his mind whether he intends to be a free soldier or a white slave. The only possible conditions under which a German State can develop at all must therefore be: the unification of all Germans in Europe, education towards a national consciousness, and readiness to place the whole national strength without exception in the service of the nation. . .

“No economic policy is possible without a sword, no industrialization without power. Today we have no longer any sword grasped in our fist—how can we have a successful economic policy? England has fully recognized this primary maxim in the healthy life of States; for centuries England has acted on the principle of converting economic strength into political power, while conversely political power in its turn must protect economic life. The instinct of selfpreservation can build up economics, but we sought to preserve World Peace instead of the interests of the nation, instead of defending the economic life of the nation with the sword and of ruthlessly championing those conditions which were essential for the life of the people.

“Three years ago I declared in this same room that the collapse of the German national consciousness must carry with it into the abyss the economic life of Germany as well.

For liberation something more is necessary than an economic policy, something more than industry: if a people is to become free it needs pride and will-power, defiance, hate, hate, and once again hate. . .

“The spirit comes not down from above, that spirit which is to purify Germany, which with its iron besom is to purify the great sty of democracy. To do that is the task of our Movement. The Movement must not rust away in Parliament, it must not spend itself in superfluous battles of words, but the banner with the white circle and the black Swastika will be hoisted over the whole of Germany on the day which shall mark the liberation of our whole people.”


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF APRIL 13, 1923: Munich

“. . . IN OUR view the times when there was no ‘League of Nations’ were far more honorable and more humane. . . . We ask: ‘Must there be wars?’ The pacifist answers ‘No!’ He proceeds to explain that disputes in the life of peoples are only the expression of the fact that a class has been oppressed by the ruling bourgeoisie. When there are in fact differences of opinion between peoples, then these should be brought before a ‘Peace Court’ for its decision. But he does not answer the question whether the judges of this court of arbitration would have the power to bring the parties before the bar of the court. I believe that an accused ordinarily only appears‘voluntarily’ before a court because, if he did not, he would be fetched there. I should like to see the nation which would allow itself to be brought before this League of Nations Court in the case of a disagreement without external force. In the life of nations, what in the last resort decides questions is a kind of Judgment Court of God. It may even happen that in case of a dispute between two peoples—both may be in the right. Thus Austria, a people of fifty millions, had most certainly the right to an outlet to the sea. But since in the strip of territory in question the Italian element of the population was in the majority, Italy claimed for herself the ‘right of self-determination.’ Who yields voluntarily? No one! So the strength which each people possesses decides the day. Always before God and the world the stronger has the right to carry through what he wills. History proves: He who has not the strength—him the ‘right in itself’ profits not a whit. A world court without a world police would be a joke. And from what nations of the present League of Nations would then this force be recruited? Perhaps from the ranks of the old German Army? The whole world of Nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness—an eternal -victory of the strong over the weak. There would be nothing but decay in the whole of Nature if this were not so. States which should offend against the elementary law would fall into decay. You need not seek for long to find an example of such mortal decay: you can see it in the Reich of today. . .

“. . . Before the war two States, Germany and France, had to live side by side but only under arms. It is true that the War of 1870-1 meant for Germany the close of an enmity which had endured for centuries, but in France a passionate hatred against Germany was fostered by every means by propaganda in the press, in school textbooks, in theaters, in the cinemas.” . . . All the Jewish papers throughout France agitated against Berlin. “Here again to seek and to exploit grounds for a conflict is the clearly recognizable effort of world Jewry.

“The conflict of interests between Germany and England lay in the economic sphere. Up till 1850 England’s position as a World Power was undisputed. British engineers, British trade conquer the world. Germany, owing to greater industry and increased capacity, begins to be a dangerous rival. In a short time those firms which in Germany were in English hands pass into the possession of German industrialists. German industry expands vastly and the products of that industry even in the London market drive out British goods. The protective measure, the stamp ‘Made in Germany,’ has the opposite effect from that desired: this ‘protective stamp’ becomes a highly effective advertisement. The German economic success was not created in Essen alone but by a man who knew that behind economics must stand power, for power alone makes an economic position secure. This power was born upon the battlefields of 1870-71, not in the atmosphere of parliamentary chatter. Forty thousand dead have rendered possible the life of forty millions. When England, in the face of such a Germany as this, threatened to be brought to her knees, then she bethought herself of the last weapon in the armory of international rivalry—violence. A press propaganda on an imposing scale was started as a preparatory measure. But who is the chief of the whole British press concerned with world trade? One name crystallizes itself out of the rest: Northcliffe—a Jew! ... A campaign of provocation is carried on with assertions, libels, and promises such as only a Jew can devise, such as only Jewish newspapers would have the effrontery to put before an Aryan people. And then at last 1914: they egg people on: ‘Ah, poor violated Belgium! Up! To the rescue of the small nations—for the honor of humanity!’ The same lies, the same provocation throughout the entire world! And the success of that provocation the German people can trace grievously enough!

“What cause finally had America to enter the war against Germany? With the outbreak of the World War, which Judah had desired so passionately and so long, all the large Jewish firms of the United States began supplying ammunitions. They supplied the European ‘war-market’ to an extent which perhaps even they themselves had never dreamed of —a gigantic harvest! Yet nothing satisfied the insatiable greed of the Jew. And so the venal press which depended upon the Stock Exchange kings began an unparalleled propaganda campaign. A gigantic organization for newspaper lying was built up. And once more it is a Jewish concern, the Hearst press, which set the tone of the agitation against Germany. The hatred of these ‘Americans’ was not directed solely against commercial Germany or against military Germany. It was directed specially against social Germany, because this Germany had up to that time kept itself outside of the principles which governed the world trusts. The old Reich had at least made an honorable attempt to be socially-minded. We had to show for ourselves such an initiative in social institutions as no other country in the wide world could boast. . . . This explains why, even in Germany itself, the ‘comrades’ under Jewish leadership fought against their own vital interests. This explains the agitation carried on throughout the world under the same watchword. For this reason the Jewish-democratic press of America had to accomplish its masterpiece—that is to say, it had to drive into the most horrible of all wars a great peace-loving people which was as little concerned in European struggles as it was in the North Pole: America was to intervene ‘in defense of civilization,’ and the Americans were persuaded so to do' by an atrocity propaganda conducted in the name of civilization which from A to Z was a scandalous invention the like of which has never yet been seen—a farrago of lies and forgeries. Because this last State in the world where social aims were being realized had to be destroyed, therefore twenty-six peoples were incited one against the other by this press which is exclusively in the possession of one and the same world people, of one and the same race, and that race on principle the deadly foe of all national States.”

Who could have prevented the World War? Not the Kultursolidarität, the “solidarity of civilization,” in whose name the Jews carried on their propaganda: not the so-called World Pacifism—again an exclusively Jewish invention. Could the so-called “Solidarity of the Proletariat?” . . . “All the wheels stand silent, still, If that be your strong arm’s will. . . . The German wheel on November 9, 1918, was indeed brought to a standstill. The Social Democratic party in its principal organ, Vorwärts, declared in so many words that it was not in the interest of the workers that Germany should win the war. ...”

“Could the Freemasons perhaps stop the war?—this most noble of philanthropic institutions who foretold the good fortune of the people louder than anyone and who at the same time was the principal leader in promoting the war. Who, after all, are the Freemasons? You have to distinguish two grades. To the lower grade in Germany belong the ordinary citizens who through the claptrap which is served up to them can feel themselves to be ‘somebodies,’ but the responsible authorities are those many-sided folk who can stand any climate, those 300 Rathenaus who all know each other, who guide the history of the world over the heads of Kings and Presidents, those who will undertake any office without scruples, who know how brutally to enslave all peoples—once more the Jews!

“Why have the Jews been against Germany? That is made quite clear today—proved by countless facts. They use the age-old tactics of the hyena—when fighters are tired out, then go for them! Then make your harvest! In war and revolutions the Jew attained the unattainable. Hundreds of thousands of escaped Orientals become modern ‘Europeans.’ Times of unrest produce miracles. Before 1914 how long would it have taken, for instance, in Bavaria before a Galician Jew became—Prime Minister?—Or in Russia before an anarchist from the New York Ghetto, Bronstein (Trotsky), became—Dictator? Only a few wars and revolutions—that was enough to put the Jewish people into possession of the red gold and thereby to make them masters of the world.

“Before 1914 there were two States above all, Germany and Russia, which prevented the Jew from reaching his goal —the mastery of the world. Here not everything which they already possessed in the Western democracies had fallen to the Jews. Here they were not the sole lords alike in the intellectual and economic life. Here, too, the Parliaments were not yet exclusively instruments of Jewish capital and of the will of the Jew. The German and the genuine Russian had still preserved a certain aloofness from the Jew. In both peoples there still lived the healthy instinct of scorn for the Jew, and there was a real danger that in these monarchies there might one day arise a Frederick the Great, a William I, and that democracy and a parliamentry regime might be sent to the devil. So the Jews became revolutionaries! The Republic should bring them to wealth and to power. This aim they disguised: they cried ‘Down with the monarchies!’ ‘Enthrone the “sovereign” people!’ I do not know whether today one could venture to call the German or the Russian people ‘sovereign.’ At least one cannot see any trace of it! What the German people can trace, however, what every day stands in the most crass form before its eyes, is debauchery, gluttony, speculation ruling unchecked, the open mockery of the Jew. . . .”

“So Russia and Germany had to be overthrown in order that the ancient prophecy might be fulfilled. So the whole world was lashed into fury. So every lie and propaganda agency was brutally set in action against the State of the last —the German—idealists! And thus it was that Judah won the World War. Or would you wish to maintain that the French, the English, or the American ‘people’ won the war? They, one and all, victors and vanquished are alike defeated: one thing raises itself above them all: the World Stock Exchange which has become the master of the people.

“What guilt had Germany herself for the outbreak of the war? Her guilt consisted in this: that at the moment when the ring closed about her existence Germany neglected to organize her defense with such vigor that through this demonstration of her power either the others, despite their abominable purposes, would have been robbed of their will to strike or else the victory of the Reich would have been assured. The guilt of the German people lies in this: that when in 1912 a criminal Reichstag in its unfathomable baseness and folly had refused to allow the raising of three army corps the people did not create for itself those army corps in the Reichstag’s despite. With these additional 120,000 men the Battle of the Marne would have been won and the issue of the war decided. Two million fewer German heroes would have sunk into their graves. Who was it who in 1912 as in 1918 struck its weapons from the hands of the German people? Who was it that in 1912, as in the last year of the war, infatuated the German people with his theory that if Germany throws down her arms the whole world will follow her example—who?—the democratic-Marxist Jew who at the same hour incited and still today incites the others to—arm and to subjugate ‘barbarous’ Germany.

“But someone may perhaps yet raise the question whether it is expedient today to talk about the guilt for the war. Most assuredly we have the duty to talk about it! For the murderers of our Fatherland who all the years through have betrayed and sold Germany, they are the same men who, as the November criminals, have plunged us into the depths of misfortune. We have the duty to speak since in the near future, when we have gained power, we shall have the further duty of taking these creators of ruin, these clouts, these traitors to their State and of hanging them on the gallows to which they belong. Only let no one think that in them there has come a change of heart. On the contrary, these November scoundrels who still are free to go as they will in our midst, they are, even today, going against us. From the recognition of the facts comes the will to rise again. Two millions have remained on the field of battle. They, too, have their rights and not we, the survivors, alone. There are millions of orphans, of cripples, of widows in our midst. They, too, have rights. For the Germany of today not one of them died, not one of them became a cripple, an orphan, or a widow. We owe it to these millions that we build a new Germany!”


Frankfurter Zeitung, April 15, 1923—[First mention of Hitler in a leading German newspaper]

At a meeting yesterday, Hitler made it known that indictments were pending against Editor Eher of the Voel- kischer Beobachter, against the president of the Oberland Bund, and against himself, and he added: “I ask you to be sticky as burrs and hard as steel in standing by our movement. We will not talk . . .”

. . . The right radical press, from the Muenchen-Augs- burger Abendzeitung to the Muenchener Zeitung is decisively rejecting the National Socialists and their friends.

These papers declare that they reject the struggle with illegal means and the creation of conflicts which, in view of the imminent decisions of world-historic importance, cannot but seem grotesque, and they point out that the laws for the security of the State were adopted legally, have been expressly recognized by Bavaria, and must be enforced!

SPEECH OF APRIL 24, 1923: Munich

. . I REJECT the word ‘Proletariat.’ The Jew who coined the word meant by ‘Proletariat,’ not the oppressed,but those who work with their hands. And those who work with their intellects are stigmatized bluntly as ‘Bourgeois.’ It is not the character of a man’s life which forms the basis of this classification, it is simply the occupation—whether a man works with his brain or with his body. And in this turbulent mass of the hand-workers the Jew recognized a new power which might perhaps be his instrument for the gaining of that which is his ultimate goal: World supremacy, the destruction of the national States.

“And while the Jew ‘organizes’ these masses, he organizes business, too, at the same time. Business was depersonalized, i.e., Judaized. Business lost the Aryan character of work: it became an object of speculation. Master and man were torn asunder . . . and he who created this class division was the same person who led the masses in their opposition to this class division, led them not against his Jewish brethren, but against the last remnants of independent national economic life.

“And these remnants, the bourgeoisie which also was already Judaized, resisted the great masses who were knocking at the door and demanding better conditions of life. And so the Jewish leaders succeeded in hammering into the minds of the masses the Marxist propaganda: ‘Your deadly foe is the bourgeoisie; if he were not there, you would be free.’ If it had not been for the boundless blindness and stupidity of our bourgeoisie the Jew would never have become the leader of the German working-classes. And the ally of this stupidity was the pride of the ‘better stratum’ of society which thought it would degrade itself if it condescended to stoop to the level of the ‘Plebs.’ The millions of our German fellowcountrymen would never have been alienated from their people if the leading strata of society had shown any care for their welfare.

“You must say farewell to the hope that you can expect any action from the parties of the Right on behalf of the freedom of the German people. The most elementary factor is lacking: the will, the courage, the energy. Where then can any strength still be found within the German people? It is to be found, as always, in the great masses: there energy is slumbering and it only awaits the man who will summon it from its present slumber and will hurl it into, the great battle for the destiny of the German race.

“The battle which alone can liberate Germany will be fought out with the forces which well up from the great masses. Without the help of the German workingman you will never regain a German Reich. Not in our political salons lies the strength of the nation, but in the hand, in the brain, and in the will of the great masses. Now as ever: Liberation does not come down from above, it will spring up from below. ... If we today make the highest demands upon everyone, that is only in order that we may give back to him and to his child the highest gift: Freedom and the respect of the rest of the world. . . .”

The parties of the Right have lost all energy: they see the flood coming, but their one longing is just for once in their lives to form a Government. “Unspeakably incapable, utterly lacking in energy, cowards all—such are all these bourgeois parties and that at the moment when the nation needs heroes —not chatterers.”

In the Left there is somewhat more energy, but it is used for the ruin of Germany. “The Communists on principle reject the discipline imposed by the State: in its stead they preach party discipline: they reject the administration of the State as a bureaucracy, while they fall on their knees before the bureaucracy of their own Movement. There is arising a State within the State which stands in deadly enmity against the State which we know, the State of the community of the people. This new State ultimately produces men who reject with fanaticism their own people so that in the end Foreign Powers find in them their allies. Such is the result of Marxist teaching. . . .”

“What we want is not a State of drones but a State which gives to everyone that to which on the basis of his own activity he has a right. He who refuses to do honest work, shall not be a citizen of the State. The State is not a plantation where the interests of foreign capital are supreme. Capital is not the master of the State, but its servant. Therefore the State must not be brought into dependence on international loan capital. And if anyone believes that that cannot be avoided, then do not let him be surprised that no one is ready to give his life for this State. Further, that greatest injustice must be corrected which today still weighs heavily upon our people and upon almost all peoples. If in a State only he who does honest work is a citizen, then everyone has the right to demand that in his old age he shall be kept free from care and want. That would mean the realization of the greatest social achievement.”


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF APRIL 27, 1923: Munich

.. WHAT we need if we are to have a real People’s State is a land reform. . . . We do not believe that the mere dividing up of the land can by itself bring any alleviation. The conditions of a nation’s life can in the last resort be bettered only through the political will to expansion. Therein lies the essential characteristic of a sound reform.

“And land [Grund und Boderi\, we must insist, cannot be made an object for speculation. Private property can be only that which a man has gained for himself, has won through his work. A natural product is not private property, that is national property. Land is thus no object for bargaining.

“Further, there must be a reform in our law. Our present law regards only the rights of the individual. It does not regard the protection of the race, the protection of the community of the people. It permits the befouling of the nation’s honor and of the greatness of the nation. A law which is so far removed from the conception of the community of the people is in need of reform.

“Further, changes are needed in our system of education. We suffer today from an excess of culture [Ueberbildung\. Only knowledge is valued. But wiseacres are the enemies of action. What we need is instinct and will. Most people have lost both through their ‘culture.’ We have, it is true, a highly intellectual class, but it is lacking in energy. If, through our overvaluation of mechanical knowledge, we had not so far removed ourselves from popular sentiment, the Jew would never have found his way to our people so easily as he has done. What we need is the possibility of a continuous succession of intellectual leaders drawn from the people itself.

“Clear away the Jews! Our own people has genius enough —we need no Hebrews. If we were to put in their place intelligences drawn from the great body of our people, then we should have recovered the bridge which leads to the community of the people.

“Again, we need a reform of the German press.

“A press which is on principle anti-national cannot be tolerated in Germany. Whoever denies the nation can have no part in it. We must demand that the press shall become the instrument of the national self-education.

“Finally we need a reform in the sphere of art, literature, and the theater. The Government must see to it that its people is not poisoned. There is a higher right which is based on the recognition of that which harms a people, and that which harms a people must be done away with.

“And after this reform we shall come to recognize the duty of self-preservation. A man who says: ‘I deny that I have a right to defend my personal life’ has thereby denied his right to exist. To be a pacifist argues a lack of conviction, a lack of character. For the pacifist is indeed ready enough to claim the help of others, but himself declines to defend himself. It is precisely the same with a people. A people which is not prepared to protect itself is a people without character. We must recover for our people as one of its most elementary principles the recognition of the fact that a man is truly man only if he defends and protects himself, that a people deserves that name only if in case of necessity it is prepared as a people to enter the lists. That is not militarism, that is selfpreservation.

“Therefore we National Socialists stand for compulsory military service for every man. If a State is not worth that— then away with it! Then you must not complain if you are enslaved. But if you believe that you must be free, then you must learn to recognize that no one gives you freedom save only your own sword. What our people needs is not leaders in Parliament, but those who are determined to carry through what they see to be right before God, before the world, and before their own consciences—and to carry that through, if need be, in the teeth of majorities. And if we succeed in raising such leaders from the body of our people, then around them once again a nation will crystallize itself. ... It is the pride of our Movement to be the force which shall awake the Germany of fighters which yet shall be.”


Frankfurter Zeitung— . . . The Bavarian People’s party [Bavarian branch of the Center party] issues a warning to the “Fatherland Leagues” to break with the Nazis. The letter reads: “People there are very much blinded by Hitler’s outward successes and overestimate the inner strength of theNational Socialist movement. People mistake a lot of noise for real spirit.”

SPEECH OF MAY 1, 1923: Munich

“... IF THE first of May is to be transferred in accordance with its true meaning from the life of Nature to the life of peoples, then it must symbolize the renewal of the body of a people which has fallen into senility. And in the life of peoples senility means internationalism. What is born of senility? Nothing, nothing at all. Whatever in human civilization has real value, that arose not out of internationalism; it sprang from the soul of a single people. When peoples have lost their creative vigor, then they become international. Everywhere, wherever intellectual incapacity rules in the life of peoples, there internationalism appears. And it is no chance that the promoter of this cast of thought is a people which itself can boast of no real creative force—the Jewish people. . . .”

“So the first of May can be only a glorification of the national creative will over against the conception of international disintegration, of the liberation of the nation’s spirit and of its economic outlook from the infection of internationalism. That is in the last resort the question of the restoration to health of peoples . . . and the question arises: Is the German oak ever destined to see another springtime? And that is where the mission of our Movement begins. We have the strength to conquer that which the autumn has brought upon us. Our will is to be National Socialists—not national in the current sense of the word—not national by halves. We are National Socialist fanatics, not dancers on the tight-rope of moderation!

“There are three words which many use without a thought which for us are no catch-phrases: Love, Faith, and Hope. We National Socialists wish to love our Fatherland, we wish to learn to love it, to learn to love it jealously, to love it alone and to suffer no other idol to stand by its side. We know only one interest and that is the interest of our people.

“We are fanatical in our love for our people, and we are anxious that so-called ‘national governments’ should be conscious of that fact. We can go as loyally as a dog with those who share our sincerity, but we will pursue with fanatical hatred the man who believes that he can play tricks with this love of ours. We cannot go with governments who look two ways at once, who squint both towards the Right and towards the Left. We are straightforward: it must be either love or hate.

“We have faith in the rights of our people, the rights which have existed time out of mind. We protest against the view that every other nation should have rights—and we have none. We must learn to make our own this blind faith in the rights of our people, in the necessity of devoting ourselves to the service of these rights; we must make our own the faith that gradually victory must be granted us if only we are fanatical enough. And from this love and from this faith there emerges for us the idea of hope. When others doubt and hesitate for the future of Germany—we have no doubts. We have both the hope and the faith that Germany will and must once more become great and mighty.

“We have both the hope and the faith that the day will come on which Germany shall stretch from Königsberg to Strassburg, and from Hamburg to Vienna.

“We have faith that one day Heaven will bring the Germans back into a Reich over which there shall be no Soviet star, no Jewish star of David, but above that Reich there shall be the symbol of German labor—the Swastika. And that will mean that the first of May has truly come.”


Berliner Tageblatt, May 2—National Socialist Fiasco in Munich: . . . The National Socialist storm troops did assemble as commanded, about 7000 to 8000 strong, around their Fuehrer, Hitler, on the Oberwiesenfeld, and there awaited further commands. But their rhetorically skillful “dictator” was nonplussed by the firm stand of the authorities. He complained whimperingly that he felt himself “encircled and betrayed,” whereupon his disappointed followers gradually vanished. After today’s fiasco, Hitler can be considered politically and financially through in Munich. . . .

SPEECH OF AUGUST 1, 1923: Munich

New York Herald Tribune, May 20, 1928, published first American interview with Hitler.

“. . . THERE are two things which can unite men: common ideals and common criminality. We have inscribed upon our banner the great Germanic ideal and for that ideal we will fight to the last drop of our blood. We National Socialists have realized that from the international cesspool of infamy, from the Berlin of today, nothing can come to save the Fatherland. We know that two things alone will save us: first, the end of internal corruption, the cleansing out of all those who owe their existence simply to the protection of their party comrades. Through the most brutal ruthlessness towards all party officials we must restore our finances. It must be proved that the official is not a party man, but a specialist! The body of German officials must once more become what once it was. But the second and the most important point is that the day must come when a German government shall summon up the courage to declare to the Foreign Powers: ‘The Treaty of Versailles is founded on a monstrous lie. We refuse to carry out its terms any longer. Do what you will! If you wish for war, go and get it! Then we shall see whether you can turn seventy million Germans into serfs and slaves!’

“If cowards cry out: ‘But we have no arms!’ that is neither here nor there! When the whole German people knows one will and one will only—to be free—in that hour we shall have the instrument with which to win our freedom. It matters not whether these weapons of ours are humane: if they gain us our freedom, they are justified before our conscience and before our God. When the eyes of German children look questioning into ours, when we see the suffering and distress of millions of our fellow-countrymen who without any fault of theirs have fallen into this frightful misfortune, then we laugh at the curses of the whole world, if from these curses there issues the freedom of our race.

“But since we know that today the German people consists for one-third of heroes, for another third of cowards, while the rest are traitors, as a condition of our freedom in respect of the outside world we would first cleanse our domestic life. The present ‘United Front’ has failed in that task. The day of another ‘United Front’ will come. But before that there must be a day of reckoning for those who for four and a half years have led us on their criminal ways. The domestic battle must come before the battle with the world without— the final decision between those who say ‘We are Germans and proud of the fact’ and those who do not wish to be Germans or who are not Germans at all. Our Movement is opposed with the cry ‘The Republic is in danger!’ Your Republic of the Ninth of November? In very truth it is: the November-Republic is in danger! How long, think you, you can maintain this ‘State’? . .

“Our Movement was not formed with any election in view, but in order to spring to the rescue of this people as its last help in the hour of greatest need, at the moment when in fear and despair it sees the approach of the Red Monster. The task of our Movement is still today not to prepare ourselves for any coming election but to prepare for the coming collapse of the Reich, so that when the old trunk falls the young fir-tree may be already standing. The Via dolorosa of Germany from Wirth, by way of Cuno to Stresemann, will end in the dictatorship of a Jewish lord of finance. ... We want to be the supporters of the dictatorship of national reason, of national energy, of national—brutality and resolution. Germany can be saved only through action, when through our talking here the bandage has been torn from the eyes of the last of the befooled. It is from our Movement that redemption will come—that today is the feeling of millions. That has become almost a new religious faith! And there will be only two possibilities: either Berlin marches and ends up in Munich, or Munich marches and ends up in Berlin! A bolshevist North Germany and a nationalist Bavaria cannot exist side by side, and the greatest influence upon the fortunes of the German Reich will be his who shall restore the Reich. ... Either Germany sinks, and we through our despicable cowardice sink with it, or else we dare to enter on the fight against death and devil and rise up against the fate that has been planned for us. Then we shall see which is the stronger: the spirit of international Jewry or the will of Germany.”


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1923: Munich



August 8—Chancellor Dr. Carl Cuno, in order to meet the drop of the mark to 5,500,000 to the dollar, proposes an unlimited gold loan, a gold tax, and a general tax to finance the passive resistance in the Ruhr.

August 14—Chancellor Stresemann outlines his program to the German Reichstag; the end of passive resistance and the enforced taxation of war and postwar profiteers.

The Speech

“. . . THE Republic was founded to be a milk-cow for its founders—for the whole parliamentary gang. It was never intended to be a State for the German people, but a feedingground, as pleasant and as rich a feeding-ground as possible. There never was any thought of giving to the German people a free State: the object was to provide a mob of the lowest scoundrels with an obliging object for their exploitation. The fruit of the honest work of other folk has been stolen by those who themselves have never worked. And if we refuse to grasp the facts, the outside world knows better. The outside world despises the representatives of this No- vember-Republic! Neither in society nor in the meetings of diplomats are they regarded as equals, much less as men of character. Think of Lloyd George—this man with the single fanatical idea—that England must be led to victory. There comes up to him one of the ‘November men’ of whom he knows: ‘My people would have been defeated if your people by you had not been .’ How will Lloyd George receivehim? Surely with unspeakable contempt! For he knows what we can only guess, how in the war the millions of gold poured into Germany, how they began to take effect, how great associations of traitors were formed through foreign gold- through h is gold. And now he sees face to face the man to whom before he paid out the Judas-wage. What do you think Lloyd George will do? He can only spit at the sight. Never can any one of the ‘November criminals’ represent Germany before the world! ..

“The Republic, by God! is worthy of its fathers. For hardly was the first deed of shame committed when there followed the second—one dishonor after another! One can scarcely believe any longer that there was once a time when one could speak of the Germans as the first people in the world.

“The essential character of the November-Republic is to be seen in the comings and goings to London, to Spa, to Paris and Genoa. Subserviency towards the enemy, surrender of the human dignity of the German, pacifist cowardice, tolerance of every indignity, readiness to agree to everything until nothing more remains. This November Republic bore the stamp of the men who made it. The name ‘November criminals’ will cling to these folk throughout the centuries. . . .”

“How are States founded? Through the personality of brilliant leaders and through a people which deserves to have the crown of laurel bound about its brows. Compare with them the ‘heroes’ of this Republic! Shirkers, Deserters, and Pacifists: these are its founders and their heroic acts consisted in leaving in the lurch the soldiers at the front, in stopping reinforcements, in withholding from them munitions, while at home against old men and half-starved children they carried through a revolutionary coup d’état. They have quite simply got together their November State by theft! In the face of the armies returning wearied from the front these thieves have still posed as the saviours of the Fatherland! They declared the Pacifist-Democratic Republic. On the other hand I ask: What can be the only meaning of loyalty to the State? The loyalty of heroes! This Revolution has dishonored the old heroes on whom the whole earth had looked with wonder; it allowed the scum of the streets to tear off their decorations and to hurl into the mire all that was sacred to the heroes of the front line. And how does the Republic honor now the new heroes? Schlageter? By warrants for his arrest.

“Pacifism as the idea of the State, international law instead of power—all means are good enough to unman the people. They hold India up to us as a model and what is called ‘passive resistance.’ True, they want to make an India of Germany, a folk of dreams which turns away its face from realities, in order that they can oppress it for all eternity, that they may span it body and soul to the yoke of slavery. . . .”

“In the economic sphere this Revolution has proved to be an immense misfortune. The districts which were most important for the feeding of our people were lost and districts which are the condition for the feeding of the nation have been treasonably alienated. And what did the Revolution not prophesy for us in the political sphere? One heard of the right of Self-Determination of Peoples, of the League of Nations, of Self-Government of the People. And what was the result? A World Peace, but a World Peace over a Germany which was but a field of corpses. Disarmament, but only the disarmament of Germany, with Germany looting its own resources. Self-determination, yes, but self-determination for every Negro tribe: and Germany does not count as a Negro tribe. League of Nations, yes: but a League of Nations which serves only as the guarantor for the fulfillment of the Peace Treaty, not for a better world order which is to come. And government by the people—for five years past no one has asked the people what it thinks of the act of November of the year 1918: at the head of the Reich there stands a President who is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the people and who has not been chosen by the people. Seventeen million Germans are in misery under foreign rule. Hardly ever in five years has so much been torn away from the German nation as in these years of the so-called successful Revolution. We have been rendered defenseless: we are without rights: we have become the pariahs of the world. What are our organs of government today but organs for executing the will of foreign tyrants? ...”

“We were given a Free State which never deserved the name of ‘free.’ Then they called it a ‘People’s State.’ But think you that bankers can form a government which befits a ‘People’s State’?

“In fact the Revolution made three changes in our State: it internationalized the German State, the economic life of Germany, and the German people itself. Thereby Germany has been turned into a colony of the outside world. Those who were fed with the ideal of the International were in fact placed under the ‘Diktat’ of the International. They have their international State: today international finance is king. . .

“While the masses were still told lies about ‘socialization,’ the economic life of Germany was in fact socialized, not by the German people, but by the outside world. . .

“Through the internationalization of the nation itself in the end a people ceases to be master of its own fate: it becomes the puppet of alien forces.

“Is that, now, a People’s Revolution? Is such a construction a People’s State? No, it is the Jews’ Paradise.”


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 26, 1924: Before the Munich Court



September 26—The German Government formally proclaims the end of passive resistance in the Ruhr. State of siege declared in Germany and the Voelkischer Beobachter banned for the first time.

October 75—Bavaria, backed by Wuerttemberg and Saxony, breaks diplomatic relations with Berlin. The local Bavarian Reichswehr revolts against the Reich.

October 24—During a Communist insurrection in Hamburg, 14 policemen killed and 100 wounded.

October 27—The Chancellor demands the resignation of the Communist Government in Saxony and the restoration of the authority of the Reich in Bavaria.

November 8—Hitler and Ludendorff attempt to seize power in Munich.

November .9—National Socialist party dissolved and its property seized.

November 29—Dr. Stresemann is succeeded by Dr. Marx as German Chancellor.


January 18—A plot on the part of the Executive Committee of the Communist International forces Leon Trotsky, Commissioner of the People for the Red Army, to retire.

January 21—Death of Lenin.

January 22—MacDonald forms the first Labor Government in Britain.

February 26—The trial of General Ludendorff, Adolf Hitler and others begins in Munich.

The Speech

“IT SEEMS strange to me that a man who, as a soldier, was for six years accustomed to blind obedience, should suddenly come into conflict with the State and its Constitution. The reasons for this stem from the days of my youth. When I was seventeen I came to Vienna, and there I learned to study and observe three important problems: the social question, the race problem, and, finally, the Marxist movement. I left Vienna a confirmed anti-Semite, a deadly foe of the whole Marxist world outlook, and pan-Germqn in my political principles. And since I knew that the German destiny of German-Austria would not be fought out in the Austrian Army alone, but in the German and Austrian Army, I enlisted in the German Army. . .

“When, on November 7, [1918] it was announced that the Revolution had broken out in Munich, I at first could not believe it. At that time there arose in me the determination to devote myself to politics. I went through the period of the Soviets, and as a result of my opposition to them I came in contact with the National Socialist German Workers Movement, which at that time numbered six members. I was the seventh. I attached myself to this party, and not to one of the great political parties where my prospects would have been better, because none of the other parties understood or even recognized the decisive, fundamental problem.

“By Marxism I understand a doctrine which in principle rejects the idea of the worth of personality, which replaces individual energy by the masses and thereby works the destruction of our whole cultural life. This movement has utilized monstrously effective methods and exercised tremendous influence on the masses, which in the course of three or four decades could have no other result than that the individual has become his own brother’s foe, while at the same time calling a Frenchman, an Englishman, or a Zulu his brother. This movement is distinguished by incredible terror, which is based on a knowledge of mass psychology. . . .”

“The German Revolution is a revolution, and therefore successful high treason; it is well known that such treason is never punished. ...”

“For us it was a filthy crime against the German people, a stab in the back of the German nation. The middle class could not take up arms against it because the middle class did not understand the whole revolution. It was necessary to start a new struggle and to incite against the Marxist despoilers of the people who did not even belong to the German race—which is where the Marxist problem is linked with the race problem, forming one of the most difficult and profound questions of our time. ...”

“Personally, at the beginning I held a lost position. Nevertheless, in the course of a few years there has grown from a little band of six men a movement which today embraces millions and which, above all, has once made the broad masses nationalistic. . . .”

“In 1923 came the great and bitter scandal. As early as 1922 we had seen that the Ruhr was about to be lost. France’s aim was not merely to weaken Germany, to keep her from obtaining supremacy, but to break her up into small states so that she [France] would be able to hold the Rhine frontier. After all the Government’s reiterations of our weakness, we knew that on top of the Saar and Upper Silesia we would lose our third coal region, the Ruhr; each loss brought on the next one. . . .”

“Only burning, ruthless, brutal fanaticism could have saved the situation. The Reich Government should have let the hundreds of thousands of young men who were pouring out of the Ruhr into the Reich under the old colors of blackwhite-red flow together in a mighty national wave. Instead, these young people were sent back home. The resistance that was organized was for wages; the national resistance was degraded to a paid general strike. It was forgotten that a foe like France cannot be prayed away, still less can he be idled away. ...”

“Our youth has—and may this be heard in Paris—but one thought: that the day may come when we shall again be free. . . . My attitude is this: I would rather that Germany go Bolshevist and I be hanged than that she should be destroyed by the French rule of the sword. ... It turned out that the back-stabbers were stronger than ever. . . . With pride I admit that our men were the only ones to really resist in the Ruhr. We intended to hold fourteen meetings and introduce a propaganda campaign throughout Germany with the slogan: Down with the Ruhr traitors! But we were surprised by the banning of these mass meetings. I had met Herr von Kahr in 1920. Kahr had impressed me as being an honest official. I asked him why the fourteen mass meetings had been banned. The reason he gave me simply would not hold water. The real reason was something that could not be revealed. . .

“From the very first day the watchword was: unlimited struggle against Berlin. . .

“The struggle against Berlin, as Dr. von Kahr would lead it, is a crime; one must have the courage to be logical and see that the struggle must be incorporated in the German national uprising. I said that all that had been made of this struggle was a Bavarian rejection of Berlin’s requests. But the people expected something other than a reduction in the price of beer, regulation of the price of milk and confiscation of butter tubs and other such impossible economic proposals —proposals which make you want to ask: who is the genius that is advising them? Every failure could only further enrage the masses, and I pointed out that while the people were now only laughing at Kahr’s measures, later on they would rise up against them. I said: ‘Either you finish the job—and there is only the political and military struggle left. When you cross the Rubicon, you must march on Rome. Or else you do not want to struggle; then only capitulation is left. . . ”

“The struggle had to turn toward the North; it could not be led by a purely Bavarian organization ... I said: ‘The only man to head it is Ludendorff.’

“I had first seen Ludendorff in 1918, in the field. In 1920 I first spoke personally with him. I saw that he was not only the outstanding general, but that he had now learned the lesson and understood what had brought the German nation to ruin. That Ludendorff was talked down by the others was one more reason for me to come closer to him. I therefore proposed Ludendorff, and Lossow and Seisser had no objections.

“I further explained to Lossow that right now nothing could be accomplished by petty economic measures. The fight was against Marxism. To solve this problem, not administrators were needed but firebrands who would be in a position to inflame the national spirit to the extreme. Kahr could not do that, I pointed out; the youth were not behind him. I declared that I could join them only on the condition that the political struggle was put into my hands alone. This was not impudence or immodesty; I believe that when a man knows he can do a job, he must not be modest. . . .”

“One thing was certain: Lossow, Kahr, and Seisser had the same goal that we had: to get rid of the Reich Government with its present international and parliamentary position, and to replace it by an anti-parliamentary government. If our undertaking was actually high treason, then during this whole period Lossow, Seisser, and Kahr must have been committing high treason along with us—for during all those months we talked of nothing but the aims of which we now stand accused. . . .”

“How could we have called for a new government if we had not known that the gentlemen in power were altogether on our side? How else could we, two days before, have given such orders as: at 8:30 o’clock such and such a government will be proclaimed. . . .”

“Lossow talked of a coup d’état. Kahr quite openly declared that he would give the word to strike. The only possible interpretation of this talk is that these men wanted to strike, but each time lost their nerve. Our last conversation, on November 6, was for me the absolute confirmation of my belief that these men wanted to, but—!. . .

“My total impression of the meeting of November 6 was the following: Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser can no longer retreat; they will have to fight or capitulate. It is unthinkable that the present situation in Bavaria can last much longer. For whenever I asked about the relations between Kahr and the Bavarian Diet, Seisser and Lossow always assured me: "The Diet no longer has anything to say. . . / ”

“On November 6, Lossow declared: ‘Under certain conditions I am ready to go ahead with the coup d’état.’ Now it is obvious that when a man cannot summon up enough courage to make the break, he cannot tell others to make it. We could not help seeing that the gentlemen were waiting for someone to set things going. . . . Therefore, the only remaining possibility was to set things going ourselves. ... I immediately perceived that only a very few should be given knowledge of the plan. I had no fear that later I would be reproached for not informing the people beforehand, for all the gentlemen expected nothing else. Hour after hour they hoped the problem would be solved. We did not inform all the elderly gentlemen with families. When I discussed the question of whether Ludendorff should be informed, I was told: No, as an officer Ludendorff must know nothing about it, though it was clear what his position would be when we struck. . . .”

“The actual events of November 8 were, briefly, as follows: At eight o’clock I went to the Buergerbraeukeller. I noticed that there were such crowds standing about the place that one might think our intention had come to the ears of the police. The hall was packed and we tried to get Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser to come out. The circumstances seemed to indicate that we might run into difficulties and therefore I went into the vestibule and told Scheubner to go to Ludendorff immediately and inform him. Then I asked a policeman to clear the street because there might be trouble in the hall. At 8:34 I entered the hall with three men, my permanent bodyguard. We held pistols in our hands, for it was not impossible that someone might shoot at us from behind. ...”

“I entered and obtained quiet by firing a pistol shot. It was in the nature of the whole affair that I had to fire this shot, and only someone who mouths the words of others could fail to understand this. I then asked Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser to come out. . . . Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser were immediately given assurance that they would be quite safe. I was just as much in command of my senses that day as I am every other day. ...”

“The few sentences of our conversation in the adjoining room have partly been falsified, partly torn out of content. We did not threaten. I reminded these gentlemen of what we talked about all the time and asked them to act upon their beliefs now. I said there was no turning back. We would be ruined if we did. For I foresaw that if the cause was lost, they would go to prison with us, an opinion which, however, I have had to correct today. I told them that I was ready to go into the hall and propose that he take over these offices. I wanted to ask the people their opinion on these proposals. Let them decide for themselves whether they were satisfied with our solution. In the hall tremendous applause arose. I left the hall again and told Kahr about it. I said: ‘You needn’t be ashamed when you go in; they will carry you on their shoulders.’

“Ludendorff came. He asked me whether the others had been told that he was coming. Then he declared he was surprised at the others; but now the only possible decision must be made.

“He made it clear that this was only possible with Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser. All were deeply moved; Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser had tears in their eyes. Lossow said to Ludendorff: ‘Excellency, your wish is my command.’ He held out his hand, everyone was quiet for a moment.

“Seisser, also deeply moved, shook hands with Ludendorff. The two spoke with Kahr again.

“Then Kahr said: ‘Good! But all of us here are monarchists. I can take over the administration only as representative of the monarchy. . . ”

“Certain people have presented this situation as though I oscillated between the pistol and the beer-mug. I am almost an anti-alcoholic and it is only because of the dryness of my voice that I occasionally take a drink of water and beer. It is shameless to put such a filthy interpretation on that. ...”

“At that moment I trusted Kahr like a brother. It seemed to me unthinkable that a man who talks about a thing for months, agrees to it, who says, we are with you, should suddenly declare: I quit. For Ludendorff it would have been unheard-of to break the word given under such circumstances—and not only to break it but even to interpret it as a kind of blackmail. . . .”

“I went out with Weber. . . . When we came back, Lossow, Seisser, and Kahr had left. Ludendorff was not at all disturbed; he had full confidence in Kahr’s word of honor. My idea at the time was that the three had fallen into the hands of traitors around them; whereas with us they had been perfectly safe, they might really be in danger now. . . .”

“On our side it was certain that a struggle against the Reichswehr and the police would be ruinous, for these were the two factors which were primarily to bring about the change. Without these two factors the whole affair was purposeless. Moreover, as long as we were not absolutely certain that Lossow, Seisser, and Kahr . . . would not go along with us, it was our duty to carry out our part honestly. It was, therefore, not foolishness that we stuck to our purpose. The people backed us up—even as they are backing us up today.

The prisons to which our comrades are being sent will be places of honor for German youth.

“But even when morning came, we still had no news that would completely clarify things. Nor did we have any news by twelve noon. There were only two possibilities: Either launch our appeal beyond Munich, or remain in Munich and depend once more on public opinion. . . . Ludendorff himself accordingly said: ‘We will enter the city.’ To win public opinion, to see how public opinion reacts, and then to see how Messrs. Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser react to public opinion. For they could not be so foolish as to turn machine guns on the aroused people.

“And so the march on the city was decided. We marched at the head; for we do not behave like the Communists who look for cover when the others are climbing the barricades. I was asked to tell Ludendorff that we might be fired upon. I did so, but Ludendorff merely answered: ‘We are marching! . .

“At the Ludwigsbruecke the police met us with loaded guns; but as we marched on this police cordon broke up. They were not disarmed by us. Then men were deeply moved; there were some from whose eyes tears were streaming. If these men were disarmed after we passed, we knew nothing about it. To be sure, civilians were crying: ‘Strike them down!’ But I said they should not be harmed, for they had not actually done anything against us. We marched to the Marienplatz, where we were greeted jubilantly by the enormous crowd. This crowd was demanding a reckoning with the men who five years ago committed such a monstrous crime. At the Palace we were held up by a stronger cordon of police. We were in civilian clothes and none of us had so much as a pistol in his hand. Then there came a rifle shot, and then a salvo. Scheubner fell, and pulled me down; I felt as though I had received a flesh wound. I tried to get up. Then the shooting stopped. All around me I saw nothing but dead men. On the ground lay a tall man with a black coat that was covered with blood, and at the moment I felt sure it was Ludendorff. Later I learned that Ludendorff still lived. . . .”

“I alone bear the responsibility. But I am not a criminal because of that. If today I stand here as a revolutionary, it is as a revolutionary against the Revolution.

“It is impossible for me to have committed high treason; for the treason could not consist in the events of November 8, but in all our activities and our state of mind in the preceding months, and then I wonder why those who did exactly the same thing are not sitting here beside me.

“If we committed high treason, then countless others did the same. I deny all guilt so long as I do not find added to our little company those gentlemen who helped even in the pettiest details of the preparation of the affair, as I shall prove in the closed hearings.

“I feel myself the best of Germans, who wanted the best for the German people.”


Koelnische Zeitung— . . . We had expected a great deal, but in his truly moving oratory Hitler exceeded all that the most lively imagination expected. It seemed to have a tremendous effect upon the audience when Hitler described as a simple soldier he saw the leaders of the army standing on a hill—those men who have been worshiped as incorporating the greatness of Germany; and how to work with these men toward the same goal had always seemed to him, Hitler, the highest ideal. . . .

Frankfurter Zeitung— . . . Read Hitler’s defense speech. Is that the way a man speaks who is filled with the noble, clearly-visioned mission of saving Germany? He rants—rants in fearfully exaggerated terms at the Marxists, with ugly distortions of history at the “November criminals,” with incredible lack of sympathy at the fighters in the Ruhr. Where do we find one positive idea? We do not doubt that he would have been capable of executing a few of the “November criminals”—and at the same time the French would have bitten off a few more fragments of German territory and once more united the world against us. When will it be seen that these men live in hatred alone, that their so-called “forcefulness,” which is worshiped by so many Germans, is nothing more than an attempt to free themselves of the vexation which the disappointments of our hard life in Germany have imposed on them—and that they only succeed in increasing the misery of our country? ...

London Times— . . . Beginning almost nervously, the little Austrian sign-painter soon recovered himself, and his speech was reminiscent of many that he had made in the beer halls of Munich. There was no applause, but it was evident that the sympathies of a very large proportion of those who were in the Court were with the speaker, when, with emphatic gesture, he declared that it was not himself or his associates who were on trial, but his Excellency Herr von Kahr, the Dictator, and that ‘but for the Dictator’s treachery a National Government which could have saved Germany would now have been in power. ...

New York Times— . . . The friendly atmosphere in which the trial began was noticeable. Hitler and Ludendorff chatted animatedly together, while the other accused men seemed not to take the trial seriously. . . .

SPEECH OF MARCH 27, 1924: Before the Munich Court

“WHEN did the ruin of Germany begin? You know the watchword of the old German system in its foreign policy: it ran—maintenance of world peace, economic conquest ofthe world. With both these principles one cannot govern a people. The maintenance of world peace cannot be the purpose and aim of the policy of a State. The increase and maintenance of a people—that alone can be the aim. If you are going to conquer the world by an economic policy, other peoples will not fail to see their danger.

“What is the State? Today the State is an economic organization, an association of persons, formed, it would seem, for the sole purpose that all should co-operate in securing each other’s daily bread. The State, however, is not an economic organization, it is a ‘volkic’ organism. The purpose, the aim of the State is to provide the people with its food-supply and with the position of power in the world which is its due. Germany occupies in Europe perhaps the most bitter situation of any people. Militarily, politically, and geographically it is surrounded by none but rivals: it can maintain itself only when it places a power-policy (Machtpolitik) ruthlessly in the foreground.

“Two Powers are in a position to determine the future development of Europe: England and France. England’s aim remains eternally the same: to balkanize Europe and to establish a balance of power in Europe so that her position in the world will not be threatened. England is not on principle an enemy of Germany, it is the Power which seeks to gain, the first place in Europe. The declared enemy of Germany is France. Just as England needs the balkanization of Europe, so France needs the balkanization of Germany in order to gain hegemony in Europe. After four and a half years of bitter struggle at last through the Revolution the scale of victory turned in favor of the coalition of these two Powers, with the following result: France was faced with the question: Was she to realize her eternal war-aim or not? That means: Could France destroy Germany and deprive it of all the sources whereby its people was fed? Today France watches the ripening to fulfillment of her age-old plan: it matters not what Government will be at the helm in France: the supreme aim will remain—the annihilation of Germany, the extermination of twenty million Germans, and the dissolution of Germany into separate States. . . .”

“The army which we have formed grows from day to day; from hour to hour it grows more rapidly. Even now I have the proud hope that one day the hour is coming when these untrained bands will become battalions, when the battalions will become regiments and the regiments divisions, when the old cockade will be raised from the mire, when the old banners will once again wave before us: and then reconciliation will come in that eternal last Court of Judgment—the Court of God—before which we are ready to take our stand. Then from our bones, from our graves will sound the voice of that tribunal which alone has the right to sit in judgment upon us. For, gentlemen, it is not you who pronounce judgment upon us, it is the eternal Court of History which will make its pronouncement upon the charge which is brought against us. The judgment that you will pass, that I know. But that Court will not ask of us: ‘Have you committed high treason or not?’ That Court will judge us . . . who as Germans have wished the best for their people and their Fatherland, who wished to fight and to die. You may declare us guilty a thousand times, but the Goddess who presides over the Eternal Court of History will with a smile tear in pieces the charge of the Public Prosecutor and the judgment of the Court: for she declares us guiltless.”


Berliner Tageblatt (“Bankrupt Justice” by Ernst Feder)— . . . In full publicity, the bench of the Bavarian People’s Court must be destroyed. For the verdict that was passed down today in the Infantry School in Munich, and which exceeded the direst expectations of skeptical critics, is tantamount to a declaration of the bankruptcy of Bavarian justice. It is a verdict without example in a time when so manyerrors of justice are being committed daily in political trials. . . .

Roehm, Frick, Brueckner, Pernet, and Wagner have been released and can go on planning their putsches. Hitler, Poehner, Kriebel and Weber may be released after six months. . . . Never before has a Court more openly denied the foundation upon which it rests and upon which every modern state is built. . . .

Frankfurter Zeitung— . . . The verdict can only be explained on the basis of the principle that high treason, if born out of “national” aspirations, is a venial, minor crime. Nothing is more symptomatic than that the court calls the minimum punishment of five years imprisonment, which dates from the pre-revolutionary period, “a very considerable term.” Once upon a time high treason was a serious crime in Germany. . . .

Germania (Catholic party organ), Berlin— . . . Not only from the juridical standpoint, but also from the point of view .of national needs, the Munich verdict must be deeply regretted. For it means practically a verdict of not guilty, and an invitation to high treason. ...

Le Temps— . . . This verdict can be criticized point by point. The crime is obvious: these men have attempted to seize power in Germany; they sought to corrupt the Reichswehr and march on Berlin. . . .

New York Times— . . . Plotting the overthrow of the Republic is not a hazardous occupation in Germany. If the practitioner of treason is a towering figure like Ludendorff, he is acquitted on the ground of “innocent” complicity. . . .

London Times— . . . The trial has at any rate proved that to plot against the Constitution of the Reich is not considered a serious crime in Bavaria. . . .

SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 23, 1926: Essen, Party Convention



April 1— Verdict in the Hitler trial. Ludendorff acquitted, Hitler, Weber, Kriebel, and Poehner condemned to five years’ imprisonment.

August 76—Former Allies and Germany reach agreement in London on the Dawes Reparation Plan.

August 18—French troops begin evacuation of the Ruhr.

November 4—Coolidge elected as President of the United States. British Prime Minister MacDonald resigns and is succeeded by Stanley Baldwin.

December 22—Reports of the Supreme Interallied Military Commission show that Germany has not disarmed in accordance with the terms of the Versailles Treaty.


January—Bavarian Government lifts the ban on the old National Socialist party. Hitler is pardoned but is forbidden to make public speeches.

February 27—Hitler’s first speech in private in the Biirger- brau Keller.

February 28—Friedrich Ebert, first President of the German Republic, dies.

March 29—April 26—Election of Hindenburg as President of Germany.

July 31—The French complete the evacuation of the Ruhr.

August 6—The Reichstag ratifies the Dawes Plan.

November 22—Meeting of the “North German Districts’’ of the Nazi party in Hannover, convoked and led by Gregor Strasser. Rust, the Gauleiter for Hannover, declares that the North Germans do not want to be ruled by Hitler. A split in the Party is threatened.

November 27—The Reichstag ratifies the Locarno treaties and authorizes the entrance of the Reich into the League of Nations.

December 1—British and Belgian troops evacuate Cologne and Crefeld.


Beginning of the year—National Socialist party announces membership of 30,000.

January—Foundation of the SS. Function: to be Hitler’s bodyguard.

February 2—Four members of the German terrorist organization, the Feme of the illegal Black Reichswehr, are sentenced to death. In subsequent trials the German War Office suppresses evidence.

February 12—The League of Nations prepares to admit Germany in accordance with the Locarno Treaty.

May 73—Coup d’état of Marshal Pilsudski in Poland.

May 22—General membership meeting of the National Socialist party in Munich. New Party articles provide for unlimited power of the “Fuehrer.” The Party program is established as unchangeable.

September 2-77—Council of the League of Nations offers Germany a permanent seat.

October 26—Appointment of Dr. Josef Goebbels as the Nationalist Socialist party’s Gauleiter in Berlin. He is given extraordinary powers.

The Speech

“. . . I WAS always particularly anxious to secure that Parteitag should on principle never be used for the settlement of personal disputes. Such disputes must certainly be settled in one way or another, but just as certainly the Partei-tag, which once in the year should unite the whole Movement, is not the fitting day for such a settlement. Neither is it the place at which to seek to clarify unripe and uncertain ideas. Neither the length of time available at such a gathering nor its nature admits of giving to it the character of a Council. And it must never be forgotten that in all such cases or those similar to them ffreat decisions have not been o

made at such Councils: on the contrary, for the most part, world-history pursues its course without paying any attention to them. World-history, like all events of historical significance, is the result of the activity of single individuals— it is not the fruit of majority decisions. . .


No comments in the leading German newspapers.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1930: Munich



Early March—Bavarian Government lifts the ban on Hitler’s speaking.

May 21—Lindbergh transatlantic flight.

August 27—Nazi party convention in Nuremberg. Parade of 20,000 SA-men.

September 5—At the League of Nations at Geneva, compulsory arbitration is accepted by Germany.


January 16—Leon Trotzky is exiled from European Russia.

April 73—Secretary of State Kellogg sends draft of treaty renouncing war as a national policy to Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan.

May 20—General elections in Germany result in gains for the Socialist party and losses for the Nationalists and Monarchists.

May 31—Removal of the ban on the Nazi party in Berlin.

June 12—In Germany, a government of the Socialist leader, Hermann Mueller-Franken, succeeds that of Chancellor Marx.

June 23—Kellogg submits to fourteen nations a new draft of the treaty outlawing war as a national policy, with a preamble intended to meet French objections.

July—Removal of the prohibition against Hitler’s speaking in Prussia.

August 9—The Nazi party decides against the formation of National Socialist labor unions.

October 7—Soviet Union inaugurates the Five-Year Plan.


January 77—President Coolidge signs the Kellogg Pact.

February 6—The German Reichstag ratifies the Kellogg Pact.

July—National Socialist party claims 120,000 members.

October 18—In Germany, President von Hindenburg condemns the Nationalist referendum which would express disapproval of officials pledged to the Young Plan.

October— Beginning of the stock market crash in New York.


January 75—Communist riots in German industrial centers on account of two million unemployed.

March 7—Declaring that Germany cannot meet the Young Plan, Hjalmar Schacht resigns as president of the Reichsbank.

March—Nazi party claims 210,000 members. Co-operation of Hitler and Hugenberg in the “Reich committee for a German popular referendum against the Young Plan and the warguilt lie.”

March 13— President von Hindenburg signs the Young Plan.

March 28—Wc. Heinrich Bruening forms a government which will support the Young Plan.

April 22—London Naval Conference: U.S.A., England, Japan, France and Italy agree to build no capital ships for six years.

September 14—In the general election Hitler receives 6,406,000 votes, raises Nazi representation in the Reichstag from 12 to 107.

September—Trial against the Nazi Lieutenant Scheringer for high treason. As a witness Hitler takes the oath that in the future he will stick to strict legality and act under the Weimar Constitution. The reaction in the SA is one of sharp disapproval, especially in Prussia.

The Speech

“. . . THIS election means that the circle is now complete. And the question at this time is: what are the aims of this opposition and its leaders?

“It is a fight for an idea—a Weltanschauung: and in the forefront stands a fundamental principle: Men do not exist for the State, the State exists for men. First and far above all else stands the idea of the people: the State is a form of organization of this people, and the meaning and the purpose of the State are through this form of organization to assure the life of the people. And from this there arises a new mode of thought and thus necessarily a new political method.

“We say: a new mode of thought. Today our whole official political outlook is rooted in the view that the State must be maintained because the State in itself is the essential thing; we, on the other hand, maintain that the State in its form has a definite purpose to fulfill and the moment that it fails to fulfil its purpose the form stands condemned. Above everything stands the purpose to maintain the nation’s life —that is the essential thing—and one should not speak of a law for the protection of the State but for the protection of the nation: it is of this protection that one must think. . . . In the place of this rigid formal organization—the Statemust be set the living organism—the people. Then all action is given a new untrammelled freedom: all the formal fetters which can today be imposed on men become immoral directly they fail to maintain the people, because that is the highest purpose in life and the aim of all reasonable thought and action.

“If today our action employs among its different weapons that of Parliament, that is not to say that parliamentary parties exist only for parliamentary ends. For us Parliament is not an end in itself, but merely a means to an end . . . we are not on principle a parliamentary party—that would be a contradiction of our whole outlook—we are a parliamentary party by compulsion, under constraint, and that compulsion is the Constitution. The Constitution compels us to use this means. It does not compel us to wish for a particular goal, it only prescribes a way—a method, and, I repeat, we follow this way legally, in accordance with the Constitution: by the way laid down through the Constitution we advance towards the purposes which we have set before us.

“Never can Constitutions determine for all time the content of a purpose, especially when this content is not identical with the vital rights of a people. If today the Constitution admits for its protection laws which are headed, ‘Laws for the Protection of the Republic,’ then it is demonstrated that the most which our present Constitution can prescribe is nothing but the protection and the maintenance of a form, and that does not touch the maintenance of the nation, of a people. This purpose is therefore free: this is the goal which we proclaim and to which we shall attain. . .

“From blood, authority of personality, and a fighting spirit springs that value which alone entitles a people to look around with glad hope, and that alone is also the condition for the life which men then desire. And when that is realized, then that too is realized for which today the political parties strive: prosperity, happiness of the individual, family-life, etc. First will come honor and then freedom, and from both of these happiness, prosperity, life: in a word, that state of things will return which we Germans perhaps dimly saw before the War when individuals can once more live with joy in their hearts because life has a meaning and a purpose, because the close of life is then not in itself the end, since there will be an endless chain of generations to follow: man will know that what we create will not sink into Orcus but will pass to his children and to his children's children. And so this victory which we have just won is nothing else than the winning of a new weapon for our fight. ... It is not for seats in Parliament that we fight, but we win seats in Parliament in order that one day we may be able to liberate the German people. . . .”

“Do not write on your banners the word ‘Victory’: today that word shall be uttered for the last time. Strike through the word ‘Victory’ and write once more in its place the word which suits us better—the word ‘Fight.’ ”


Le Temps, September 20—. . . In order to maintain itself, Hitler’s party will naturally be led to continue in this course, to exaggerate its demands and to conform in general terms to the aspirations of all those malcontents who are the most enlightened among his adherents. Hitler has expressly declared that the goal of his party is not a coup d’état but “therevolution of the German soul.” But while waiting for this, he prepares his moral revolution by the use of force. . . .

London Times, September 19—In his (Hitler’s) speech at Munich . . . after disclaiming any intention of obtaining power by armed revolt, he made some interesting observations about the uses of Parliament as the Nazis see them. For them, Herr Hitler explained, Parliament was not the objective itself, but a means of reaching the objective, not the goal, but a way to the goal. They were not a Parliamentary party by principle but by compulsion, and the compulsion wTas the Constitution. . . .

SPEECH OF JANUARY 27, 1932: Duesseldorf, Industry Club



September 21—In London the House of Commons passes a bill abandoning the gold standard.

October 11—Meeting in Harzburg of the Nazis and Nationalists—Hugenberg-Hitler alliance. Demand that Bruening resign. But even at the meeting Hitler makes his independence clear by reading a proclamation of his own to his own Nazi party members.

Mid-October— Hindenburg receives Hitler.


January—Conversation between Bruening and Hitler. Bruening suggests that Hitler agree to a continuance of Hindenburg’s term of office as President of the Reich. In return, Bruening would resign—after a year—and propose Hitler asChancellor. Party circles, led by Roehm, strongly oppose this proposal. Hitler thereupon declares that he could only agree to a continuance of Hindenburg’s term of office if Bruening were dismissed.

January 15—Approximately six million unemployed in the Reich.

January 23— Russia concludes a non-aggression pact with Finland.

The Speech

“. . . IF TODAY the National Socialist Movement is regarded amongst widespread circles in Germany as being hostile to our business life, I believe the reason for this view is to be found in the fact that we adopted towards the events which determined the development leading to our present position an attitude which differed from that of all the other organizations which are of any importance in our public life. Even now our outlook differs in many points from that of our opponents. ...”

“I regard it as of the first importance to break once and for all with the view that our destiny is conditioned by worldevents. It is not true that our distress has its final cause in a world crisis, in a world catastrophe: the true view is that we have reached a state of general crisis, because from the first certain mistakes were made. I must not say ‘According to the general view the Peace Treaty of Versailles is the cause of our misfortune.’ What is the Peace Treaty of Versailles but the work of men? It is not a burden which has been imposed or laid upon us by Providence. It is the work of men for which, it goes without saying, once again men with their merits or their failings must be held responsible. If this were not so, how should men ever be able to set aside this work at all? I am of the opinion that there is nothing which has been produced by the will of man which cannot in its turn be altered by another human will.

‘‘Both the Peace Treaty of Versailles together with all the consequences of that Treaty have been the result of a policy which perhaps fifteen, fourteen, or thirteen years ago was regarded as the right policy, at least in the enemy States, but which from our point of view was bound to be regarded as fatal when ten or less years ago its true character was disclosed to millions of Germans and now today stands revealed in its utter impossibility. I am bound therefore to assert that there must of necessity have been in Germany, too, some responsibility for these happenings if I am to have any belief that the German people can exercise some influence towards changing these conditions.

“It is also in my view false to say that life in Germany today is solely determined by considerations of foreign policy, that the primacy of foreign policy governs today the whole of our domestic life. Certainly a people can reach the point when foreign relations influence and determine completely its domestic life. But let no one say that such a condition is from the first either natural or desirable. Rather the important thing is that a people should create the conditions for a change in this state of affairs.

“If anyone says to me that its foreign politics is primarily decisive for the life of a people, then I must first ask: what then is the meaning of the term ‘Politics’? There is a whole series of definitions. Frederick the Great said: ‘Politics is the art of serving one’s State with every means.’ Bismarck’s explanation was that ‘Politics is the art of the Possible,’ starting from the conception that advantage should be taken of every possibility to serve the State—and, in the later transformation of the idea of the State into the idea of nationalities, the Nation. Another considers that this service rendered to the people can be effected by military as well as peaceful action: for Clausewitz says that war is the continuation of politics though with different means. Conversely, Clemenceau considers that today peace is nothing but the continuation of war and the pursuing of the war-aim, though again with other means. To put it briefly: politics is nothing else and can be nothing else than the safeguarding of a people’s vital interests and the practical waging of its life-battle with every means. Thus it is quite clear that this life-battle from the first has its starting-point in the people itself and that at the same time the people is the object—the real thing of value—which has to be preserved. All functions of this body formed by the people must in the last resort fulfill only one purpose—to secure in the future the maintenance of this body which is the people. I can therefore say neither that foreign policy nor economic policy is of primary significance. Of course, a people needs the business world in order to live. But business is but one of the functions of this body-politic whereby its existence is assured. But primarily the essential thing is the starting-point and that is the people itself. ...”

“It is therefore false to say that foreign politics shapes a people: rather, peoples order their relations to the world about them in correspondence with their inborn forces and according to the measure in which their education enables them to bring those forces into play. We may be quite convinced that if in the place of the Germany of today there had stood a different Germany, the attitude towards the rest of the world would also have been different, and then presumably the influences exercised by the rest of the world would have taken a different form. To deny this would mean that Germany’s destiny can no longer be changed no matter what Government rules in Germany.. .

“And as against this conception I am the champion of another standpoint: three factors, I hold, essentially determine a people’s political life:

“First, the inner value of a people which as an inherited sum and possession is transmitted again and again through the generations, a value which suffers any change when the people, the custodian of this inherited possession, changes itself in its inner blood-conditioned composition. It is beyond question that certain traits of character, certain virtues, and certain vices always recur in peoples so long as their inner nature—their blood-conditioned composition—has not essentially altered. I can already trace the virtues and the vices of our German people in the writers of Rome just as clearly as I see them today. This inner value which determines the life of a people can be destroyed by nothing save only through a change in the blood causing a change in substance. Temporarily an illogical form of organization of life or unintelligent education may prejudice it. But in that case, though its effective action may be hindered, the fundamental value in itself is still present as it was before. And it is this value which is the great source of all hopes for a people’s revival, it is this which justifies the belief that a people which in the course of thousands of years has furnished countless examples of the highest inner value cannot suddenly have lost overnight this inborn inherited value, but that one day this people will once again bring this value into action. If this were not the case, then the faith of millions of men in a better future—the mystic hope for a new Germany—would be incomprehensible. It would be incomprehensible how it was that this German people, at the end of the Thirty Years War, when its population had shrunk from eighteen to thirteen and one-half millions, could ever have once more formed the hope through work, through industry, and capacity to rise again, how in this completely crushed people hundreds of thousands and finally millions should have been seized with the longing for a re-formation of their State. . .

“I said that this value can be destroyed. There are indeed in especial two other closely related factors which we can time and again trace in periods of national decline: the one is that for the conception of the value of personality there is substituted a levelling idea of the supremacy of mere numbers—democracy—and the other is the negation of the value of a people, the denial of any difference in the inborn capacity, the achievement, etc., of individual peoples. Thus both factors condition one another or at least influence each other in the course of their development. Internationalism and democracy are inseparable conceptions. It is but logical that democracy, which within a people denies the special value of the individual and puts in its place a value which represents the sum of all individualities—a purely numerical value—should proceed in precisely the same way in the life of peoples and should in that sphere result in internationalism. Broadly it is maintained: peoples have no inborn values, but, at the most, there can be admitted perhaps temporary differences in education. Between Negroes, Aryans, Mongolians, and Redskins there is no essential difference in value. This view which forms the basis of the whole of the international thought-world of today and in its effects is carried to such lengths that in the end a Negro can sit as president in the sessions of the League of Nations leads necessarily as a further consequence to the point that in a similar way within a people differences in value between the individual members of this people are denied. And thus naturally every special capacity, every fundamental value of a people, can practically be made of no effect. For the greatness of a people is the result not of the sum of all its achievements but in the last resort of the sum of its outstanding achievements. Let no one say that the picture produced as a first impression of human civilization is the impression of its achievement as a whole. This whole edifice of civilization is in its foundations and in all its stones nothing else than the result of the creative capacity, the achievement, the intelligence, the industry, of individuals: in its greatest triumphs it represents the great crowning achievement of individual God-favored geniuses, in its average accomplishment the achievement of men of average capacity, and in its sum doubtless the result of the use of human labor-force in order to turn to account the creations of genius and of talent. So it is only natural that when the capable intelligences of a nation, which are always in a minority, are regarded only as of the same value as all the rest, then genius, capacity, the value of personality are slowly subjected to the majority and this process is then falsely

named the rule of the people. For this is not rule of the people, but in reality the rule of stupidity, of mediocrity, of half-heartedness, of cowardice, of weakness, and of inadequacy. . . .”

“Thus democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people’s true values. And this also serves to explain how it is that peoples with a great past from the time when they surrender themselves to the unlimited, democratic rule of the masses slowly lose their former position; for the outstanding achievements of individuals which they still possess or which could be produced in all spheres of life are now rendered practically ineffective through the oppression of mere numbers. And thus in these conditions a people will gradually lose its importance not merely in the cultural and economic spheres but altogether; in a comparatively short time it will no longer, within the setting of the other peoples of the world, maintain its former value. ...”

“And to this there must be added a third factor: namely, the view that life in this world, after the denial of the value of personality and of the special value of a people, is not to be maintained through conflict. That is a conception which could perhaps be disregarded if it fixed itself only in the heads of individuals, but yet has appalling consequences because it slowly poisons an entire people. And it is not as if such general changes in men’s outlook on the world remained only on the surface or were confined to their effects on men’s minds. No, in course of time they exercise a profound influence and affect all expressions of a people’s life.

“I may cite an example: you maintain, gentlemen, that German business life must be constructed on a basis of private property. Now such a conception as that of private property you can defend only if in some way or another it appears to have a logical foundation. This conception must deduce its ethical justification from an insight into the necessity which Nature dictates. It cannot simply be upheld by saying: ‘It has always been so and therefore it must continue to be so.’ For in periods of great upheavals within States, of movements of peoples and changes in thought, institutions and systems cannot remain untouched because they have previously been preserved without change. It is the characteristic feature of all really great revolutionary epochs in the history of mankind that they pay astonishingly little regard for forms which are hallowed only by age or which are apparently only so consecrated. It is thus necessary to give such foundations to traditional forms which are to be preserved that they can be regarded as absolutely essential, as logical and right. And then I am bound to say that private property can be morally and ethically justified only if I admit that men’s achievements are different. Only on that basis can I assert: since men’s achievements are different, the results of those achievements are also different. But if the results of those achievements are different, then it is reasonable to leave to men the administration of those results to a corresponding degree. It would not be logical to entrust the administration of the result of an achievement which was bound up with a personality either to the next best but less capable person or to a community which, through the mere fact that it had not performed the achievement, has proved that it is not capable of administering the result of that achievement. Thus it must be admitted that in the economic sphere, from the start, in all branches men are not of equal value or of equal importance. And once this is admitted it is madness to say: in the economic sphere there are undoubtedly differences in value, but that is not true in the political sphere. It is absurd to build up economic life on the conceptions of achievement, of the value of personality, and therefore in practice on the authority of personality, but in the political sphere to deny the authority of personality and to thrust into its place the law of the greater number—democracy. In that case there must slowly arise a cleavage between the economic and the political point of view, and to bridge that cleavage an attempt will be made to assimilate the former to the latter—indeed

the attempt has been made, for this cleavage has not remained bare, pale theory. The conception of the equality of values has already, not only in politics but in economics also, been raised to a system, and that not merely in abstract theory: no! this economic system is alive in gigantic organizations and it has already today inspired a State which rules over immense areas.

“But I cannot regard it as possible that the life of a people should in the long run be based upon two fundamental conceptions. If the view is right that there are differences in human achievement, then it must also be true that the value of men in respect of the production of certain achievements is different. It is then absurd to allow this principle to hold good only in one sphere—the sphere of economic life and its leadership—and to refuse to acknowledge its validity in the sphere of the whole life-struggle of a people—the sphere of politics. Rather the logical course is that if I recognize without qualification in the economic sphere the fact of special achievements as forming the condition of all higher culture, then in the same way I should recognize special achievement in the sphere of politics and that means that I am bound to put in the forefront the authority of personality. If, on the contrary, it is asserted—and that, too, by those engaged in business—that in the political sphere special capacities are not necessary but that here an absolute equality in achievement reigns, then one day this same theory will be transferred from politics and applied to economic life. But in the economic sphere communism is analogous to democracy in the political sphere. We find ourselves today in a period in which these two fundamental principles are at grips in all spheres which come into contact with each other; already they are invading economics.

“To take an example: Life in practical activity is founded on the importance of personality: but now gradually it is threatened by the supremacy of mere numbers. But in the State there is an organization—the army—which cannot in any way be democratized without surrendering its very existence. But if a Weltanschauung cannot be applied to every sphere of a people’s life, that fact in itself is sufficient proof of its weakness. In other words: the army can exist only if it maintains the absolutely undemocratic principle of unconditional authority proceeding downwards and absolute responsibility proceeding upwards, while, in contradistinction to this, democracy means in practice complete dependence proceeding downwards and authority proceeding upwards. But the result is that in a State in which the whole political life—beginning with the parish and ending with the Reichstag—is built up on the conception of democracy, the army is bound gradually to become an alien body and an alien body which must necessarily be felt to be such. It is for democracy an alien world of ideas, an alien Weltanschauung which inspires the life of this body. An internal conflict between the representatives of the democratic principle and the representatives of the principle of authority must be the inevitable consequence, and this conflict we are actually experiencing in Germany. . . .”

“So in the same way the education to pacifism must of necessity have its effect right through life until it reaches the humblest individual lives. The conception of pacifism is logical if I once admit a general equality amongst peoples and human beings. For in that case what sense is there in conflict? The conception of pacifism translated into practice and applied to all spheres must gradually lead to the destruction of the competitive instinct, to the destruction of the ambition for outstanding achievement. I cannot say: in politics we will be pacifists, we reject the idea of the necessity for life to safeguard itself through conflict—but in economics we want to remain keenly competitive. If I reject the idea of conflict as such, it is of no importance that for the time being that idea is still applied in some single spheres. In the last resort political decisions are decisive and determine achievement in the single sphere. . . .”

“To sum up the argument: 1 see two diametrically opposed principles: the principle of democracy which, wherever it is allowed practical effect, is the principle of destruction: and the principle of the authority of personality which I would call the principle of achievement, because whatever man in the past has achieved—all human civilizations—is conceivable only if the supremacy of this principle is admitted.

“The worth of a people, the character of its internal organization through which this worth of a people may produce its effect, and the character of a people’s education— these are the starting-points for political action: these are the foundations for the success of that action. . .

“That the evidences of a crisis should today spread over almost the entire world is comprehensible when one considers that the world has been opened up and mutual relations have been strengthened to an extent which fifty, eighty, or a hundred years ago appeared scarcely possible. And yet, despite this fact, one must not believe that such a state of affairs is conceivable only now, in the year 1932. No, similar conditions have been experienced more than once in the history of the world. Always when relations between peoples produced conditions such as these, the malady affecting these peoples was bound to spread and to influence the position of all.

“It is, of course, easy to say: we prefer to wait until there is a change in the general position, but that is impossible. For the position which faces you today is not the consequence of a revelation of God’s will, but the result of human weaknesses, of human mistakes, of men’s false judgments. It is but natural that there must first be a change in these causes, that men must first be inwardly transformed, before one can count on any alteration in the position.

“That conclusion is forced upon us if we look at the world today: we have a number of nations which through their inborn outstanding worth have fashioned for themselves a mode of life which stands in no relation to the life-space— the Lebensraum—which in their thickly populated settlements they inhabit. We have the so-called white race which, since the collapse of ancient civilization, in the course of some thousand years has created for itself a privileged position in the world. But I am quite unable to understand this privileged position, this economic supremacy, of the white race over the rest of the world if I do not bring it into close connection with a political conception of supremacy which has been peculiar to the white race for many centuries and has been regarded as in the nature of things: this conception it has maintained in its dealings with other peoples. Take any single area you like, take for example India. England did not conquer India by the way of justice and of law: she conquered India without regard to the wishes, to the views of the natives, or to their formulations of justice, and, when necessary, she has upheld this supremacy with the most brutal ruthlessness. Just in the same way Cortez or Pizarro annexed Central America and the northern states of South America, not on the basis of any claim of right, but from the absolute inborn feeling of the superiority of the white race. The settlement of the North American continent is just as little the consequence of any claim of superior right in any democratic or international sense; it was the consequence of a consciousness of right which was rooted solely in the conviction of the superiority and therefore of the right of the white race. If I think away this attitude of mind which in the course of the last three or four centuries has won the world for the white race, then the destiny of this race would in fact have been no different from that, say, of the Chinese: an immensely congested mass of human beings crowded upon an extraordinarily narrow territory, an over-population with all its unavoidable consequences. If Fate allowed the white race to take a different path, that is only because this white race was convinced that it had the right to organize the rest of the world. It matters not what superficial disguises in individual cases this right may have assumed, in practice it was the exercise

of an extraordinarily brutal right to dominate others (Herrenrechtes), and from this political conception was developed the basis for the economic annexation of that world which was not inhabited by the white race. . . .”

“Today we are faced with a world-condition which is for the white race in any way comprehensible only if one recognizes as unconditionally valid that marriage of the spirit of domination in political will and the same spirit of domination in economic activity—a wonderful concord which has impressed its stamp upon the whole of the last century and through the consequences of which a part of the white peoples has enjoyed a remarkable development: instead of expanding in space, instead of exporting men, they have exported goods and have built up an economic world-system which finds its characteristic expression in the fact that—presupposing different standards of living on the earth—in Europe and, in most recent times, in America also, gigantic world-central-factories have come into existence while the rest of the world provides enormous markets for the disposal of goods and enormous sources of raw materials. The white race, however, can in practice maintain its position only so long as the difference in the standard of living in different parts of the world continues to exist. If you today give to our so-called export-markets the same standard of living as we ourselves possess, you will find that it will be impossible for the white race to maintain that position of superiority which finds expression not merely in the political power of the nation but also in the economic fortune of the individual.

“The different nations, further, have safeguarded this position of superiority in different ways—in accordance with their individual characteristics—most brilliantly of all perhaps England who has always opened up for herself new markets and immediately anchored them through political dominance, so that it is without doubt conceivable that Great Britain, always supposing that her mental outlook remains unchanged, should build up for herself an economic life of her own, more or less independent of the rest of the world. Other peoples have not attained this goal because they consumed their mental powers in internal conflicts between differing outlooks on the world and formerly in religious struggles. During the great period of the partitioning of the world they doubtless inwardly developed their capacities in these intellectual disputes. Later they sought also to take their part in world-economics, but they did not themselves create export-markets nor did they completely safeguard their control over those markets.

“When Germany, for instance, began to found colonies then the inner conception, this quite cool, sober English conception, of the foundation of colonies had already given place to more or less romantic ideas: the transmission of German culture to the world and the spread of German civilization-things which were utterly remote from the thought of the Englishman in the colonization period. Thus it was that the practical results of our efforts did not come up to our expectations, quite apart from the fact that the objects of our concern were in part unable to fulfill our high romantic hopes. . .

“The world-situation today can be briefly stated: Germany, England, France, and further—but not by reason of compulsion—the American Union, together with a whole series of small States, are industrial nations dependent on export. After the close of the War all these peoples were faced with a world-market comparatively emptied of commodities. Methods in industry and in factories had been improved, especially on the scientific and theoretical sides, with vast ingenuity on account of the War, and armed with these new methods men rushed into this great void, began to remodel their works, to invest capital and under the compulsion of this invested capital sought to raise production to the highest possible extent. This process could continue with success for two, three, four, or five years. It could be continued successfully for a further period if new possibilities for export could be created which should correspond to the rapid increase and improvements in production and its methods. This was a problem of primary importance, for the rationalization of business which began in the sphere of agriculture leads to a reduction in the number of men engaged in work, a reduction which is useful only if the men thus turned out of employment can be easily in their turn transferred into new branches of economic activity. But we see that since the World War there was no -further important extension of export-markets: on the contrary, we see that relatively those export-markets contracted, that the number of exporting nations gradually increased, and that a great many former export-markets became themselves industrialized, while finally a new wholesale exporter, the American Union—which perhaps today is not yet all-powerful in all spheres, but certainly in individual cases—can reckon on advantages in production which we in Europe assuredly do not and cannot possess.

“And as the last momentous feature we regard the fact that, parallel with the gradual growth of confusion in the thought of the white race in Europe, a Weltanschauung has seized on part of Europe and a great part of Asia which threatens to tear this continent out of the framework of international economic relations altogether—a portent which today German statesmen still appear to neglect with an astonishing levity. When, for instance, I hear a speech which stresses the necessity for the German people to stand together, then I cannot but raise the question: Does one really believe that this standing together is any longer merely a question of political good will? Cannot people see that in our midst already a cleavage has opened up, a cleavage which is not merely a fancy born in the heads of a few persons but whose spiritual exponent forms today the foundation of one of the greatest world-powers? Can they not see that Bolshevism today is not merely a mob storming about in some of our streets in Germany but is a conception of the world which is in the act of subjecting to itself the entire Asiatic continent, and which today in the form of a State stretches almost from our eastern frontier to Vladivostock?

“With us the situation is represented as if here it was merely a question of purely theoretical problems, of views held by a few visionaries or evil-disposed individuals. No! A Weltanschauung has won over to itself a State, and starting from this State it will gradually shatter the whole world and bring it down in ruins. Bolshevism, if its advance is not interrupted, will transform the world as completely as in times past did Christianity. In 300 years people will no longer say that it is a question of a new idea in production. In 300 years perhaps people will already realize that it is a question almost of a new religion, though its basis is not that of Christianity. In 300 years, if this movement develops further, people will see in Lenin not merely a revolutionary of the year 1917 but the founder of a new world-doctrine, honored perhaps as is Buddha. It is not as if this gigantic phenomenon could simply be thought away from the modern world. It is a reality and must of necessity destroy and overthrow one of the conditions for our continued existence as a white race. We see the stages of this process: first the lowering of the level of civilization and thereby the capacity to welcome civilizing influences; lowering of the whole level of human society and therewith the sundering of all relations towards other nations, then the construction of an independent system of production, with the help of crutches borrowed from capitalist economics; and then as the final stage its own production to the complete exclusion of other countries, which naturally in those districts near its frontiers will one day find in it the most serious economic rival.

“I know very well that gentlemen of the Reichsministry and gentlemen representing German industry will object: ‘We do not believe that the Soviets will ever be able to build up an industry which can really be capable of competing with us.’ Gentlemen, they could never build up such an industry if they were confined to the national resources of Bol shevist Russia. But this industry will be built up by elements of value drawn from the white peoples themselves. It is nonsense to say that it is impossible to build up industry in Russia through forces supplied by other peoples. . .

“And if it be further stated: The methods of production will never be able to keep pace with our own—do not forget that a lower standard of living will fully compensate for any advantage which we perhaps possess in our method of production.

“In any event—if European and American modes of thought remain in the future as they are today—we shall find that Bolshevism will gradually spread over Asia. Thirty or fifty years, when it is a question of Weltanschauungen, count for nothing . . . Weltanschauungen of this fundamental character can still five hundred years after their rise display their absolute capacity for conquest if they are not at the outset broken by the natural instinct of self-preservation of other peoples. But if this process continues only for another thirty, forty, or fifty years and our outlook still remains unchanged, it will not then, gentlemen, be possible to say ‘How does that concern our economic life?’!

“Gentlemen, the development is clear for all to see: the crisis is very serious. It forces us to cut down expenses in every sphere. The most natural way of economizing is always to save in human labor-power. Industries will continuously be forced to ever greater rationalization, that means increase in achievement and reduction in the number of workmen employed. But if these workmen can no longer be given a place in newly started occupations, in newly developed industries, then that means that gradually three national banking accounts must be opened: the first account is called agriculture: from this national basic account men were formerly economized to constitute the second account. This second account was hand-work and later industrial production. Now an economy in man-power is being practised on this second account and the men saved from this account are driven over into the third account—unemployment. With this word unemployment one is but shamefacedly seeking to put a better appearance upon hard facts: for the proper term is not ‘workless’ but ‘existence-less’ and therefore in truth ‘superfluous.’ It is the characteristic feature of our European nations that gradually a certain percentage of the population is proved statistically to be superfluous.

“It is now quite clear that the necessity for supporting this third account thus falls upon the other two. That increases the pressure of taxation, and the consequence of that will be an enforced further rationalization of the method of production, further economy, and a still greater increase in the third account.

“And to this must be added the fact that the fight which today all European nations wage for the world export-market results naturally in a rise of prices which in its reaction compels men to practise further economies. The final result which today can hardly be foreseen will in any event prove decisive for the future or for the downfall of the white race, and in especial of those peoples which in their narrow living space can establish economic autarchy only with very great difficulty. The further consequence will be that, for instance, England will carry through a reorganization with an eye to her internal market and for its protection will raise tariff barriers, high today and tomorrow still higher, and all other peoples, so far as they are in any way able to do so, will follow suit.

“So far all those are in the right who regard the melancholy position of Germany as calling for special attention when considering our present distress, but they are wrong in seeking the cause of our distress in externals, for this position is certainly the result not merely of the external development but of our internal, I might almost say, aberration of spirit, our internal division, our internal collapse. ...”

“Gentlemen, we know from our own experience that, through a mental aberration whose consequences you can in practice trace on every hand, Germany lost the War. Do you believe that when seven or eight million men have found themselves for ten or twenty years excluded from the national process of production that for these masses Bolshevism could appear as anything else than the logical theoretical complement of their actual, practical, economic situation? Do you really believe that the purely spiritual side of this catastrophe can be overlooked and that one day it will not transform itself into bitter reality—the evil curse following on the evil deed? . .

“The essential thing is to realize that at the present moment we find ourselves in a condition which has occurred several times before in the history of the world: already there have been times when the volume of certain products in the world exceeded the demand. Today we are experiencing the same thing on the largest possible scale: if all the motor-factories in the world today were employed a hundred per cent and worked a hundred per cent, then one could replace the world’s entire stocks of motors in four and a half or five years. If all the locomotive-factories were employed a hundred per cent they could easily renew the entire locomotive material in the world in eight years. If all the rail-factories and rollingmills of the world were employed a hundred per cent perhaps in ten to fifteen years one could put the whole system of railway-lines at present in existence once more round the world. And that holds good for nearly all industries. There has arisen such an increase in productive capacity that the present possible consumption market stands in no relation to this increased capacity. But if Bolshevism as a world-idea tears the Asiatic continent out of the human economic community, then the conditions for the employment of these industries which have delevoped on so gigantic a scale will be no longer even approximately realized. . . . When a politician or economist objects: that was, it is true, the case between Rome and Carthage, between England and Holland, or between England and France, but today the business world decides the matter, then I can only reply: that is not the spirit which formerly opened up the world for the white race, which for us Germans, too, opened the way into the economic life of the world. For it was not German business which conquered the world and then came the development of German power, but in our case, too, it was the power-State (Machtstaaf) which created for the business world the general conditions for its subsequent prosperity. In my view it is to put the cart before the horse when today people believe that by business methods they can, for instance, recover Germany’s power-position instead of realizing that the power-position is also the condition for the improvement of the economic situation. That does not mean that one should not forthwith try to oppose the malady which has seized upon our economic life, although one cannot immediately attack the source of the malady. But it does mean that every such external solution ignores the kernel of the problem, since it fails to recognize that there is only one fundamental solution. That solution rests upon the realization that economic systems in collapse have always as their forerunner the collapse of the State and not vice versa— that there can be no flourishing economic life which has not before it and behind it the flourishing powerful State as its protection—that there was no Carthaginian economic life without the fleet of Carthage, and no Carthaginian trade without the army of Carthage—that it goes without saying that also in modern times—when blow is met by blow and the interests of peoples clash—there can be no economic life unless behind this economic life there stands the determined political will of the nation absolutely ready to strike—and to strike hard.

“And here I would enter a protest against those who would simply sweep these facts aside by asserting that the Peace Treaty of Versailles is ‘according to the almost universal view’ the cause of our misfortune. No, certainly not ‘according to the almost universal view’ but rather only according to the view of those who share in the guilt of having concluded that treaty.

“The Peace Treaty of Versailles is itself only the consequence of our own slow inner confusion and aberration of mind. We find ourselves—no one can doubt it—in a period in which the world is faced by extraordinarily difficult mental conflicts which must profoundly disturb it. I cannot escape these conflicts by simply regretting them, by shrugging my shoulders and—without making clear to myself their causes— by saying ‘What we want is unity.’ These struggles are not caused merely by the ill-will of a few men; they have in the last resort their deepest roots in the facts of race.

“If Bolshevism is spreading today in Russia this Bolshevism is for Russia fundamentally just as logical as was the Czardom formerly. It is a brutal régime over a people which cannot be held together as a State except through a brutal Government. But if this view of the world gains a hold on us, too, then we must not forget that our people also is composed racially of the most varied elements and that therefore we have to see in the watchword ‘Proletarians of all countries, unite!’ much more than a mere political battle-cry. It is in reality the expression of the will of men who in their essential character have in fact a certain kinship with analogous peoples on a low level of civilization. Our people and our State, too, were formerly built up only through the exercise of the absolute right of the lord and through the sense of lordship of the so-called Nordic men: it is the work of those sections belonging to the Aryan race which we still possess in our people. Accordingly it is only a question of the regeneration of the German body-politic in accordance with the laws of an iron logic: this must determine whether we shall find our way back to new political strength or not. . . .”

“ ‘The Government will endeavor to improve the morals of the German people.’ But on what moral code, gentlemen? Morals, too, must have a root. What to you appears to be moral appears to others immoral, and what to you seems immoral is for others a new morality. The State, for instance, says: The thief must be punished. But many citizens of the nation reply: The property owner must be punished, for the ownership of property is in itself theft. The thief is glorified, not condemned. The one half of the nation says: The traitor must be punished: the other half considers treason to be a duty. The one half says: The nation must be defended with courage: the other half regards courage as idiotic. The one half says: The basis of our morality is the religious life and the other half answers with scorn: The conception of a God has no basis in reality. Religions are but opium for the people.

“I beg you not to think, when a people has once come under the sway of these conflicts of Weltanschauungen, that one can circumvent them by the simple method of emergency decrees or to imagine that it is unnecessary to adopt any attitude towards these conflicts because they are matters which do not concern economics, the life of the administration or cultural life. Gentlemen, these conflicts strike at the power and strength of the nation as a whole. How is a people still to count for anything abroad when in the last resort fifty per cent are inclined to bolshevism and fifty per cent are Nationalists or anti-Bolshevists. It is quite conceivable to turn Germany into a bolshevist State—it would be a catastrophe, but is it conceivable. It is also conceivable to build up Germany as a national State. But it is inconceivable that one should create a strong and sound Germany if fifty per cent of its citizens are Bolshevist and fifty per cent nationally minded. From the solution of this problem we cannot escape!

“When the present Government says, ‘We are after all industrious, we work, this last emergency regulation has cost us sessions lasting so many hundred hours,’ I do not doubt it. But for all that the nation is no whit stronger or more united; the process of internal dissolution goes on just the same. And the goal to which this path must ultimately lead you can only determine by a really great effort of careful thought. Germany possessed once—as the first condition for the organization of our people on a large scale—a weltanschauliche basis in our religion—Christianity. When this basis was shattered we see how the strength of the nation turned from external affairs to internal conflicts, since the nature of man from an inner necessity compels him at the moment when the common weltanschauliche basis is lost or is attacked to seek for a new common basis. These were the great periods of the civil wars, of the wars of religion, etc., struggles and confusions during which either a nation finds a new weltanschauliche platform and on this can build itself up anew and then it can turn its force outwards, or else a people is split in two and falls into chaos. In Germany this process ran its course in a truly classical form. The religious struggles meant that the whole force of Germany withdrew inwards—an absorption and exhaustion of this force internally—while at the same time there ensued automatically a slowly increasing failure to react to great events of world-wide significance outside of Germany: to these events the people remains completely unresponsive because of its own internal tensions which press for a solution.

“It is a mistake to say that world-politics, the world-situation alone determined Germany’s fate in the sixteenth century. No, our own internal condition at that time contributed to form that picture of the world which later caused us so much suffering—the partition of the world without Germany.

“And once more in an historical example on an immense scale this same experience is repeated: in place of the lost religious unity—for the two Confessions are now ice-bound and neither can overcome the other—a new platform is discovered: the new conception of the State, first in a legitimist form and later slowly passing into the age of the principle of nationality and colored by it. On this new platform Germany once more unites her forces and bit by bit through the consolidation of a Reich which had fallen into decline in the period of the old confusions Germany automatically and permanently recovers her strength in foreign politics. This increase in strength leads to those August days of 1914, an experience which we ourselves had the proud good fortune to share. A nation which seems to have no domestic differences and therefore can turn its united strength towards the world beyond its frontier! and scarcely four and a half years later we see the process once more take its backward course. . . .”

“At this point I can today establish one fact: no matter wrhat the legislature undertakes—especially by way of decrees and above all by way of emergency decrees—unless Germany can master this internal division in Weltanschauungen, no measures of the legislature can stop the decline of the German nation. ...”

“And if the system objects: there is no time for that nowit is true, gentlemen, that far too much time has been wasted in useless work, far too much time has been already lost. One might have begun the process of regeneration in 1919 and then during the past eleven years Germany’s external development would have taken a different course. For if the Peace Treaty could be presented in the form in which it was imposed upon us, that was only because Germany at the time when the Treaty was composed had ceased to be a factor which could exercise any influence whatever. And if this Peace Treaty in its application assumed the forms which we know and which we experienced, then that again is only because in all these years Germany had no definite will of her own which could make itself felt. We therefore are not the victims of the treaties, but the treaties are the consequences of our own mistakes; and if I wish in any way to better the situation, then I must first change the value of the nation: I must above all recognize that it is not the primacy of foreign politics which can determine our action in the domestic sphere, rather, the character of our action in the domestic sphere is decisive for the character of the success of our foreign policy—nay more—it must determine the success of all the aims which we set before us.

“I take to illustrate my contention two examples from history: firstly, Bismarck’s idea of a conflict between Prussia and the House of Habsburg, the construction of a new Reich from which Austria was to be excluded. That idea could never have been realized unless, before one sought to transform the idea into action, one had created the instrument with which one could in practice realize one’s political purpose. It was not the political situation which forced Prussia to undertake a reorganization of her army; but it was the reorganization of the Prussian army which Bismarck, looking into the future, carried through in the teeth of the madness of Parliament, which first rendered possible the political situation which found its end at Koniggratz and which at Versailles founded the Reich that, since gradually it came to stand upon changed foundations, was later in the same chamber once more broken up and partitioned.

“And conversely: if a German Government today, applying Bismarckian ideas, tries to tread the road which Germany trod then and perhaps as the first step towards a policy of the unification of Germany seeks to establish a new Zollverein, a Customs Union, then the essential thing is not that one should formulate this aim, what is essential is what preparations are made beforehand to render possible the execution of the project. I cannot formulate an aim which, supported by a Press campaign in one’s own papers, is regarded in the whole world as a political aim of outstanding importance if I fail to secure the political means which are absolutely necessary for the execution of such a plan. And the political means—I cannot today put them any lower than this—lie only in the reorganization of an army. For whether Germany possesses an army of 100,000 men or of 200,000 or 300,000 is in the last resort completely beside the point: the essential thing is whether Germany possesses eight million reservists whom she can transfer into her army without any fear of falling into the same weltanschauliche catastrophe as that of 1918. . .

“If anyone today wishes to hurl against me as a National Socialist the gravest possible accusation he says: ‘You want to force a decision in Germany by violence and it is against this that we are bound to protest. You want one day in Germany to annihilate your political opponents. We on the other hand take our stand on the ground of the Constitution, and we are bound to guarantee to all parties the right to exist.’ And to ¡that I have only one reply: translated into practice that means: you have a company: you have to lead that company against the enemy. Within the company there is complete liberty to form a coalition. Fifty per cent of the company have formed a coalition on the basis of love of the Fatherland and of protection of the Fatherland: the other fifty per cent have formed a coalition on the basis of pacifism; they reject war on principle, they demand that freedom of conscience should be inviolate and declare that to be the highest, the sole good which we possess today. Still it comes to a fight, and then all desire to stand firmly together. But if a man, relying on freedom of conscience, should desert to the enemy, then there would come the peculiar moment when they would have to arrest and punish him as a deserter, entirely forgetful of the fact that they really had no right to punish him. A State which—under license from the Statepermits the spread of the view that treason to the Fatherland is a duty, which allows great organizations calmly to declare: Our task in the event of war will be simply to put a stop to all military activity—with what right does such a State punish a traitor? It is but a side issue that such a State through the madness of this standpoint is reduced ad absurdum, for the man who would otherwise be branded as a criminal now becomes for one-half of the nation a martyr. Why? Because the same State, which on the one hand declares the theory of treason to the country to be ethical and moral and protects it, on the other hand has the presumption to imprison a man who seeks to translate this view from the sphere of theory into practice.

“Gentlemen, all that is impossible, absolutely impossible, if one believes at all that a people in order to survive must turn its strength outwards. But consider the present situation: seven or eight millions employed in agriculture, seven or eight millions employed in industry, six or seven millions unemployed. Consider that, so far as man can see, in this state of affairs there will be no change, and then you must admit that Germany as a whole in the long run cannot continue to exist—unless indeed we find our way back to a quite extraordinary, newly created political force working from within which alone may enable us once more to exercise effective influence abroad.

“For it matters not which problem of our life as a people we wish to attempt to solve: if we wish to support our export trade, always the day will come in this sphere, too, when the political will of the nation as a whole must speak a word of warning in order that we may not be thrust on one side by the interests of other peoples. If we wTant to build up a new internal market, if we want to solve the problem of our living space once again we shall need the collective political strength of the nation. Yes, when it is merely a question of our value as allies, always we must first make of Germany once more a political power-factor. And that can never be achieved by bringing before the Reichstag a proposal that— through negotiations—we should procure a few heavy batteries, eight or ten tanks, twelve aircraft or, if you will, a few squadrons—that is entirely beside the point. In the lives of peoples the technique of arms has continually changed: but what had to remain unchangeable was the formation of the will. That is the constant factor, the condition for everything else. If that fails, no weapons are of any service. On the contrary, if you were to summon the German people to a levée en masse and for this purpose supply it with arms, tomorrow the result would be a civil war, not an attack on the foreign o foe. With the body-politic as it is today one cannot any longer conduct any practical foreign policy. Or do you believe that with the Germany of today Bismarck would have been able to fulfill his historic mission, that the German Reich could have arisen from a constitution inspired by the spirit which animates our own? ...”

“When I returned from the Front in 1918 I found at home a state of affairs which, like all the others, I might simply have accepted as an accomplished fact. I am firmly convinced that a great part of the German nation in these November and December days of 1918 and even in 1919 were absolutely of the opinion that if Germany continued in her domestic politics on this path she must in foreign policy hasten to a rapid end. They held therefore the same view as I did. There was only one difference. I said to myself at that time: It is not enough to realize that we are ruined: it is also necessary to understand why! And even that is not enough, but it is necessary to declare war on this destructive development, and for that war to create the indispensable instrument. ...”

“In the year 1918, as I considered the position with cool and considered judgment, I was bound to confess: it is an appallingly difficult course to come before the people at such a time and to form for myself a new organization. It is naturally much easier to join one of the existing formations and thence to seek to overcome the inner division of the nation. But is that at all possible when one starts from the existing organizations? Has not every organization in the last resort the spirit, the men who can find satisfaction in its program and in its struggle? If an organization has continually given way before Marxism and at length one day simply capitulated like a coward, has it not during sixty years been completely filled with a spirit and with men who neither understand the other way nor wish to pursue it? On the contrary, at a period of such confusion, will not the future lie with those who are prepared once more to pass through a sieve the body-politic which has fallen into such disorder so that from out the people a new political leadership can crystallize, which knows how to take the mass of the nation in hand and can avoid the mistakes which led to downfall in the past? I was naturally forced to say to myself that it would mean an appalling struggle, for I was not so fortunate as to possess an outstanding name; I was only a nameless German soldier, with a very small zinc identification number on my breast. But I came to realize that if a beginning was not made with the smallest cell, if a new body-politic was not thus formed within the nation, a body-politic which could overcome the existing ‘ferments of decomposition,’ then the nation itself as a whole could never rise again. ...”

“And today that Movement cannot be destroyed: it is there: people must reckon with it, whether they like it or not. And I am convinced that for all those who still believe in a future for Germany it is clear what their attitude must be. For here they see before them an organization which does not preach as mere theory the views which earlier in my speech I characterized as essential, but puts them into practice, an organization inspired to the highest degree by national sentiment, constructed on the conception of an absolute authority in the leadership in all spheres, at every stage—the solitary party which amongst its members has completely overcome not only the conception of internationalism but also the idea of democracy, which in its entire organization acknowledges only the principles of Responsibility, Command and Obedience, and which besides all this for the first time has introduced into the political life of Germany a body numbering millions which is built up on the principle of achievement. Here is an organization which is filled with an indomitable aggressive spirit, an organization which when a political opponent says ‘your behavior we regard as a provocation’ for the first time does not see fit immediately to retire from the scene but brutally enforces its own will and hurls against the opponent the retort ‘We fight today! We fight tomorrow!

And if you regard our meeting today as a provocation we shall hold yet another next week—until you have learned that it is no provocation when German Germany also professes its belief!’ And when you say ‘You must not come into the street’ we go into the street in spite of you. And when you say ‘Then we shall kill you,’ however many sacrifices you force upon us, this young Germany will always continue its marches, and one day it will completely reconquer for the Germans the German street. And when people cast in our teeth our intolerance, we proudly acknowledge it—yes, we have formed the inexorable decision to destroy Marxism in Germany down to its very last root. And this decision we formed not from any love of brawling: I could easily imagine a life which in itself was fairer than to be hunted through Germany, to be persecuted by countless Government regulations, to stand constantly with one foot in jail, and to have in the State no right which one can call one’s own. I could imagine for myself a fairer destiny than that of fighting a battle which at least at the outset was regarded by all as an insane chimera. Finally I believe that I have the capacity to occupy some post or other in the Social Democratic party: and one thing is certain: if I had turned my capacity to this service, I should today presumably be fit even to enter the Government. But for me it was a greater decision to choose a way on which I was guided by nothing save my own faith, my indestructible confidence in the natural forces—still assuredly present—of our people, and in its importance which with good leadership would one day necessarily reappear.

“And now behind us there lie twelve years of fighting. That fight has not been waged in theory only and in the party alone turned into practice: we are also ready to wage that fight on the larger scale. I cast my mind back to the time when with six other unknown men I founded this association, when I spoke before eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, twenty, thirty, and fifty persons; when I recall how after a year I had -won sixty-four members for the Movement, how our small circle kept on growing, I must confess that that which has today been created, when a stream of millions of our German fellow-countrymen is flowing into our Movement, represents something which is unique in German history. The bourgeois parties have had seventy years to work in; where, I ask you, is the organization which could be compared with ours? Where is the organization which can boast, as ours can, that, at need, it can summon 400,000 men into the street, men who are schooled to blind obedience and are ready to execute any order—provided that it does not violate the law? Where is the organization that in seventy years has achieved what we have achieved in barely twelve years?—and achieved with means which were of so improvised a character that one can hardly avoid a feeling of shame when one confesses to an opponent how poverty-stricken the birth and the growth of this great Movement were in the early days.

“Today we stand at the turning-point of Germany’s destiny. If the present development continues, Germany will one day of necessity land in Bolshevist chaos, but if this development is broken, then our people must be taken into a school of iron discipline and gradually freed from the prejudices of both camps. A hard schooling, but one we cannot escape! ...”

“People say to me so often: ‘You are only the drummer of national Germany.’ And supposing that I were only the drummer? It would today be a far more statesmanlike achievement to drum once more into this German people a new faith than gradually to squander the only faith they have. Take the case of a fortress, imagine that it is reduced to extreme privations: as long as the garrison sees a possible salvation, believes in it, hopes for it, so long they can bear the reduced ration. But take from the hearts of men their last belief in the possibility of salvation, in a better future—take that completely from them, and you will see how these men suddenly regard their reduced rations as the most important thing in life. The more you bring it home to their consciousness that they are only objects for men to bargain with, that they are only prisoners of world-politics, the more will they, like all prisoners, concentrate their thoughts on purely material interests. On the other hand, the more you bring back the people into the sphere of faith, of ideals, the more will it cease to regard material distress as the one and only thing which counts. And the weightiest evidence for the truth of that statement is our own German people. We would not ever forget that the German people waged wars of religion for 150 years with prodigious devotion, that hundreds of thousands of men once left their plot of land, their property, and their belongings simply for an ideal, simply for a conviction. We would never forget that during those 150 years there was no trace of even an ounce of material interests. Then you will understand how mighty is the force of an idea, of an ideal. Only so can you comprehend how it is that in our Movement today hundreds of thousands of young men are prepared at the risk of their lives to withstand our opponents. I know quite well, gentlemen, that when National Socialists march through the streets and suddenly in the evening there arise a tumult and commotion, then the bourgeois draws back the window-curtain, looks out, and says: Once more my night’s rest disturbed: no more sleep for me. Why must the Nazis always be so provocative and run about the place at night? Gentlemen, if everyone thought like that, then no one’s sleep at nights would be disturbed, it is true, but then the bourgeois today could not venture into the street. If everyone thought in that way, if these young folk had no ideal to move them and drive them forward, then certainly they would gladly be rid of these nocturnal fights. But remember that it means sacrifice when today many hundred thousands of SA and SS men of the National Socialist Movement every day have to mount on their lorries, protect meetings, undertake marches, sacrifice themselves night after night and then come back in the gray dawn either to workshop and factory or as unemployed to take the pittance of the dole: it

means sacrifice when from the little which they possess they have further to buy their uniforms, their shirts, their badges, yes, and even pay their own fares. Believe me, there is already in all this the force of an ideal—a great ideal! And if the whole German nation today had the same faith in its vocation as these hundred thousands, if the whole nation possessed this idealism, Germany would stand in the eyes of the world otherwise than she stands now! For our situation in the world in its fatal effects is but the result of our own underestimate of German strength. Only when we have once more changed this fatal valuation of ourselves can Germany take advantage of the political possibilities which, if we look far enough into the future, can place German life once more upon a natural and secure basis—and that means either new living-space (Lebensraum) and the development of a great internal market or protection of German economic life against the world without and utilization of all the concentrated strength of Germany. The labor resources of our people, the capacities, we have them already: no one can deny that we are industrious. . .

“And so in contrast to our own official Government I cannot see any hope for the resurrection of Germany if we regard the foreign politics of Germany as the primary factor: the primary necessity is the restoration of a sound national German body-politic armed to strike. In order to realize this end I founded thirteen years ago the National Socialist Movement: that Movement I have led during the last twelve years, and I hope that one day it will accomplish this task and that, as the fairest result of its struggle, it will leave behind it a German body-politic completely renewed internally, intolerant of anyone who sins against the nation and its interests, intolerant against anyone who will not ackowledge its vital interests or who opposes them, intolerant and pitiless against anyone who shall attempt once more, to destroy or disintegrate this body-politic, and yet ready for friendship and peace with anyone who has a wish for peace and friendship.”


No comments. The speech was delivered before a private audience of financiers and big business men who financed Hitler.

PHASE II: Arming Germany; January 30,1933 — March, 1936


FROM the moment President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of the Reich, on January 30, 1933, the National Socialist Revolution had to be recognized as an accomplished fact. Whatever might have been the calculations of those who helped Hitler to power and their hopes of controlling him, they were soon to discover that Germany was now ruled by a man whose fanaticism was stronger than political combinations and whose methods of government had no relation whatsoever to the civilized forms of society as they were supposed to exist in the Twentieth Century, but were definitely reminiscent of the brutality, cunning, and ruthlessness of medieval times.

For ten years Hitler had been the prophet of Revolution. The seizure of power did not mean the realization of his ambition, but the opening of a new era during which the whole complexion of Germany was to be transformed. From Hitler’s point of view, his work had hardly begun. The Chancellorship was only a stepping stone, a convenient position from which he could now undertake to make good his word, reshape the destiny of Germany and, if possible, that of the world.

What Hitler intended to do had been clearly explained by him in the innumerable speeches he delivered in the ten years preceding his advent to power. There could be no surprise. Nevertheless all his moves to extend his authority over the whole of the German people and over all forms of German life were like so many shocks of increasing intensity which spread surprise and alarm in the ranks of the German opposition and in the outside world.

The fundamental doctrine of National Socialism was based on the unification of all Germans. Only when all opposition had been crushed, and all political parties eliminated, could Germany expect—according to Hitler—to regain her place as a world power.

Leaving aside the ideological aspect of National Socialism, the first objective of Hitler, as soon as he seized power, was to transform the whole of the German nation into one solid monolithic system directed by one will, his owm, and governed by one small group of efficient, thoroughly ruthless, and faithful executives—the Nazi leadership.

To gain this end, it was not sufficient for Hitler to have become Chancellor of the Reich. The Chancellor had to be the absolute ruler of the German nation, the undisputed master of all men and all things, the primitive Chief of the tribe.

This was achieved in less than eighteen months. By the time Hindenburg died, on August 2, 1934, Hitler had reached most of his objectives inside Germany. His position of supreme authority had been established. There was no other master of Germany, no opposition left, no resistance possible. Adolf Hitler was indeed the Fuehrer.

During those eighteen months Hitler’s dictatorship had been assured through the following steps:

1. After the fire which destroyed the Reichstag, an act was passed adjourning it for four years and giving Hitler full powers. This meant, of course, the final disappearance of even the fiction of parliamentary system in Germany. From then on, the Reichstag was to be nothing but an organized cheering chorus, convoked from time to time to give the superfluous support of its approbation to whatever the Fuehrer had to say.

2. The Communists were banned, which meant that it was possible from then on to persecute or put into concentration camps anyone who could possibly be accused of not being a loyal Nazi.

3. Workers’ unions were dissolved and merged into one huge Labor Front organized and controlled by Robert Ley. This was a major accomplishment from the point of view of the National Socialist doctrine. It put an end very effectively to the Marxian notion of class struggle. The German workers were from then on regimented and—to all intents and purposes—mobilized for the duration of Hitlerism.

4. A Four-Year Plan was proclaimed. This was a Russian invention, and in those years (1933-34) it might be said that long-range economic planning was a fashionable idea among economists, sociologists, and brain-trusters all over the world. In the case of Germany, however, the Four-Year Plan had a definite purpose: it enabled Hitler to co-ordinate and place under Nazi control the whole of German industry. Goering was made director of the Four-Year Plan, and it was immediately apparent that his program was to direct the entire effort of Germany toward building up a war machine.

5. The SS and the SA were enlarged and given greater power. Through these faithful legions, the Nazi party was assured of absolute control over the population. The extraordinary “purge” of June 30, 1934, during which Roehm, the head of the SA, was murdered together with an untold number of other extremists and enemies of the Revolution, showed that Hitler was able to accomplish the most difficult feat of all: crush a conspiracy and a possible revolt in the ranks of his own followers.

Several other measures, such as the adoption of the racial laws, the burning of books which did not conform with the Nazi doctrine, the creation of the “Strength Through Joy” organization, the persecution of the Christian churches, the institution of a new cultural dogma, and other attempts to remold the soul of every German according to the views of their Messiah were successfully enforced, and with considerably less resistance, on the whole, than a wishful outside world could have anticipated.

In fact, it was not through brute force, cruelty, terrorism, and cunning alone that Hitler succeeded, in such a relatively short time, in defeating all opposition and establishing himself as the supreme master and living incarnation of the German people.

The secret of his success must be sought elsewhere.

That secret is to be found in the ten years that preceded Hitler’s advent to power. His whole life during those ten years was what he himself called a struggle, the struggle of an unknown, down-trodden ex-soldier, profoundly humiliated by defeat, exasperated by what he thought to be the injustices of the world, blinded by the desire for revenge, and, like all those who are weak, dreaming of nothing but force and power.

In many of his speeches Hitler has said that his own story was that of Germany itself. And the very fact that he believed it and offered himself as a kind of symbol to the millions of Germans who felt the bitterness of defeat aggravated in the German people their national tendency to consider themselves as the victims of an unfair destiny.

Hitler could now fulfill the promises he had made to his followers during these ten years, provided he could always keep alive in the minds of the German people the dual conviction that their lot was unjust and that only through a formidable effort to become strong again could they ever hope to regain their self-respect and the respect of the outside world. His entire movement had been built on a demonic principle: everything Hitler stood for was good for Germany, everything else was evil and should be destroyed.

This is why there is no lack of continuity between the speeches delivered before 1933 and those he made as Chancellor of the Reich. Nor was there to be much change in the future. At all times Hitler had to appeal to the same basic German emotions: the sense of humiliation, the revolt against the “crime” of Versailles, the promise of power, and the comforting assurance that there was only one measuring rod of what was right or wrong—Hitler’s own judgment.

“I have no conscience,” said Goering after the Reichstag fire. “My conscience is Hitler.” This was not a mere verbal apology from the man who knew too well who was guilty of the Reichstag fire. It was the recognition of one of the most real sources of Hitler’s strength: his identification with the conscience of seventy million Germans.

Besides having promised his followers that Germany would become strong again, Hitler had also promised to cure all the evils of the postwar period, and first of all unemployment.

Now that he was in power, it was not only natural but predetermined that these two promises should be fulfilled at once and merged into one single objective.

It was always to be one of Hitler’s greatest boasts that of all civilized countries Germany had been the only one to find a cure for this world evil, unemployment. Naturally he gave credit for this achievement to the transformation of society by the National Socialist Revolution. Unemployment was cured, according to him, as soon as the concept that the wealth of a country was not its gold nor its capital, but its powers of production and its labor, was accepted. Germany having no gold and being, in fact, financially bankrupt, the problem had to be solved by unorthodox methods. And there is no disputing the fact that the system evolved by the German economists and financiers under the pressure of necessity did succeed in producing an apparent recovery which baffled the world. In a very short time after Hitler’s advent to power, not only was unemployment wiped out, but a shortage of labor began to appear. The problem of capital was also solved by the simple process of a disguised, but nonetheless real, centralization of control in the hands of the government. Employers and industrialists became, in fact, mere managers, operating under the direction of the State.

They were not free to determine their own production nor to dispose of their profits. They were integrated in one single gigantic system of procurement.

Hitler had frequently said that one of the greatest causes of the world’s social and economic unrest was the priority given to economics over politics. By reversing the process, that is by subordinating economics to politics, he pretended that he had been able to perform the greatest miracle of modern times.

But if it looked like a miracle, there was no mystery about it. What Hitler did was to place the whole of German economy on a war footing in the midst of peace. As early as 1934 Germany was totally mobilized, and therefore practically immunized against the maladjustments and the ups and downs of a peace economy. Other nations, including the western democracies, were to find out later that they too could perform the miracle of solving unemployment by going to war or putting themselves on the basis of a war economy. But having started this process five or six years earlier, Hitler benefited by the prestige which derived from the contrast between Germany functioning efficiently on a war basis as one single economic unit, and all other countries which were still clinging to peace methods, with all their advantages from the point of view of individual freedom and all their drawbacks as far as co-ordinated efficiency was concerned.

Hitler was quick to exploit to its limits the propaganda value of this situation and his speeches seldom failed to point out in striking terms the prodigious achievement of the National Socialist regime in giving work, security, and a purpose to all. He proclaimed that he had succeeded in creating at last a perfect Socialist paradise.

The application of Hitler’s program was bound to stir up opposition in various circles. But this opposition was uncoordinated and scattered. Hitler had little difficulty, on the whole, in nullifying it, either by force, by trickery, or by offering temporary advantages which were promptly removed afterward.

The easiest obstacle to remove was the opposition of various non-Nazi groups such as the Communists, the Democrats, and liberals of all kinds. The engineering of the Reichstag fire gave the needed pretext to abolish the parliamentary system altogether. By lumping together in his accusations the Bolsheviks, the democrats, the liberals, and the Jews, and by advertising himself untiringly as the great Purifier of all forms of corruption, Hitler created the necessary popular psychosis to enable him to institute the most brutal and shameless methods of repression as a normal means of government.

The second form of opposition which caused a schism in his own following was more dangerous. As early as 1934, disgruntled party members of a particularly violent and immoral kind began to conspire against Hitler himself. They were led by one of Hitler’s most intimate friends, Roehm, the leader of the SA. Their general complaint was that Hitler had not gone far enough in his reforms and that a “second revolution” was in order. Hitler tried vainly to placate this group, not only on grounds of political disagreement but because the Army, whose support was essential to Hitler, had made it clear that no such extremism could be tolerated. When all entreaties had failed, Hitler struck with a ruthlessness and a rapidity which sickened the outside world, not yet inured to seeing the head of a state himself supervising the murder of his friends. The purge of June 30, 1934, had a double effect: it recreated unity in the Nazi ranks and sealed the alliance between Hitler and the Army. From then on most of the Army leaders—even if they did not share the popular fanatic trust in Hitler—recognized him for what he was: the man under whose leadership the military strength of Germany would be rebuilt. It is not by accident that Hitler began at that time to compare himself more and more frequently with Frederick the Great and Bismarck and to claim that he was their true heir. Nothing could appeal more strongly to the spirit and tradition of the German Army. He had no princely blood; he was not even a Junker; but prejudices fell before a man who obviously had the good of the Army at heart.

The third form of opposition was religious. Both the Catholic and the Protestant churches rebelled against Hitler’s efforts to subordinate the Church to the State and the divinity of God to his own. The latent paganism of the Nazi doctrine came to the surface in many forms, such as various attempts to revive the barbaric cults of the ancient Germanic tribes as more fitting, in their emphasis on warlike virtues and sanguinary mysticism, than Christianity. The churches fought relentlessly, but Hitler retaliated with his usual methods. He sent von Papen to Rome to negotiate a concordat with the Vatican while at the same time cooking up infamous trials against priests and monks. Pastor Niemoeller, who refused to praise Hitler in his church, was thrown into jail.

The conservative elements were, on the whole, easier to handle than any other form of opposition. They had helped Hitler to power by persuading Hindenburg that they could control him even if he was given the post of Chancellor. They rallied around the old hero of Tannenberg as their last bulwark and defender. But Hindenburg was a prisoner on his own estate from the moment Hitler actually assumed power until his death. He could not prevent Hitler from forcing the resignation of Hugenberg, the leader of the Conservative party. Hindenburg left a testament which, according to many, was never published in its original form. Hitler had forged part of it—that part which enabled him to claim the succession of the Marshal. When Hitler arranged that the Reichswehr should take a personal oath of allegiance to him, he ended all possible dissension from these quarters. Moreover he prepared the way for his future elevation as Supreme Commander of the German Armies.

As soon as Hitler became Chancellor of the Reich, the explosive pressure of the new Germany began to be felt in the outside world. But it should be noted that Hitler’s foreign policy during those years was less the product of an organized plan of expansion than the natural consequence of Germany’s growing strength. Such moves as the withdrawal from the League of Nations, for instance, were dictated primarily by considerations of internal politics. After campaigning for so many years against the Treaty of Versailles and denouncing the League as an instrument for the oppression of Germany, it was necessary for Hitler’s own prestige to show that he had at least the courage to liberate himself from the tutelage of Geneva. “I had to do it,” he told Hermann Rauschning. “A big understandable action was necessary. Nobody would have understood if we had continued what the Weimar parties did for ten years—debate and nothing but debate.”

It was for the same motive that Hitler walked out on the disarmament conference and refused to siern the “Eastern o

European Locarno Pact.” Such steps could not possibly bring about a war, for which Germany was far from being prepared at that time. But it showed the German people and the outside world that the foreign policy of the Third Reich was now being conducted by a man who was ready to make good his promises to place the “Right and Honor” of Germany above all treaties and to impose his will by force if necessary.

Not that Hitler talked of war, as yet. On the contrary, his whole justification for rearming Germany was that there was no other way of re-establishing Germany’s equality among nations, and therefore of maintaining peace. One of Hitler’s fundamental points of doctrine had always been to establish some sort of mystic link between the power of the sword and the scales of justice. The mightier Germany became under the Nazi rule, the louder did Hitler assert that Germany was right and the more scorn did he heap on those who spoke of any other rights than those of the German people.

All through this period, the speeches of Hitler and his actions in the field of foreign policy show increasing defiance of the kind of order that had existed in Europe up to his advent to power. Uneasiness was fast spreading throughout Europe and many cries of alarm were raised, but democratic diplomacy was already showing the signs of timidity, incoherence, and weakness which were to form the basis of the so-called policy of appeasement.

Already, too, Hitler was giving proof of his remarkable insight into the psychology of his opponents, an insight which may be Hitler’s only real claim to superiority over other statesmen of his time. This faculty, which a French diplomat described as “le sens du possible” (the feeling of what is possible), enabled Hitler—from the earliest days of his dictatorship—to establish a kind of undefinable, but nonetheless real, control over the minds and actions of his opponents. In 1934 or 1936, Hitler was far from being the master of Europe. The road to conquest was not opened as yet. But that he was already dominating the European scene and maneuvering his opponents and outguessing them at every turn was obvious.

A good instance of the manner in which Hitler’s insight or instinct functioned was given at the time of the assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss of Austria. This murder had been engineered by the Nazis and was to be followed by a putsch which would have resulted in the annexation of Austria. But the putsch was not followed through when Hitler sensed that the other powers, and especially Italy, might move to prevent it. Four years later, the time was ripe. Hitler’s troops marched into Austria without any opposition.

The Saar plebiscite offers another illustration of the same soundness of instinct and sense of timing. It was preceded by a series of speeches in which Hitler implied that the Saar would come back to the Reich whatever might be the result of the plebiscite. There was no doubt that the great majority of the population would vote for a return to the Reich, but the effect of this superfluous threat was to create an exaggerated sense of relief when the plebiscite was over—as if the fact that the foregone result had indeed taken place was a cause to rejoice and a guarantee of peace. Hitler further exploited the psychological advantage thus gained by assuring France that he had no other territorial claims against her— a promise which was greeted as a true sign of generosity and peaceful intentions from Hitler.

During the first three years of his dictatorship, Hitler took great pains to show the German people and the outside world that he did not rule by force but by the quasi-unanimous consent of his people. This was done through a series of elections, or plebiscites, intended to give a kind of popular ratification to Hitler’s most important acts (such as the elections of November 12, 1933, to approve the withdrawal from the League of Nations). Although these elections showed returns which were usually close to 100 per cent favorable and were carried on under threat to the voters and trickery of the ballots, they enabled Hitler to increase his prestige as unifier of the German people and torchbearer of their destiny.

A similar effect was produced by the yearly National Socialist Convention held at Nuremberg in September, during which the Nazi leaders and Hitler himself pursued their work of propaganda by imparting to huge and enthusiastic crowds the blessings of the new doctrine.

These meetings, like those of the Reichstag, were used by Hitler as sounding boards. The pageantry, the flags, the ritual of Hitler’s appearance in public, the disciplined frenzy of the crowds were all intended to impress not only the German people themselves but also the outside world with a physical sense of awe.

Month by month, year by year, a peaceful and easygoing Europe was getting conditioned to the presence of something brutal, cynical, and defiant in its midst. With incredible speed the whole of Germany was being molded by the voice of its new master. Hitler still said that the National Socialist Revolution was not for export. But that it had been thoroughly established in Germany and that he now was the absolute ruler of a solid mass of seventy million Germans was not disputed.

Neither could it be questioned that Hitler had indeed performed a miracle. Germany, which according to Hitler had been marked for destruction by the victors of the last war, was fast transforming itself into the greatest force for destruction that Europe had known in modern times. With a mixture of anxiety and wishful thinking, the neighbors of Germany watched the growth of the monster, never quite deciding whether it could best be tamed with soft words or with righteous indignation and veiled threats. There was fear in Europe from the very day Hitler assumed power, fear and nervousness and also fatal weakness. But Hitler, as yet, had done nothing irreparable.

By the middle of March, 1935, compulsory military service was re-established in Germany. It was the first open violation of Germany’s obligations under the Versailles Treaty.

More daring and threatening ones were to follow soon.



February—Hitler becomes German citizen. This was necessary because of his candidacy for the presidency of the Reich.

March 13—First Ballot in the Presidential Election:

Von Hinderburg, 18.6 million, i.e., 49.6 per cent of the votes; Hitler, 11.3 million, i.e., 30.0 per cent of the votes.

April 10—Second Ballot in the German Presidential Election:

Hindenburg, 19.3 million, i.e., 53 per cent of the votes;

Hitler, 13.4 million, i.e., 36 per cent of the votes.

April 14—SA and SS banned.

April 24—The Nazis increase their seats in the Prussian Diet from 6 to 162.

May 30—President von Hindenburg ousts Chancellor Bruening and his Cabinet. Franz von Papen becomes Chancellor.

June Reichstag dissolved.

June 73—Bavaria and Württemberg object to the proposed removal of the ban against the SA and SS.

June 14—Ban on SA and SS lifted.

July 9—The Lausanne Reparations Conference agrees that Germany can settle in full for $714,000,000.

July 20—State of Emergency declared in Germany.

July 31—Reichstag elections:

Nazi party, 13,722,413 votes, 229 seats; Socialists, 7,949,883 votes, 132 seats; Communists, 5,276,887 votes, 88 seats.

August 13—Repeated conferences between Hitler, von Hindenburg, von Papen. Hitler is offered the Vice-Chancellorship and the post of Prussian Minister of the Interior. Hitler demands “the post that Mussolini had after his march on Rome.” He requests also “three days in which the streets will be thrown open to the SA.” Hindenburg refuses.

September 72—Von Papen dissolves the Reichstag.

November 6—Another general election reduces the 229 seats of Hitler to 195, while the Communists increase theirs from 88 to 100.

November 18—Von Papen resigns.

December 2—Sixteen-day Cabinet crisis ends with Hindenburg’s appointing General von Schleicher as Chancellor.


January 3—Calvin Coolidge dies.

Reich-Chancellor von Schleicher wants the Nazis to enter the Government.

January 28—President von Hindenburg refuses to allow von Schleicher to dissolve the Reichstag.

January 29—Von Schleicher Government falls.

January 30—Hindenburg asks Hitler to become Chancellor in a Nazi-Conservative coalition Government.



January 30—Answering Hindenburg’s call, Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of the Reich. Von Papen is Vice-Chancellor.

The Speech

“MORE than fourteen years have passed since the unhappy day when the German people, blinded by promises from foes at home and abroad, lost touch with honor and freedom, thereby losing all. Since that day of treachery, the Almighty has withheld his blessing from our people. Dissension and hatred descended upon us. With profound distress millions of the best German men and women from all walks of life have seen the unity of the nation vanishing away, dissolving in a confusion of political and personal opinions, economic interests, and ideological differences. Since that day, as so often in the past, Germany has presented a picture of heartbreaking disunity. We never received the equality and fraternity we had been promised, and we lost our liberty toboot. For when our nation lost its political place in the world, it soon lost its unity of spirit and will. ...”

“We are firmly convinced that the German nation entered the fight in 1914 without the slightest feeling of guilt on its part and filled only with the desire to defend the Fatherland which had been attacked and to preserve the freedom, nay, the very existence, of the German people. This being so, we can only see in the disastrous fate which has overtaken us since those November days of 1918 the result of our collapse at home. But the rest of the world, too, has suffered no less since then from overwhelming crises. The balance of power which had evolved in the course of history, and which formerly played no small part in bringing about the understanding of the necessity for an internal splidarity of the nations, with all its advantages for trade and commerce, has been set on one side. The insane conception of victors and vanquished destroyed the confidence existing between nations, and, at the same time, the industry of the entire world.

“The misery of our people is horrible to behold! Millions of the industrial proletariat are unemployed and starving; the whole of the middle class and the small artisans have been impoverished. When this collapse finally reaches the German peasants, we will be faced with an immeasurable disaster. For then not only shall a nation collapse, but a two-thousandyear-old inheritance, some of the loftiest products of human culture and civilization.

“All about us the warning signs of this collapse are apparent. Communism with its method of madness is making a powerful and insidious attack upon our dismayed and shattered nation. It seeks to poison and disrupt in order to hurl us into an epoch of chaos. . . . This negative, destroying spirit spared nothing of all that is highest and most valuable. Beginning with the family, it has undermined the very foundations of morality and faith and scoffs at culture and business, nation and Fatherland, justice and honor. Fourteen years of Marxism have ruined Germany; one year of bolshevism would destroy her. The richest and fairest territories of the world would be turned into a smoking heap of ruins. Even the sufferings of the last decade and a half could not be compared to the misery of a Europe in the heart of which the red flag of destruction had been hoisted. The thousands of wounded, the hundreds of dead which this inner strife has already cost Germany should be a warning of the storm which would come. . . .”

“In those hours when our hearts were troubled about the life and the future of the German nation, the aged leader of the World War appealed to us. He called to those of us in nationalist parties and leagues to struggle under him once more, in unity and loyalty, for the salvation of the German nation. This time the front lines are at home. The venerable Reichspräsident has allied himself with us in this noble endeavor. And as leaders of the nation and the national Government we vow to God, to our conscience, and to our people that we will faithfully and resolutely fulfill the task conferred upon us.

“The inheritance which has fallen to us is a terrible one. The task with which we are faced is the hardest which has fallen to German statesmen within the memory of man. But we are all filled with unbounded confidence for we believe in our people and their imperishable virtues. Every class and every individual must help us to found the new Reich.

“The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life. . . .”

“Turbulent instincts must be replaced by a national discipline as the guiding principle of our national life. All those institutions which are the strongholds of the energy and vitality of our nation will be taken under the special care of the Government.

“The National Government intends to solve the problem of the reorganization of trade and commerce with two four- year plans:

“The German farmer must be rescued in order that the nation may be supplied with the necessities of life. . . .”

“A concerted and all-embracing attack must be made on unemployment in order that the German working class may be saved from ruin. . . .”

“The November parties have ruined the German peasantry in fourteen years.

“In fourteen years they have created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will, with iron determination and unshakable steadfastness of purpose, put through the following plan:

“Within four years the German peasant must be rescued from the quagmire into which he has fallen.

“Within four years unemployment must be finally overcome. At the same time the conditions necessary for a revival in trade and commerce are provided.

“The National Government will couple with this tremendous task of reorganizing business life a reorganization of the administrative and fiscal systems of the Reich, of the Federal States, and the Communes.

“Only when this has been done can the idea of a continued federal existence of the entire Reich be fully realized. ...”

“Compulsory labor-service and the back-to-the-land policy are two of the basic principles of this program.

“The securing of the necessities of life will include the per formance of social duties to the sick and aged.

“In economical administration, the promotion of employment, the preservation of the farmer, as well as in the exploitation of individual initiative, the Government sees the best guarantee for the avoidance of any experiments which would endanger the currency. . . .”

“As regards its foreign policy the National Government considers its highest mission to be the securing of the right to live and the restoration of freedom to our nation. Its determination to bring to an end the chaotic state of affairs in Germany will assist in restoring to the community of nations a State of equal value and, above all, a State which must have equal rights. It is impressed with the importance of its duty to use this nation of equal rights as an instrument for the securing and maintenance of that peace which the world requires today more than ever before.

“May the good will of all others assist in the fulfillment of this our earnest wish for the welfare of Europe and of the whole world.

“Great as is our love for our Army as the bearer of our arms and the symbol of our great past, we should be happy if the world, by reducing its armaments, would see to it that we need never increase our own.

“If, however, Germany is to experience this political and economic revival and conscientiously fulfill her duties toward the other nations, one decisive step is absolutely necessary first: the overcoming of the destroying menace of communism in Germany. We of this Government feel responsible for the restoration of orderly life in the nation and for the final elimination of class madness and class struggle. We recognize no classes, we see only the German people, millions of peasants, bourgeois, and workers who will either overcome together the difficulties of these times or be overcome by them. We are firmly resolved and we have taken our oath. Since the present Reichstag is incapable of lending support to this work, we ask the German people whom we represent to perform the task themselves.

“Reichspräsident von Hindenburg has called upon us to bring about the revival of the German nation. Unity is our tool. Therefore we now appeal to the German people to support this reconciliation. The National Government wishes to work and it will work. It did not ruin the German nation for fourteen years, but now it will lead the nation back to health. It is determined to make well in four years the ills of fourteen years. But the National Government cannot make the work of reconstruction dependent upon the approval of those who wrought destruction. The Marxist parties and their lackeys have had fourteen years to show what they can do. The result is a heap of ruins.

“Now, people of Germany, give us four years and then pass judgment upon us. In accordance with Field Marshal von Hindenburg’s command we shall begin now. May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people, for we are fighting not for ourselves but for Germany.”


Le Temps, February 3—The Fuehrer, in his emotional and vague phraseology, busied himself with hurling accusations against Marxism, which he said might have ruined Germany, and against communism, which still had not attained any power, but was threatening to ruin Germany. . . . He announced one of the rare positive points of the National Socialist program, namely, compulsory labor service. In regard to foreign politics he spoke cautiously, but with veiled threats.

New York Times, February 3— Although Herr Hitler’s radio address was ostensibly a government declaration approved and countersigned by the entire Cabinet, the opposition views it more as an electioneering stunt and soft soap for his own following and as otherwise destitute of practical meaning.

London Times, February 3—Herr Hitler’s election speech on the radio is admittedly only a call to come and vote. He did not go into any details on his statement that the Labor Service was one of the cornerstones of his program. . . . Herr Hitler’s radio address was repeated three times during the day by all German broadcasting stations. Although it is generally considered obvious that, in view of the divergent doctrines among the Nazi allies, all definite commitments will be avoided during the election campaign, and the appeal made strictly to the emotions, the Right is nevertheless disappointed at the lack of all positive elements in his speech.

SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 15, 1933: Stuttgart

The Speech

“. . . IN FOURTEEN years the system which has now been overthrown has piled mistake upon mistake, illusion upon illusion. And that is also true for our foreign policy. Only since the time when through our Movement the world has been shown that a new Germany of resolution and resistance is arising—only since then are we once more regarded with other eyes. If today in Geneva a people fights side by side with us for the freedom of Europe, it is we who have first formed this friendship and not the representatives of the former system.

“And now Staatspräsident Bolz says that Christianity and the Catholic faith are threatened by us. And to that charge I can answer: In the first place it is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany. I do not merely talk of Christianity, no, I also profess that I will never ally myself with the parties which destroy Christianity. If many wish today to take threatened Christianity under their protection, where, I would ask, was Christianity for them in these fourteen years when they went arm in arm with atheism? No, never and at no time was greater internal damage done to Christianity than in these fourteen years when a party, theoretically Christian, sat with those who denied God in one and the same Government.

“I would ask whether the economic policy of this now superseded system was a Christian policy. Was the inflation an undertaking for which Christians could answer, or has the destruction of German life, of the German peasant as well as of the middles classes, been Christian? . . . When these parties now say: we want to govern for a few more years in order that we can improve the situation, then we say:

“No! now it is too late for that! Besides you had your fourteen years and you have failed. In fourteen years you have proved your incapacity—from the Treaty of Versailles by way of the various agreements down to the Dawes and Young plans. Herr Bolz, too, has given his support to the Young Plan while I have always opposed it.

“If today we are told that we have no program, then I answer that for the last two years this other Germany has lived only by making inroads on our thought-world. All these plans for the creation of work, for labor service, etc.— they are not the work of Staatspräsident Bolz, they come from our program of reconstruction from which they have taken them over imperfectly and incompletely.

“We are convinced that the restoration to health of our people must start from the restoration to health of the body politic itself, and we are persuaded of the truth that the future of our people, as in the past so now, lies first of all in the German peasant. If he perishes, our end has come; if he survives, then Germany will never go under. There lie the strength and the source of our people’s life, the source of our renewal. The towns would not exist at all, if the peasant did not fill them with his blood. The dweller in our countryside may be primitve, but he is healthy.

“. . . We want, too, to restore to the German intelligentsia the freedom of which it has been robbed by the system which has hitherto ruled. In parliamentarianism they did not possess this freedom. We want to liberate Germany from the fetters of an impossible parliamentary democracy— not because we are terrorists, not because we intend to gag the free spirit. On the contrary, the spirit has never had more violence done to it than when mere numbers made themselves its master.

“No, our wish is that responsible folk should once more be brought together so that every class and every individual should be given that authority over those below and that responsibility towards those above which are essential if one is to build up the life of a community. We do not want so to educate the nation that it lives for ideas and artificial constructions; we want to test all ideas and constructions to discover how far they are capable of serving the nation’s life.

“I will not build myself a villa in Switzerland, nor will I lay claim to any fund with which to fight criminality in this election campaign. Then after four years people shall judge whether the policy of ruining Germany has come to an end, whether Germany is rising once again.”


New York Times, February 16—Opening the election campaign in South Germany tonight, Chancellor Hitler stated unequivocally that the forthcoming election would be the last one in Germany for four years.

London Times, February 18—At a Nazi election meeting at Stuttgart on Wednesday, Herr Hitler repeated the hint which he gave in his national broadcast last week that the Government does not contemplate resigning in the event of a defeat at the polls.

Le Temps, February 17—Hitler expressed surprise that he was accused of destroying liberty. He had only imitated them (his enemies) and made a law for the defense of the National State based on the model of the law for the defense of the Republic.

SPEECH OF MARCH 23, 1933: Reichstag


February 22—At Geneva, the German Delegation leaves the conference when Mr. Henderson, President of the Disarmament Conference, refuses to accept a German amendment to the French draft resolution on standardization.

February 27—Reichstag Fire.

March 2—Outbreak of the war between Japan and Manchuria.

March 5—In the Reichstag election, the Nazis and their conservative allies win 330 seats out of a total of 647.

March 9—Nazi troops occupy the Bavarian Government Building.

March 13—Goebbels made Minister of Propaganda. A pact of European mutual assistance is discussed in Geneva. Fourteen states approve it, among them France and Poland; five against, among them Germany and Italy; others withhold their votes, among them England and Russia.

March 21— Anglo-Italian and Anglo-French meeting in Geneva on the maintenance of peace in Europe. The British plan contains following proposals:

1. Duration of the pact—five years.

2. Reduction of arms production and prohibition of rearmament. '

3. International control to see that each signatory fulfills the conditions.

4. Creation of a permanent organization to seek new methods of limiting armaments.

5. Establishment of fundamental political co-operation among the Great Powers on the basis of a growing mutual trust.

March 23—The German Reichstag passes an act giving all authority to the Hitler Government for four years, and adjourns sine die.

The Speech

“IN NOVEMBER, 1918, Marxist organizations seized the executive power by means of a revolution. The monarchs were dethroned, the authorities of the Reich and of the States removed from office, and thereby a breach of the Constitution was committed. The success of the revolution in a material sense protected the guilty parties from the hands of the law. They sought to justify it morally by asserting that Germany or its Government bore the guilt for the outbreak, of the War.

“This assertion was deliberately and actually untrue. In consequence, however, these untrue accusations in the interest of our former enemies led to the severest oppression of the entire German nation and to the breach of the assurances given to us in Wilson’s fourteen points, and so for Germany, that is to say the working classes of the German people, to a time of infinite misfortune....”

“The splitting up of the nation into groups with irreconcilable views, systematically brought about by the false doctrines of Marxism, means the destruction of the basis of a possible communal life. ... It is only the creation of a real national community, rising above the interests and differences of rank and class, that can permanently remove the source of nourishment of these aberrations of the human mind. The establishment of such a solidarity of views in the German body corporate is all the more important, for it is only thereby that the possibility is provided of maintaining friendly relations with foreign Powers without regard to the tendencies or general principles by which they are dominated, for the elimination of communism in Germany is a purely domestic German affair.

“Simultaneously with this political purification of our publie life, the Government of the Reich will undertake a thorough moral purging of the body corporate of the nation. The entire educational system, the theater, the cinema, literature, the Press, and the wireless—all these will be used as means to this end and valued accordingly. They must all serve for the maintenance of the eternal values present in the essential character of our people. Art will always remain the expression and the reflection of the longings and the realities of an era. The neutral international attitude of aloofness is rapidly disappearing. Heroism is coming forward passionately and will in future shape and lead political destiny. It is the task of art to be the expression of this determining spirit of the age. Blood and race will once more become the source of artistic intuition. . . .”

“Our legal institutions must serve above all for the maintenance of this national community. The irremovableness of the judges must ensure a sense of responsibility and the exercise of discretion in their judgments in the interests of society. Not the individual but the nation as a whole alone can be the center of legislative solicitude. High treason and treachery to the nation will be ruthlessly eradicated in the future. The foundations of the existence of justice cannot be other than the foundations of the existence of the nation.

“The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, is creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life.

“The advantages of a personal and political nature that might arise from compromising with atheistic organizations would not outweigh the consequences which would become apparent in the destruction of general moral basic values. The national Government regards the two Christian confessions as the weightiest factors for the maintenance of our nationality. It will respect the agreements concluded between it and the federal States. Their rights are not to be infringed. But the Government hopes and expects that the work on the national and moral regeneration of our nation which it has made its task will, on the other hand, be treated with the same respect. ...”

‘‘Great are the tasks of the national Government in the sphere of economic life.

‘‘Here all action must be governed by one law: the people does not live for business and business does not exist for capital, but capital serves business and business serves the people. In principle the Government will not protect the economic interests of the German people by the circuitous method of an economic bureaucracy to be organized by the State, but by the utmost furtherance of private initiative and by the recognition of the rights of property. . . .”

‘‘The Government will systematically avoid currency experiments. We are faced above all by two economic tasks of the first magnitude. The salvation of the German farmer must be achieved at all costs. ...”

“Furthermore, it is perfectly clear to the national Government that the final removal of the distress both in agricultural business and in that of the towns depends on the absorption of the army of the unemployed in the process of production. This constitutes the second of the great economic tasks. It can only be solved by a general appeasement, in applying sound natural economic principles and all measures necessary, even if, at the time, they cannot reckon with any degree of popularity. The providing of work and the compulsory labor service are, in this connection, only individual measures within the scope of the entire action proposed. . . .”

“We are aware that the geographic position of Germany, with her lack of raw materials, does not fully permit of economic self-sufficiency for the Reich. It cannot be too often emphasized that nothing is further from the thoughts of the Government of the Reich than hostility to exporting. We are fully aware that we have need of the connection with the outside world, and that the marketing of German commodities in the world provides a livelihood for many millions of our fellow-countrymen.

“We also know what are the conditions necessary for a sound exchange of services between the nations of the world. For Germany has been compelled for years to perform services without receiving an equivalent, with the result that the task of maintaining Germany as an active partner in the exchange of commodities is not so much one of commercial as of financial policy. So long as we are not accorded a reasonable settlement of our foreign debts corresponding to our economic capacity, we are unfortunately compelled to maintain our foreign-exchange control. The Government of the Reich is, for that reason, also compelled to maintain the restrictions on the efflux of capital across the frontiers of Germany. . . .”

“The protection of the frontiers of the Reich and thereby of the lives of our people and the existence of our business is now in the hands of the Reichswehr, which, in accordance with the terms imposed upon us by the Treaty of Versailles, is to be regarded as the only really disarmed army in the world. In spite of its enforced smallness and entirely insufficient armament, the German people may regard their Reichswehr with proud satisfaction. This little instrument of our national self-defence has come into being under the most difficult conditions. The spirit imbuing it is that of our best military traditions. The German nation has thus fulfilled with painful conscientiousness the obligations imposed upon it by the Peace Treaty, indeed, even the replacement of ships for our fleet then sanctioned has, I may perhaps be allowed to say, unfortunately, only been carried out to a small extent.

“For years Germany has been waiting in vain for the fulfillment of the promise of disarmament made to her by the others. It is the sincere desire of the national Government to be able to refrain from increasing our army and our weapons, insofar as the rest of the world is now also ready to fulfill its obligations in the matter of radical disarmament. For Germany desires nothing except an equal right to live and equal freedom.

“In any case the national Government will educate the German people in this spirit of a desire for freedom. The national honor, the honor of our army and the ideal of freedom must once more become sacred to the German people!

“The German nation wishes to live in peace with the rest of the world. But it is for this very reason that the Government of the Reich will employ every means to obtain the final removal of the division of the nations of the world into two categories. The keeping open of this wound leads to distrust on the one side and hatred on the other, and thus to a general feeling of insecurity. The national Government is ready to extend a hand in sincere understanding to every nation that is ready finally to make an end of the tragic past. The international economic distress can only disappear when the basis has been provided by stable political relations and when the nations have regained confidence in each other.

“For the overcoming of the economic catastrophe three things are necessary:

“1. Absolutely authoritative leadership in internal affairs, in order to create confidence in the stability of conditions.

“2. The securing of peace by the great nations for a long time to come, with a view to restoring the confidence of the nations in each other.

“3. The final victory of the principles of common sense in the organization and conduct of business, and also a general release from reparations and impossible liabilities for debts and interest.

“We are unfortunately faced by the fact that the Geneva Conference, in spite of lengthy negotiations, has so far reached no practical result. The decision regarding the securing of a real measure of disarmament has been constantly delayed by the raising of questions of technical detail and by the introduction of problems that have nothing to do with disarmament. This procedure is useless.

“The illegal state of one-sided disarmament and the resulting national insecurity of Germany cannot continue any longer.

‘‘We recognize it as a sign of the feeling of responsibility and of the good will of the British Government that they have endeavored, by means of their disarmament proposal, to cause the Conference finally to arrive at speedy decisions. The Government of the Reich will support every endeavor aimed at really carrying out general disarmament and securing the fulfillment of Germany’s long-overdue claim for disarmament. For fourteen years we have been disarmed, and for fourteen months we have been waiting for the results of the Disarmament Conference. Even more far-reaching is the plan of the head of the Italian Government, which makes a broad-minded and far-seeing attempt to secure a peaceful and consistent development of the whole of European policy. We attach the greatest weight to this plan, and we are ready to co-operate with absolute sincerity on the basis it provides, in order to unite the four Great Powers, England, France, Italy, and Germany, in friendly co-operation in attacking with courage and determination the problems upon the solution of which the fate of Europe depends.

“It is for this reason that we are particularly grateful for the appreciative heartiness with which the national renaissance of Germany has been greeted in Italy. . . .”

“In the same way, the Government of the Reich, which regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attaches the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See, and is endeavoring to develop them. We feel sympathy for our brother nation in Austria in its trouble and distress. In all their doings the Government of the Reich is conscious of the connection between the destiny of all German races. Their attitude toward the other foreign Powers may be gathered from what has already been said. But even in cases where our mutual relations are encumbered with difficulties, we shall endeavor to arrive at a settlement. But in any case the basis for an understanding can never be the distinction between victor and vanquished.

“We are convinced that such a settlement is possible in our relations with France, if the Governments will attack the problems affecting them on both sides in a really broadminded way. The Government of the Reich is ready to cultivate with the Soviet Union friendly relations profitable to both parties. It is above all the Government of the National Revolution which feels itself in a position to adopt such a positive policy with regard to Soviet Russia. The fight against communism in Germany is our internal affair in which we will never permit interference from outside. . . .”

“We have particularly at heart the fate of the Germans living beyond the frontiers of Germany who are allied with us in speech, culture, and customs and have to make a hard fight to retain these values. The national Government is resolved to use all the means at its disposal to support the rights internationally guaranteed to the German minorities.

“We welcome the plan for a World Economic Conference and approve of its meeting at an early date. The Government of the Reich is ready to take part in this Conference, in order to arrive at positive results at last. . . .”


Le Temps, March 24—Hitler’s speech produced no surprises. He spoke very moderately, in order to wipe out the bad impression that his former methods had created abroad. He declared that he would enter the Four Power Pact and come to a compromise with France. It remains to be seen how these promises will be acted upon. With Hitler’s speeches one must always seek what is hidden between the lines.

London Times, March 24—As to the main lines of German foreign policy, there can be clearly traced between the lines of his speech, which implied that Soviet Russia would not regard with more than the most cynical interest the suppression of German Communists, that his government looked for increasingly close relations with Italy, that they valued the spirit prompting British mediatory efforts.

SPEECH OF APRIL 8, 1933: Sportpalast

“THE great epoch which for fourteen years we awaited has now begun. Germany is awake now. ...”

“I can say with pride, comrades of the SA and SS, that if the whole German people now was possessed of the spirit wrhich is in us and in you, then Germany would be indestructible. Even without arms, Germany would represent an unheard-of strength through this inner will tempered like steel. It is true that this equality which is realized in you was realized only at the cost of that freedom of which others spoke. We have, too, adopted the principle of leadership, the conception of authority. That was a heavy sacrifice at a time when the whole people was running after the illusion of democracy and parliamentarianism, when millions believed that the majority was the source of a right decision. It was at this time that we began resolutely to build up an organization in which there was not one dictator but ten thousand. When our opponents say: ‘It is easy for you: you are a dictator’—we answer them, ‘No, gentlemen, you are wrong; there is no single dictator, but ten thousand, each in his own place.’ And even the highest authority in the hierarchy has itself only one wish, never to transgress against the supreme authority to which it, too, is responsible. We have in our Movement developed this loyalty in following the leader, this blind obedience of which all the others know nothing and which gave to us the power to surmount everything. For fourteen years we were assailed; the attempt was made to bend and break us by cunning, chicanery, and violence, by malice and terror, by everything imaginable. But this instrument of blind obedience remained unbroken, remained steadfast. All we endured was but tests from which we emerged stronger than ever.

“In addition we have fostered the virtue of bravery. Today millions are pouring into our ranks. But the greater part of them must learn now what this brown army has practiced for years; they must all learn to face what tens of thousands of our comrades have faced, and have paid for with their blood, their lives.

“We have succeeded out of our own free wills in once more inculcating in our people the courage which dares to attempt a task in the face of a world of foes.

“Were the discipline of this Movement not so firm, those who today complain of the sacrifices demanded of them would have even more of which to complain. For what we fighters have gained does not compare to the amount of persecution we suffered. Let the bellyachers realize that, wherever they are. The Movement trains itself in this perfect discipline for the sake of Germany, to save our people from being cast down in the eyes of the world to the level of their opponents.

“We have also utilized the virtue of persistence, of unwearying patience. ...”

“It was this virtue which made you, and therefore us, unconquerable, and which saved the nation. Fourteen years of struggle. It seems as though fate had saved up so terribly many victims especially for the last year of the struggle. Our Brown Shirts prohibited, the members tortured, terror heaped upon terror, and in the end the dissolution of the organization. It was a terribly sad time, and I know how hard it was for many to keep their faith that after all the hour would come at last. We almost doubted justice and providence. Then came the turning point, and battle after battle. Once more many doubted, and some even were beaten down by their doubt. And then came the time when we had to say ‘No,’ when for the first time it seemed that the way to power was opening before us, tempting us: and yet despite this we had to remain hard and say ‘No, it is not possible in that way.’ And for a second time the doors seemed to open and for the second time we had to say ‘No, impossible.’ And then at the third time the hour came and that was given to us which we could not but desire, which we had a right to desire, and at last the National Socialist Movement entered into the great period of its historic action. ...”

“We have now won power in Germany, and it is up to us to win the German people, to incorporate the people within the power. We must build the millions of our working men of all classes into a close community. This is a struggle which will again take years; but it is necessary if the 600,000 men of today are some day to be the six, eight, ten millions we need. Here, too, we know that if we rest, we rust, that if we stand still, we will retreat. . .

“If in the future you continue to stand behind me as one man, in loyalty and obedience, no power in the world will be able to destroy this Movement. It will continue its victorious course. If you preserve the same discipline, the same obedience, the same comradeship and the same unbounded loyalty in the future—then nothing will ever extinguish this Movement in Germany. This is the request I make of you, for myself and in the name of all the comrades who are no longer among us. ...”

“Our National Socialist Movement, the SA and SS: Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil!”


New York Times, April 10—Herr Hitler contended that it was not dictatorship that he was offering Germany. “In ourmovement it is not one who dictates but tens of thousands— each in his place.”

SPEECH OF MAY 10, 1933: Congress of the German Work Front


March 31— The Communist party is banned in Germany. All the Communist mandates in Parliament are revoked. Law for the “co-ordination” of the Reich and the provinces is passed.

April 7—In retaliation for censorious demonstrations held in New York, London, and Paris, the new German Government begins a planned campaign of anti-Semitic persecution. Boycott of the Jews. Issuance of the first Aryan laws.

May 2—Unions incorporated in the National Socialist party’s “Labor Front,” founded by Robert Ley.

May 10—Burning of books in the campaign against unGerman culture.

The Speech

“. . . . AMIDST all the crises under which we suffer and which do but present a single connected picture, perhaps that which the people feels most acutely is the economic crisis. The political crisis, the moral crisis, are only very rarely felt by the individual. The average man s,ees in the experiences of his day not that which affects the community as a whole but for the most part only that which strikes himself. Therefore the present has only very rarely any consciousness of political or moral collapse so long as this collapse does not extend in one way or another into economic life. Forwhen this happens it is no longer a question of some abstract problem that can perhaps be observed or studied in its effect on others, but one day the individual himself will be caught hold of by this question, and the more intimately such a crisis begins to influence his own life, the more clearly does he come to recognize that existing conditions cannot remain as they are. Then all of a sudden people talk of economic distress, of economic misery, and then, starting from this distress, one can awaken an understanding for that other distress which otherwise is wont to remain for a long time hidden from the individual man.

“It is not enough to say that the German economic distress is a phenomenon resulting from a world crisis, from a general economic distress, since, of course, exactly in the same way every other people could plead the same excuse, could adduce the same reason. It is clear that even so this distress cannot have its roots all over the world, those roots must always be found within the life of peoples. And though only one thing is probably true—that these roots are perhaps the same in the case of many peoples—yet one cannot hope to master this distress by the mere statement that the presence of a certain distress is a feature of the age; rather it is clearly a necessity to disclose these roots in the internal life of a single people and to cure the distress there where one can really effect a cure.

“Unfortunately it is precisely the German who is only too inclined at such times, instead of looking at his own internal life, to let his gaze range into the far distance. Our people has been so long falsely taught to think in international terms that even in such a distress as the present it tends to treat this problem, too, from international points of view. And the result is that many of us simply cannot believe that perhaps it might be possible to remedy such a misfortune in some other way than by international methods. And yet that is an error. It is natural that international infirmities which afflict all peoples in one way or another must be removed by the peoples who suffer from them, but that in no way alters the fact that every people must wage this battle on its own behalf, and above all that no single people can be liberated from this distress by international methods if it does not for its own part take the necessary measures. These measures can, of course, find their place within the framework of international measures, but one’s own action must not be made dependent upon the action of others.

“The crisis in German economics is not merely a crisis which is expressed by our economic statistics, but it is above all a crisis which can also be traced in the internal course of our economic life, in the character of its organization, etc. And here we can indeed speak of a crisis which has hit our people more severely than other peoples. It is the crisis which we see in the relations between capital, economics, and people. This crisis is particularly obvious in the relations between our workmen and the employers. Here the crisis has been more acute than in any other country in the world....”

“The first cause lies in the alteration in the form of business organization which determined the character of our economics. That cause may be traced throughout the world precisely as in Germany. . .

“The gradual alienation of classes which we in Germany experienced led to the appearance on the one side of the special interests of the employers and on the other side the special interests of the employed. This was the beginning of our unhappy economic development. When one had once started on this road, of necessity the two sides became ever more widely separated. Here a law governs human affairs: when one has once chosen the wrong road this road always leads one further from reason. . . .”

“On the contrary, the road led necessarily to further alienation and this tendency, as I said, was favored by the depersonalization of property. And I might almost say that this process was apparently still further encouraged and strengthened on scientific grounds. There gradually arose an ideology which believed that it could permanently support the conception of property even though those who derived any practical profit from the conception no longer represented more than a minimal percentage of the nation. And on the other hand there arose the view that, since there was now only so small a percentage of those who enjoyed property, the conception of private property as such should be abandoned. . .

“When one has once started on this course, then logically the employers will in turn form their organization. And as a matter of course these two organizations will not pursue their own ends in mutual toleration, but they will maintain their apparently separate interests with those weapons which are given them: viz. lockouts and strikes. In this warfare sometimes one and sometimes the other side will conquer. But in either case it is the whole nation which will have to pay the cost of this warfare and suffer the damage. And the final result of this development is that these organizations as they build themselves up, considering the passion of the German for bureaucratization, will continuously become more unwieldy and their personnel will grow constantly larger. And at length the organization will no longer serve the interests of its creators, but these will be subservient to the organization, so that the warfare is continued in order that the existence of the organization may be justified, even though at times reason suddenly comes and says: ‘The whole affair is madness; the gain when compared with the sacrifices is positively ludicrous. If you reckon up the sacrifices which we make for the organization they are far greater than any possible profit.’ Then the organizations in their turn will have to prove how necessary they are by stirring up the parties to fight each other. And then it may even be that the two organizations come to an understanding, when once they have realized the situation.

“The second reason is the rise of Marxism. Marxism, as a conception of the world with disintegration for its aim, saw with keen insight that the trade-union movement offered it the possibility in the future of conducting its attack against the State and against human society with an absolutely annihilating weapon. Not with any idea of helping the worker —what is the worker of any country to these apostles of internationalism? Nothing at all! They never see him! They themselves are no workers: they are alien litterateurs, an alien gang! . . .”

“One had to inoculate the trade union with the idea: You are an instrument of the class war and that war in the last resort can find its political leaders only in Marxism. What is then more comprehensible than that one should also pay one’s tribute to the leadership? And the tribute was exacted in full measure. These gentlemen have not been content with a tithe: they demanded a considerably higher rate of interest.

“This class war leads to the proclamation of the trade union as simply an instrument for the representation of the economic interests of the working classes and therewith for the purposes of the general strike. Thus the general strike appears for the first time as a means for exercising political power and shows what Marxism really hoped to gain from this weapon—not a means for the salvation of the worker, but on the contrary only an instrument of war for the destruction of the State which opposed Marxism. To prove to what lengths this whole madness could go we Germans have an unprecedented example, as frightful as it is instructive, in the War.

“We can add only one remark: Had the German trade unions been in our hands during the War, if they had been in my hands and had they been trained with the same false end in view as was in fact the case, then we National Socialists would have placed the whole of this gigantic organization at the service of the Fatherland. We should have declared: We recognize, of course, the sacrifices entailed; we are ready ourselves to make those sacrifices; we do not wish to escape, we want to fight with you on the same terms; we give our destiny and our life into the hand of Almighty Providence just as the others must do. That we should have done as a matter of course. For, German workmen, we should have said, you must realize: It is not the fate of the German State which is now to be decided, not of the Empire as a constitutional form, not of the monarchy; it is not a question of capitalism or militarism; it is the existence of our people which is at stake and we German workmen make up seventy per cent of this people. It is our fate which is to be decided!

“That is what should have been known then, and it could have been known. We should have known it. . . .”

“It was a crime that this was not done. It was not done because it would have violated the inner meaning of Marxism, for Marxism wanted only the destruction of Germany. . . . For since the days of November, 1918, millions of Germans have held the view that it was the fault of the German workingman which caused the country’s collapse. He who himself had made such unspeakable sacrifices, he who had filled our regiments with the millions of their riflemen—he as a class was suddenly made collectively liable for the act of the perjured, lying, degenerate destroyers of the Fatherland. That was the worst that could have happened, for at that moment for many millions in Germany the community of the people was shattered. . .

“The third cause of this fatal development lay in the State itself. There might have been something which could perhaps have opposed these millions and that something would have been the State had it not been that this State had sunk so low that it had become the plaything of groups of interested parties. It is no mere chance that this whole development runs parallel with the democratization of our public life. This democratization tended to bring the State directly into the hands of certain strata of society which identified themselves with property as such, with big business as such. The masses increasingly got the impression that the State itself was no objective institution standing above parties, that in particular it was no longer the incorporation of any objective authority, but that it was itself the mouthpiece of the economic will and of the economic interests of certain groups within the nation, and that even the leadership of the State justified such an assumption. The victory of the political bourgeoisie was nothing else than the victory of a stratum of society which had arisen as the result of economic laws. ...”

‘‘While it is natural that amongst soldiers he only can be a leader who has been trained for that post, it was by no means a matter of course that only he should be a political leader who had been trained in that sphere and had besides proved his capacity; gradually the view gained ground that membership of a certain class which had arisen as the result of economic laws carried with it the capacity to govern a people. We have come to realize the consequences of this error. The stratum of society which claimed for itself the leadership has failed us in every hour of crisis and in the nation’s hour of supreme difficulty it collapsed miserably. . . . Let no one say to me: ‘No other course was possible.’ It was only for these leaders that no other course was possible. . . .”

“We must penetrate to the inner causes of the collapse with the resolution that these inner causes shall be removed. I believe that immediately we must begin at the point where in the last resort a beginning must today be made—we must begin with the State itself. A new authority must be set up, and this authority must be independent of momentary currents of contemporary opinion, especially of those currents which flow from a narrow and limited economic egoism. There must be constituted a leadership of the State which represents a real authority, an authority independent of any one stratum of society. A leadership must arise in which every citizen can have confidence, assured that its sole aim is the happiness, the welfare, of the German people, a leadership which can with justice say of itself that it is on every side completely independent. People have talked so much of the past Age of Absolutism, of the absolutism of Frederick the Great, and of the Age of Popular Democracy, our Parliamentary Epoch. Regarded from the standpoint of the people the earlier period was the more objective: it could really more objectively safeguard the interests of the nation, while the later period continuously descended more and more to the representation merely of the interests of individual classes.

“Nothing can prove that more clearly than the mere conception of a class war—the slogan that the rule of the bourgeoisie must be replaced by the rule of the proletariat. That means that the whole question becomes one of a change in a class dictatorship, while our aim is the dictatorship of the people, i.e., the dictatorship of the whole people, the community.

“And further it is essential that one should sweep away all those forces which consciously abuse human weaknesses in order with their help to carry into execution their deadly schemes. When fourteen or fifteen years ago and over and over again since then I declared before the German nation that I saw my task before the bar of German history to lie in the destruction of Marxism, that was for me no empty phrase, that was a sacred oath which I will keep so long as I draw breath. This confession of faith, the confession of faith of an individual, through my effort has become the confession of faith of a mighty organization. . .

“We must accordingly wage our battle without any compromise whatsoever against the force which has eaten at the heart of our German people during the last seventeen years, which has inflicted on us such fearful injuries and which, if it had not been conquered, would have destroyed Germany. Bismarck once declared that liberalism was the pacemaker for social democracy. And I do not need in this place to say that social democracy is the pacemaker for communism. But communism is the pacemaker for death—the death of a peopledownfall. We have begun the fight against communism and we shall wage it to the end. As so often in German history, it will once more be proved that the greater the distress, the greater is the power of the German people to find its way upwards and forwards. This time, too, it will find the way; indeed, I am convinced that it has already found it.

“Thus the unification of the German Workmen’s Movement has a great moral significance. When we complete the reconstruction of the State which must be the result of very great concessions on both sides, we want to have two parties to the contract facing each other who both are in their hearts on principle nationally minded, who both look only to their people, and who both on principle are ready to subordinate everything else in order to serve the common weal. Only if that is possible from the first can I believe in the success of our efforts. It is the spirit from which efforts spring that helps to decide the issue. There must be no conquerors and no conquered; our people must be the only conqueror—conqueror over classes and castes, and conqueror over the interests of these single groups in our people! And thereby we shall come naturally to a nobler conception of work. . . . But the Movement which I and my fellow-fighters represent will, nothing daunted, exalt the word ‘Worker’ till it becomes the great title of honor of the German nation. . .

“Personally, I am against all honorary titles, and I do not think that anyone has much to accuse me of on this score. What is not absolutely necessary for me to do, that I do not do. I should never care to have visiting cards printed with the titles which in this earthly world of ours are given with such ceremony. I do not want anything on my gravestone but my name. All the same, owing to the peculiar circumstances of my life, I am perhaps more capable than anyone else of understanding and realizing the nature and the whole life of the various German castes. Not because I have been able to look down on this life from above but because I have participated in it, because I stood in the midst of this life, because fate in a moment of caprice or perhaps fulfilling the designs of providence, cast me into the great mass of the people, amongst common folk. Because I myself was a laboring man for years in the building trade and had to earn my own bread. And because for a second time I took my place once again as an ordinary soldier amongst the masses and because then life raised me into other strata of our people so that I know these, too, better than countless others who were born in these strata. So fate has perhaps fitted me more than any other to be the broker—I think I may say—the honest broker for both sides alike. Here I am not personally interested; I am not dependent upon the State or on any public office; I am not dependent upon business or industry or any trade union. I am an independent man, and I have set before myself no other goal than to serve, to the best of my power and ability, the German people, and above all to serve the millions who, thanks to their simple trust and ignorance and thanks to the baseness of their former leaders, have perhaps suffered more than any other class.

“I have always professed that there is nothing finer than to be the advocate of those who cannot easily defend themselves. I know the masses of my people, and there is only one thing which I should always wish to say to our intellectuals: Every Reich that is founded only on the classes which represent intellect and intelligence has weak foundations. I knowT this intellect, always so subtle, always inquiring, but also always uncertain, always hesitating, vacillating from side to side—never steadfast! He who would construct a Reich on these intellectual classes alone will find his building insecure. It is no chance that religions are more stable than constitutional forms. Generally they tend to sink their roots deeper into the soil; they would be unthinkable in the absence of the masses of the people. I know that the intellectual classes fall all too easily a victim to that arrogance which measures the people according to the standards of its knowledge and of its so-called intelligence; and yet there are things in the people which very often the intelligence of the ‘intelligent’ does not see because it cannot see them. The masses are certainly often dull, in many respects they are certainly backward, they are not so nimble, so witty, or intellectual; but they have something to their credit—they have loyalty, constancy, stability. ...”

“Because I know this people better than any other, and at the same time know the rest of the people, I am not only ready in this case to undertake the role of an honest broker but I am glad that destiny can cast me for the part. I shall never in my life have any greater reason for pride than when at the end of my days I can say: I have won the German workingman for the German Reich.”


New York Times, May 11—His long and in part striking speech contained not a single specific statement.

SPEECH OF MAY 17, 1933: Reichstag


May 10—In Geneva, at the disarmament conference, the German representatives speak for the maintenance of longterm military service. General von Blomberg declares to the Wolff Telegraph Bureau (news agency) that there is room for negotiation on this question, but that Germany is unwilling to accept any kind of ultimatum.

The 1926 trade pact between Germany and Russia is renewed.

May 17—Reichstag summoned.

The Speech

. ALL the problems which are causing such unrest today lie in the deficiencies of the Treaty of Peace which did not succeed in solving in a clear and reasonable way the questions of the most decisive importance for the future. Neither national nor economic—to say nothing of legal—problems and demands of the nations were settled by this Treaty in such a way as to stand the criticism of reason in the future. It is therefore natural that the idea of revision is not only one of the constant accompaniments of the effects of this Treaty, but that it was actually foreseen as necessary by the authors of the Treaty and therefore given a legal foundation in the Treaty itself.

“If I deal briefly with the problems which the Versailles Treaty ought to have settled, I do so because its failure in this respect has inevitably given rise to the later situations under which the political and economic relations of States have since then been suffering.

“For many centuries European States and their frontiers developed from conceptions which were only concerned with the State as such. With the triumph of the national conception and of the principle of nationality in the course of the last century, the seed of many conflicts was sown by the failure of States, which had come into existence under other conditions, to take into account these new ideas and ideals. At the end of the World War there could have been no nobler task for a real peace conference than to undertake— in the clear recognition of this fact—a territorial and political reorganization of the European States which should in the highest degree possible do justice to this principle. The more such a settlement succeeded in making the frontiers between peoples coincide with the frontiers between States, the more it would have eliminated a whole series of future possibilities of conflict. . .

“As it was, through ignorance, passion, and hatred, decisions were taken which, in their injustice and lack of logic, bore the seeds of fresh conflicts.

“The main characteristics of the present economic situation of Europe are the overcrowding of the west of Europe and the poverty of its soil in certain raw materials which are essential to the standard of life which has grown up in those territories with their ancient culture. If the statesmen at Versailles wanted to bring lasting peace to Europe, they should have recognized and followed, instead of the dangerous and sterile conceptions of expiation, punishment, and reparation, the profound truth that the lack of the necessities of life has always been a source of conflict between peoples. Instead of preaching the idea of extermination, they should have embarked upon a reorganization of international political and economic relationships, so as to do justice, to the fullest possible extent, to the vital needs of each nation.

“It is not wise to deprive a people of the economic resources necessary for its existence without taking into consideration the fact that the population dependent on them are bound to the soil and will have to be fed. The idea that the economic extermination of a nation of sixty-five millions would be of service to other nations is absurd. Any people inclined to follow such a line of thought would, under the law of cause and effect, soon experience that the doom which they were preparing for another nation would swiftly overtake them. The very idea of reparations and the way in which they were enforced will become a classic example in the history of the nations of how seriously international welfare can be damaged by hasty and unconsidered action. . . .”

“The Treaty of Versailles is to blame for having inaugurated a period in which financial calculations appear to destroy economic reason. Germany has faithfully fulfilled the obligations imposed upon her, in spite of their intrinsic lack of reason and the obviously suicidal consequences of this fulfillment.

“The international economic crisis is the indisputable proof of the correctness of this statement.

“The chances of restoring a general international legal sentiment have also been no less destroyed by the Treaty. For, in order to justify all the measures of this edict, Germany had to be branded as the guilty party. This procedure is, indeed, just as simple as it is, however, inadmissible. In any future cases of conflict the vanquished will always be the guilty party, because the victor can establish this fact in the easiest manner possible.

“This procedure therefore assumes a terrible significance, because it gave at the same time an excuse for the conversion of the power ratio existing at the end of the war into a permanent legal status. The conception of conqueror and conquered thus literally became the foundation of a new international legal and social order.

“The degradation of a great people to a second-class nation was proclaimed at the same moment as a League of Nations came into being.

“This treatment of Germany could not lead to the pacification of the world. The disarmed state and defenselessness of the conquered parties which was thus considered necessary —an unheard of procedure in the history of the European nations—was still less calculated to diminish the general dangers and conflicts, but merely led to that condition of constant menaces, demands, and sanctions which, by the unrest and insecurity which they give rise to, threaten to undermine the entire economic structure of the world. If no consideration is given by the nations to the danger of certain actions, reason may easily be overcome by unreason. At any rate, up to the present, the League of Nations has been unable to grant any appreciable assistance to the weak and unarmed in such cases. Treaties concluded for the pacification of the nations only possess an inner meaning when they are based on real and honest equality of rights for all. This is the main reason for the state of unrest which has been weighing on the world for a number of years.

“It is, however, in the interests of all that present-day problems should be solved in a reasonable and final manner. No new European war could improve the unsatisfactory conditions of the present day.

“On the contrary, the application of violence of any kind in Europe could have no favorable effect upon the political or economic position which exists today. Even if a fresh European act of violence had a decisive result, the ultimate effect would be to increase the disturbance of European equilibrium and thus, in one manner or another, to sow the seed of further conflicts and complications.

“The result would be fresh wars, fresh uncertainty, and fresh economic distress. The outbreak of such infinite madness, however, would necessarily cause the collapse of the present social and political order. A Europe sinking into communistic chaos would bring about a crisis, the extent and duration of which could not be foreseen.

“It is the earnest desire of the national Government of the German Reich to prevent such a disturbing development by means of its honest and active co-operation.

“Speaking deliberately as a German National Socialist, I desire to declare in the name of the national Government, and of the whole movement of national regeneration, that we in this new Germany are filled with deep understanding for the same feelings and opinions and for the rightful claims to life of the other nations. The present generation of this new Germany, which, so far, has only known in its life the poverty, misery, and distress of its own people, has suffered too deeply from the madness of our time to be able to contemplate treating others in the same way.

“Our boundless love for and loyalty to our own national traditions makes us respect the national claims of others and makes us desire from the bottom of our hearts to live with them in peace and friendship.

“We therefore have no use for the idea of Germanization. The mentality of the past century which made people believe that they could make Germans out of Poles and Frenchmen is completely foreign to us; the more so as we are passionately opposed to any attempt on the part of others to alienate us from our German tradition. We look at the European nations objectively. The French, the Poles, etc., are our neighbors, and we know that through no possible development of history can this reality be altered.

“It would have been better for the world if in Germany’s case these realities had been appreciated in the Treaty of Versailles. For the object of a really lasting treaty should be not to cause new wounds and keep old ones open, but to close wounds and heal them. A thoughtful treatment of European problems at that time could certainly have found a settlement in the East which would have met both the reasonable claims of Poland and the natural rights of Germany. The Treaty of Versailles did not provide this solution. Nevertheless no German Government will of its own accord break an agreement which cannot be removed without being replaced by a better one.

“But the legal character of such a treaty must be acknowledged by all. Not only the conqueror but also the conquered party can claim the rights accorded in the Treaty. And the right to demand a revision of the Treaty Ends its foundation in the Treaty itself. The German Government, in stating the reasons for and the extent of its claims, wishes for nothing more than the existing results of previous experience and the incontestable consequences of critical and logical reasoning show to be necessary and just. The experience of the last fourteen years, however, is unambiguous from a political and economic point of view.

“The misery of the nations has not been relieved but has increased. The deepest roots of this misery, however, lie in the division of the world into conquerors and conquered, which seems to be intended to form a permanent basis of all treaties and all future order. The worst effect of this order lies in the compulsory defenselessness of one nation as against the excessive armaments of the others. If Germany has continued for years to demand the disarmament of all, it is for the following reasons:

“1. The demand for equality of rights expressed in actual facts is a demand of morality, right and reason; it is a demand which is recognized in the Peace Treaty itself and the fulfillment of which is indissolubly bound up with the demand for German disarmament, as the prelude to world disarmament.

“2. On the other hand the disqualification of a great people cannot be permanently maintained, but must at some time be brought to an end. How long is it thought possible that such an injustice can be imposed on a great nation? What is the advantage of a moment as compared with the permanent development through centuries? The German nation will continue to exist exactly in the same way as the French nation and, as history has proved, the Polish nation.

“Of what value is the temporary oppression of a nation of sixty-five millions as compared with the force of this incontrovertible fact? No State can possess a greater understanding for the young, newly created European national States than the new Germany which has risen out of the national revolution which was inspired by the same impulses. Germany wants nothing for herself which she is not prepared to give to others.

“Germany, in demanding at present actual equality of rights such as can only be achieved by the disarmament of other nations, has a moral right to do so since she has herself carried out the provisions of the treaties. For Germany has disarmed and has carried out this disarmament under the strictest international supervision. ...”

“The Rhineland was demilitarized, the German fortresses were dismantled, our ships surrendered, our airplanes destroyed, our system of military service abandoned and the training of reserves thus prevented. Even the most indispensable weapons of defense were denied us.

“If, in the face of these indisputable facts, anyone should attempt to come forward and declare with truly wretched excuses and pretexts that Germany has not fulfilled the treaties or has even rearmed, as German Chancellor speaking in the Reichstag I must repudiate such views which are as untrue as they are unfair.

“Equally untrue are the statements that Germany has not complied with the provisions of the Treaty in respect of personnel. The statement that the SA and SS of the National Socialist party are connected in any way with the Reichswehr, in the sense that they represent formations with military training or army reserves, is untrue! ...”

“In actual fact, the Storm Sections [SA] and Storm Troops [SS] of the National Socialist party came into being without any help or financial support from the governments of the Federal States, the Reich, or from the Army, without any military training or equipment, but purely out of the political needs and considerations of the times. Their object was and is exclusively the removal of the communist danger; their development took place without any connection with the Army, purely for purposes of propaganda and national enlightenment, psychological mass effect and the breaking down of the communist terror. They form an institution for creating a true team spirit, for overcoming former class differences and for removing economic distress.

“When, however, at the same time the trained annual contingents of the other armies of the world, in contradistinction to these men who are entirely without military training, are not included, when the armed reserves of other countries are deliberately overlooked, while the unarmed members of the political associations are in our case included, this constitutes a procedure against which I must categorically protest. If the world wishes to destroy confidence in right and justice, these are the best means for the purpose.

“On behalf of the German people and the German Government, I have to make the following statement: Germany has disarmed. She has complied with all obligations imposed upon her in the Peace Treaty to an extent far beyond the limits of equity and reason. Her army consists of 100,000 men. The strength and the character of her police are internationally regulated.

“Germany has thus a fully justified moral claim to the fulfillment by the other Powers of their obligations under the Treaty of Versailles. The equality of status accorded to Germany in December has not yet been given practical expression. With regard to the contention, repeated by France again and again, that the safety of France must be secured to the same extent as the equality of Germany, I would like to ask two questions:

“1. Germany has so far accepted all the obligations with regard to security arising from the signing of the Versailles Treaty, the Kellogg Pact, the Treaties of Arbitration, the Pact of Non-Aggression, etc. What other concrete assurances are left for Germany to give?

“2. On the other hand, how much security has Germany? According to the figures published by the League, France alone has 3,046 airplanes in service, Belgium 350, Poland 700, Czechoslovakia 670. In addition to these numbers there are innumerable reserve airplanes, thousand of tanks, thousands of heavy guns and all the necessary technical equipment for chemical warfare. Has not Germany, in her state of defenselessness and disarmament, greater justification in demanding security than the overarmed States bound together in military alliances?

“Nevertheless Germany is at any time willing to undertake further obligations in regard to international security, if all the other nations are ready on their side to do the same, and if this security is also to benefit Germany. Germany would also be perfectly ready to disband her entire military establishment and destroy the small amount of arms remaining to her, if the neighboring countries will do the same thing with equal thoroughness. But if these countries are not willing to carry out the disarmament measures to which they are also bound by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany must at least maintain her demand for equality.

“The German Government sees in the British plan a possible basis for the solution of this question, but they must demand that the defense force existing in Germany shall not be abolished unless at least qualitative equality be accorded to Germany. . . .”

“Germany agrees in principle to a transitional period of five years during which to build up her national security, in the expectation that at the end of this period she will really be put on a footing of equality with the other States. She is also entirely ready to renounce all offensive weapons of every sort if the armed nations, on their side, will destroy their offensive weapons within a specified period, and if their use is forbidden by an international convention. Germany has only one desire: to be able to preserve her independence and defend her frontiers.

“According to a statement made by the French Minister of War in February, 1932, a large portion of the French colored troops can be immediately used on the French mainland. He therefore expressly includes them in the forces of the home country.

“It is therefore only just that the colored troops should also be considered by the Disarmament Conference as forming part of the French Army. While this is not being done, it is proposed that associations and organizations of a purely educational or sporting character which have no military training whatsoever should be reckoned as forming part of the Army in the case of Germany. In the case of other countries, however, there is no question of such organizations being counted as military effectives. Such a procedure is, of course, quite impossible. Germany would declare herself willing at any time, in the event of a mutual international supervision of armaments and of equal readiness on the part of other States, to subject these associations to such supervision in order to prove beyond doubt to the whole world that they are of an entirely unmilitary character.

“Moreover the German Government will not reject any prohibition of arms as being too drastic if it is applied in the same manner to all other States. . . .”

“These demands do not imply rearmament but only a desire for the disarmament of the other States. In this connection I again welcome on behalf of the German Government the apt and far-sighted plan of the head of the Italian Government to create, by means of a special pact, close relations of confidence and co-operation between the four great European Powers, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. The German Government is in whole-hearted agreement with Mussolini’s view that this would facilitate a permanent understanding, and will show the greatest good will, provided the other nations are prepared really to overcome any difficulties which may arise.

“The proposal made by President Roosevelt, of which I learned last night, has therefore earned the warmest thanks of the German Government. It is prepared to agree to this method of overcoming the international crisis, for they are also of the opinion that no permanent economic reconstruction is possible unless the disarmament question is solved. . . .”

“I am obliged to state that the reason for the present armaments of France or Poland can under no circumstances be the fear of those nations of a German invasion, for such fear would be only justified by the possession by Germany of modern offensive weapons. Germany, however, does not possess such modern offensive weapons at all; she has neither heavy artillery nor tanks nor bombing airplanes nor poisonous gases.

“The only nation therefore which might justifiably fear invasion is the German nation, which not only may not possess offensive weapons but is also restricted in its right to defensive weapons and is even forbidden to erect frontier fortifications.

“Germany is at all times prepared to renounce offensive weapons if the rest of the world does the same. Germany is prepared to agree to any solemn pact of nonaggression because she does not think of attacking but only of acquiring security.

“She would welcome the possibility suggested in President Roosevelt’s proposal of bringing the United States into European relations as a guarantor of peace. The President’s proposal is a ray of comfort for all who wish to co-operate sincerely in the maintenance of peace. . . .”

“The German Government and the German people will under no circumstances allow themselves to be forced to sign what would mean a perpetuation of the degradation of Germany. . . .”

“The attempt has been made in newspaper articles and in regrettable speeches to threaten Germany with sanctions, but such a monstrous step could only be considered as a punishment meted out to Germany for having pressed for the carrying out of the treaties by her demand for disarmament. Such a measure could only lead to the definite moral and effective invalidation of the treaties. Germany, however, even in this case, would never renounce her peaceful claims. The political and economic consequences, the chaos which such an attempt would bring on Europe would be the responsibility of those who used such means against a people which is doing the world no harm.

“Any such attempt or any attempt to do violence to Germany by means of a simple majority vote, contrary to the clear meaning of the treaties, could only be dictated by the intention of excluding us from the conferences. The German people, however, today possesses sufficient character in such a case not to impose its co-operation on other nations but, though with a heavy heart, to draw the only possible consequence.

“It would be difficult for us as a constantly defamed nation to continue to belong to the League of Nations.

“The German Government and the German nation are only too fully aware of the crisis of the present time. For many years Germany has given warnings regarding the methods which would and did inevitably lead to these political and economic results. If the present direction and the present methods are continued, there can be no doubt as to the ultimate result. After apparent political successes of individual nations, the resultant economic and political disasters for all will be all the more severe. We regard it as our first and most important task to avoid these results. . .


Le Temps, May 19—Chancellor Hitler has completely changed his tune. ... It remains to be seen of what value are Chancellor Hitler’s declarations on the question which at present is being fought out in Geneva.

New York Times, May 18—Throughout Germany tonight the comment on the Chancellor’s declaration is wholly of endorsement and acclamation.

London Times, May 18—This speech was earnestly but moderately worded; most of it might have been spoken by any of his recent predecessory. The case of united Germany in brief is that now, fifteen years after the war, the country expects to be treated on a footing of complete equality with other great powers. This claim is in principle irrefutable.

SPEECH OF JULY 22, 1933: Radio broadcast from Bayreuth



May 20—Election in Danzig gives great Nazi majority.

June 1— Announcement of the German “Four-Year Plan.”

June 7—Mussolini makes the first announcement of the signing of the Four-Power Treaty—Germany, France, Great Britain, and Italy. Its object is to establish a ten-year collaboration between the signatories for a revision of the Paris Peace Treaties, as provided for in the League Covenant, and to take up the problem of disarmament, if the Geneva Conference comes to naught.

June 22—The Nazis in Austria are banned.

Social Democratic party dissolved in Germany. Its members are driven from the civil services.

June 27—Leader of the German National party, Hugen- berg, resigns from the Reich Government.

July 8—Pacelli, Papal Nuncio, and von Papen sign a concordat.

July 14—Law is passed against the formation of new parties in Germany.

The Speech

“IF I take up any position towards the elections in the Evangelical Church I do this solely from the standpoint of the political leader, that is to say that I am not moved to do so by questions of faith, dogmatics, or doctrine. These are purely internal church affairs. But over and above these questions there are problems which compel the politician and the responsible leader of a people publicly to makeknown his position. They embrace ‘volkic’ and State interests in their relation to the Confessions.

“National Socialism has always affirmed that it is determined to take the Christian Churches under the protection of the State. For their part the churches cannot for a second doubt that they need the protection of the State, and that only through the State can they be enabled to fulfill their religious mission. Indeed, the churches demand this protection from the State. On the other hand, in consideration for this protection, the State must require from the churches that they in their turn should render to it that support which it needs to secure its permanence. Churches which fail to render to the State any positive support in this sense are for the State just as worthless as is for a church the State which is incapable of fulfilling its duties to the Church. The decisive factor which can justify the existence alike of church and State is the maintenance of men’s spiritual and bodily health, for if that health were destroyed it would mean the end of the State and also the end of the Church. Therefore the State cannot afford to be indifferent to the religious affairs of its day and neither can, on the other hand, the churches be indifferent to the ‘volkic’-political events and changes. Just as formerly Christianity and later the Reformation had their gigantic political effects, so will every political- ‘volkic’ upheaval affect also the destiny of the churches. Only a fool can imagine that, for example, the victory of bolshevism could be irrelevant for the Catholic or the Evangelical Church and that therefore it would not disturb or even prevent the former activities of bishops or superintendents. The assertion that such dangers could be overcome through the action of the churches alone is untenable; it is contradicted by the facts. Neither the Catholic Church nor the Evangelical, nor the Russian-Uniate Church has been able or would be able to stay the advance of bolshevism. Wherever there has not been created ‘volkic’-political defense to counter that advance, there the victory of communism is already won, or at least the battle is still undecided.

“It is thus clear that the churches themselves must take up a definite position towards such ‘volkic’-political revolutionary movements. This the Roman Church in the Lateran Treaties has done for the first time in a clear and unequivocal form toward fascism. The German Concordat which has now been signed is the second equally clear step in this sphere. It is my sincere hope that thereby for Germany, too, through free agreement there has been produced a final clarification of spheres in the functions of the State and of one Church. As a National Socialist I have the most earnest wish that it may be possible to reach with the Evangelical Church also a no less clear settlement.

“But this presupposes that, if it is at all possible, the place of the many Evangelical Churches should be taken by a united Reichskirche. The State has no interest in negotiating with twenty-five or thirty churches, all the more since it is convinced that in face of the gigantic tasks of the present time here, too, it is only a concentration of all forces which can be regarded as effective. The powerful State can only wish to extend its protection to such religious organizations as can in their turn become of use to it.

“And in fact amongst the congregations of the Evangelical Confessions there has arisen in the ‘German Christians’ a Movement which is filled with the determination to do justice to the great tasks of the day and has aimed at a union of the Evangelical Churches of the German States and at a union of Confessions. If this question is now really on the way toward solution, in the judgment of history no false or stupid objections will be able to dispute the fact that this service was rendered by the ‘volkic’-political revolution in Germany and by the Movement within the Evangelical Confessions which clearly and unequivocally professed its allegiance to this national and ‘volkic’ Movement at a time when unfortunately, just as in the Roman Church, many pastors and superintendents without reason opposed the national uprising in the most violent, indeed often in a fanatical, way.

“In the interest of the recovery of the German nation which I regard as indissolubly bound up with the National Socialist Movement I naturally wish that the new church elections should in their result support our new policy for People and State.”


Le Temps, July 24—Referring to the Protestant elections which had taken place the day before, the Chancellor openly took the side of the “German Christians” who had consistently supported the National Socialist State.

New York Times, July 23—In a radio address from this town (Bayreuth) late tonight, Chancellor Hitler upheld the Nazi German Christians “as a movement imbued by the will to rise equal to the great tasks of the present”—one that unequivocally espoused the national popular movement at a time when, just as within the Catholic Church, many Protestant clerics even fanatically opposed the national resurgence.

London Times, July 23—The speech broadcast by Herr Hitler last night inevitably imparted a political element into the campaign. Although Herr Hitler may not have meant it, this speech and a letter to Pastor Mueller, his adviser in Church matters, were exploited by the “German Christians” to give the impression that to vote against them would be to vote against him.

SPEECH OF AUGUST 27, 1933: Tannenberg

“Field Marshal von Hindenburg! Sir!

“Nineteen years have passed since the great day when the German people after centuries once more heard the thenceforth glorious name of Tannenberg. At that time an uncertain destiny hung menacingly over the people and the Reich. Through no fault of their own, the men of our nation had to defend Germany with their lives against an overwhelmingly superior force. With incomparable courage the armies of the West advanced and the few divisions in the East held. Nevertheless, crushing all beneath its heel, the overwhelming numbers of the Russian enemy drove deep into German territory. Large parts of East Prussia were a prey to destruction. Overcome with anxiety, the prayers of millions rose to the Almighty.

“Tannenberg meant our salvation. For not only was a battle won here, but the fortunes of Germany took a decisive turn; East Prussia was freed, and Germany was saved. From that day on there began those tremendous victories in the East which destroyed Russia as a fighting opponent, covered the German armies with immortal glory, and rendered the German nation eternally indebted and grateful to you, Sir, our Field Marshal.

“For no matter how Germany’s heroic struggle ended, the Great War will always call forth in our people pride in the immortal sacrifices they laid at the altar of the freedom and life of the Fatherland. But in times to come history will be unable to understand that a nation, having lost a war it never wanted to wage, should be unworthily oppressed and shamelessly mistreated simply because it would not give up its freedom without a struggle, and with unimaginable suffering and unheard-of sacrifices tried to defend its right to live and its independence.

“At that time, Herr Field Marshal, fate was kind enough to allow me to share in the fight for our people’s freedom as a simple soldier in the ranks of my brothers and comrades. Today I feel with deep emotion that it is a gracious gift of providence that I should stand here, on the soil of this glorious battlefield of the Great War, and speak in the name of the united German nation. And I am happy in the name of the nation to express once more, Herr Field Marshal, the gratitude and the deep reverence we feel for you.

“We are fortunate that we may celebrate this day of glory of the German nation together with him who made it glorious.

“The German Reich Government speaks in the name of the German nation when it expresses the fervent wish that your name may live forever in the nation’s memory, and not for this deed alone. Not only the stone of this memorial shall cherish your memory, but generations of living witnesses will speak of their great ancestor in connection with this sacred soil which they will call their own.

“The German Reich Government as representative of the national honor and in fulfillment of the national debt of gratitude has therefore decided and made law that the soil of this province which today, Herr Field Marshal, is connected with your name, shall be free of the public imposts of the Reich and separate States so long as there is a male heir with the name of Hindenburg associated with it.”


Le Temps, August 28—The Chancellor declared among other things: “History will never understand why a blameless nation was given such shameful treatment merely because it had sought to defend its liberty.”

London Times, August 28—It was at the opening of this [Tannenberg] memorial in September, 1927, that President von Hindenburg repudiated responsibility for the war. Today Herr Hitler, in phrases no less decisive, repeated this repudiation.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1933: Nuremberg, Festhalle of the Luitpoldhain



August 7—England and France protest against the Reich’s anti-Austrian agitation.

August 27—Hitler declares that Germany will never surrender the Saar, no matter what the plebiscite decides.

The Speech

“WHEN in the year 1919 the National Socialist Movement came into being in order to create a new Reich in place of the Marxist-democratic Republic, such an enterprise seemed hopeless and foolish. Above all, the caviling intellectuals with their superficial historical education had no more than a pitying smile for such an undertaking. Most of them very well knew that Germany would fall on evil times. The greater part of the so-called intelligentsia understood very well that the rulers of the November Republic were either too evil or too incompetent to lead our people. But they did not recognize that this new regime could not be overcome by those forces which for fifty years have steadily retreated before the attacks of Marxism, finally, in the hour of greatest emergency, to capitulate miserably. Perhaps part of thereason for this was that the political leaders of the nation were aging, outdated. They could not or would not recognize the time necessary for the restoration of the strength of a nation.

“Strength cannot be found in an organization which has none. It was therefore an error when in 1919 and 1920 the men who recognized the distress of the Fatherland thought that a change in the leadership of the bourgeois parties would suddenly give them the strength to annihilate the inner enemy . . .”

“When one has glorified a false democracy for seventy years, one cannot attempt a dictatorship in the seventy-first year. It leads to ridiculous experiments.

“With few exceptions, age destroys the mental as well as the physical powers of generation. Because each man wishes to see for himself the growth and the fruits of his struggle, he seeks for easier, that is, quicker ways to transform his ideas into realities. The rootless intellectual, lacking all understanding of organic development, tries to evade the law of growth by hasty experiments. Nationalism, on the other hand, was ready from the very first to undertake the long and painful task of building up anew the structure which would later destroy Marxism. But because this way was not understood by the superficial intelligence of our politicalized bourgeoisie, the new Movement could at first develop only among those groups who were not miseducated, who were uncomplicated and therefore closer to nature.

“What the intellect of the intellectual could not see was grasped immediately by the soul, the heart, the instinct of this simple, primitive, but healthy man. It is another one of the tasks of the future to re-establish the unity between feeling and intellect; that is, to educate an unspoiled generation which will perceive with clear understanding the eternal law of development and at the same time will consciously return to the primitive instinct.

“National Socialism directed its appeal for the formation of a new Movement to the broad masses of the people. Its first task was to inspire by suggestion those few whom it had first won over with the belief that they would one day be the saviors of their Fatherland. This problem of educating men to believe and have faith in themselves was as necessary as it was difficult. Men who socially and economically belonged to subordinate, and frequently oppressed groups, had to be given the political conviction that some day they would represent the leadership of the nation.

“While the former leaders of the bourgeois world talked about ‘quiet progress’ and declaimed profound treatises at tea parties, National Socialism began its march into the heart of the people. We held hundreds of thousands of demonstrations. A hundred and a hundred thousand times our speakers spoke in meeting halls, in small, smoky taverns, and in great sports arenas. And each demonstration not only won us new adherents, but above all made the others firm in their belief and filled them by suggestion with the kind of self-confidence without which success is not possible. The others talked about democracy and kept away from the people. National Socialism talked about authority, but it fought and wrestled with the people as no movement in Germany had ever done.

“For all time to come this city shall be the place where our Movement will hold its Party Congress, for it was here that for the first time we proclaimed the new will of Germany.

“It is for this reason that you have been convoked here for the Fifth Party Congress of the N.S.D.A.P., the first in the new German Reich. A miracle has taken place in Germany. . .

“The National Socialist Revolution has overthrown the republic of treason and perjury, and in its place has created once more a Reich of honor, loyalty, and decency. It is our great good fortune that we did not have to bring about this Revolution as leaders of the ‘historic minority’ against the majority of the German nation. We rejoice that at the end of our struggle but before the final turn in our destiny, the overwhelming majority of the German people had already declared itself for our principles. Thus it was possible to accomplish one of the greatest revolutions in history with hardly any bloodshed. As a result of the splendid organization of the movement which brought about this Revolution, at no moment did we lose control of it.

“Aside from the Fascist Revolution in Italy, no similar historic action is comparable in discipline and order with the National Socialist uprising. It is particularly pleasing that today the great majority of the German people stand loyal and united behind the new regime. ...”

“Our perilous political situation was accompanied by a no less dangerous economic situation. The rapid decline of the past winter seemed to be leading to a complete collapse. The great historian, Mommsen, once characterized the Jews in the life of nations as a ‘ferment of decomposition.’ In Germany this decomposition had already made great progress. National Socialism opposed with fierce resoluteness this creeping ‘decline of the West,’ because we were convinced that those inner values which are natural to the civilized nations of Europe, and to our own German nation in particular, had not yet been completely destroyed. . . .”

“As sole possessor of State power, the Party must recognize that it bears the entire responsibility for the course of German history. The work of education which the Movement must carry on is tremendous. For it is not enough to organize the State in accordance with pacific principles; it is necessary to educate the people inwardly. Only if the people has an intimate sympathy with the principles and methods which inspire and move the organization of its State, will there grow up a living organism instead of a dead, because purely formal and mechanistic, organization.

“Among the tasks we face, the most important is the question of eliminating unemployment. The danger in unemployment is not only a material one. It is neither logical, nor moral, nor just, to continue taking away from those who are able to work a part of the fruits of their industry in order to maintain those unable to work—no matter for what reasons they are unable. It is more logical to distribute the work itself instead of distributing wages. No one has a moral right to demand that others should work for him so that he will not have to work himself. Each has a right to demand that the political organization of his nation, the State, find ways and means to give work to all.

“We are following paths for which there is hardly any model in history. It is thus at any time possible that one or another measure that we take today may prove unworkable. It is thus all the more necessary to put a stop to that carping criticism which tends only towards disintegration. It is no matter whether a thousand critics live or die, what does matter is whether a people shall be conquered and ruined and in consequence as a community lose its life. All those who since November, 1918, through their mad or criminal action hurled our people into their present misfortunes, those who proclaimed such phrases as ‘Freedom,’ ‘Brotherliness,’ and ‘Equality,’ as the leit-motiv of their action—they do not share today the fate and the sufferings of the victims of their policy! Millions of our German fellow-countrymen through them have been given over to the hardest stress imaginable. Need, misery, hunger, do violence to their existence. Those who misled them indeed enjoy abroad the freedom to slander their own people for foreign gold, the liberty to deliver them up to the hatred of their neighbors: they would, if they could, see them attacked and shot down, defenseless, on the battlefield. . . .”

“The rise and the astonishing final victory of the National Socialist Movement would never have happened if the Party had ever formulated the principle that in our ranks everyone can do as he likes. This watchword of democratic freedom led only to insecurity, indiscipline, and at length to the downfall and destruction of all authority. Our opponents’ objection that we, too, once made use of these rights, will not hold water; for we made use of an unreasonable right, which was part and parcel of an unreasonable system, in order to overthrow the unreason of this system. No fruit falls which is not ripe for falling. When old Germany fell, it betrayed its inner weakness, just as the November Republic has revealed its weakness to everyone by now.

“By its political education, therefore, the Party will have to fortify the mind of the German people against any tendency to regression. While we deny the parliamentary-democratic principle, we champion most definitely the right of the people itself to determine its own life. In the parliamentary system we do not recognize any true expression of the will of the people, but we see in it a perversion, if not a violation, of that will. The will of a people to maintain its existence appears first and in its most useful form in its best brains.

“The greater the tasks with which we are faced, the greater must be the authority of those who must accomplish these tasks. It is important that the self-assurance of the leaders of the whole organization in their decisions should arouse in the members and followers of the Party an untroubled confidence. For the people will justifiably never understand it if they are suddenly asked to discuss problems which their leaders cannot cope with. It is conceivable that even wise men should not in questions of special difficulty be able to reach complete clarity. But it means a capitulation of all leadership if it hands over precisely those questions to public discussion and allows the public to state its views. For the leaders thereby imply that the masses have more judgment than they themselves have. This cannot be the attitude of the National Socialist party. The Party must be convinced that it will be able to cope with all problems, that because it has chosen its human material in living struggle, its leaders are politically the most competent men in Germany.

“Our Party must follow the same law that it wishes to see the masses of the nation follow. It must, therefore, constantly educate itself to recognize authority, to submit voluntarily to the highest discipline, so that it will be able to educate the followers of the Party to do the same. And in doing this the Party must be hard and logical. . .

“Power and the brutal application of power can accomplish much. But in the long run no state of affairs is secure unless it is firmly rooted in logic. Above all: The National Socialist Movement must profess its faith in that heroism which is content to face all opposition and every trial rather than for a moment to be false to the principles which it has recognized to be right. The Movement must be filled with one fear alone—the fear lest the time should ever come when it could be charged with dishonesty or thoughtlessness.

“To save a nation one must think heroically. But the heroic thinker must always be willing to renounce the approval of his contemporaries where truth is at stake.

“May the very manner of this demonstration renew our understanding that the Government of the nation must never harden into a purely bureaucratic machine: it must ever remain a living leadership, a leadership which does not view the people as an object of its activity, but which lives within the people, feels with the people and fights for the people. Forms and organizations can pass, but what does and must remain is the living substance of flesh and blood. All of us desire that the German people shall remain forever upon this earth, and we believe that by our struggle we are but carrying out the will of the Creator, who imbued all creatures with the instinct for self-preservation. Long live our nation. Long live the National Socialist party!”


Le Temps, September 2—The Chancellor has made a final accounting with liberalism which, he says, leads to insecurityin intellectual life. Both in aft and in politics, he says, Marxism is the same as nihilism.

London Times, September 2—The proclamation contained a vehement attack on the Jews and also condemned the democratic system. Our own good sense and our determination, the proclamation said, will prevent our people for all time from abandoning the inner unity of thought and desire for the sake of the slogan, “The right of free criticism.”

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER. 3, 1933: Nuremberg

The Speech

“. . . IN ORDER to understand the diseases from which a people suffers, it is first necessary to understand how a people is built up. Almost all the peoples of the 'world are composed today of different racial primary elements. These original elements are each characterized by different capacities. Only in the primitive functions of life can men be considered as precisely like each other. Beyond these primitive functions they immediately begin to be differentiated in their characters, their dispositions, and capacities. The differences between the individual races, both in part externally and, of course, also in their inner natures, can be quite enormous and in fact are so. The gulf between the lowest creature which can still be styled man and our highest races is greater than that between the lowest type of man and the highest ape.

“If on this earth there were not some races which today determine its cultural appearance, it would hardly be possible to speak of any such thing as human civilization. For this neither climate nor education can be regarded as responsible, but only man himself who was endowed by providence with this capacity.

“But if this cultural capacity is fundamentally inherent in certain races, its full effect is realized only under certain favorable circumstances. Man as an individual, whatever powers he may have in himself, will be incapable of higher achievements unless he can place the powers of many in the service of a single idea, a single conception, a single will, and can unite them for a single action.

“A glance at Nature shows us that creatures belonging to a pure race, not merely corporeally but in character and capacities, are more or less of equal value. This equality is the greatest hindrance in the way of the formation of any community in work; for since every higher civilization receives its stamp through achievements which are possible only through uniting the forces of human labor, it is thus essential that a number of individuals must sacrifice a part of their individual freedom and must subject themselves to a single will. However much reason may counsel such a course, in reality it would be difficult amongst those who are complete equals to demonstrate the reasons why in the last resort one must be in a position to assert his will as against that of the others.

“The two conceptions—Command and Obedience—how- fever, exercise quite another and more compelling force when folk of different value come into conflict or association with each other, and then through the action of the stronger section are bound together in pursuit of a common purpose.

“The most primitive form of association for a common purpose can already be traced at the moment when man forces his supremacy upon the animals, tears them from the freedom of their former life, and builds them into his own life-process without troubling himself whether his animalhelper consents thereto or not.

"But long ago man has proceeded in the same way with his fellow-man. The higher race—at first ‘higher’ in the sense of possessing a greater gift for organization—subjects to itself a lower race and thus constitutes a relationship which now embraces races of unequal value. Thus there results the subjection of a number of people under the will often of only a few persons, a subjection based simply on the right of the stronger, a right which, as we see it in Nature, can be regarded as the sole conceivable right because founded on reason. The wild mustang does not take upon itself the yoke imposed by man either voluntarily or joyfully; neither does one people welcome the violence of another.

“But, despite this, in the course of a long development this compulsion has very often been converted into a blessing for all parties. Thus were formed those communities which created the essential features of human organization through the welding together of different races. And this organization always demands the subjection of the will and the activity of many under the will and the energy of a single individual. As men come to discover the astonishing results of this concentration of their capacity and labor-force they begin to recognize not merely the expediency but also the necessity of such action. And thus it is that a great and significant Aryan civilization did not arise where Aryans alone were living in racial purity, but always where they formed a vital association with races otherwise constituted, an association founded not on mixture of blood but on the basis of an organic community of purpose. And what was at first undoubtedly felt by the conquered as bitter compulsion, later became in spite of this even for them a blessing. Unconsciously in the master-people there grew up ever more clearly and vitally a recognition of the ethical demand that their supremacy must be no arbitrary rule but must be controlled by a noble reasonableness. The capacity to subdue others was not given to them by providence in order to make the subjects feel that the lordship of their conqueror was a meaningless tyranny, a mere oppression: that capacity was given that through the union of the conqueror’s genius with the strength of the conquered they might create for both alike an existence which because it was useful was not degrading to man.

“However this process of the formation of a people and a State was begun, its beginning signified the close of humanity’s communistic age. For communism is not a higher stage of development: rather it is the most primitive form of life—the starting-point.

“Men of completely similar characteristics, men who are precisely like each other and endowed with the same capacities, will be of necessity also alike in their achievement. This condition is realized in the case of peoples who are throughout of one and the same race. Where these conditions are realized, the individual result of the activity of each will correspond only with the general average of all. ... In this case it can be a question only of quite primitive values, and the condition for any clear definition of the idea of property is lacking because of the absence of any differentiation in achievement which is essential for the rise of such a concept. . . .”

“In such a state communism is therefore a natural and morally comprehensible ordering of society. But when men of very different values have met together the result of their achievements will also be different, that is to say that the race which stands higher in the scale of quality will contribute more to the sum total of common work than the race which is lower in the qualitative scale. And in particular men’s capacities will lie on different levels. The primitive capacity of the one race will from the first produce values other than those higher developed or otherwise constituted values produced by the other partner in the common life. As a consequence the administration of the labor-product will necessarily lead to a division which proceeds from a consideration of the character of the achievement, in other words: that which has been created will be administered as property on the same basis as that of its origin. The conception of private property is thus inseparably connected with the conviction that the capacities of men are different alike in character and in value and thus, further, that men themselves are different in character and value.

“But one cannot in one sphere of life accept this difference in value—which I will now call difference in talent—as giving rise to a moral claim on the result produced by this superiority and then go on to deny that difference in another sphere. That would be to act illogically. . . . One cannot in fact proceed to maintain that all alike have the same capacity for politics, that is for the most important sphere in the entire conduct of life.

“While it is denied that everyone in a nation is capable of administering a court or a factory or of appointing its administration, yet that they are all capable of administering the State or of appointing its administrators is solemnly certified in the name of democracy.

“But here is a direct contradiction: either because of equal capacity all men are equally capable of administering a State, and then the maintenance of the concept of property is not only unjust but simply stupid, or men are in truth not in a position to take into their common administration as common property that sum-total of material and cultural treasure which the nation as a whole has created, and then in that case they are far less in a position to govern the State in common. ... The State does not owe its existence to all but only to a definite section—the section which formerly created the State and which still supports and maintains it. This view is not unjust or hard: it is simply a statement of the truth. . . . The German people arose in no other way than did almost all of the truly creative civilized peoples in the world of which we have any knowledge. A race, though small in numbers yet with capacities for organization and possessing a creative gift in the sphere of culture, in the course of many centuries spread itself over other peoples, absorbing some, adapting itself to others. All the different elements of which our people is composed naturally brought with them into this alliance their special capacities; but the alliance itself was created solely by a single core which fashioned both people and State. This core-people caused its language to prevail not, of course, without borrowings from its subjects, and in the end it subdued all for such a length of time to a common destiny that the life of the people which controlled the State became indissolubly united with the life of the other parts which were gradually fused into and on to it. Thus in course of time out of the conquerors and the conquered there was long since created a single community. And that community is our German people of today, and as it is today we love it and cling to it. In the course of its thousand years of history all its very varied characteristics, each of them so different from the others, have become familiar and dear. So great is this community of which we all form a part that we rejoice at every contribution which adds to our wealth. . . .”

“For one cannot only infer from the fact of race that certain capacities will be present, one can also start from the capacities and infer the race. That means, for instance, that it is not necessary first to discover musically gifted persons through the fact of their race in order to entrust to them the encouragement of music, but Music discloses the Race by discovering the capacity.

“The sole interest of a people must be that this voice of inherited talent should always be given a hearing. For this voice gives to the people, not men under the violence of compulsion since they were never inwardly born for such an activity, but men filled with a passion and therefore devoted to their task.

“And just as in all spheres of life we cannot feel any jealousy when those who are specially born thereto, i.e„ endowed from the outset, exercise decisive influence, so it is in the sphere of the political safeguarding of that which in the course of the millennia has become for us a people. Just as the unmusical person will not feel himself injured or insulted because he does not compose music or conduct an orchestra like one who is musically gifted, so in every other sphere the appointment of qualified persons cannot be regarded as a slight by those who have no capacities in that field. And in fact this does not occur; only a conscious perversion could breed such madness.

“Starting from the fact that any created thing can be maintained only by the same force which created it, it follows that the body of a people can be maintained only by those forces which called it into being and which through their capacity for organization welded it together and solidified it. Thus all who love their people and wish for its maintenance must therefore see to it that that part of the people can bring its political capacities into play which formerly was responsible for the political formation and development of this community. ...”

“Since the bourgeoisie, as a new class, claimed and received the political leadership of the nation, the reasonable organic evolution was interrupted in the most important sphere of all. The German bourgeoisie as a social body was the product of a selection which was based essentially less upon political than upon economic functions. The Liberalistic age through the introduction of money and property as the standard of valuation in the bourgeoisie produced a social class which corresponded with its own essential character. That many members of this social class did produce outstanding achievements in many spheres not concerned with material interests is not really connected with any valuation based upon the bourgeois idea, but rather with those fundamental racial values which survived in them. But in themselves these have no relation to the concept of the bourgeoisie; for membership of this social class all that was necessary was talent in the economic sphere which was evidenced by good fortune, and a talent in the mental or cultural sphere which similarly could be turned into some form of economic success. In no case for determining membership of this class were such characteristics as valor or heroism the decisive test. On the contrary: since economic life has for the most part more unheroic than heroic features, the German bourgeoisie had very little heroic about it: it was rather ‘economic.’ And the bourgeois parties were a true reflection of this cast of soulassociations of hucksters, void of any capacity for a real leadership of the people.

“And the people felt that. For that is the remarkable thing. Since from different racial cores a people came into being, each part learned gradually to tolerate the other—so long as it remained within its own sphere. Thus the people tolerates music only when it is good music, that is when it is practised by that part of the people which is born for music. It tolerates those engineers only who understand the law of their craft and, thank God! it tolerates only those politicians whose calling is written on their brows. . . .”

“But with the claim of the German bourgeoisie to lead the nation a class of society presented itself to the people as leaders which was never bom to the task.

“And this serves also to explain how it was that a bourgeoisie which was not in the least destined for political leadership sought to transfer to the political sphere the methods and usages of economic life. For with the anonymous share in a limited liability company corresponds the anonymous voting-paper, and with the majority of shareholders corresponds the parliamentary coalition!

“And it was clear that with either of these it was impossible to find any logical, ethical, or moral foundation for the conception of private property. And the farther the age lapsed into these internal contradictions, the easier it was for an alien race, consistently pursuing its purpose, to foster the people’s mistrust in its political leadership—a mistrust that had already instinctively arisen—and to shatter completely all confidence in that leadership. For the same reason it is also quite natural that this bourgeoisie, being a completely inorganic political leadership and possessing no native talent or capacity for its task, must break down in face of the attack of Marxism while there could be no thought of bringing about a change in the situation through the bourgeoisie or by means of its political organizations. . . . And thus the question which arose after the collapse of the year 1918 was only this: first, whether there yet remained in our people a sufficiently large core of that part of the race which formerly had begun and effected the creation of our people and which therefore can alone be capable of leading and sustaining the people in the future, and secondly whether one could discover this part and entrust it with the leadership.

“And it was further clear that since the new formation of our society had developed out of economic functions, the capacity for political leadership could in no way be presumed to be necessarily identifiable with the social position of the individual German, that is to say, that men drawn from lower economic or social classes might be well fitted to lead the people just as on the other hand members of the highest social classes, especially those who represented economic or financial interests, would have to be rejected. The native talent necessary for our purpose—that alone must be decisive; our task was to discover these men out of all the different towns, callings, and classes.

“This was in truth a socialistic action, for insofar as I seek, for every function in life, to find from my people the man who was born for this task in order to hand over to him in this sphere full responsibility without considering to what economic or social class he belongs. ...”

“And thus it was that in the year 1919 I set forth a program, I defined a tendency which was consciously a blow in the face of the pacifist-democratic world. If there were still in our people men of the kind we needed, then victory was certain. For this fanaticism in decision and in action was bound to draw to itself men of kindred nature. Wherever those who possessed these characteristics might be, they were bound one day to hear the voice which was that of their blood, and willy-nilly they would follow the Movement which was the expression of their own inmost being. That might take five, ten, or twenty years, but gradually there grew up within the State of Democracy the State of Authority, within the Reich of lamentable absurdity a core of fanatical devotion and ruthless determination. There was only one possible danger which might oppose this development— that the opponent might understand the principle, might clearly grasp these ideas and then avoid all opposition, or on the other hand that he might with the last extreme of brutality annihilate the new association at the very beginning and nip it in the bud. . .

“And so I was able to wait for fourteen years, ever more and more assured that our hour must come. For in these years just as a magnet draws to itself the steel splinters so did our Movement gather together from all classes and callings and walks of life the forces in the German people which can form and also maintain States.

“Once more it was proved that one may well be able to control a great business and yet be incapable of leading even a group of eight men. And on the other hand it was shown that from peasants’ rooms and workmen’s huts came the born leaders, for that was the wonderful thing in this period when we were propagating our idea that its waves spread over the whole country and drew man after man, woman after woman under its spell. While bourgeois politicians were asking questions about our program they never dreamed that hundreds of thousands were devoting themselves to this Movement simply because their inner receiver was adjusted to the wavelength of this idea. . . . And therein lies the Movement’s mighty mission of reconciliation between the classes. A new valuation of men begins—not according to the standards of Liberalistic thought but according to the measures which Nature has determined. And the more the opponent believed that he could check the development through terrorism applied only in such doses as his character allowed him to use, the more he encouraged it. Nietzsche’s word that a blow which does not fell a strong man only strengthens him found its verification a thousandfold. Every blow increased our defiance, every persecution increased our resolution, and that which did fall away proved in its falling away to be the greatest good fortune for the Movement. .. .”

“Out of forty-five million adult men three million fighters have organized themselves: they represent the political leadership of the nation. . . . Into their hands the people in full confidence has placed its destiny. But thereby the organization has undertaken a solemn obligation: it must see to it that this core whose mission it is to safeguard the stability of the political leadership in Germany must be preserved for all time.

“The task of the Movement is to secure that through a skillful method in the choice of recruits only those are received into membership who will never change the inmost character of these forces which sustain our nation. It must realize that it is not the number of members of this core which counts but only its inner worth and thus its inner homogeneity. The Movement must make it clear that the selection of members in the future must proceed according to the same rigorous principles which a stern fate has imposed upon us in the past. . .

“Insofar then as we devote ourselves to the care of our own blood—that blood which has been entrusted to us by destiny —we are at the same time doing our best to help to safeguard other peoples from diseases which spring from race to race, from people to people. If in West or Central Europe but one single people were to fall a victim to bolshevism, this poison would continue its ravages, it would devastate the oldest, the fairest civilization which can today be found upon this earth.

“Germany by taking upon itself this conflict does but ful fill, as so often before in her history, a truly European mission.”


Le Temps, September 5—The Fuehrer wants to establish an aristocracy of leaders who will be chosen from the people. He has advanced the same reasons as Napoleon: “Every private has a marshal’s baton in his pack.” But there is a great difference between conquest and government. The Fuehrer must now prove that he can place his moral force at the service of the true interests of his country and build its political life with the same skill and good fortune with which he built his own Party.”

SPEECH OF OCTOBER 14, 1933: Reichstag



September 21—Beginning of the Reichstag Fire Trial.

October 3—Attempted assassination of Dollfuss in the Parliament Building in Vienna.

October 15—American Federation of Labor declares a boycott against Nazi goods.

October 14—Germany withdraws from the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference. At the request of Hitler, Hindenburg dissolves the Reichstag. New elections will be held on November 12.

The Speech

“IN NOVEMBER, 1918, in trustful faith in the assurances laid down in President Wilson’s fourteen points, the German people lowered their arms in the unholy struggle that had reached an end; for which, perchance, individual statesmen but certainly not the peoples could be made responsible. . . .”

“If in those months the world had in a fair manner stretched out a hand to a prostrate opponent, much suffering and endless disappointments would have been spared humanity. The German people suffered the worst possible disappointment. Never before has the vanquished so honestly endeavored to assist in healing the wounds of its opponents as had the German people during the long years, fulfilling dictates loaded upon them. If all of these sacrifices could not lead to real pacification of peoples, this was due solely to the nature of the Treaty, which, in its attempt to render eternal the concepts of the victor over the vanquished, also had to eternalize the hatred of the enemy. . . .”

“The German people destroyed their weapons. Relying upon the good faith of their former enemies, they, themselves, fulfilled the obligation of the treaties with really fanatical fidelity. Unmeasureable quantities of naval, aerial, and land war material were dismantled, destroyed, or scrapped. According to the wish of the dictating powers, a small professional army inadequately armed replaced the former army of millions.

“Political leadership of the nation, however, at this time lay in the hands of people who were spiritually rooted in a world of the victor States. The German people could rightly expect for this reason alone that the rest of the world would redeem its promise in the same manner as the German people, who in the sweat of their labor amid thousandfold distress and unspeakable privations were engaged in redeeming their treaty obligations.

“No war can become the permanent condition of mankind. No peace can be the perpetuation of war. Some time victors and vanquished must find the way back into the community of mutual understanding and confidence. For a decade and a half the German people have hoped and waited for the time when the end of war would at last become the end of hatred and enmity. The purpose of the Versailles Treaty, however, did not seem to be the one to give mankind the final peace, but rather to keep it in a state of perpetual hatred. The consequences were unavoidable. When right definitely yields to might, a lasting uncertainty will derange and arrest all normal functions of national life.

“In concluding this Treaty, it was completely forgotten that the reconstruction of the world cannot be vouchsafed by the slave labor of the violated nation, but solely through trustful co-operation of all, and that for this co-operative effort the elimination of war psychosis is the foremost pre-condition. It was also forgotten that the problematical question of responsibility for war cannot be cleared up historically by having the victor compel the vanquished, as the introduction to the peace treaty, to sign his confession of guilt.

“The German people is most deeply convinced of its guiltlessness for the war. Other participants in this tragic misfortune may, as far as we are concerned, have the same conviction. . . .”

“What sense, if any, did the World War have if its consequences, not only for the vanquished but also for the victors, manifest themselves only in an endless chain of economic catastrophes? The welfare of nations is not any greater, and their political happiness and their human contentment have not really become deeper. Armies of unemployed have developed into a new class of society. And precisely as the nations’ economic foundations have been shaken, so now also are their social foundations beginning to weaken.

“Germany had suffered most from these consequences of the peace treaties and the general instability arising therefrom. The number of unemployed mounted to one-third of the number normally employed in the nation’s productive life. That means, however, that in Germany some 20,000,000 human beings, counting in the members of families, out of 65,000,000 were without the possibility of existence and found a hopeless future staring them in the face.

“It was merely a question of time when this army, economically disinherited, had become an army of fanatics who politically and socially were estranged to the world. One of the oldest lands of culture in present-day civilized humanity stood with more than 6,000,000 Communists at the brink of a catastrophe which only conceited ignorance could overlook. . .

“If Red insurrection had overswept Germany like a firebrand, certainly Western Europe’s lands of culture would have realized that it is not immaterial whether on the Rhine and on the North Sea the outposts of the spiritually and revolutionary expansive Asiatic world empire stood watch or the peaceful German peasants and workers, who, in honest feeling of comradeship with other nations of our European culture, desire to earn their bread by honest labor. When the National Socialist Movement tore Germany back from the brink of this threatening catastrophe, it not only saved the German people but also rendered a historical service to the rest of Europe. . .

“We owe Providence humble thanks for not withholding success from our fight against the distress of unemployment and for saving the German peasant. In the course of executing the program, the successful conclusion of which we predicted four years ago, two and a quarter million out of six million unemployed have, in scarcely eight months, again been led into useful production.

“The best witness for this tremendous achievement is the German nation itself. It shall prove to the world that it is guided by a regime which knows no aim but with peaceful labor and civilized culture to assist in the reconstruction of a world which today could hardly be called happy. This world, however, which we do no harm and only wish it would let us work peaceably, has been persecuting us for months with a flood of lies and slander.

“While in Germany a revolution occurred—not like the French and the Russian with their catacomb butcheries and the murdered hostages; not like the communards of Paris or the Red revolutionaries of Bavaria and Hungary who destroyed culturally valuable buildings and art works with petroleum but contrarily smashed not a single show window, looted no store, damaged no house—unscrupulous agitators spread a flood of atrocity tales only comparable to the lies fabricated by the same elements at the beginning of the war.

“Tens of thousands of Americans, Englishmen and Frenchmen during these months visited Germany and could with their own eyes make observations that there was no land on earth with more law and more order than present-day Germany, that in no land in the world was a person’s property more highly respected than in Germany, but that perhaps, also, to be sure, in no land in the world is there a sharper combat against those who, as criminal elements, believe they may freely let their low instincts vent themselves at the expense of their fellow-humans. It is these and their communistic accomplices who today are attempting to set honest and decent nations at loggerheads.

“The German nation has no reason to envy the rest of the world for this gain. We are convinced that a few years will suffice thoroughly to open the eyes of honor-loving citizens of other nations concerning the real value of those worthy elements, who, traveling under the effective flag of political fugitives, cleared out of the scenes of their more or less extensive economic consciencelessness.

“But what would this world say about Germany if we permitted a mock trial to be held in favor of a creature who attempted to set fire to the British Parliament, a mock trial whose only meaning could be that of placing British justice and its judges on a lower level than such a scoundrel? As a German and National Socialist I would have no interest in exerting myself in Germany on behalf of a foreigner who in England tries to undermine the State and the laws effective there or even attacks with fire the architectural symbol of the British Constitution. .

“And even if this subject—from which disgrace we hope God may spare us—were a German, we would not back him, but rather would deeply regret that such a misfortune had struck us, and we would harbor but only one wish, namely, that British justice might mercilessly liberate humanity from such a menace. Collaterally, however, we also possess honor enough to be filled with indignation at the spectacle which, instigated by obscure elements, is intended but to shame and dishonor Germany’s highest court.

“We are extremely sad at the thought that by such methods nations are set at loggerheads and estranged, of whom we know that in their hearts they stand infinitely above these elements—nations whom we desire to respect and with whom we are anxious to live together in honest friendship. These noxious low-class fellows succeeded in starting the world psychosis whose inner morbid hysterical conflict may be branded as classic.

“The same elements which on one hand lament ‘oppression’ and ‘tyrannization’ of the poor German people by Nazi potentates, declare on the other hand, with brazen unconcern, that the Germans’ pacific professions are valueless because they are uttered only by a few Nazi Ministers or the Chancellor, whereas in the nation a wild war spirit is raging. Thus the German people are represented at one time as piteously unhappy and oppressed, at another time as brutally aggressive—as the case may call for. I regard it as a sign of a nobler sense of justice that French Premier Daladier, in his last speech, found words to indicate the spirit of conciliatory understanding for which untold millions of Germans are grateful at heart.

“National Socialist Germany has no other wish than to direct the competition of European people again to those fields of endeavor upon which they have given to all humanity through the noblest mutual rivalry those magnificent boons to civilization, culture, and art which today enrich and beautify the picture of the world. Similarly, we take cognizance, with hopeful emotion, of the assurance that the French Government, under its present chief, does not intend to wound the feelings of or humiliate the German people.

“We are touched by the reference to the unfortunately but too sad truth that these two great peoples so often in history have sacrificed the blood of their best youths and men on the battlefields. I speak in the name of the entire German people when I solemnly declare that we all are imbued with the sincere wish to wipe out an enmity that, as regards its sacrifices, is all out of proportion to any possible gain.

“The German people are convinced that its martial honor in thousands of battles and skirmishes has remained clean and without blemish, exactly as we also see in the French soldier our old glory-bedecked opponent.

“We and the entire German people would all be happy at the thought of sparing to the children and to the children’s children of our people what we ourselves as honorable men in bitter long years have had to witness and what we ourselves have endured in the way of misery and pain. The history of the last 150 years, through all their vicissitudes, ought to have taught both peoples one thing, namely, that the essential changes of lasting duration are no longer possible no matter how much blood is sacrificed.

“As a National Socialist I, together with all my followers, decline on the very basis of our nationalistic principles to conquer the people of a strange nation who will not love us anyway by sacrificing the blood and lives of those who are dear and precious to us. It would be a tremendous event for all humanity if the two peoples could once and for all ban force from their common life.

“The German people are ready for this. While we frankly claim the rights granted to us by the treaty itself, I will say just as frankly that, beyond this, there are no more territorial conflicts as far as Germany is concerned. After the return of the Saar to the Reich only a madman could believe in the possibility of war between the two States—for which, as we see it, no moral or reasonably justifiable ground exists. Nobody can wish that millions of young lives be annihilated for the sake of a boundary correction of doubtful extent and of doubtful value. '

“When, however, the French Premier asks why the German youth is marching and falling in line, I reply it is not to demonstrate against France, but to evince that political determination, and give visible evidence thereof, that was necessary for throwing down communism and that will be necessary to hold it down. There is in Germany but one arms-bearer, and that is the Army. There exists for National Socialist organizations but one enemy, and that is communism.

“The world, however, must accept the fact that the German people, for their internal organization and to preserve our people from this danger, will choose those forms which alone can guarantee success. If the rest of the world digs itself in behind indestructible fortresses, builds tremendous aerial squadrons, constructs giant tanks and molds enormous cannon, it cannot talk of being threatened because German National Socialists, totally unarmed, are marching in columns of four and thereby are giving visible expression of effective protection to the German community of citizens.

“If, furthermore, French Premier Daladier raises the question as to why, forsooth, Germany demands weapons which must later be destroyed anyway, he is in error—the German people and the German Government have not demanded weapons at all, but equality.

“If the world decides that all weapons, including the last machine gun, are to be destroyed, we are ready immediately to join such a convention. If the world decides that certain categories of weapons are to be destroyed we are ready to renounce them from the beginning. If, however, the world concedes certain weapons to every nation we are not ready to permit ourselves, in principle, to t>e excluded therefrom as a nation of minor rank.

“If, in accordance with our convictions, we defend this viewpoint honorably we are more decent partners for other nations than if we were ready, in contravention of this conviction, to accept humiliating dishonorable conditions. Our signature binds the whole nation, whereas a dishonorable, characterless negotiator is only disavowed by his own people. When we wish to make treaties with the English, French or Poles, we want from the start to make them only with men who think and act 100 per cent English, French or Polish, for we do not want pacts with negotiators but with nations. ...”

“The German people has fulfilled its disarmament obligations to more than the full measure. The turn would seem to have come for armed nations to do no less than meet their analogous obligations. The German Government is not participating in this conference in order to barter for a single cannon or machine gun for the German people, but as a factor with equal rights to help in the general pacification of the world. Germany’s security constitutes no inferior right to the security of the other nations.

“If British Acting-Premier Baldwin regards it as selfevident that England understands disarmament to mean nothing but disarmament of the more highly armed nations concomitantly with England’s increasing armaments to a common level, then will it be an unfair reproach upon Germany, when, finally, as a member with equal rights in this conference, it claims the same interpretation for itself?

“In this demand by Germany there cannot possibly be any threat to the rest of the Powers, for the defensive armament of other peoples is constructed to ward off the heaviest weapons of attack, while Germany demands no weapons of attack, but only those defensive- arms 'which in the future are not to be forbidden, but permitted to all nations. Here, too, Germany is ready at once to content itself numerically with the minimum that is all out of proportion to the gigantic armaments of attack and defense of our former enemies.

“The deliberate relegation of our people to an inferior class, in that every nation of the world is conceded the selfevident right which is denied us, we feel, is the perpetuation of a discrimination unbearable to us. In my peace speech of last May I said that under such conditions we would regretfully no longer be able to belong to the League or to participate in international conferences. . . .”

“We cling with exactly the same boundless love to our people as we, out of this love, wish for understanding with other nations and try, whenever we can, to achieve it. It is, however, impossible for us, as representatives of an honorable nation and of an honest conscience, to participate in institutions under conditions that would be bearable only for the dishonorable. As far as we are concerned, there may once have been men who may have believed they could participate in international conferences, even though thus weighed down. It is futile to seek to establish whether they themselves were the best part of our nation, but it is certain that the best part of the nation never backed them. . . .”

“Having gathered from the declarations of the official representatives of the Great Powers that they are not thinking of genuine equality for Germany at the moment, it is thus not possible at present for Germany, so placed in a dishonorable position, to intrude itself upon other nations.

“Threats of force, if carried out, could only be breaches of law. The German Government is most deeply convinced that her appeal to the whole German nation will prove to the world that the Government’s love of peace as well as its conception of honor are also those of the whole nation. To give this claim documentary form, I decided to beg the Reich President to dissolve the Reichstag and give the German people opportunity for making a historic affirmation by means of new elections, coupled with a plebiscite not only for the purpose of approving the Government’s basic principles but also for testifying to their unreserved unity with them. May the world, from such an affirmation, gain the conviction that the German people, in this battle for equality and honor, declares itself completely at one with the Government, but also that both are animated at heart by no other desire than to help end the human epoch of tragic aberrations, regrettable quarrels and fights between those who, as inhabitants of the culturally most important continent, have to fulfill the common mission before all mankind.

“May this tremendous manifestation of our people for peace with honor succeed, creating in the interrelationships of European States such conditions as are requisite for termination not only of centuries-old discord and strife but also for rebuilding a better community through the recognition of a higher common duty springing from common equal rights.”


Le Temps, October 16—The Chancellor made a comparison between the German Revolution—“where not a windowpane was broken”—and the French and Russian Revolutions. In the realm of foreign policy, it is clear that M. Hitler and his government have not desired to break windows. The speech is proof of this.

New York Times, October 14—It is apparently the plan of the Nazi government of Germany to defy the former Allies which defeated her in the World War and to face the consequences. In the European capitals the German decision is regarded with much gravity. At the Quai d’Orsay the news from Berlin was characterized as “the gravest news in twenty years.”


The Speech

“IN THE field of foreign policy, the struggle for equality of rights which is now entering on its decisive stage is inseparably bound up with the fight for economic revival, with the fight for bread which the German people has now been consistently waging for the last eight months. The political pacification of the world is the condition of any economic recovery. Until equality of rights is granted, it will be purposeless for Germany to take part in any international conferences. My predecessors in the Government suffered, so to speak, from the ‘Geneva sickness.’ That made them pessimists concerning the nation, optimists concerning the League. I, on the other hand, am an optimist concerning my people but a pessimist concerning Geneva and the League of Nations. Germany never loved peace so much until she turned her back upon the none-too-pleasant atmosphere of that city. The entire German people stands behind the Government’s reply to humiliating imputations: We want peace, but we will not allow ourselves to be treated as a second-rate nation.

“Germany will be inflexible in her demands for her rights; she will hold to her claim of equality with the kind of unflinching determination which the National Socialist Movement exercised in its fourteen-year struggle for power in Germany. Honor is no more a vain delusion than is loyalty; without them it is impossible to live in this world. Germany wants peace and nothing but peace, but Germany is determined in the future to enter no conference, no league, no agreement, determined to sign nothing, until she is treated as a Power with equal rights. Somewhere or other there must be a limit below which one cannot go—otherwise one is not worthy to lead a people.

“Our propaganda in this election campaign must be marked by a profound earnestness, for this is one election that carries no moral taint and the campaign is being waged for the nation’s right to live. National Socialist Germany, perhaps more than any other people, desires peace, since the National Socialist idea is directed inwards toward the volkic conception of a leadership which is bound by the tie of common blood and consequently does not know of any imperialistic policy of conquest directed against the world without.

“Yet, while we thus reject any policy of violence, we are resolutely determined to preserve our rights. The propaganda of the Party must be viewed in this framework and avoiding inessentials must be concentrated on these great questions. A deep and holy seriousness must mark the people in these weeks; there must be no superficial jingoism, but a profound inner realization of the consciousness of its right. This attitude rests on trust in their leaders, who are now approaching their tasks with the highest sense of responsibility.

“The work of the Party in the weeks to come must be inspired by the belief that strength is proved not in small matters but in concentration upon the major problems. The inner freedom and unity of the movement must become more apparent than ever. The great work of the reconciliation of our people, which was begun by National Socialism, must now be completed. Our former political opponents within Germany, in view of this struggle of the whole nation, we would meet halfway and we would extend to them our hand if they prove that they are prepared to defend German honor and share the people’s love of peace. ...”

“If we carry on this struggle with the feeling of our great responsibility, I am sure we will carry it to a successful issue. He who fights bravely for his rights, will win it in the end.

If we all do our duty to the best of our ability, the people will recognize it and on November 12 will show its trust in us. For the people is too decent to refuse to trust those who deserve trust.”


New York Times, October 20—Chancellor Hitler today reiterated his demand that equal rights be accorded to Germany, said she wanted only peace and declared she had heavy domestic burdens.

London Times, October IP—Berlin, Oct. 18, 1933—At a conference of Nazi leaders . . . yesterday . . . Herr Hitler made a speech in which, in addition to reaffirming his foreign policy, he made a rather cryptic reference to reconciliation with opponents at home.

Herr Hitler said that the foreign political situation was closely bound up with the home political work of the next few weeks. Germany’s struggle for equality of status, upon the decisive stage of which the nation had just entered, was inseparably bound up with struggle for economic recovery, the struggle for bread.

Le Temps, October 20—Mr. Hitler delivered a long speech on the political situation and the significance of the election campaign which was about to begin. He emphasized the necessity of an election campaign which would demonstrate the liberty and the unity of the National Socialist Movement. He ended by a stern call for discipline.

SPEECH OF OCTOBER 30, 1933: Frankfurt

The Speech

“AS ON March 5, 1933, the German people had to decide upon domestic policy, so on November 12 it must decide on foreign policy. It must make a clear decision whether it is its will that the honor of the nation and its equality of rights shall in future be championed freely and openly before the world. It must decide for a way which in the first moment may perhaps be difficult but which, we are convinced, will alone be able in the long run to maintain a great nation in its greatness. . . .”

“We have a feeling for the honor of the nation, because personally we have our own honor. I have not become Chancellor of the Reich in order now to maintain other moral principles than those which I have previously maintained. In my eyes the honor of a nation is composed of the honor, the feeling for honor, the claim to honor of its individual citizens. I believe that the honor of a government is the honor of a people and that a people’s honor must be the honor of the government. We want no war, but the right for our people to fashion its own life: and that is no concern of the rest of the world. If all talk of security, although they are not threatened, then to us, who can rightly feel threatened, they must at least grant the same security. If they do not wish to disarm, let them say so; if they do not wish to give us equality of rights, again, let them say so. But there is only one thing to be said, and said once more: never will we take part in any agreements where we are not on a footing of completely equal rights: We may be isolated, but dishonored, never! I would prefer not to enter into agreements which I must purchase at the price of my honor: and when they say ‘But then you will be isolated,’ then I declare I would rather be isolated with honor, than be tolerated without honor. I believe that the German people has too much character to think otherwise than its Government: I believe that in this hour, this historic hour, it cannot decide otherwise than with the word ‘Yes.’ There remains no other way. I have no cannons. I have only you, my fellow-countrymen. With you I must fight for this right for Germany. You must stand behind me. We must hold together. We can wage this struggle only if we are a single army.”


London Times, October 31—Berlin.—At Frankfurt yesterday Herr Hitler said that Germany would never take part in conventions in which she was not a fully equal partner.

Le Temps, October 31—The Fuehrer repeated that Germany would never participate in conferences which did not afford her full equality of rights; the German people had not only disarmed in a technical, military sense—they were morally disarmed.

SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 10, 1933: Siemensstadt

The Speech

“I HAVE grown up from amongst yourselves; once I myself was a workman; for four and a half years I served amongst you in the War; I speak now to you to whom I belong, with whom I still feel myself to be united and for whom in the last resort I fight. ... I wage that fight for the millions of our honest, industrious, working, creative peo-pie. ... I was in my youth a worker as you are; through industry, through learning, and, I may say, also through hunger I slowly worked my way up. But in my innermost being I have always remained that which I once was. . . .”

“The organizations defending class interests naturally resisted their own dissolution: but one cannot let a people go to ruin because these organizations wish to live. For a people does not live for theories, for programs or for organizations, but all these have to serve a nation’s life. Similarly today we see that the struggle between peoples is fostered by folk with definite interests to promote. It is an uprooted international clique which incites the peoples one against another. They are folk who are at home everywhere and nowhere: they have no soil of their own on which they have grown up: today they are living in Berlin, tomorrow they may be in Brussels, the day after in Paris, and then again in Prague or Vienna or London—everywhere they feel themselves at home. Everywhere they can carry on their business, but the people cannot follow them: the people is chained to its soil, is tied to its homeland, tied to the possibilities of life of its State, its nation. The peasant cannot leave his soil, the workman depends upon his factory. If his factory is ruined, where will he find help? What is today the meaning of international class solidarity? That is mere theory at a time in which on every hand distress cries aloud and peoples have to fight hard for their existence. The strength of all of us lies—not in this international phantom, it lies in our homeland. My aim has always been to arouse and to reinforce this strength. . . .”

“I believe that all problems in life, when more than one party is concerned, can be solved only when the parties are on a footing of equality. It is exactly the same in the economic sphere: when one party, be he employer or workman, has all the law and all the power on his side and the other has no rights, you know yourselves that no tolerable contract, no tolerable conditions are possible. The same is true in the life of peoples: there, too, it should not be that one people should have all the rights and another none at all. ... I should be a liar to the German people if I were to promise it an improvement in its economic position without at the same time demanding for it a recognition of its equal rights in the world. The one is impossible without the other. . . .”

“If the world wishes to issue its Diktat, it will do so without my signature. If the world says we are compelled to act thus, because we cannot trust you, how so? Has the German people ever broken its word? It has unfortunately generally kept its word only too resolutely, all too loyally! If we had not stood by our allies so obstinately, so loyally in the World War, then perhaps Germany might have fared better. ...”

“For many centuries foreign countries have always reckoned on having allies in Germany. First it was princes—men without character who, cold as ice, betrayed their peoples; then it was parties, Weltanschauungen. Always they have had their allies. Now I want to show our opponents that they have no longer any allies in Germany. That which feels itself allied is the German people—allied with itself. For centuries the people has made trial of its destiny in disunion and it has reaped a dire harvest. Now I intend that we should make trial of our destiny in unity: that we should now attempt to fashion our destiny in a community of the people which nothing shall break. I am the guarantor in Germany that this community shall not result in the favoring of one section of our people. You can look upon me as the man who does not belong to any class, who belongs to no rank, who stands above all that. I have nothing but the ties which bind me to the German people. Here for me every German is on a complete equality. What interest have I in the intellectuals, in the bourgeoisie, in the proletariat? I am interested only in the German people. To the people alone I belong and for the people I spend my energies.”


New York Times, November 77—The wheels of industry and business were stopped for a full hour throughout Germany today and rail and street traffic everywhere halted for a minute—a “minute of silence”—ordained to put Germany’s millions of workers of “the brow and the fist” into an appropriately solemn and receptive mood for hearing Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s concluding election appeal. The minute’s pause and the 45-minute speech by the Chancellor were pre-eminently dedicated to the working men and women of Germany. It was a tribute to labor, rendered under the slogan “Honor and Equality.”

London Times, November 77—“The Leader’s” speech, delivered with Herr Hitler’s characteristic vigor of voice and gesture, was one of his most eloquent. . . .

Editorial (same date)—The machinery for peace has been injured, yet the desire for peace is unshaken. Herr Hitler’s own election speeches have placed peace in the forefront of his program.

Le Temps, November 72—The Chancellor returned to the problems of international policy. He denied that Germany was bent on war. The Chancellor stated that Germany was ready to co-operate in any international arrangement, but tjiat the German delegates would sit down to a mediation table only on condition that Germany was treated as equal to the other Powers.




November 10—MacDonald requests Germany to return to Geneva.

November 11—Hindenburg urges “100 per cent vote” for Hitler.

November 12—Plebiscite about the withdrawal from the League of Nations: Eligible voters: 45,142,000; Cast votes: 43,452,000; Yea votes: 40,602,000; Nay votes: 2,100,000; Invalid votes: 750,000.

Reichstag Election: Eligible voters: 45,142,000; Cast votes: 42,988,000; For NSDAP: 39,639,000; Invalid votes: 3,349,000.

November 15—Hitler proposes non-aggression agreement to Polish Ambassador in Berlin.

November 77—German “Strength Through Joy” organization founded by Dr. Ley.

December 7—Law is passed relating to the equality of State and Party in Germany. Hess and Roehm given ministries in Cabinet as representatives of the Nazi party.

The Speech

“THE Government which prepared the way for Marxism, the anti-national democracy, has been overthrown and now no power in Germany can destroy the true ‘People’s State’ (Volksstaat) which has been established through the National Socialist Movement. The essence of leadership as conceived by the National Socialist State is the capacity to form rapid decisions. . . .”

“The entire German people proved to the world on November 12 that it stood firmly behind the desires of its Government. On November 12 the German people won a victory unique in the history of the nations. On that day we proved we were a decent people, healthy to the core. What other people could have accomplished so profound and decisive a change within a few months after a political upheaval? In place of weapons which we lacked, November 12 gave us this unique picture of the strength of a united people. . . .”

“The people gave its approval not only to the Government, but also to the Party in power. Fate had given all power into the hands of a single Movement. The NSDAP had reached the goal for which it had fought for fourteen years. Upon the Party there now rested an enormous responsibility before the bar of history: today upon the Party rested the fate of the whole German nation: they had now to fulfill what centuries had wished and longed for. ...”

“Each of us will pass, but Germany must live, and in order for her to live all questions of the day must be overridden and certain pre-conditions established. ...”

“Traditions of the past which were not valuable for the people’s future cannot be regarded by us as binding: the Movement must feel itself to be the founder of a new tradition in our people’s life. This vote imposes upon you the duty of creating the conditions for a rebuilding of the nation which shall last for centuries. . . .”

“This Movement must tower above all pettiness and petty ideas. The possibilities which are ours today may perhaps not return for hundreds of years. We shall all one day be together weighed in the balance and together we shall be judged. Either we shall together stand this test or history will condemn us together. History must one day be able to speak of us as a generation of men who, bold, courageous, resolute, and tough, thought only of their people. . . .”

“The new Reichstag has the duty of supporting with its authority the great work of reconstruction undertaken by the National Socialist Government and, through the Party, to form the living link with the people.

“A people which is given noble and honorable leadership will in the long run show its noblest and most honorable virtues. The people must realize through its leaders that the Government in power is of one mind and of one piece: that in all questions of principle it is a single sworn community. The leaders of the Party must be in everything a model for the people. . . .”

“The authority upon which the new State rests is not founded on superficial qualities; it is based in the forty millions we have behind us. . .

“If this Reichstag does its duty, then in four years’ time we can with assurance and confidence appeal once more to the people. I am convinced that then it will give us a new and still more complete vote of confidence.

“From time to time I shall appeal to the people if only in order that the Movement may remain as elastic as it has been in the past, and that it may recognize in good time any failings which may inadvertently slip in. The Reichstag is a youthful Reichstag, and through this recurrent appeal to the people care will be taken that youth should never die out from its ranks. Of this new Reichstag it must one day be said that it was the youngest, the most courageous, and the boldest, and that it solved the great problems set by history, the problems on which the centuries had suffered shipwreck. ...”

“From every one of us it must be expected that he should be a fighter—brave, forthright, daring, and true—true to his last breath. As I have kept true to the Movement so I ask of everyone that he should keep true to me. Then we shall go forward into history as a community of sworn men who leave the history of the present to enter the history of the future.”


New York Times, December 12—The Chancellor, addressing the Deputies, acclaimed the Nazi election victory of November 12 which produced an all-Nazi Reichstag. He concluded: “No power in Germany will ever be able to overthrow this true people’s state.’’

Le Temps, December 12—Mr. Hitler referred to the principles underlying the National Socialist Party, which were a complete departure from anything in the past. Also he promised to hold a new election after four years to secure a vote of confidence even more unanimous than that of November 12.

SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1934: Reichstag



December 23—Reichstag Fire Trial ends.

December 27—General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equard resigns as head of the Reichswehr.


January 8—Suicide or murder of Stavisky in France.

January 75—Execution of van der Lubbe, accused of Reichstag Fire.

January 2d—Germany signs ten-year peace treaty with Poland.

January 30—On the anniversary of the Hitler regime the Reichstag legislates the Reichsrat and the State Legislatures out of existence.

The Speech

. WHEN the President of the Reich entrusted me on January 30, 1933, with the leadership of the new Government, I, and with me not only the members of the Cabinet but also the entire German people, were moved solely by the ardent desire that Almighty God would permit us to win back for the German people its honor and equality of rights in the eyes of the world. As honest adherents of a real policy of reconciliation, we believed that this was the best way in which we could contribute to a genuine peace among the nations. We have adopted this idea as the principle governing the whole of our foreign policy. The German Reich solemnly proclaimed to all nations and States that it was animated solely by the wish to live with them in peace and friendship. We were convinced that it must be possible once more in this world to discuss differences in international life without always at once thinking of having recourse to arms.

“For fourteen years the German people have endeavored by means of a really suicidal policy of fulfillment to propitiate irreconcilable enemies, and to contribute to the establishment of a new European community of States. The results were profoundly tragic. A reference to the alleviations in the reparations policy does not prove the contrary. For it was only after the ruin not only of German economy but also to a large extent of world economy that it was decided to put an end by agreement to a procedure which as a matter of fact had in any case already come to an end for lack of any kind of assets in Germany.

“While the new German Government was determined to fight for German equality in the political sphere as well, they were convinced that it was only thus that they could really provide a contribution to the recovery of world economic relations. For unless the political relations between the nations have been regulated and the political atmosphere thus cleared co-operation, even in economic matters, is impossible.

But co-operation will be necessary if in the coming years a serious attempt is to be made to master the great problems arising out of the shifting and alteration of the world’s markets on the one hand and the fact that certain nations must still maintain their exports on the other.

“In principle, the German Government starts with the assumption that, as regards the form of our relations with other countries, it is obviously a matter of indifference what kind of constitution and form of government the nations may be pleased to adopt for themselves. It is an absolutely private matter for each nation to determine the form of its internal life in accordance with its own estimation of its requirements. Hence the selection of the spiritual content and the constructive form of the organization and government of Germany according to the German people’s own conception is also a private affair which concerns no one except the German people themselves.

‘‘For many months we have been painfully aware that the difference between our philosophy and that of other nations has been seized upon not only as an opportunity of heaping numerous unjustified reproaches on the German people and the German Reich, but also as an excuse for regarding it with a mistrust for which there are no grounds whatever.

“We have not done the same. During the last twelve months we made a really honest endeavor to cultivate the relations between the German Reich and all other States in a spirit of reconciliation and readiness to come to an understanding, even in cases in which there were great and even irreconcilable differences between the ideas of government held in these countries and ours. Both in the case of the States with a democratic form of government as well as in that of those with an anti-democratic tendency we aimed at finding ways and means for adjusting differences and for international co-operation.

“This is the only explanation of why, in spite of the great difference of the two prevailing forms of philosophy, the German Reich continued to endeavor in this year to cultivate friendly relations with Russia. As M. Stalin in his last great speech expressed the fear that forces hostile to the Soviet might be active in Germany, I must correct this opinion insofar by stating here that communistic tendencies or even propaganda would be no more tolerated in Germany than German National Socialistic tendencies would be tolerated in Russia. The more clearly and unambiguously this fact becomes evident and is respected by both parties, the easier will be the cultivation of the interests common to both countries. Hence we greet the effort to stabilize relations in the East of Europe by a system of pacts, if the leading idea of this activity is the strengthening of peace rather than tactical and political aims.

“For this reason and with these intentions the German Government has endeavored in its first year to secure a new and better relationship with the Polish State.

“When I took over the government on January 30, the relations between the two countries seemed to me more than unsatisfactory. There was a danger that the existing differences, which were due to the territorial clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and the mutual tension resulting therefrom, would gradually crystallize into a state of hostility which if persisted in might only too easily acquire the character of a dangerous traditional enmity. Apart from its latent dangers such a development would constitute a permanent obstacle to the profitable co-operation of the two peoples. Germans and Poles will have to learn to accept the fact of each other’s existence. Hence it is more sensible to regulate this state of affairs which the last thousand years has not been able to remove and the next thousand will not be able to remove either, in such a way that the highest possible profit will accrue from it for both nations. . .

“Further, it seemed to me right in such a case to attempt to deal with the problems affecting both countries by means of a frank and open exchange of views between the two parties rather than to go on entrusting third and fourth parties with this task. Moreover, whatever the differences between the two countries in the future may be, the catastrophic effects of the attempt to remove them through warlike actions would far outweigh any possible advantage gained.

“Thus the German Government was fortunate in finding the same generous attitude in the leader of the present Polish State, Marshal Pilsudski, and in being able to incorporate this mutual recognition of the situation in a treaty which will not only be of equal advantage to the Polish and German peoples, but which also represents an important contribution to the maintenance of world peace.

"In the spirit of this treaty the German Government is willing and prepared to cultivate economic relations with Poland in such a way that here, too, the state of unprofitable suspicion can be succeeded by a period of useful co-operation.

“It is a matter of particular satisfaction to us that in this same year the National Socialist Government of Danzig has been enabled to effect a similar clarification of its relations with its Polish neighbor.

“It is on the other hand a matter of great regret to the German Government that the relations of the Reich to the present Austrian Government are by no means satisfactory. The fault does not lie with us. The assertion that it is the intention of the German Reich to coerce the Austrian State is absurd, and cannot be substantiated or proved.

“It is, however, a matter of course that an idea which has permeated the whole German nation and moved it to the depths will not pause before the boundary stones of a country whose people are not only German, but whose history shows it, the Eastern March of Germany, to have been for many centuries an integral part of the German Reich, and whose capital had for half a millennium long the honor of being the seat of the German Emperors, and whose soldiers marched side by side with the German regiments and divisions in the Great War.

“But even apart from this there is nothing peculiar in this fact when one considers that almost all revolutionary ideas in Europe hitherto have penetrated beyond the frontiers of the land of origin. Thus the ideas of the French Revolution permeated the whole of Europe, just as the ideas of National Socialism have been taken up by the Germans in Austria from a natural intellectual and spiritual communion ■with the entire German people.

“If the present Austrian Government considers it necessary to suppress this movement with all the means in its power, that is of course its own affair. But in that case it must take over the responsibility for the consequences of its own policy. Not until German citizens living in or visiting Austria were affected by it did the German Government take action against the measures of the Austrian Government against National Socialism. It cannot be expected of the German Government that it is going to send its citizens as guests into a country whose Government has made it unmistakably clear that the National Socialist as such is considered an undesirable element. Just as we should be unable to count on Americans and Englishmen visiting Germany, if their national emblems and flags were forcibly removed, so the German Government cannot consent to the subjecting of German subjects who travel as visitors in another land, and that a German land, to this ignominious treatment. For the national emblems and the Swastika flag are symbols of the modern German Reich, and Germans who travel abroad today are, apart from the emigrants, always National Socialists.

“The Austrian Government complains that Germany prevents its citizens from traveling to a country whose Government adopts this hostile attitude toward even the individual adherent of the political philosophy which obtains here. But it should reflect that the measures taken by the German Government have prevented a state of affairs which would be frankly intolerable. For since the modern German citizen is too proud and independent to allow his national emblems to be torn from him, we have no alternative but to spare such a country the pleasure of our presence.

“I must emphatically reject the further assertion of the Austrian Government that an attack on the part of the Reich against the Austrian State will be undertaken or even planned. If the tens of thousands of political refugees from Austria now in Germany take a warm interest in what happens in their native land, that may be regrettable in some of its effects; but it is all the more difficult for the Reich to prevent this in that the rest of the world has not yet succeeded in suppressing the activities of German emigrants abroad against the developments in Germany.

“If the Austrian Government complains of political propaganda carried on from Germany against Austria, then the German Government could with more justice complain of the political propaganda carried on against Germany by emigrants living in other countries. The fact that the German press appears in the German language and can thus be read by the Austrian Government is perhaps regrettable for the present Austrian Government, but it is not in the power of the German Government to alter it. But when in non-German countries German newspapers with million sales are printed and forwarded to Germany, then the German Government has a real ground for protest; for it is difficult to explain why Berlin pipers, for instance, should have to appear in Prague or Paris.

“How difficult it is to suppress the action of emigrants against their mother country is seen most clearly from the fact that even where the League of Nations itself takes charge of a country the activities of these emigrants cannot be stopped. Only a few days ago the German police arrested sixteen Communists on the Saar frontier, who were attempting to smuggle large quantities of treasonable propaganda material from this domain of the League into Germany. But if this is possible under the eyes of the League then it is difficult to reproach the German Reich for alleged happenings of a similar nature.

“Without wishing to meddle in the slightest degree in the internal affairs of other nations I feel I must say one thing: In the long run no government can last by force alone. Thus it will always be a first care of the National Socialist Government of the Reich to ascertain anew how far the will of the nation is incorporated in its Government. And in this sense we 'savages’ are really the better democrats.

“And further, as a proud son of the Austrian brotherland, my home and the home of my fathers, I must protest against the idea that the German temperament of the Austrian people is in need of any stimulus from the Reich. I believe I still know my native land and its people well enough to realize that the same enthusiasm which fills 66 million Germans in the Reich moves their hearts too. May providence decree that a way out of this unsatisfactory state of affairs may be found to a really conciliatory settlement. The German Reich is always ready to hold out a hand for a real understanding with full respect for the free will of Austrian Germans.

“In this review of foreign policy I cannot refrain from expressing my lively satisfaction at the fact that this year has seen a further and many-sided strengthening of the traditional friendship to Fascist Italy, which has always been cultivated by National Socialism. The great leader of this people has always been held by us in high honor. The German people gratefully recognizes the many proofs of the statesmanlike and objective sense of justice which marked the Italian attitude in its dealings with them in the Geneva negotiations and afterwards.

“Just as the National Socialist Government of the Reich has in this year striven to come to an understanding with Poland, so it has been our earnest endeavor to lessen the differences between France and Germany and if possible to find the way to a final understanding by means of a general clearing up of the outstanding problems.

'The struggle for German equality of rights, a struggle for the honor of our people which we can never renounce, could in my opinion find no better end than a reconciliation between the two great nations, who have so often shed the blood of their finest sons on the battlefields of the last centuries, without changing anything essential in the final circumstances.

“Thus I believe that this problem should not be seen exclusively through the spectacles of the cold professional politicians and diplomats, but will only finally be settled by the warm-hearted decision of those who formerly perhaps stood facing each other as foes, but who should be able to find a bridge to the future in the respect based on the gallantry displayed by both sides. For a repetition of our past troubles will have to be avoided in the future if Europe is not to plunge into the abyss.

“France fears for her security. No one in Germany wants to threaten it, and we are ready to do everything to prove that. Germany demands her equality of rights. No one in the world has the right to refuse this to a great nation, and no one will have the strength to withhold it indefinitely. But for us who were living witnesses of the horrors of the Great War nothing is further than the thought of bringing these feelings and demands, intelligible on both sides, into any sort of connection with any wish for a fresh trial of strength on the battlefield between the two peoples, which would inevitably lead to an international catastrophe.

“Guided by such reflections, and in the spirit of co-operation so necessary and desirable between the two nations, I have attempted to find a solution for those questions which are otherwise only too liable to lead to fresh conflicts.

“My proposal that Germany and France should now settle the Saar question together sprang from the following considerations:

“1. This is the only territorial question which is still open between the two countries. After it has been settled the Ger- man Government is ready to accept not only the letter but also the spirit of the Locarno Pact, as there will then be no other territorial question at stake between France and Germany.

“2. The German Government fears that, although the plebiscite will give an unparalleled majority for Germany, a fresh incitement to national passions—fanned by irresponsible emigrant circles—will take place during the preparations for the plebiscite, which, in view of the certain result, is unnecessary and therefore to be regretted.

“3. Whatever the result of the plebiscite, it will in either case leave one nation with a sense of defeat. And even though fires of rejoicing would then burn in Germany, from the point of view of reconciliation between the two countries we would prefer that a solution equally satisfactory to both sides should be found beforehand.

“4. We are convinced that if France and Germany regulated and decided this question previously in a common treaty, the entire Saar population would joyfully vote for such a regulation by an overwhelming majority. And the result would be that the population would have been enabled to record its vote, without either of the interested nations having to consider the result of the plebiscite as a victory or defeat; thus the possibility of a fresh disturbance of the mutual understanding beginning between the German and French peoples would have been avoided.

“I still regret that the French Government has not found it possible to act on this suggestion. But I have not given up the hope that the will to a true reconciliation in the two nations and for a final burying of the hatchet will grow ever stronger and finally triumph.

“If this succeeds, Germany’s unalterable demand for equality of rights will no longer be felt by France to be an attack on the security of the French nation, but will be regarded as the obvious right of a great people, which has so very many economic interests in common with her, and with whom friendly political relations are maintained.

“We welcome the efforts of the British Government to help to pave the way to this understanding. The outline of the new disarmament proposals handed to me yesterday by the British Ambassador will be examined by us in the friendly spirit which I described in my speech in May as inspiring German foreign policy.

“The German Government’s decision to leave the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations was taken only because the treatment of the question of the granting of our equality of rights in relation to an international scale of armaments, which was a question of vital import to Germany, was no longer compatible with what I declared in May to be the unalterable basic claim not only for the security of the German Reich but also for the national honor of our people.

“I can only once again repeat to the world at this moment that no threat and no force will ever move the German people to give up those rights which cannot be denied to a sovereign nation. I can, however, also give the assurance that this sovereign nation has no other wish than eagerly to apply the strength and weight of her political, moral, and economic resources not only to the healing of the wounds which the past has inflicted on humanity, but also toward the co-operation of those cultured and civilized nations which—as an English statesman has justly said—make life in this world really fine and worth having by their labors and spiritual achievements.”


Le Temps, February 2—The Chancellor . . . solemnly affirmed once again his desire for peace, reconciliation and co-operation with the other nations. He hailed the Polish- German pact as an attempt at stabilization in Eastern Europe, and he repeated his offer of a pact with France. Hestated that Germany had not the least intention of violating the independence of Austria.

New York Times, January 30—In a speech charged with confidence as well as with deRance, Chancellor Hitler tonight spread before the Reichstag the balance sheet of National Socialism’s first year in office. It was the anniversary of his elevation to the Chancellorship and he spoke as the tribune and leader of the German people. Its keynote was a bold asseveration of faith in the cause he led, combined with a warning to foes at home and the outside world that National Socialism was the master and would remain the master of the new Germany, but otherwise he held out a friendly hand to other nations.

London Times, January 31—In his speech before tire Reichstag yesterday Herr Hitler dealt with the National Socialist achievements. He laid emphasis on the racial unity of the German people, thanked the British Government for their new disarmament proposals, declared that National Socialism could not halt at the frontier of Austria.

SPEECH OF MARCH 19, 1934: Munich



January 31—England and Germany study proposals for the rearming of Germany and the disarmament of the other powers. The Italian plan envisages an army of 300,000 men for Germany, on condition that Germany re-enter the League of Nations.

February 6—Riots in Paris. Fascist leagues try to overthrow the Government.

February 7—Daladier, Prime Minister, resigns.

February 9—Gaston Doumergue, ex-President of the Republic, forms a government of “national union’’ comprising among others Edouard Herriot, Louis Barthou, Etienne Flandin, Pierre Laval, and Marshal Petain (Minister of War).

February 12-15—In Austria, Chancellor Dollfuss strikes at the Social Democrats. Socialist workers, entrenched in the municipal houses, put up a violent fight. They are subdued with artillery.

The Speech

“ . . . THE March revolution of the year 1933 was in truth the spring revolution of the German people. A spring has now once more begun for us—in this spring we all live and in this spring we all are happy.

“There is no romance in world history more wonderful than the development of our Party. ...”

“History will never be able to lay to our charge that we wrought blind havoc. I believe that no revolution in the history of the world has proceeded and been conducted with more caution and skill than ours. Everything had been considered ten times over and we have taken not one step too many. No one in Germany should complain. If our enemies of the Red Flag had come to power, then in Germany as elsewhere we should have seen only a heap of smoking ruins. But today we see in Germany vigorous life. . . .”

“We fight for an independent German people. If God created the German tribes, they will remain. If anyone says, ‘What then of the single States? After all God made them too.’ No! Men made the States. State forms have always been transitory. Look back a hundred years, two hundred, three hundred years, and study the map and the changes marked on it. And if anyone says to me, ‘But from now on things must remain as they are,’ I can only answer: ‘Sir, if you have grown sterile, our German people is anything but sterile.’ The people is still living: it feels its way open towards its goal and strives towards it, and therefore the map of our Reich will change in the future and in it there will be further alterations. . . .”

“Every German belongs to a tribe. But where would we as Germans be, where would our people be, if we saw in that fact a license to fight no more for our people as a whole? No! That can never be! When I went to Berlin, one who was by descent a Bavarian became for the first time Chancellor of the Reich. Then I set before myself as my aim to see to it that the period of my Chancellorship should one day be marked with honor in the history of Germany. From this city you have sent a tribune of the people to Berlin, and it is my determination that my name shall be able to take an honorable place amongst the Chancellors of the German Reich. I went to the North as a man from the South with a program of which I can say: ‘Test it all of you! It is a German program!’. . .”

“Whatever the attitude of the individual may be towards this or that detail which does not please him, yet I would have everyone say to himself: We have experienced a miracle, something unique, something the like of which there has hardly been in the history of the world. God first allowed our people to be victorious for four and a half years, then He abased us, laid upon us a period of shamelessness; but now after a struggle of fourteen years he has permitted us to bring that period to a close. It is a miracle which has been wrought upon the German people, and we would not fall into the fault which possessed the German people at the end of the war years: we would not be ungrateful. What has come to pass during the last year is so unheard of that it must constrain us to profound humility. It shows us that the Almighty has not deserted our people, that He received it into favor at the moment when it rediscovered itself. And that our people shall never again lose itself, that must be our vow so long as we shall live and so long as the Lord gives us the strength to carry on the fight.”


Le Temps, March 22—The Chancellor declared that the 1933 revolution was another springtime of the German people. M. Hitler referred to the inner boundaries between the German “lands,” which had in the course of centuries often been altered, and which would be altered once again.

London Times, March 21—Herr Hitler declared . . . that the revolution had to be carried further until the final goal was reached. The map of Germany had to be altered until the unification of the German people was complete.

SPEECH OF MARCH 21, 1934: Unterhaching



March 20—Regent Horthy of Hungary and Chancellor Dollfuss of Austria meet with Mussolini. They agree to work for maintenance of European peace and the revival of economic life.

The Speech

“IDO not believe that any government ever took over a worse inheritance than we did on January 30, 1933. . . .”

“What was one now to do and how must one make a beginning? My fellow-countrymen, how many there were at that time who warned the German people of the danger of National Socialism, maintaining that, worst of all, we had in our ranks no ‘heads’: that our victory could mean nothing else than the complete annihilation of German economic life.

“But now when at the beginning of the second year of our attack upon the economic distress of Germany we come before the nation, despite all our critics, despite all those who knew so much better, we can point to achievements which even they themselves declared to be impossible.

“But how did that become possible? The considerations which at that time determined our action, and the decisions which we then took and resolved to realize, were the following:

“1. If in a period of such sinister general collapse, especially in the economic sphere, there was to be a revolution in the State, that revolution must in no circumstances lead to chaos. We wished to make a revolution, and a revolution was in fact made. But it is only the meanest spirit which can regard the essence of a revolution as consisting merely in destruction. We, on the contrary, regarded it as consisting in a gigantic work of reconstruction.

“If today we dare to look with some confidence into the future, that is only because, thanks to the discipline of the National Socialist party, of its fighters and adherents, we were able to carry through one of the greatest revolutionary changes in the history of the world in orderly fashion and according to plan.

“2. The greatness of the distress compelled us to make really great decisions. But great decisions must be long-term decisions: their realization demands time, as indeed do all great things in this world. So it was essential to give to the new Government an unexampled stability, since only governments which are stable, which are assured of their existence and of the permanence of that existence are in a position to rise to the making of really fundamental and far- reaching decisions.

“3. The internal stability of a regime always becomes a source of a people’s trust and confidence. When the masses in their millions see that above them there stands a government which is sure of itself, part of this certainty is transferred to the masses. Only in this way the boldness of a government’s plans is matched by a like boldness in the readiness of the people to execute and carry into effect these plans. But trust and confidence are the fundamental conditions for the success of any economic revival.

“4. Further, one must make up one’s mind not merely to act with judgment, but if necessary to take stern measures. We were prepared to do everything that man could do. We want to do everything which we can—with a good conscience and so far as our knowledge goes. We are therefore not prepared or willing to allow any scoundrel, any conscienceless domestic foe of our people, to continue his destructive activity.

“To be able to criticize one must oneself have learned something; but what one has learned is demonstrated through action.

“To those men who came before us Fate gave fourteen years—time enough to prove through acts their real capacity. But one who through fourteen years failed as miserably as these men have done, one who brought to such ruin a healthy people and drove it into misery and despair, he has no right suddenly in the fifteenth year to play the part of a critic of those who wish to improve things and have also in fact improved things. For fourteen years they had opportunity enough for action. Today we do not intend to give them any longer the opportunity for chattering.

“5. And, further, we cannot do so, for the great work can succeed only if we all co-operate; it is a mistake to believe that any government unaided can achieve the miracle of a restoration. It must succeed in winning over the people to serve its mission. The eternal pessimists and those who carp on principle have never yet saved any people, though they have destroyed many a people, many a State and Empire. We therefore determined not to trouble our heads about them, but rather to count on those who, undismayed, were ready to undertake with us the fight for the resurrection of Germany and to wage that fight to the end.

“6. And that resurrection could come only through fighting. For there can be no miracle—whether it comes from above or from without—which gives to man anything which he has not himself earned.

“7. We were convinced that the salvation of the German people must take its start from the salvation of the agricultural class. For if anyone else is compelled to leave his post or himself loses his business, he can one day find once more a new position or through industry and efficiency found a new undertaking: the farmer who has once lost his farm is generally lost forever.

“8. The fight for the salvation of the middle class is primarily also a fight against unemployment. Unemployment is the gigantic problem which is set before us for solution: in face of that problem everything else must take second place. From the very day when we assumed power we were convinced that we had to master this evil, and we were determined ruthlessly to subordinate everything else to the fight against this evil.

“The German people of the future shall not give to any of its citizens doles for doing nothing at all; rather it will give to everyone the possibility, through honest work, of earning his own bread and thus of contributing towards and co-operating in the raising of the standard of life of all. For no one can consume that which others have not with him first created.

“But our wish is that our people in all its various ranks should rise in its standard of living, and we must accordingly see to it that the conditions for this should be realized in our production.

“I am happy to know that, despite rates of wages which in part are positively impossible, the German workman has understood our action, but it is a melancholy fact that many employers have failed to show any comprehension of problems such as these; they would seem to believe that expression should be given to the present epoch of German economic revival through an extraordinary rise in dividends. Henceforth we shall oppose by all means and with the greatest determination every attempt thus to increase the rate of dividends.

“Such then were the principles which in the past year served to guide our action. They marked out for us the path which we in fact followed.

“At the outset we had done with all theories. It is very interesting when doctors amuse themselves by discussing the possible ways to cure an illness, but for the patient the immediate—the most important—thing is that he should get well again. And the theory which restores him to health is not only the most important, it is also the right theory.

“We therefore began on the one hand to free economic life from theories, and on the other to liberate it from the chaos of oppressive regulations and of restrictive measures on the merits or demerits of which it is idle to dispute, since, whether they were right or wrong, they were in any event only stifling economic life. We further sought to free production step by step from those burdens which in the shape of unreasonable taxation-decrees were strangling economic life. . . .”

“Again we were determined on principle not to distribute any further presents to the business world but to use all our available resources solely for the practical and positive aim of creating work. The intelligent, efficient, and methodical businessman will have a free field for his activity, the lazy and unintelligent—to say nothing of the disreputable and dishonest—must go to ruin. The decisive point is that the means which the State can mobilize should not be distributed as a present but should be employed in order practically to stimulate production and thus be usefully invested.

“This to a large extent we have done with striking success. The initiative thus taken by the State had always solely as its aim and purpose to awake private economic initiative, and thus slowly to set economic life once more on its own feet. . . .”

“But beyond this we have endeavored to introduce a better social order: thus amongst other measures through State aid we have made possible a vast increase in the number of new marriages; thereby we took countless young women out of economic production and brought them back into the family and the home. . . .”

“In the year which lies before us we must wage the campaign against unemployment with still greater fanaticism, with still greater determination than in the year which is past. With ruthless severity we must repel everyone who offends against this idea and its realization. I would have everyone in Germany understand that only through a truly socialistic view of this problem which faces the community will it be possible to find its solution. I would have everyone rise above his egoism and triumph over his personal interests. . .

“Wages and dividends must take second place, however regrettable it may be in the case of wages, before the paramount realization that we must first create the goods which when they are created we may hope to consume.

“Above all I would have every employer understand that the accomplishment of the economic tasks which are set us is possible only if all place themselves in the service of this task, subordinating to it their egoistic desire for personal gain. And further I would have them realize that a failure in this task would not merely produce some fresh millions of unemployed, but would mean the end and the collapse of our economic life, and thus perhaps the end of the German people.

“Only a madman can therefore be so indecent as to offend, in the pursuit of his personal advantage, against this common distress and its alleviation. But if personal advantage does not win the day, then we can with complete confidence look to the future, for the gigantic program of this nationwide creation of work which we planned and laid down last year must in part take many months before the project can ripen into realization.

“Conditions essential to our effort must first be created before at last we can begin the work itself, and that is a vast undertaking. We have an example of that in the new motor roads of the Reich: for the mere planning of these one needs a whole army of surveyors and engineers, of draughtsmen and of workers. But with ever-increasing speed the construction of one stretch of road after another will be undertaken. . .

“The program of the Government which is already worked out in detail will be the greatest program for the creation of work which Germany has ever known, and it will also mean a great alleviation of the burdens which oppress our economic life. At the same time it will provide for the ordering of our whole financial life. For however huge the sums demanded for this program may be, they will not be produced by printing more notes: an inflation on the model of the November Government is for us unthinkable. All current outgoings will be met from the ordinary income of the State, while permanent improvements will at the proper time be financed through loans.

“To procure these means the people’s confidence and the help of the people’s savings are the essential condition. We are able to state with satisfaction that in the past year the savings deposits alone in Germany have increased by about a milliard marks. . . .

“We shall continue in the future also to alleviate debt burdens and to favor the formation of capital, and in so doing we shall not make use of any means which could in any way prejudice respect for property or for contractual rights. ...”

“Would that at last the intelligence of the other peoples and their statesmen might come to realize that the wish and the will of the German people and its Government seek nothing else than, in freedom and in peace, to co-operate in the building up of a better world.

“And so with this great achievement of the community we begin the new battle for work of the year 1934.

“Our goal is set! German workmen, carry on!”


New 'York Times, March 21—The government radio carried the speech to every town and village throughout the Reich, and whole settlements stopped work to listen, making it a holiday. . . . They all heard Hitler promise those things all Germany craves—the end of unemployment and the beginning of a new era of prosperity and plenty, of lower taxes and abundance for all. . . .

Le Temps, March 22—The Chancellor’s speech disappointed those who expected a new, definite program for the fight against unemployment.

SPEECH OF JULY 13, 1934: Reichstag



April 30—Austrian Parliament ratifies new constitution and dissolves.

May 16—Roosevelt informs the countries of Europe that America is willing to accept token payments of the war debts due on June 15.

June 14—Goebbels visits Pilsudski in Warsaw and Hitler meets Mussolini in Venice.

June 25—Hess in Cologne makes speech against a “second revolution.”

June 30—The Roehm purge in Germany.

The Speech

“COMMISSIONED thereto by the Government the President of the Reichstag, Hermann Goering, has called you together today to give me the possibility of explaining before this best-qualified Forum of the Nation events which may well remain for all time in our history as a memory alike of sorrow and of warning. Out of a sum of material causes and personal guilt, from human inadequacy and human defects, there arose for our young Reich a crisis which only too easily might for an incalculable period have produced consequences completely disastrous. To make clear to you and thereby to the nation how this crisis arose and how it was overcome is the aim of my speech. The content of this speech will be of ruthless frankness. Only in its scope do I feel bound to impose upon myself some limitation, and that limitation is on the one side conditioned by the interests of theReich and on the other side by bounds which are set by the sentiment of shame.

“When on January 30, 1933, Field Marshal and President of the Reich von Hindenburg entrusted me with the leadership of the newly formed German Government, the National Socialist party took over a State which both politically and economically was in complete decline. All political forces of the former state of affairs which had just been brought to a close had their share in this decline, and consequently a share in guilt. Since the abdication of the Kaiser and the German princes the German people had been delivered into the hands of men who, as the representatives of our past world of parties, had either consciously induced this decline or had weakly suffered it to continue. Beginning with the Marxist revolutionaries and proceeding by way of the Center till one reached the Bourgeois Nationalists—all parties and their leaders were given an opportunity to prove their capacity to govern Germany. Endless coalitions allowed them to put to the test their political arts and their economic skill. They have all failed miserably. January 30 [1933] was therefore not the day when our Government formally took over responsibility from the hands of another Government, it was rather the final liquidation, long desired by the nation, of an intolerable state of affairs.

“It is essential that this should be clearly stated since, as subsequent events have proved, some individuals would seem to have forgotten that previously they were given full opportunity for demonstrating their political capacities. There is no one in Germany who could have any ground, even did he so wish, to charge the National Socialist Movement with having obstructed or even blocked the way to political forces which offered any hope of success. Fate, for reasons which we cannot fathom, condemned our people for fifteen years to serve as the field on which these politicians could make their experiments—as the rabbit in the hands of the vivisector.

“It may have been interesting and pleasurable for the outside world—especially for the world that is ill-disposed toward us—to follow these experiments; for the German people they were as painful as they were humiliating. Look back on this period and before your eyes let all those figures pass who succeeded each other as Chancellors of the Reich. In what land were the scales of providence more often brought into use, and where more frequently was the verdict passed that the object weighed had fallen short of the due weight? No! We National Socialists have the right to refuse to be counted as members of this line. On January 30, 1933, it was not a case of a new government being formed as had happened times without number before, but a new regime had superseded an old and sick age.

“This historic act of the liquidation of that most melancholy period in our nation’s life which now lies behind us was legalized by the German people itself. For we have not seized possession of power as usurpers, as did the men of November 1918; we have received power constitutionally and legally. We have not made a revolution as uprooted anarchists, but, as executing the nation’s will, we have set aside a regime born of rebellion, and we have seen our task to lie not in maintaining power at the point of the bayonet, but in finding that power in the heart of our people, and anchoring it there.

“When today I read in a certain foreign newspaper that at the present time I am filled with profound anxieties, and at this moment in particular with economic anxieties, I have only one answer for these scribblers: assuredly that is true, but it is not merely today that anxiety tortures me; it has done so for a long time past. If it was formerly the anxiety for our people which led us to protect our people in the war which, despite its innocence, had been forced upon it, after the collapse it was the far greater anxiety for the future which turned us into revolutionaries. And when after fifteen years of struggle at last we received the leadership of the nation, this torturing anxiety not only did not loosen its hold upon us, but on the contrary did but embrace us the more closely. I may be believed when I assure you that never yet in my life have I allowed myself to be anxious for my own personal fate. But I confess that from the day when the confidence of the Field Marshal appointed for me my place I have borne the burden of that heavy anxiety which the present and the future of our people lays upon us all. . . .”

“When I as Chancellor of the Reich came into the Wil- helmstrasse, the authority of the Reich had become a worthless phantom. The spirit of revolt and insubordination dominated the German States and communes. The shadows of the most melancholy political past of the German people rose alarmingly before us. Particularism and Separatism insolently proclaimed themselves as the new German conception of the State. From the internal weakness of the Reich sprang its undignified attitude toward the world without. It had once more become a humiliation to confess publicly that one was a German. The spirit of insubordination and of internal revolt within a few months we exterminated and destroyed. While fully respecting the essential character of our German tribes we have strengthened the authority of the Reich as the expression of the common will of our people’s life and have made it supreme. The German Reich is today no longer a merely geographical conception: it has become a political unity. We have directed our people’s development on to lines which only two years ago were regarded as unattainable. And just as within the Reich we firmly secured the unity and therewith the future of the German people, so in the sphere of foreign policy we have resolutely championed the rights of our people. . .

“The features which marked our former political confusion have not been set aside because we destroyed them, but because the German people removed them from its heart. And I must—today and in this place—confess that assuredly our work would have been utterly vain, and must have been vain, had not the German people given us its confidence and its loyal cooperation in so large a measure. Our success is due to the 41i/£ million men and women from all walks of life who gave us no merely superficial ‘Yes,’ but devoted themselves with all their hearts to the new regime, o

“To them our success is mainly due. Without their confiding trust, without their patient forbearance, without their devotion and readiness for sacrifice, the work of German recovery would never have succeeded. They are, as the supporters of the people’s rebirth, at the same time the best representatives of the people. They are in truth the German people. . .

“And over against this positive world of the German spirit, the incorporation of the true values of our people, there stands also, it is true, a small negative world. They take no part in their hearts in the work of German recovery and restoration. First there is the small body of those international disintegrators of a people who as apostles of the Weltanschauung of communism alike in the political and economic sphere systematically incite the peoples, break up established order, and endeavor to produce chaos. We see evidence of the activity of these international conspirators all about us. Up and down the countries the flames of revolt run over the peoples. Street riots, fights at the barricades, mass terrorism, and the individualistic propaganda of disintegration disturb today nearly all the countries of the world. Even in Germany some single fools and criminals of this type still again and again seek to exercise their destructive activity. Since the destruction of the Communist party we experience one attempt after another, though growing ever weaker as time passes, to found and to sustain the work of communistic organizations of a more or less anarchistic character. Their method is always the same. . .

“The second group of the discontented consists of those political leaders who feel that their political future has been closed since January 30, but yet are still unable to accept the irrevocability of this fact. The more time veils with the gracious mantle of forgetfulness their own incapacity, the more do they think themselves entitled gradually to bring themselves back into the people’s memory. But since their incapacity was not formerly limited to any special period but was born in them by nature, they are today, too, unable to prove their value in any positive and useful work, but they see the fulfillment of their life’s task to lie in a criticism which is as treacherous as it is mendacious. With them, too, the people has no sympathy. The National Socialist State can neither be seriously threatened by them nor in any way damaged.

“A third group of destructive elements is formed of those revolutionaries whose former relation to the State was shattered by the events of 1918; they became uprooted and thereby lost altogether all sympathy with any ordered human society. They became revolutionaries who favored revolution for its own sake and desired to see revolution established as a permanent condition. We all formerly suffered under the frightful tragedy that we, as disciplined and loyal soldiers, were suddenly faced with a revolt of mutineers who managed to seize possession of the State. Each of us had been brought up to respect the laws and to reverence authority, we had been trained in obedience to the commands and regulations issued by the authorities, in a subordination of our wills in face of the State’s representatives. Now the revolution of deserters and mutineers forced upon us in our thought the abandonment of these conceptions. . . .”

“Amongst the numberless documents which during the last week it was my duty to read, I have discovered a diary with the notes of a man who, in 1918, was thrown into the path of resistance to the laws and who now lives in a world in which law in itself seems to be a provocation to resistance. It is an unnerving document—an unbroken tale of conspiracy and continual plotting: it gives one an insight into the mentality of men who, without realizing it, have found in nihilism their final confession of faith. Incapable of any true cooperation, with a desire to oppose all order, filled with hatred against every authority, their unrest and disquietude can find satisfaction only in some conspiratorial activity of the mind perpetually plotting the disintegration of whatever at any moment may exist. Many of them in the early days of our struggle have together with us fulminated against the State which is now no more, but their inner lack of discipline led most of them, even during the course of the struggle, away from the disciplined National Socialist Movement.

“The last remnant appeared to have separated itself from us after January 30. The link with the National Socialist Movement was severed at the moment when the Movement itself, now representing the State, became the object of their pathological aversion. They are on principle enemies of every authority, and therefore there can be no hope at all of their conversion. . .

“This third group of pathological enemies of the State is dangerous because they represent a reservoir of those ready to co-operate in every attempt at a revolt, at least just for so long as a new order does not begin to crystallize out of the state of chaotic confusion.

“I must now mention the fourth group, which often perhaps even against its own will does in fact carry on a truly destructive activity. The group is composed of those persons who belong to a comparatively small section of society and who, having nothing to do, find time and opportunity to report orally everything that has happened in order thus to bring some interesting and important variety into their otherwise completely purposeless lives. For while the overwhelming majority of the nation has to earn its daily bread in toilsome work, in certain strata of life there are still folk whose sole activity it is to do nothing, only to need afterwards a rest-cure from doing nothing. The more paltry is the life of such a drone, the more eagerly will he seize upon anything which may give some interesting content to the vacuity of his mind. Personal and political gossip is eagerly swallowed and even more eagerly handed on. Since these men as a result of doing nothing do not possess any living relation to the millions which form the mass of the nation, their life is confined in its range to the circle within which they move. Every bit of gossip which strays into this circle reverberates backwards and forwards like figures reflected in two distorting mirrors. Because their whole ego is full of nothingness, and since they find a similar nothingness amongst their like, they look upon the whole world as equally empty; they come to think that the outlook of their own circle is the outlook of everyone. Their anxieties, they imagine, form the cares of the whole nation. In reality this little cloud of drones is but a State within the State; it has no contact with the life, the sentiments, the hopes and cares of the rest of the people. They are, however, dangerous because they are veritable bacillus-carriers of unrest and uncertainty, of rumors, assertions, lies and suspicions, of slanders and fears, and thus they contribute to produce gradually a state of nervousness which spreads amongst the people so that in the end it is hard to find or recognize where its influence stops. ...”

“The first idle talk which one heard here and there of a new revolution, of a new upheaval, of a new revolt, gradually grew in intensity to such an extent that only an irresponsible statesmanship could afford to ignore it. One could no longer simply dismiss as silly chatter all the information which came to us in hundreds and at last in thousands of reports both orally and in writing. Only three months ago the leaders of the Party were still convinced that it was simply the irresponsible gossip of political reactionaries, of Marxist anarchists, or of all sorts of idlers with which they had to deal—gossip which had no support in fact.

“In the middle of March I took steps to have preparations made for a new wave of propaganda which was to render the German people immune from any attempt to spread fresh poison. At the same time I gave orders to certain departments of the Party administration to trace the rumors of a new revolution which were continually cropping up and to find out, if possible, the sources from which they came. The result was that certain tendencies appeared in the ranks of some of the higher leaders of the SA which were bound to cause the gravest anxiety. At first it was a case of general symptoms, the inner connections of which were not at once clear:

“1. Against my express order, and in despite of declarations made to me through the Chief of Staff, Roehm, there had been such an increase in the numbers of the SA that the internal homogeneity of this unique organization must be endangered.

“2. Education in the National Socialist Weltanschauung in the above-mentioned sections of individual higher SA authorities had been more and more neglected.

“3. The natural relationship between the Party and the SA began slowly to be weakened. We were able to establish that efforts were being made, as it seemed systematically, to withdraw the SA more and more from the mission appointed for it by me and to use it in the service of other tasks or other interests.

“4. Promotions to posts of leadership in the SA when they were tested showed that a completely one-sided valuation had been set on purely external skill or often only on a supposed intellectual capacity. The great body of the oldest and most loyal SA men was always more and more neglected when appointments to the post of leader were made or when vacancies had to be filled, while a quite incomprehensible preference was shown for those who had been enlisted in the year 1933 who were not specially highly respected in the Movement. Often only a few months’ membership in the Party or even only in the SA was enough to secure promotion to a high position in the SA which the old SA leader could not reach after years of sendee.

“5. The behavior of these individual SA leaders who had for the greater part not grown up with the Movement at all was false to National Socialist standards and often positively revolting. It could not be overlooked that it was precisely in these circles that one source of the unrest in the Movement was discovered, in that their incomplete practical National Socialism sought to veil itself in very unseemly demands for a new revolution.

“I drew the attention of the Chief of Staff, Roehm, to these abuses and to a number of others without meeting with any appreciable help in their removal, indeed without any recognizable concurrence on his part with my objections.

“In the months of April and May there was a constant increase in these complaints, and it was then that I received for the first time reports, confirmed by official documents, of conversations which had been held by individual higher leaders of the SA and which can only be described as ‘gross impropriety.’ For the first time in some official documents we obtained irrefutable evidence that in these conversations references had been made to the necessity for a new revolution and that leaders had received instructions to prepare themselves both materially and in spirit for such a new revolution. The Chief of Staff, Roehm, endeavored to maintain that these conversations had not in fact been held and that the reports were to be explained as veiled attacks upon the SA.

“The confirmation of some of these cases through the statements of those who had been present led to the most serious ill-treatment of these witnesses who for the most part came from the ranks of the old SA. Already by the end of April the leaders of the Party and a number of State institutions concerned in the matter were convinced that a certain group of the higher SA leaders was consciously contributing toward the alienation of the SA from the Party as well as from the other institutions of the State, or at least was not opposing this alienation. The attempt to remedy this state of affairs through the normal official channels always remained unsuccessful. The Chief of Staff, Roehm, promised me personally over and over again that he would inquire into these cases and that he would remove or punish the guilty parties. But no visible change in the situation resulted.

“In the month of May numerous charges of offenses committed by SA leaders, both those of high rank and of intermediate position, were received by officials of the Party and of the State; these offenses were supported by official documents and could not be denied. Provocative speeches led directly to intolerable excesses. The Minister-President Goering had already previously endeavored, so far as Prussia was concerned, to maintain the authority of the will of the National Socialist State over the self-will of individual elements. In some other German States, meanwhile, the authorities of the Party and the officials had been compelled to oppose single intolerable excesses. Some of the responsible parties were taken into custody. I have before this always stressed the fact that an authoritarian regime is under special obligations. When one demands of a people that it should put blind confidence in its leaders, then for their part these leaders must deserve this confidence through their achievement and through specially good behavior. Mistakes and errors may in individual cases slip in, but they are to be eradicated. Bad behavior, drunken excesses, the molestation of peaceful decent folk—these are unworthy of a leader, they are not National Socialist, and they are in the highest degree detestable.

“I have for this reason always insisted that in their conduct and behavior higher demands should be made of National Socialist leaders than of the rest of the people. He who desires to receive higher respect than others must meet this demand by a higher achievement. The most elementary demand that can be made of him is that in his life he should not give a shameful example to those about him. I do not desire, therefore, that National Socialists guilty of such offenses should be judged and punished more leniently than are other fellow-countrymen of theirs; rather, I expect that a leader who forgets himself in this way should be punished with greater rigor than would be an unknown man in a like case.

And here I would make no distinction between leaders of the political organizations and leaders of the formations of our SA, SS, Hitler Youth, etc.

“The resolution of the National Socialist Government to put an end to such excesses of individual unworthy elements which did but cover with shame the Party and the SA led to a very violent counter-activity on the part of the Chief of Staff. National Socialist fighters of the earliest days, some of whom had striven for nearly fifteen years for the victory of the Movement and now as high State officials in leading positions in our State represented the Movement, were called to account for the action which they had taken against such unworthy elements: that is to say, that through Courts of Honor, composed in part of some of the youngest members of the Party or even at times of those who were not members of the Party at all, the Chief of Staff, Roehm, sought to secure the punishment of these oldest Party combatants.

“These disagreements led to very serious exchanges of views between the Chief of Staff and myself, and it was in these interviews that for the first time doubts of the loyalty of this man began to rise in my mind. Though for many months I had rejected every such idea, though previously through the years I had protected this man with my person in unswerving loyalty and comradeship, now gradually warnings which I received—especially from my deputy in the leadership of the Party, Rudolf Hess—began to induce suspicions which even with the best of will I was not able to stifle.

“After the month of May there could be no further doubt that the Chief of Staff, Roehm, was busied with ambitious schemes which, if they were realized, could lead only to the most violent disturbances.

“If during these months I hesitated again and again before taking a final decision that was due to two considerations:

“1. I could not lightly persuade myself to believe that a relation which I thought to be founded on loyalty could be only a lie.

“2. I still always cherished the secret hope that I might be able to spare the Movement and my SA the shame of such a disagreement, and that it might be possible to remove the mischief without severe conflicts. It must be confessed that the last days of May continuously brought to light more and more disquieting facts.

“The Chief of Staff now began to alienate himself from the Party not only in spirit but also in his whole external manner of life. All the principles through which we had grown to greatness lost their validity. The life which the Chief of Staff and with him a certain circle began to lead was from any National Socialist point of view intolerable. It was not only terrible that he himself and the circle of those who were devoted to him should violate all laws of decency and modest behavior, it was still worse that now this poison began to spread in ever wider circles. The worst of all was that gradually out of a certain common disposition of character there began to be formed within the SA a party which became the kernel of a conspiracy directed not only against the normal views of a healthy people but also against the security of the State. The review which took place in the month of May of promotions in certain SA districts led to the horrible realization that men without regard to services rendered to the National Socialist party or to the SA had been promoted to positions in the SA solely because they belonged to the circle of those possessing this special disposition. Individual cases with which you are familiar, such, for example, as that of the Standard-Leader Schmidt in Breslau, disclosed a picture of conditions which could only be regarded as intolerable. My order to proceed against the offenders was followed in theory, but in fact it was sabotaged.

“Gradually from amongst the leaders of the SA there emerged three groups: a small group of elements which were held together through a like disposition, men who were ready for any action and who had given themselves blindly into the hands of the Chief of Staff, Roehm. The principal members of this group were the SA leaders Ernst from Berlin, Heines in Silesia, Hayn in Saxony, and Heydebreck in Pomerania. Besides these there was a second group of SA leaders who did not belong to the former group in spirit but felt themselves bound to obey the Chief of Staff, Roehm, solely from a simple conception of a soldier’s duty. Over against these stood a third group of leaders who made no secret of their inner disgust and reprobation and were in consequence in part removed from responsible posts, in part thrust aside, and in many respects left out of account.

“At the head of this group of SA leaders, who because of their fundamental decency had been hardly treated, stood the present Chief of Staff, Lutze, and the leader of the SS, Himmler.

“Without ever informing me, and when at first I never dreamt of any such action, the Chief of Staff, Roehm, through the agency of an utterly corrupt swindler—a certain Herr von A—, entered into relations with General Schleicher. General Schleicher was the man who gave external expression to the secret wish of the Chief of Staff, Roehm. He it was who defined the latter’s views in concrete form and maintained that:

“1. The present regime in Germany cannot be supported.

“2. Above all the Army and all national associations must be united in a single band.

“3. The only man who could be considered for such a position was the Chief of Staff, Roehm.

“4. Herr von Papen must be removed and he himself would be ready to take the position of Vice-Chancellor, and that in addition further important changes must be made in the Cabinet of the Reich.

“As always happens in such cases there now began the search after the men for the new Government, always under the view that I myself should at least for the present be left in the position which I now hold.

“The execution of these proposals of General von Schleicher was bound, as soon as Point 2 was reached, to come up against my unalterable opposition. Both from a consideration of the facts and from a consideration of personal character it would never have been possible for me to consent to a change in the Reich Ministry of War and to the appointment of the Chief of Staff, Roehm, to that Ministry.

“Firstly: the consideration of the facts: for fourteen years I have stated consistently that the fighting organizations of the Party are political institutions and that they have nothing to do with the army. On the facts of the case it would be, in my opinion, to disavow this view of mine and my fourteen years of political life if I were now to summon to the head of the army the leader of the SA. In November, 1923, I proposed that an officer should lead the army and not the man who was then the leader of my SA., Captain Goering.

“Secondly: the consideration of human character. On this point it would have been impossible for me ever to concur in the proposal of General von Schleicher. When these plans became known to me my picture of the value of the character of the Chief of Staff, Roehm, was already such that before my conscience and for the sake of the honor of the army I could no longer under any circumstances contemplate admitting him to this post: above all, the supreme head of the army is the Field Marshal and President of the Reich. As Chancellor I gave my oath into his keeping. His person is for us all inviolate. The promise which I gave him that I would preserve the army as a non-political instrument of the Reich is for me binding, both from my inmost conviction and also from the word which I have given. But further, any such act would have been impossible for me on the human side in the face of the War Minister of the Reich. Both I myself and all of us are happy to be able to see in him a man of honor from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. He reconciled the army with those who were once revolutionaries and has linked it up with their Government today and he has done this from the deepest convictions of his heart. He has made his own in truest loyalty the principle for which I myself will stand to my last breath.

“In the State there is only one bearer of arms, and that is the army; there is only one bearer of the political will, and that is the National Socialist party. Any thought of consenting to the plans of General von Schleicher would be, so far as I am concerned, not only disloyalty to the Field Marshal and the War Minister, but also disloyalty to the army. For just as General von Blomberg as War Minister in the National Socialist State fulfills his duty in the highest sense of the word, so do, also, the other officers and the soldiers. I cannot demand from them that as individuals each of them should take up a definite position towards our Movement, but not one of them has lost the true position of loyal service to the National Socialist State. And, further, I could not without the most compelling cause have permitted the removal of men who as a united body on January 30 gave me their promise to co-operate in the salvation of the Reich and of the people. . . .”

“Since the Chief of Staff, Roehm, was himself uncertain whether any attempt on the lines which I have described might not well meet with resistance from me, the first plan was devised in order to achieve the desired result by compulsion. Extensive preparations were made, in the first place:

“1. Psychological conditions which should favor the outbreak of a second revolution were to be systematically created. For this end by means of the SA propaganda authorities themselves the assertion was spread through the ranks of the SA that the army intended to disband the SA, and it was later added that unfortunately I myself had been won over to the support of this plan. A wretched and infamous lie!

“2. The SA must forthwith anticipate this attack, and in a second revolution must remove the reactionary elements on the one hand and the opposition of the Party on the other. Authority in the State must be entrusted to the leaders of the SA.

“3. To this end the SA should make as rapidly as possible all the necessary material preparations. Through different pretexts, e.g. by the lying statement that he was anxious to carry through a scheme of social relief for the benefit of the SA, the Chief of Staff, Roehm, succeeded in collecting contributions running into millions of marks. Twelve million marks were raised for these objects.

“4. In order to be in a position to deliver ruthlessly the most decisive blows there were formed under the title of ‘Staff-Guards’ groups of terrorists specially sworn in for the purpose. The old SA man had for more than a decade gone starving in the service of the Movement; now these new formations were paid troops, and the personal character and the purpose for which they were enlisted cannot be more clearly shown than by the truly fearful list of the punishments which they had previously incurred; indeed the old, true SA leader and SA man now very quickly were thrust into the background in favor of those elements which had enjoyed no political training but were better qualified for the kind of work for which they were intended. At certain gatherings of leaders as well as on holiday-trips gradually the SA leaders concerned in the plan were brought together and dealt with individually, that is to say, that while the members of the inner circle systematically prepared the main action, the second and larger circle of SA leaders was only given general information to the effect that a second revolution was on the way, that this second revolution had no other object than to restore to me personally my freedom of action, and that therefore the new—and this time bloody—rising— ‘The Night of the Long Knives’ was their ghastly name for it—was exactly what I myself desired. The necessity for the initiative of the SA was explained by reference to my own inability to come to any decision: that disability would be removed only when I was faced with an accomplished fact. Presumably it was by means of these untrue pretexts that the preparation for the scheme so far as foreign policy was concerned was given to Herr von Detten. General von Schleicher saw to this aspect of the scheme in part personally, but left the practical side of the negotiations to his intermediary General von Bredow. Gregor Strasser was brought in.

“At the beginning of June I made a last attempt and had yet another talk with Roehm which lasted nearly five hours and was prolonged until midnight. I informed him that from numberless rumors and from numerous assurances and statements of old, loyal comrades and SA leaders I had gained the impression that by certain unscrupulous elements a national- bolshevist rising was being prepared which could only bring untold misery upon Germany. . . . The Chief of Staff left this interview after assuring me that the reports were partly untrue and partly exaggerated, and that moreover he would for the future do everything in his power to set things to rights.

“The result of the interview, however, was that the Chief of Staff, Roehm, recognizing that for the undertaking which he was planning he could in no circumstances count on my personal support, now prepared to remove me personally from the scene. To this end it was explained to the larger circle of SA leaders who had been drawn into the plot that I myself was in thorough agreement with the proposed undertaking, but that I personally must know nothing about it or else that I wished on the outbreak of the rising immediately to be arrested and kept in custody for some twenty-four or forty-eight hours in order thus through the fait accompli to be relieved from an awkward responsibility which must otherwise arise for me in the sphere of our foreign relations. This explanation is conclusively illustrated by the fact that meanwhile care had been taken to bribe the man whose task it was later to carry through my removal. Standard-leader Uhl, a few hours before his death, confessed that he had been ready to execute such an order.

“The first plan for the revolution was founded on the idea of granting leave to the SA. During this period of leave, since any plausible excuse was lacking, inexplicable riots were to break out similar to the conditions in August, 1932. These would compel me to summon the Chief of Staff, who alone would be in a position to restore order; for this purpose I should have to entrust him with full executive authority. But when meanwhile it had been clearly shown that in no circumstances could my willingness to give such an order be relied upon, this plan was abandoned and direct action was now contemplated.

“That action was to begin by a blow struck without any warning in Berlin: there was to be an assault upon the Government building, I myself was to be taken into custody so that further steps, as though ordered by me, could follow without any hindrance. The conspirators calculated that commands given in my name to the SA would immediately call into action the SA throughout the Reich, and also that thereby there would result automatically a division in all the other forces of the State ranged in opposition to the rising.

“The Chief of Staff, Roehm, the Gruppenführer (Group- Leader) Ernst, the Obergruppenführer Heines, Hayn, and a number of others declared in the presence of witnesses that immediately there was to follow a conflict of the bloodiest kind, lasting several days, with their opponents. The economic side of such a development was dismissed with positively insane irresponsibility: bloody terrorism in one way or another was to provide the necessary means. Here I must deal with the view that every successful revolution provides in itself its own justification. The Chief of Staff, Roehm, and his followers declared their revolution to be a necessity because only so could the victory of pure National Socialism receive its full justification. But at this point I must assert, both in the interest of the present and of posterity, that these men no longer had any right at all to appeal to National Socialism as their Weltanschauung. Their lives had become as evil as the lives of those whom we defeated in 1933 and whose places we took. The behavior of these men made it impossible for me to ask them to my house or, even if it were once only, to enter the house of the Chief of Staff in Berlin. It is difficult to conceive what would have become of Germany if these people had won the day. The greatness of the danger could not be fully realized until we received the communications which now reached Germany from abroad. English and French papers began with increasing frequency to speak of an upheaval which would shortly take place in Germany, and from the ever-growing stream of communications it was clear that the conspirators had systematically sought to foster the view in foreign countries that the revolution of the genuine National Socialists was at hand and that the existing regime was now incapable of action. General von Bredow, who as political agent in foreign affairs for General von Schleicher looked after these connections, worked in sympathy with those reactionary circles who—though not perhaps standing in any direct connection with this conspiracy—yet readily allowed themselves to be misused as subterranean purveyors of information for foreign Powers.

“Thus at the end of June I had made up my mind to put an end to this impossible development, and that, too, before the blood of ten thousand innocent folk should seal the catastrophe. ... I decided that on Saturday, June 30, I would deprive the Chief of Staff of his office and for the time being keep him in custody and would arrest a number of SA leaders whose crimes were unquestioned. Since it was doubtful, when things had reached so threatening a climax, whether the Chief of Staff, Roehm, would have come to Berlin at all, or indeed anywhere else, I decided to go in person to a discussion amongst SA leaders which had been announced to be held at Wiessee. Relying on the authority of my own personality and on my power of decision which had never failed me in the hour of need, I determined that there at twelve o’clock midday I would deprive the Chief of Staff of his office, I would arrest those SA leaders who were principally responsible, and in an earnest appeal to the others I would recall them to their duty. However, in the course of June 29, I received such threatening intelligence concerning the last preparations for action that I was forced at midday to interrupt an inspection of a workers’ camp in Westphalia in order to hold myself in readiness for all emergencies. At one o’clock in the night I received from Berlin and Munich two urgent messages concerning alarm-summonses: firstly that for Berlin an alarm-muster had been ordered for four o’clock in the afternoon, that for the transport of the regular shock-formations the requisition of lorries had been ordered, and that this requisition was now proceeding, and that promptly at five o’clock action was to begin with a surprise attack: the Government building was to be occupied. Gruppenführer Ernst with this end in view had not after all gone to Wiessee but had remained behind in Berlin to undertake the conduct of operations there.

“Secondly: in Munich the alarm-summons had already been given to the SA; they had been ordered to assemble at nine o’clock in the evening. The SA formations had not been dismissed to their homes, they were already stationed in their alarm-quarters. That is mutiny! I and no one else am the commander of the SA!

“In these circumstances I could make but one decision. If disaster was to be prevented at all, action must be taken with lightning speed. Only a ruthless and bloody intervention might still perhaps stifle the spread of the revolt. And then there could be no question that it was better that a hundred mutineers, plotters, and conspirators should be destroyed than that ten thousand innocent SA men should be allowed to shed their blood. For if once criminal activity was set in motion in Berlin, then the consequences were indeed unthinkable. The effect which had been produced by the fact that the conspirators purported to act in my name was proved by the distressing fact that, for instance, these mutineers in Berlin had succeeded through citing my authority in securing for their plot four armored cars from unsuspecting police-officers and further by the fact that the plotters Heines and Hayn in Saxony and Silesia through their appeals had made police-officers doubtful which side they should support in the coming conflict between the SA and the enemies of Hitler. It was at last clear to me that only one man could oppose and must oppose the Chief of Staff. It was to me that he had pledged his loyalty and broken that pledge, and for that I alone must call him to account!

“At one o’clock in the night I received the last dispatches telling me of the alarm-summonses; at two o’clock in the morning I flew to Munich. Meanwhile Minister-President Goering had previously received from me the commission that if I proceeded to apply a purge he was to take similar measures at once in Berlin and in Prussia. With an iron fist he beat down the attack on the National Socialist State before it could develop. The necessity for acting with lightning speed meant that in this decisive hour I had very few men with me. In the presence of the Minister Goebbels and of the new Chief of Staff the action of which you are already informed was executed and brought to a close in Munich. Although only a few days before I had been prepared to exercise clemency, at this hour there was no place for any such consideration. Mutinies are suppressed in accordance with laws of iron which are eternally the same. If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice for conviction of the offenders, then all that I can say to him is this: in this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme Justiciar of the German people!

“Mutinous divisions have in all periods been recalled to order by decimation. Only one State has failed to make any use of its Articles of War and this State paid for that failure by collapse—Germany. I did not wish to deliver up the young Reich to the fate of the old Reich. I gave the order to shoot those who were the ringleaders in this treason, and I further gave the order to burn out down to the raw flesh the ulcers of this poisoning of the wells in our domestic life and of the poisoning of the outside world. And I further ordered that if any of the mutineers should attempt to resist arrest, they were immediately to be struck down with armed force. The nation must know that its existence—and that is guaranteed through its internal order and security—can be threatened by no one with impunity! And everyone must know for all future time that if he raises his hand to strike the State, then certain death is his lot. And every National Socialist must know that no rank and no position can protect him from his personal responsibility and therefore from his punishment. I have prosecuted thousands of our former opponents on account of tjieir corruption. I should in my own mind reproach myself if I were now to tolerate similar offences in our own ranks. No people and no Government can help it if creatures arise such as we once knew in Germany, a Kutisker for example, such as France came to know in a Stavisky, or such as we today have once more experienced —men whose aim is to sin against a nation’s interests. But every people is itself guilty if it does not find the strength to destroy such noxious creatures. If people bring against me the objection that only a judicial procedure could precisely weigh the measure of the guilt and of its expiation, then against this view I lodge my most solemn protest. He who rises against Germany is a traitor to his country: and the traitor to his country is not to be punished according to the range and the extent of his act, but according to the purpose which that act has revealed. He who in his heart purposes to raise a mutiny and thereby breaks loyalty, breaks faith, breaks sacred pledges, he can expect nothing else than that he himself will be the first sacrifice. I have no intention

to have the little culprits shot and to spare the great criminals. It is not my duty to inquire whether it was too hard a lot which was inflicted on these conspirators, these agitators and destroyers, these poisoners of the well-springs of German public opinion and in a wider sense of world opinion: it is not mine to consider which of them suffered too severely: I have only to see to it that Germany’s lot should not be intolerable. A foreign journalist, who enjoys the privileges of a guest in our midst, protests in the name of the wives and children of those who have been shot and awaits the day when from their ranks there will come vengeance. To this gentleman I can say only one thing in answer: women and children have ever been the innocent victims of the criminal acts of men. I, too, have pity for them, but I believe that the suffering inflicted on them through the guilt of these men is but a minute fraction in comparison with the suffering that perhaps ten thousand German women would have had to endure if this act had been successful. A foreign diplomat explains that the meeting with Schleicher and Roehm was of course of an entirely harmless character. That matter I need not discuss with anyone. In the political sphere conceptions of what is harmless and what is not will never coincide. But when three traitors in Germany arrange and effect a meeting with a foreign statesman which they themselves characterize as ‘serviceable,’ when they effect this meeting after excluding every member of their staff, when they give strict orders that no word of this meeting shall reach me, then I shall have such men shot dead even when it should prove true that at a consultation which was thus kept secret from me they talked of nothing save the weather, old coins, and like topics.

“The penalty for these crimes was hard and severe. Nineteen higher SA leaders, thirty-one leaders and members of the SA, were shot, and further, for complicity in the plot, three leaders of the SS, while thirteen SA leaders and civilians who attempted to resist arrest lost their lives. Three more committed suicide. Five who did not belong to the SA but were members of the Party were shot for taking part in the plot. Finally there were also shot three members of the SS who had been guilty of scandalous ill-treatment of those who had been taken into protective custody.

“In order to prevent political passion and exasperation venting itself in lynch justice on further offenders when the danger was removed and the revolt could be regarded as suppressed, still on Sunday, July 1, strictest orders were given that all further retribution should cease. Thereby from the night of Sunday, July 1, the normal state of affairs was reestablished. A number of acts of violence which do not stand in any connection with the plot will be brought before the ordinary courts for judgment.

“These sacrifices may indeed be heavy, but they will not be vain if from them once and for all results the conviction that every attempt at treason will be broken down without respect of person. If at some hour or another fate should summon me from my place, then I confidently hope that my successor will not act otherwise, and if he too must give place to another, that the third after us will be ready to protect the security of people and of nation with no less resolution.

“If in the two weeks that now lie behind us a part of the foreign press in place of any objective and just report of events has flooded the world with untrue and incorrect assertions and communications, I cannot admit the validity of the excuse that it was impossible to obtain any other information. In most cases it needed only a short telephone call to the authorities concerned in order to show that most of these assertions could not be sustained. When in particular the report was spread that among the victims of the conspiracy there were included even members of the Cabinet of the Reich, it would not have been difficult to establish that the contrary was the case. The assertion that the Vice-Chancellor, von Papen, that the Minister Seldte, or other members of the Cabinet of the Reich had been connected with the mutineers is most strongly contradicted by the fact that one of the first intentions of the mutineers was the murder of these men. Similarly all reports of any complicity in the plot on the part of any one of the German princes or of any pursuit of them is free invention. If finally during the last few days an English paper can report that I was at present suffering from a nervous breakdown, it would have needed only a small inquiry to establish the truth. I can only assure these anxious reporters that neither in the War nor after the War have I ever suffered such a breakdown, but this time I have indeed suffered the severest breakdown of the trust and faith which I had placed in a man for whose protection I had done everything in my power, for whom I had actually sacrificed myself. . .

“In these days which have been days of severe trial both for me and for its members the SA has preserved the spirit of loyalty. Thus for the third time the SA has proved that it is mine, just as I will prove at any time that I belong to my SA men. In a few weeks’ time the brown shirt will once more dominate the streets of Germany and will give to one and all clear evidence that because it has overcome its grievous distress the life of National Socialist Germany is only the more vigorous. . . .”


Le Temps, July 15-16—The speech of Chancellor Hitler did not live up-to expectations. For not only did it fail to throw any new light on Germany’s tragic June 30, but also it failed to give any direct or indirect hint as to the direction of the Reich’s foreign policy. One can only conclude that the Fuehrer, only yesterday possessing absolute power in Germany, is now on the defensive at home. . . .

New York Times, July 14—It was a new role in which Chancellor Hitler appeared yesterday. Although hailed uith frantic acclaim in the streets of Berlin, and sure in advance of the hysterical applause of a slavish Reichstag, he was distinctly on his defense. He spoke as one conscious that he had to justify himself to his own people. Even more significant than that, he was standing before the bar of public opinion throughout the whole world. Perhaps never before did so many foreigners wait eagerly for the speech of a German Chancellor. It is safe to say that never before did they get so little from one. Hitler promised to make his explanations “brutally frank.” But for the larger part they were a rather monotonous repetition of what he had said a hundred times before. ... His own anxieties are all too apparent in his speech.

London Times, July 14—Herr Hitler, the Chancellor, gave his account of the events of June 30, to the Reichstag last night. He declared that Captain Roehm had plotted to bring about a new revolution and he described the plans of the “mutineers.” He admitted that seventy-seven people had been killed. The Reichstag unanimously approved the Government’s action and thanked Herr Hitler. Herr Hitler bore the sign of strain on his features.

SPEECH OF AUGUST 17, 1934: Hamburg


July 25—Assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss in Vienna by the Nazis. The attempted coup d’état fails. Dr. Schuschnigg becomes Chancellor, pledging that he will maintain Austrian independence.

August 2—Marshal Hindenburg, President of the Reich, dies.

August 3— Adolf Hitler assumes the dual functions of President and Chancellor of the Reich and orders a plebiscite to ratify this act. Hitler appoints Dr. Schacht (President of the Reichsbank) to the post of Minister of Economics.

The German Army takes an oath of loyalty to Hitler. August 15—Publication of Hindenburg’s testament.

The Speech

“. . . THE Field Marshal and President of the Reich was a unique figure and cannot be replaced. His mission as President of the Reich reached its fulfillment in himself. No one in the future shall bear this title any more.

“However logical the union of the two functions is, and though the law of the Government by which the question is settled cannot be challenged on constitutional grounds, yet I must absolutely decline to derive the right to take this most momentous step towards the new formation of the German Reich from any previous mandate. No! The people itself must decide!

“Although I do not desire in any way to anticipate the final form which one day the constitution of the German Reich will assume, I believe that I shall succeed in adding only new honor to the title of Chancellor of the German Reich for the future. The right to express so bold a view I assume on the basis of nearly fifteen years’ work which— whether voluntarily or involuntarily—will one day be recognized as having produced a transformation and a development of truly historic magnitude. ...”

“Millions lived in a world of Socialist conceptions which they might not be able to define in detail but as a whole appeared to them as fixed and necessary. Over against this world of Socialist conceptions there stood the national idea. Here, too, definitions might vary greatly, but here, too, the word ‘national’ embraced a sum of ideas which led up to a general conception for which millions were ready to give their all. Now the decisive factor was that the qualified representatives of these two views—or those who regarded themselves as such—maintained on principle that between these two worlds not only was any connecting link lacking but that they must of necessity stand opposed to each other in deadly enmity.

“The Socialist world was mainly inhabited by those who worked with the hand, the national world by those who worked with the brain. If these divided worlds were not to lead to the annihilation of Germany, one of the two, within a not too distant future, must emerge as victor, for in the long run a nation cannot survive when its brain workers see in the organized workers with the hand their deadly enemy and vice versa. The worst therefore which threatened us was thus not a victory of Marxism over bourgeois nationalism, but the worst fear was that this state of things should harden into permanency—that the German people should slowly but finally split into two self-sufficing bodies with different outlooks upon the world. The religious division within our people can teach us that such a development is possible.

“This, my fellow-countrymen, was the situation which met me and millions of others at the end of the War. . . . Only a tiny clique of international destroyers which favors strife in the world because it lives on strife could welcome such madness. . . . This struggle was bound at last to end in bolshevist chaos. What that would mean for Germany perhaps even today not everyone can completely realize. When I recognized this I could not at that time enter into a world of political parties which I was convinced could lead the nation only to its ruin. These were the considerations which determined my outlook.

“If the nationalism of our bourgeois world and the socialism of our Marxists could never unite; if, in consequence, the mass of the intelligentsia finally lost all relation to the mass of the people; and if lastly the nation, i.e. the German people, fell in consequence into complete disintegration and weakness, and therefore into economic annihilation, then both these theories could have no value for this people- For theories do not exist to annihilate peoples, but to make them happier....”

“Thus, my fellow-countrymen, when I entered political life it was with the burning vow in my heart that I would root out from Germany this world of the political parties— that I would set in its place a community of the German people.

“And from the first day I saw clearly that this goal could not be reached in weeks or months or even in a few years. I realized the immense work which such a decision entails. Just as surely as an examination of the terms socialism and nationalism leads to a single definition, so certain is it that the realization of such a definition means unending work in educating the people. One can easily state, so far as the mere understanding of the statement goes, that the highest form of Nationalism finds its expression only in an unconditional devotion of the individual to the people. It will never be denied that the purest form of socialism means the conscious elevation of the claims of the people, its life and its interests above the interests and the life of the individual. But it is a task of immeasurable difficulty to translate the recognition of these facts from the world of ideals, from the sphere of abstract thought, into the realm of hard actualities.

“Here one was met by a world of prejudices. Descent, education, culture, profession, income, poverty, and wealth have all raised barriers which are apparently insurmountable. They need not be consciously hostile, these folk, and yet they cannot find the way to each other. The course of a long life which now lies behind them has so filled them with traditions that they seem to themselves—as innocent victims perhaps—to be no longer able to recognize that greater common element which should unite them. If in spite of all this I then attacked this great task with faith in my heart, I, an unknown German soldier of the World War, that was precisely because of the stupendous impression produced upon me by that—the greatest of all experiences. . .

“I would like further to deal briefly with those who think, quite wrongly, that they are restricted in their freedom to criticize.

“In my eyes criticism in itself is not an important function in life. The world can live without critics, it cannot live without workmen. I protest against the notion that there should exist a profession whose sole reason for its existence is that its professors, without personal responsibility, should of their superior wisdom continually interrupt those who are working and who do carry responsibilities. In my own life I have fought for thirteen years against a Government, but not with negative criticism but always pointing to that which should be done. I accepted responsibility when it was offered me. And no action will be taken by me which I am not prepared to defend before this people with my head and with my life.

“But at least I can claim before this people the same right which every worker, every peasant, and every employer can also claim for himself. What would a peasant say if while he toils in the sweat of his face someone wanted continuously to stroll round his land and did nothing else in his rounds than carp and criticize and stir up discontent? What would a workman do if while he stands before his machine someone who can do nothing himself and does nothing were to address him and without stopping carped at his work and criticized it? I know that you would not tolerate the creature for a week but would send him to the Devil. The organization of the Movement gives to hundreds of thousands of men the possibility of co-operating in a positive way in shaping our national existence. Every helpful suggestion and all real co-operation will be welcomed with gratitude. But men whose sole activity is to express an opinion on the activity of others and to paint it in the darkest colors without ever themselves undertaking any practical responsibility —such men I will not tolerate. In this State everyone must in one way or another take his share in the struggle—and create.

In this State there can be no right to carp, but only a right to do the thing better. He who knows how to improve any activity, he who can put better knowledge in the place of worse, he who exposes an abuse and points out the way to mend it, he has every possibility of expressing himself and of employing himself. I have, it is true, in my life seen over and over again that one finds more men wTho know how a thing should be done than men who can actually put their knowledge into practice. And for every thousand men who are ready to judge a piece of work and give their opinion on it, there are rarely to be found ten who are themselves prepared to take part in the work. Ninety-nine per cent of all the professional criticizers who are ready enough to chatter will say not a word the moment anyone invites them to give proof of their better knowledge through actually putting it into practice and doing the job themselves. . . .”

“Our Government is supported by two organizations: politically by the community of the people organized in the National Socialist Movement, and in the military sphere by the army.... On the loyalty of these two organizations to the State rest the strength and the force of the State. In the maintenance of this construction the whole German people must have the greatest interest, for it assures to the German State an indestructible solidity both internally and externally; ... it gives to the Government stability and permanence and enables it to pursue a long-range policy. . . .”

“There is no one in whose eyes the German Army needs to rehabilitate its fame in arms. The German Government has no need to seek successes in war, for its regime is based on a foundation which nothing can shake and it is supported by the confidence of the whole people. The Government of the German Reich needs no such successes in foreign politics to strengthen its domestic position. . . .”

“The vote of August 19 will, I hope, prove to the world afresh the unquestioned stability of the German Reich today, that this State can be relied upon just as much as can the love of peace which inspires both the people and its leaders.

“It is thus clear that the period of the German Revolution is now a closed chapter. . .

“Not for my own sake have I asked for this vote, but for the sake of the German people. It is not I who need such a vote of confidence in order to strengthen or maintain my position; it is the German people which needs a Chancellor supported in the eyes of the whole world by such a display of confidence. For I am nothing, my fellow countrymen, but the spokesman on your behalf, and I have no desire to be anything but the representative of your life and the defender of your vital interests. . .

“Real mistakes which can be proven against me—for them I will readily answer and accept responsibility. They are all within the limits set for everyone by general human fallibility. But against these mistakes I can set the fact that never in my fight have I taken any action which I was not convinced was for the welfare of the German people. For during my whole political fight I have been dominated, commanded, so help me God! by one thought alone, Germany!”


New York Times, August 17—In this city (Hamburg), whose declining trade was skillfully hidden beneath a mantle of evergreens and swastika banners, and amid enthusiasm fostered by propaganda unimaginable elsewhere, Chancellor Adolf Hitler tonight made his culminating appeal to the German people to endorse next Sunday his grant to himself of unlimited authority over them and their future. . . . Above all, it was a conciliatory speech, evidently designed to dispel the misgivings of the business man and the worker regarding Germany’s economic prospects.

Le Temps, August 19—The Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich pleaded his case with all his customary fire. He ordered every German to have faith in his government. In the realm of foreign affairs, M. Hitler said only that the world must recognize that the Reich will never sacrifice its honor and its equal rights, and that the German people, now that they had put their internal affairs in order, were ready to defend the security and independence of the Reich against all threats.

London Times, August 18—The Fuehrer’s speech tonight contained little that was new. Referring to his action in uniting the Presidency and Chancellorship in his own person first and consulting the nation afterwards, he said that it had been necessary to spare the Reich a leaderless period. He again proclaimed that the German nation would never surrender its honor and reaffirmed its intense desire for a real peace.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1934: Nuremberg


August 19—The plebiscite gives Hitler 88.1% of the votes. He becomes “Reichsfuehrer.”

August 20—Beginning of the campaign for the return of the Saar to the Reich.

September 4—Fourth rally of the National Socialist party opens at Nuremberg.

September 4-10—\JSSlk joins the League of Nations.

The Speech

“IF ONE says that man’s world is the State, his struggle, his readiness to devote his powers to the service of the community, one might be tempted to say that the world of woman is a smaller world. For her world is her husband, her family, her children, and her house. But where would the greater world be if there were no one to care for the small world? How could the greater world survive if there were none to make the cares of the smaller world the content of their lives? . . . Providence has entrusted to woman the cares of that world which is peculiarly her own, and only on the basis of this smaller world can the man’s world be formed and built up. These two worlds are never in conflict. They are complementary to each other, they belong together as man and woman belong together. ...”

“Every child that a woman brings into the world is a battle, a battle waged for the existence of her people. Man and woman must therefore mutually value and respect each other when they see that each performs the task which Nature and Providence have ordained. And from this separation of the functions of each there will necessarily result this mutual respect. It is not true, as Jewish intellectuals assert, that respect depends upon the overlapping of the spheres of activity of the sexes: this respect demands that neither sex should try to do that which belongs to the other’s sphere. Respect lies in the last resort in this: that each knows that the other is doing everything which is necessary to maintain the whole community. . . . Woman is an egoist in the maintenance of her small world so that man may be free to defend the larger world: man is an egoist in maintaining this greater world, for it is indissolubly bound up with the other, smaller world. We would protect ourselves against a corrupted intellectualism which would put asunder that which God hath joined. Woman because she springs from that root which is the prime cause of life is also the most stable element in the maintenance of a people. She it is who in the last resort has the infallible sense for all that is necessary if a race is not to perish, for it will be her children who will be the first victims of that disaster. Man is often far too mentally unstable to find his way immediately to these fundamental truths. But in good time and with good education man will know just as clearly what his task is.

“We National Socialists have for many years protested against bringing woman into political life; that life in our eyes was unworthy of her. A woman said to me once: You must see to it that women go into Parliament; that is the only way to raise the standard of Parliamentary life. I do not believe, I answered, that man should try to raise the level of that which is bad in itself. And the woman who enters into this business of Parliament will not raise it, it will dishonor her. I would not leave to woman what I intend to take away from men. My opponents thought that in that case we would never gain women for our Movement; but in fact we gained more women than all the other parties together, and I know we should have won over the last German woman if she had only had the opportunity to study Parliament and the dishonoring role which women have played there. ...”

“So our Women’s Movement is for us not something which inscribes on its banner as its program the fight against man but something which sets on its program the common fight of woman together with man: For the new National Socialist community of the people was set on a firm basis precisely because we gained in millions of women our truest, our fanatical fellow-combatants, women who fought for the common life in the service of the common task of maintaining life, who in that combat did not set their gaze on rights which a Jewish intellectualism mirrored before their eyes, but rather on duties which nature imposes on all of us in common. ...”

“The program of our National Socialist Women’s Movement has in truth but one single point, and that point is The Child—that tiny creature which must be born and should grow strong, for in the child alone the whole lifestruggle gains its meaning. ... It is a glorious sight, this golden youth of ours: we know that it is the Germany of the future when we shall be no more. What we create and construct, that youth will maintain. For youth we work; it is that fact which gives its significance to all this effort of burs. And since we recognize this goal which Nature herself has set before us in all its lapidary simplicity, for us the work of both sexes naturally finds its true and logical setting, no longer in conflict, but in the common struggle for the realities of life.”

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1934: Nuremberg

. INDUSTRY, commerce, agriculture, the middle class, shareholders, officials, employees, etc., were dragged into the political game of their own parties with the sole object of being able to stay the ruin of these classes which were incontestably necessary for the life of the nation. ..

“The character of this our former world of political parties must be understood if one is to comprehend the meaning of this parliamentary democracy and vice versa: we can thus state:

“1. That in these formations, despite all their talk, there was hardly a trace of a Weltanschauung;

“2. That in view of the whole mental content of these parties and their composition they were incapable of ever awakening the interest of the nation for a single great aim or of winning for that aim the nation as a whole;

“3. That they had not the least intention, in the interest of securing for the parties any higher idea or aim, to sacrifice those business possibilities which with their capitalistic skill it was not difficult for them to discover in the political divisions of the body of the people.

“It was, in consequence, to be expected that the tie which connected these parties with the people could only be a loose one, and such in fact it always was. Only in times of crisis did they suddenly recall to mind the poor elector and gave some thought to him in assemblies gathered together with more or less skill or naïveté. For the rest it was the task of the press to maintain the divisions of the people and to see to it that the wounds caused by these divisions were kept open. For Parteitage this mass of humanity was of no use. For at these gatherings there was no word about the party’s Weltanschauung: it was only party tactics that were discussed, i.e. it was debated and decided how far compromise transactions could be concluded with the mass of the electors who were already committed to their differing outlooks on the world. So in the party gatherings, with their programs, of course, carefully determined beforehand, there were frequent moments of tension when amongst the illustrious political leaders no unanimous decision could be reached on the assignment of duties or when some felt it prudent to adopt the pretense of opposition in order not to lose those electors who were showing threatening signs of discontent. Nothing but imposture! ...”

“When the National Socialist party appealed for the first time to the German people it resolutely refused to pledge itself to champion the cause of any separate group which was committed to the support either of religious or economic interests within the nation: its appeal was from the first directed to the heroic instincts of the people. It did not set its hopes upon those who always consider only the advantage of their own business or keep in view the members of the group associated with them; the National Socialist party looked to those idealists whom others so often mock as visionaries who without regard to their own interests, with faith in their hearts, cling to their people and their Reich and are ready if necessary to sacrifice their own existence to the eternal life of people and of Reich. . . .”

“Thus a new Party was formed, that is true; its membership was limited, but its leaders and its fighters were not to be measured by any economic standards: they possessed the essential quality of leadership. But the people which before then had grown hesitant, since it had been continuously betrayed by its own parties representing class, economic, and other interests, now turned with a sure instinct to those who, disregarding all economic limitations, simply on the ground of the value of their innermost conviction could rightly raise a claim to general leadership. And not only the people felt this instinctive attraction, but in the end the leaders and heads of this old party-world themselves shared that feeling. Unable to crush us, for half a decade they lived, now in the hope of a miracle, and now in fear of their own destruction. The only lucid intervals in their lives were those in which a dazed recognition of the danger of the National Socialist party began to dawn upon them. Their artificial scorn of the Movement was but the attempt to stifle with mockery and laughter that recognition which held them by the throat. . . .”

“Thus the minority of the National Socialist Movement as a Party cannot be compared with the former minorities of our opponents. ... As a Party we were compelled to remain in a minority since we were mobilizing the most valuable elements in the nation—the fighters, those who were ready for sacrifice—and these have always formed not the majority, but the minority. . . .”

“And because we were racially the most valuable section of the German nation, because we proudly valued ourselves as such, because we courageously, boldly demanded that to us should be entrusted the leadership of the Reich and of the people, the people in ever growing numbers joined us and acknowledged our leadership. Its innermost consciousness rightly told it that its better self had found in the National Socialist party its point of concentration and its expression. Thus it was that our movement as an ‘historic minority’ could grasp supremacy in Germany in understanding with and with the will of the overwhelming majority of the German nation. And as soon as the Government of the Reich was finally united with the leadership of the Party then there happened the miracle which most profoundly shattered the illusions of our foes.

“They all calculated, deceived by their own experiences, that after a few months of National Socialist government the German people would be disillusioned and return to its former party divisions. . . . But the German people after a year and a half has continuously devoted itself only the more completely to the Movement in the heart of which it recovered its best self, its best characteristics. ...”

“The basis which formed the foundation for our rise and growth in the past is valid also for the future. The following principle must be recognized: always only a part of the people will be composed of really active fighters. They have been in Germany the supporters of the National Socialist struggle: they were the fighters in the National Socialist revolution and it is they who uphold the National Socialist State. From them more is demanded than from the millions of their other fellow-countrymen. For them the mere profession ‘I believe’ is not enough: their vow must be ‘I fight.’

“The Party will for all time form the picked body of the leaders of the German people. It will develop a State of political apostles and combatants who then as obedient officers, true to their duty, will serve the Movement. It will be that great school which attracts to itself the millions of our people, educates them and then sends them out into the world. In it there will develop a tradition in the art of leading a people which will not permit that men of alien spirit should ever again confuse the brain and the heart of the Germans.

“It will be in its teaching unalterable, in its organization hard as steel, in its tactics supple and adaptable, but in its whole appearance it will resemble an Order.

“It is for all time the mustard-seed of the National Socialist idea, the teacher of the art of National Socialist organization, the school of National Socialist propaganda.

“The aim must be that all decent Germans shall be National Socialists: only the best National Socialists shall be members of the Party.

“If these views are not understood especially by the members of the bourgeois class, if we are asked whether the people will in the long run be content to be led by such a minority, then we must answer these inquisitive, anxious folk as follows:

“1. Peoples have never yet been successfully led by a majority but always only by a minority.

“2. This minority is not something outside, alien to the majority and opposed to it, it is composed of the best elements chosen out of the people as a whole. Just as the nation entrusts to a minority the defence of all its individual vital interests and feels no jealousy, so it will without hesitation entrust to a minority also the defence of its most weighty affairs so soon as it realizes that the minority is the most capable authority and, further, represents those from its own ranks best qualified to perform these tasks. . . .”

“It is above all else our task only to admit to the Party as new members those who can offer us guarantees that they do in fact belong to that minority which in the past by virtue of its intrinsic worth has always made history. If formerly the necessary conflict, the demands made and the sacrifices called for secured of themselves a sound selection amongst the candidates for membership and prevented the chaff from mingling with the wheat, in the future by conscientious methods and rigorous tests we must see to it that the same care is taken. For in the early days it was dangerous to become a National Socialist, and for this reason we gained the best fighters. Now it is profitable for folk to ‘co-ordinate’ themselves with us, and we must therefore be on our guard lest those hasten to join us who under the symbol of our fight and our sacrifices do but wish to do business cheaply. In the early days our opponents took good care that through waves of vetoes and persecutions the Movement should from time to time go through a fresh ‘combing out’ process and we thus got rid of the light trash that began to find its way into our ranks. Today we ourselves must hold a muster and must reject what has proved itself to be base and which therefore does not in any true sense belong to us. . . .”

“A young generation is growing up and it has never experienced the infection of our poisonous party politics, it has never experienced the corruption of our parliamentary- democratic system: all this is alien to our youth, it is from the outset incomprehensible. Those of advanced years may still have their doubts, but youth is devoted to us: it has joined us in body and in soul. Youth lives in this proud Germany of the swastika, and that symbol it will nevermore be able to tear from its heart. Youth loves the singleness of purpose, the resolution of our leadership, and would not understand if suddenly a mummified past were to come with utterances which even in their language are drawn from an alien period—a language no longer spoken, no longer comprehended. Youth is not growing up in the belief that status, classes, professions are of importance; its faith is in a single German nation. In their hearts there is no room for the prejudices, the conceit, the arrogance which in former generations were the characteristics of some classes of our people. For the young live with one another, they march together, they sing in common the songs of the Movement and of the Fatherland: they believe in a Germany which belongs to them all. In their ranks we shall find the best recruits for the National Socialist party. We see them grow from childhood: we watch them as they develop. We can test the character of each, we can follow their individualities, and at length we can choose from their number those who seem to us the worthiest to take their places in the ranks of the Old Guard. . . .”

“He who breaks his vow of loyalty has no longer any right to demand loyalty from his subordinates. He who refuses to obey has no longer any right to expect obedience. He who ceases to act as a comrade must not be surprised if one day he also finds himself lonely, betrayed, abandoned.”


New York Times, September 10—Predictions of startling revelations of party or governmental policies were upset and his concluding speech tonight was largely a repetition of his former indictments of the old Parliamentary regime . . .

Le Temps, September 12—The Fuehrer defined the aims of National Socialism. It had become the only and the universal party. M. Hitler made a discreet allusion to the racetheory: “The Party represents an élite, a natural aristocracy,” the Fuehrer said, “which must be preserved by exercising a rigorous choice of its members.”





September 10—The “East European Locarno Pact” guaranteeing the status quo of Eastern Europe is rejected by Germany.

October 9—French Foreign Minister Barthou and King Alexander of Yugoslavia assassinated in Marseilles.

November 8—In Paris, Gaston Doumergue resigns after having failed to bring about a reform of the Constitution. He is succeeded by Etienne Flandin. Pierre Laval takes charge of the Quai d’Orsay.

December 22—International troops occupy the Saar in anticipation of the plebiscite.


January 13— Plebiscite in the Saar territory. Out of a total of 528,005 votes cast, 477,119 (90.5 per cent) were for Germany, and the Saar returned to the Reich.

The Speech


“An injustice that has lasted for fifteen years is approaching its end! The suffering of hundreds of thousands of folkcomrades in the Saar during this period was shared by the whole German nation. The whole German nation rejoices at the return of our comrades. It was fated that not reason was to put an end to this senseless and miserable situation, but the provisions of the Treaty which promised to bring peace to the world and brought only endless misery and constant destruction.

“We are therefore all the prouder that after fifteen years of oppression, on January 13, 1935, the voice of the blood spoke out in a mighty declaration of faith!

“There is one thing we all realize, my folk-comrades of the Saar: that we owe our joy to you. Today, a few hours from now, throughout the whole German Reich the bells will ring as an external expression of our pride and joy. We owe this to the unshakable loyalty of you Saar Germans, to your patience and perseverance, as well as to your bravery. Neither force nor temptation made you waver in your faith that you are Germans, as you always have been and always will be! Therefore, as the Fuehrer of the German people and Chancellor of the Reich, in the name of all Germans, I now express the nation’s gratitude to you. At this moment when you are once more with us, sons of our people and citizens of the new German Reich; we are filled with rejoicing.

“It is a proud thing to be chosen by providence as representative of a nation. Now and in the weeks to come, you Germans of the Saar are the representatives of the German people and the German Reich. I know that despite the intoxication of victory, you will keep your heads, as you always did in the past under the most difficult circumstances. You will not forget that many of our enemies are still eager to find some fault with you, even now when you have returned to your great Fatherland.

“Therefore you must continue to maintain the firmest discipline.

“The German people is all the more grateful to you because your act has removed one of the key sources of tension in Europe. For we all wish to view this act of January 13 as a first and decisive step toward a gradual reconciliation of those nations which twenty years ago, through fatal alliances and human incompetence, plunged into the most terrible and most ruthless struggle of all time. Your decision, German comrades of the Saar, today gives me the opportunity to make a historic sacrifice, our contribution to the peace which is so necessary to Europe. The opportunity to declare that after your return the German Reich has no more territorial demands on France. I believe that this will also be an expression of our appreciation to the powers who together with us and France agreed that the vote should take place and saw to it that it did take place.

“It is the wish of all of us that this German end to a tragic injustice shall contribute to the pacification of Europe. For, although we are unconditionally resolved to win equal rights for Germany, we are also willing to take all measures which will restore true solidarity among the nations and eliminate the present perils and miseries. You, my German folk-comrades of the Saar, have made an important contribution.

Other nations will now recognize the indestructible community of our people and the true inward and outward worth of the German nation and the Third Reich.

“For this millions of overflowing hearts in Germany thank you!

“Welcome to our dear homeland, to our united German Reich!”


London Times, January 76—Herr Hitler delivered a broadcast address in which he renounced any further German territorial claims against France and referred to the prospects of a gradual reconciliation in Europe.

New York Times, January 16—Chancellor Adolf Hitler, his strident voice ringing in triumph, told the Reich, the Saar, and the world today that the plebiscite vote had erased both fifteen years of injustice and Germany’s territorial claims on France.

Le Temps, January 17—In the Proclamation of the results, M. Adolf Hitler made some friendly references to our country. . . . Even though such assurances hardly correspond to certain recent acts of the German Front, we must not disclaim their importance. M. Hitler in effect declared that the new strength which Germany has just acquired will be used in the cause of peace. It may possibly be true. But only on the condition that the German power finds on every hand other well-organized powers, which exist not to oppose her or to strangle her but to guard her and collaborate with her.

SPEECH OF MARCH 1, 1935: Saarbruecken


Jan war))—Throughout the month of January, conflicts occur between Germany and Lithuania on account of the administration of the Memel territory.

January 17—In Soviet Russia, Kamenev and Zinoviev are imprisoned for counter-revolutionary activities.

February 3— Following a visit to London of the French Ministers, Etienne Flandin and Pierre Laval who met MacDonald and Sir John Simon, an Anglo-French declaration is published containing the following points: 1. Renewal of pledge between England, France, and Italy to consult one another in case the independence and integrity of Austria should be menaced. 2. Offer to free Germany from the clauses of the Versailles Treaty restricting her armaments and substituting a new agreement between all powers on an equal footing. 3. Suggestion that Germany should return to the League. 4. Suggestion of an Eastern pact of mutual security.

February 11—Italian mobilization against Abyssinia.

February 26—Creation of the Luftwaffe with Goering as Commander-in-Chief.

March 1—The Saar Territory is handed over to Frick, German Minister of the Interior, by M. Aloisi, President of the Commission of Three, acting in behalf of the League of Nations.

The Speech

“THIS day is not a day of good fortune for Germany alone. I believe that this day is a fortunate day for the whole of Europe. It was a blessed decision to fix the day [for theplebiscite] and to respect its result—to restore to the German Reich this territory which so easily could have become a permanent apple of discord, this territory which had been tom away against all justice and reason.

“A day of happy fortune for Europe especially, because through this return of the Saar territory there can perhaps be best removed that crisis under which two great nations have had to suffer most. We hope that through this act of conciliatory justice, through this restoration of natural reason, the relations between Germany and France will be finally improved. Just as we wish for peace so must we hope that the great neighbor people will be ready and willing to seek this peace with us. It must be possible that two great peoples should unite their hands in order that, working together, they may attack those distresses which threaten to bury Europe beneath their weight.

“And this day shall at the same time be a lesson, a lesson for all those who, in ignorance of an eternal historical truth, imagine that through terrorism or violence they can rob a people of its inmost character, a lesson for those who think they can tear away a part of a nation in order to steal from it its soul. Would that all statesmen from this experience might realize one thing—that it is useless to seek to tear asunder peoples by such methods. In the end blood is stronger than all paper documents. What ink wrote will one day be blotted out by blood. This deepest voice will in the end sharply, clearly, drown every other sound. Woe to him who can learn nothing from these facts. He will bring distress and trouble upon men without attaining his purpose. He will for the time being bring suffering and distress upon the peoples, but in the end he will be shamefully defeated.”


New York Times, March 3—In an address Herr Hitler declared that the return of the Saar paved the way for Franco-German reconciliation, and that it was quite possible it had ended the crisis from which the two nations had suffered.

Le Temps, March 3—The significant part of M. Hitler’s speech is the passage: “We hope that with the return of the Saar region to Germany the relations between France and Germany will improve more and more. Even as we desire peace, we hope that our great neighbor people is willing to seek peace with us. We hope that we will join hands to this end, upon which the salvation of Europe depends.” Let us pray that the acts of the Reich Chancellor will not belie the words of the Fuehrer, and that the restoration of the Saar to Germany will have quite other consequences than those anticipated by certain National Socialist organs across the Rhine, who envisage a future in terms not at all pacific or reassuring.

London Times, March 2—In a speech to an enthusiastic crowd Hitler expressed the hope that the “great historic” event of that day would lead to an improvement in the relations of France and Germany.

PROCLAMATION OF MARCH 16, 1935 — Radio Broadcast


March 4—The British Government publishes a “White paper” commenting on German re-armament, particularly in the air.

March 75—France adopts an extension of military service from one to two years.

March 76—Germany decrees the re-establishment of universal military service. Hitler thus wipes out the military restrictions of the Versailles Treaty.

The Proclamation

The Government of the German Reich of today desires only a single moral and material power—that is the power to be able to safeguard peace for the Reich and thereby for the whole of Europe.

“It has therefore taken all further steps which lay within its power which might serve to advance the cause of peace:

“1. It has for a long time past offered to all neighboring States the conclusion of pacts of non-aggression.

“2. With its neighboring State on the East it has sought and found a treaty arrangement which, thanks to ready understanding on the part of that State, has, the Government hopes for all time, cleared the poisonous and threatening atmosphere which it found in existence when it came into power and which will lead to a permanent understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

“3. Finally it has given to France the solemn assurance that Germany, now that the question of the Saar has been settled, will not make or raise any further territorial claims on France. It believes that thereby, in a form which can have but few parallels in history, it has created the conditions for the termination of a century-long dispute between two great nations, through a heavy political and material sacrifice.

“The German Government must, however, to its regret, observe that for months past there has been taking place a continuous increase in armaments on the part of the rest of the world. It sees in the creation of a Soviet-Russian army of 101 divisions, i.e. an admitted peace-strength of 960,000 men, an element that could not have been contemplated at the time of the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles.

“It sees in the speeding-up of similar measures in other States further proofs of the rejection of the idea of disarmament which had formerly been proclaimed. The German Government has no intention of wishing to level a reproach against any State: but today it feels bound to put on record that through the introduction, which has now been decreed, in France of a two-year period of military service the conceptions which underlay the creation of short-service defensive armies have been abandoned in favor of a long- service organization.

“But the short-service system was one of the arguments on which was based the claim that Germany should sacrifice her Reichswehr.

“The German Government feels that in these circumstances it is impossible any longer to delay the measures which are necessary for the security of the Reich or indeed to fail to disclose those measures to others.

“If, therefore, the German Government now complies with the wish expressed in the speech of the English Minister Baldwin on November 28, 1934, for information on German intentions it does so:

“1. In order to give to the German people the conviction and to the other States the knowledge that the safeguarding and security of the German Reich from henceforth will be entrusted to the German nation’s own strength. And

“2. In order that through fixing the extent of the German measures it may invalidate all insinuations that the German people is seeking to establish a military hegemony in Europe.

“What the German Government, as protector of the honor and interests of the German nation, desires is to secure such a measure of military force as is necessary not merely for maintaining the integrity of the German Reich but also for assuring international respect and esteem for Germany as coguarantor of general peace.

“For at this hour the German Government renews before the German people and before the entire world the affirmation of its resolve never to go beyond that which the protection of German honor and the freedom of the Reich demand and especially it affirms that it wishes in the national German armament to create no instrument of military aggression, but on the contrary to create exclusively an instrument of defense and therefore an instrument for the maintenance of peace.

“The Government of the German Reich further expresses the confident hope that the German people which thus once more finds its way back to its honor may be able in independence and in the enjoyment of equal rights to make its contribution to the pacification of the world in free and frank co-operation with the other nations and their Governments. ...”


Le Temps, March 18—This is violation of the military, naval, and air clauses of the 1919 Peace Treaty. It is a flagrant, brutal, and coldly premeditated violation. It is also the conclusion of the Reich’s policy of camouflaged, clandestine rearmament, which could no longer continue to develop under cover of certain deceptions. . . . What will be the result of this? ... It is too early to discuss the problem. We can only remark that this act of Germany’s has thrown every European capital into confusion and indignation.

London Times, March 77—If Herr Hitler’s move is simply a rather crude method of asserting German equality, then no irreparable harm has been done. The negotiations can go forward.

New York Times, March 17—No more ominous word has been spoken to a world that is . longing for a period of international peace and good will than that which came from Germany yesterday. . . . The change of outward attitude manifested in the conscription of millions for military training in the years of the immediate future can have but one of two interpretations: one a deliberate, vengeful menace to the peace of Europe and the other a confession of a failure in domestic economic policies. From yesterday will date a new period of anxiety and stress and strain.

SPEECH OF MAY 1, 1935 — Berlin



March 20—France asks the League of Nations to take up the matter of the new German conscript army of 500,000 men decreed on March 16; on March 18 Great Britain also formally protests against this violation of the Versailles Treaty. On March 21 Italy joins the protest. On March 25, Anglo-German conversations begin at Berlin with Sir John Simon and Anthony Eden.

April—Stresa Conference between the English (MacDonald and Sir John Simon), the French (Flandin and Laval), and the Italians (Mussolini).

The results of the conference are: 1, an Anglo-Italian declaration stating that the two countries will adopt a common line of action in connection with France’s appeal to the League of Nations against Germany’s violation of the Versailles Treaty; reaffirmation of Austrian independence; 2, a declaration by the three Powers stating their complete agreement in opposing by all practical means any unilateral repudiation of treaties.

This declaration was to be known as forming the basis for the “Stresa Front.”

Council of League of Nations condemns unanimously Germany’s violation of the military clauses of the Versailles Treaty (Denmark abstaining).

The Speech

“ . . . A WRITER has summed up the impressions made on him by this time in a book which he entitled ‘The Decline of the West.’ Is it then really to be the end of our history and of our peoples? No! we cannot believe it. This age must be called, not the decline of the West, but the resurrection of the peoples of this West of ours! Only that which was old, decayed and evil perishes; and let it die! But new life will spring up. Faith can be found, if the will is there. Our leadership has the will, and faith is with the people. ...”

“So we have come together on this day to prove symbolically that we are more than a collection of individuals striving one against another, that none of us is too proud, none of us too high, none is too rich, and none too poor, to stand together before the face of the Lord and of the world in this indissoluble, sworn community. And this united nation, we have need of it. When was a leadership at any time faced with a heavier task than our German leadership? Consider, my comrades, what our Germany is, and compare it with other countries. What have we? One hundred and thirty-seven people to the square kilometer; no colonies; no raw materials; no foreign exchange, no capital, no longer any foreign credits; only heavy burdens, sacrifices, taxation, and low wages. What have we, compared with the wealth of other States, the wealth of other countries, the wealth of other peoples, with the possibilities of living that they possess? What have we? One thing only; we have our people. Either it is everything or it is nothing. On it alone can we count. On it alone can we build. Everything that we have created up to the present we owe solely to its goodness of heart, its capacity, its loyalty, its decency, its industry, its sense of order. And if I weigh all this in the balance, it seems to me to be more than all that the rest of the world can offer us. So this, I believe, can be our message to the other peoples on this first of May: ‘You need have no fear that we want anything of you. We are proud enough to confess that we ourselves own that treasure, which you certainly could not give us—our people.’ I could, as leader, think of no more glorious, no prouder task in this world than to serve this people. One might give me continents, but I would rather be the poorest citizen among this people. And with this people we must and shall succeed in achieving also the tasks that are still to come.

“What we want lies clear before us: not war and not strife. Just as we have established peace within our own people, so we want nothing else than peace with the world. For we all know that our great work can succeed only in a time of peace. But just as the leadership of the nation in the domestic sphere has never sacrificed its honor in its relations with the German people, so it can never surrender the honor of the German people in its dealings with the world.

“We know what we owe to the world. May the world come to understand what she can never deny to a proud people, and above all may she comprehend one thing: the Germany of today is not the Germany of yesterday—just as little as the Germany of yesterday was the Germany of today. The German people of the present time is not the German people of the day before yesterday, but the German people of the two thousand years of German history which lie behind us.”


London Times, May 2—Herr Hitler said that May Day is the day of solidarity of a people in work.

New York Times, May 2—In his own twenty-minute speech, which ended in a peroration about “my people” and “God” that recalled some of the speeches by the former Kaiser, Herr Hitler repudiated defeatism that talked about “the decline of the Occident” and appealed for national solidarity and obedience to his will in order to resurrect the Occidental peoples and win peace—on National Socialist terms.

Le Temps, May 3—He pointed out to “his” people that in Germany the population was 137 to each square kilometer, that the Germans possessed no raw materials, that they had no colonies, that they had only heavy taxes and slender wages. . . . Exactly what is this speech leading up to? It needs some clarification. Perhaps the Chancellor’s words imply the condemnation of the whole policy of antagonism and defiance which has led the Reich into that misery and isolation from which she suffers today. On the other hand, perhaps they are intended to inflame the German people into envy of the prosperity of other nations. And we know where such agitation leads to, under the impact of despair. That the situation of the German people is tragic, no one would deny. But it is the very same leaders of Germany who, having created the situation, persist in isolating Germany from the rest of Europe, and deliberately reject any fruitful international co-operation.

SPEECH OF MAY 21, 1935 — Berlin, Reichstag


Early May—Beginning of agitation in Sudeten Germany, with Henlein as leader.

May 2—Laval goes to Moscow to meet Stalin and confer on the Russo-French mutual assistance pact. On his return Laval meets Goering in Cracow. Pilsudski dies in Poland. Russo-Czech mutual assistance pact is signed.

End of May—Elections in Czechoslovakia. Henlein’s Sudeten German “Home Front” becomes the strongest German party and the second strongest party in the country.

The Speech

“FROM Anglo-Saxon countries I often hear expressions of regret that Germany should have departed from just those principles of democratic government which such countries consider as specially sacred. This opinion is based upon a serious error. Germany too has a ‘democratic’ constitution. The present German Government of the National Socialist State has also been elected by the people and feels itself in the same way responsible to the people. It does not matter how many votes a deputy must have in the individual countries. There are countries which consider 20,000 votes necessary for a deputy, others consider 10,000 or 5,000 sufficient, while in others again the number is 60,000 or more.

“The German people has elected a single deputy as its representative with 38 million votes. This is perhaps one of the most important differences between ours and the conditions existing in other countries. It means that I feel myself just as responsible to the German people as would any Parliament. I act on the trust they have placed in me and I carry out their mandate. The German people therefore have the right to expect that an explanation such as I am about to give today should be the unvarnished truth, and that it should openly discuss those questions which affect not only the rest of the world but also, and at least to the same degree, the German nation itself. And I am glad of this for the following reasons:

“As Fuehrer and Chancellor of the nation and as head of the Government of the Reich, unfortunately I have often to make decisions which are of themselves hard enough to decide upon and which are all the more difficult because it is not possible for me to share the responsibility and even less to shift it to someone else’s shoulders. And it is for this reason that I desire at least to be able to give to the nation itself an insight into the ideas on which I act and thus make it easier for them to understand the decisions and measures which arise from these ideas. But the more difficult the decisions, so much the more I as a German should like to make sure that my actions are completely uninfluenced by instincts of weakness or fear and to bring them into harmony with my conscience towards my God and the nation which He permits me to serve. . . .”

“For the German nation the economic consequences of the peace on the one hand and the disadvantages from which Germany suffered in her home and foreign trade and commerce, on the other, must inevitably have compelled any Government, whether it willed or not, to take the actual situation into account. We are all convinced that the complete carrying out of the idea of economic self-sufficiency for all States, which is threatening us today, is, when seen from a higher standpoint, foolish and can only result in harm for all nations. ...”

“For Europe this development will one day have very unpleasant and evil consequences. But to alter it is unfortunately not within Germany’s power. Looked at from the broad economic angle, it is against the dictates of reason. What happens is that insofar as we are deprived of foreign markets for our exports we are forced to restrict our imports. To that extent, so that German productive labor may not stagnate, we must either employ a complicated process for the production of raw materials that we lack internally or else we must use substitutes. This task can be undertaken only by means of a planned economic system. And that is a perilous adventure; for planned economics lead to bureaucratic control and thus to the suppression of individual creative effort. In the interests of our own nation it was not desirable to risk the eventuality of having the productive efficiency of our people reduced, and the standards of living lowered rather than raised by an economic system not far removed from the communist ideal and by the accompanying paralysis of initiative effort. . . .”

“If, despite such knowledge, we have nevertheless taken this path it was only under the hard pressure of necessity. What we have achieved in two and a half years in the way of a planned provision of labor, a planned regulation of the market, a planned control of prices and wages was considered a few years ago to be absolutely impossible. We only succeeded because behind these apparently dead economic measures we had the living energies of the whole nation. . . .”

“We Germans can only regret that the rest of the world still takes so little trouble to study objectively what has been going on in Germany within the last two and a half years and that it does not study the ideals which are solely responsible for these achievements. . . .”

“This new Germany cannot be compared with the Germany of the past. Its ideas are just as new as its actions. The spirit of bourgeois jingoism as a decisive political factor has been just as much overcome as the tendencies of Marxist internationalism. If the present Germany advocates peace, it does so neither owing to weakness nor to cowardice. It advocates peace from another standpoint regarding people and State, namely, the standpoint of National Socialism. For National Socialism regards the forcible amalgamation of one people with another alien people not only as a worthless political aim, but in the long run as a danger to the internal unity and hence the strength of a nation. National Socialism therefore dogmatically rejects the idea of national assimilation. That also disposes of the bourgeois belief in a possible ‘Germanization.’

“It is therefore neither our wish nor our intention to deprive alien sections of our population of their nationalism, language, or culture, in order to replace these by something German and foreign to them. We issue no directions for the Germanization of non-German names; on the contrary, we do not wish that. Our racial theory, therefore, regards every war for the subjection and domination of an alien people as a proceeding which sooner or later changes and weakens the victor internally, and eventually brings about his defeat. But we do not believe for a moment that in Europe the nations whose nationalism has been completely consolidated could in the era of the principle of nationalities be deprived of their national birthright at all. The last 150 years provide more than enough instructive warnings of this. In no future war will the European national States be able to achieve— apart from the temporary weakening of their opponents— more than petty adjustments of national frontiers, of no consequence in comparison with the sacrifices made.

“But the permanent state of war that will be established between the various peoples by such intentions may perhaps appear advantageous to various political and economic interests. For the nations, however, it merely means burdens and misfortune. The blood shed on the European Continent in the course of the last 300 years bears no proportion to the national result of the events. In the end France has remained France, Germany Germany, Poland Poland, and Italy Italy. What dynastic egoism, political passion, and patriotic blindness have attained in the way of apparently far-reaching political changes by shedding rivers of blood has, as regards national feeling, done no more than touched the skin of the nations. It has not substantially altered their fundamental characters. If these States had applied merely a fraction of their sacrifices to wiser purposes the success would certainly have been greater and more permanent.

“When I, as a National Socialist, advocate this view perfectly frankly, I am also influenced by the following realization. The principal effect of every war is to destroy the flower of the nation. But as there is no longer any unoccupied space in Europe, every victory—without making any difference to the fundamental distress in Europe—can at best result in a quantitative increase in the number of the inhabitants of a country. But if the nations attach so much value to that, they can achieve it without tears in a simpler and more natural way. A sound social policy, by increasing the readiness of a nation to have children, can give its own people more children in a few years than the number of aliens that could be conquered and made subject to that nation by war.

“No! Nationalist Socialist Germany wants peace because of its fundamental convictions. And it wants peace also owing to the realization of the simple primitive fact that no war would be likely essentially to alter the distress in Europe. It would probably increase it. . . .”

“Germany needs peace and desires peace. And when I now hear from the lips of a British statesman that such assurances are nothing, and that the only proof of sincerity is the signature appended to collective pacts, I must ask Mr. Eden to be good enough to remember that it is a question of an ‘assurance’ in any case. It is sometimes much easier to sign treaties with the mental reservation that one will reconsider one’s attitude at the decisive hour than to declare, before an entire nation and with full publicity, one’s adherence to a policy which serves the cause of peace because it rejects anything that may lead to war.

“1 might have signed ten treaties, but such action would not have been of the same importance as the statement I made to France on the occasion of the Saar plebiscite. When I, as the Fuehrer and representative of the German nation, gave to the world and to my own people the assurance that with the settlement of the Saar question no further territorial demands would be made on France, that was a contribution to peace much greater than many a signature under many a pact. I believe that this solemn declaration really ought to have put an end to a quarrel of long duration between these two nations. We made it in the belief that this conflict and the sacrifices involved were for both nations out of all proportion to the object which has constantly been and would be the cause of so much general suffering and misfortune.

“But if such a declaration only receives the answer that it has been ‘taken cognizance of’ then there naturally remains for us nothing else to do but to ‘take cognizance of’ this reply too. But I must protest here against every attempt to interpret statements differently according to requirements. If the German Government gives an assurance in the name of the German people that they wish nothing but peace, then this declaration is either of exactly the same value as their signature under any specially worded pact, or otherwise this signature could not be of more value than the solemn declaration.

“It is peculiar that in the history of nations inflated formulas frequently occur which would hardly withstand exact examination in the light of reason.

“For some time the world has been suffering, for instance, from a regular mania for collective co-operation, collective security, collective obligations, and so on, all of which seem to have a concrete meaning at the first glance, but which, when regarded more closely, at least allow of manifold interpretations.

“What is meant by collective co-operation?

“Who shall determine what is collective co-operation and what is not? . .

“I believe I am right when I say that besides many other rights the victor states of the Versailles Treaty have also arbitrarily assumed the right to decide, without allowing anyone to contradict them, what ‘collective co-operation’ is and what it is not.

“In allowing myself to criticize this procedure here, I do so because it is the simplest way in which the essential necessity of the latest decisions of the Government of the Reich can be explained and understanding for our real intentions awakened.

“The present idea of collective co-operation among the nations is in essence and fundamentally the intellectual property of President Wilson. The policy of the prewar period was determined rather by the idea of separate alliances of the nations brought together by common interests. Rightly or wrongly, this policy was formerly held responsible for the outbreak of the World War. Its termination—at least as far as Germany is concerned—was hastened by the doctrine of Wilson’s fourteen points and the three points that supplemented them later. The essential ideas laid down in them to prevent a similar catastrophe happening again to mankind were as follows:

“The Peace should not be a peace of unilateral rights but of general equality and henceforth of universal justice. It should be a peace of reconciliation, of general disarmament, and thereby of general security. From this resulted as crowning achievement the idea of international collective collaboration of all States and nations within a League of Nations.

“I should like at this juncture to reaffirm that no nation greeted these ideas more eagerly at the end of the War than Germany. Her sufferings and sacrifices were far more severe than those of any other nation which had taken part in the War. It was in reliance upon these promises that the German soldiers laid down their arms.

“When in 1919 the Peace of Versailles was dictated to the German people, a death sentence was thereby pronounced upon collective collaboration of the nations. For where there should have been equality there was division into victors and vanquished. Instead of equal rights there was discrimination between those with rights and those without. Instead of general reconciliation there was punishment of the defeated. Instead of international disarmament, the disarmament of the vanquished. Instead of general security there was security for the victors.

“Yet even in the dictated Peace of Versailles it was expressly provided that the disarmament of Germany should only be carried out first to enable the others to disarm also. Here we are afforded an instance of the extent to which the idea of collective collaboration has been violated by those who are today its loudest protagonists. . .

“Germany had disarmed. The Other States really could not assert that any danger threatened them from a State which had become completely helpless from a military point of view.

“If, on the other hand, the other nations had disarmed this would have given such a tremendous moral strength to the League of Nations that no State could have dared to have had recourse to violence against a partner in this collective system of general disarmament afterwards.

“Then would have been the best opportunity to convert theoretical doctrines into an actual ‘deed.’ And this all the more so because:—

“From the political point of view also the necessary conditions had been fulfilled. For Germany was then a democracy such as has never before existed. Everything had been exactly copied and dutifully imitated from the existing great models. It was not National Socialism which ruled in Germany. Even bourgeois nationalism had almost completely disappeared. The world of party politics stretched from Social Democracy by way of the Center Party to the Democratic Party, and not only resembled outwardly in its ‘Weltanschauung’ the world around it, but felt itself programmatically bound up with it. What then were they waiting for?

“Could there have been a better opportunity to set up a collective system of co-operation than at the time when in Germany that spirit ruled exclusively which also inspired the world around her? No! The time was ripe, it was there, only the will was not.

“In demonstrating the breaches of the Treaty of Versailles by the other side I will not refer at all to the fact that they had not disarmed. Even if one believes that at that time there may have been valid objections to excuse the breach of the obligation to disarm, it will be hard to give the reasons which led to an ever-increasing rearmament.

“That is the decisive point.

“The other States have not only failed to disarm, but they have on the contrary supplemented their armaments, improved them, and increased them.

“The reply has been made that there have been to some extent limitations of personnel—but this reply is no valid excuse. These limitations of personnel were more than made up for by the technical and planned improvement of the most modern weapons of warfare. Incidentally they could easily be made good.

“And one must pay especial attention to the following:

“During the course of the disarmament negotiations the attempt was made to divide armament into weapons which were more suitable for defense and those which were more suitable for attack.

“I must here point out that Germany did not possess any of the weapons at all which were designated as suitable for attack. They were all destroyed without exception. And it must further be pointed out that it was these very weapons which were suitable and designed for attack that the partners of the Peace Treaty developed, improved, and increased to the very utmost extent.

“Germany had destroyed all her aircraft. She not only had no active aerial weapons but she did not even have any weapons for warding off attack from the air.

“At the same time, however, the other partners to the Treaty not only failed to destroy their existing aircraft, but on the contrary they developed it to a vast extent. . . .”

“So they did what was absolutely contrary not only to President Wilson’s intentions, but also—in the opinion of the most prominent representatives of the other side—contrary to the obligations to which they had subscribed in the Treaty of Versailles.

“If that is not a glaring example of breach of the Treaty and indeed one-sided breach of the Treaty, after the other partner had completely fulfilled his obligations, it will be difficult to see what is the use of signing treaties in future at all.

“No. . . . There is no excuse and no glossing over that fact. For Germany in her completely defenseless and unarmed state was really anything but a danger to the other States. . . .”

“The hope is now frequently expressed that Germany might herself come forward with a constructive plan. I have made such proposals not once but several times. If my constructive plan for an army of 300,000 men had been adopted, then perhaps many a care would have been less and many a burden lighter today. But it is almost useless to present constructive plans when their rejection can be regarded as certain from the start. Nevertheless, I propose once more to give a short survey of our views. This is done solely from the feeling that it is our duty to leave no stone unturned in order to restore the necessary internal security to Europe and the feeling of solidarity to the European nations.

“After the other States had not only failed to fulfill their obligation to disarm, but in addition all proposals for a limitation of armaments had also been declined, I felt myself obliged, as the Fuehrer of the German nation, responsible to God and my own conscience, in face of the growth of new military alliances and after receiving the information that France was introducing a two-year period of service, to restore once more, by virtue of the right to life of the nation itself, the legal equality of Germany, which has been refused her internationally. It was not Germany who broke a contractual obligation which had been laid upon her but those States which had compelled us to adopt this independent action. The introduction of the universal military service and the promulgation of the law for the establishment of the new German Army were nothing else than the restoration to Germany of a status of equal rights which threatens nobody but guarantees Germany security. . . .”

“I should like here to deal just briefly with the reproaches and imputations which have been levelled against the restoration of the German military service.

“It is stated in the first place that Germany is not menaced by anyone and hence, secondly, that it is not comprehensible why Germany should rearm at all.

“This would give rise to the counter-question of why the other side, who in any case could feel less menaced by a disarmed Germany than vice versa, did not stop rearming and finally reduce armaments. But when it is asserted that Germany menaces the other States by rearming, then the increase of the armaments of the other States was at least a much greater menace for a disarmed and defenseless Germany.

“I believe that in this case there is only a choice of one thing or the other. If warlike armaments are a menace to peace, then they are a menace for all States. But if they are not a war menace, then they are not a menace for any State. It will not do for one group to represent their armaments as an olive branch of peace and those of the others as the Devil’s wand. A tank is a tank, and a bomb is a bomb. The opinion that it is possible to divide up the world for all time into States with different rights will always be recognized only by the one side. The German nation, in any case, is not prepared to be regarded and treated for all time as a second- class nation or one with inferior rights. Our love of peace is perhaps greater than that of the other nations, for we suffered most from this unhappy war. No one of us means to threaten anybody. It is only that we are all determined to secure and maintain equality for the German people. But this equality is also the primary prerequisite for every form of practical and collective co-operation. . . .”

“The world is living today in the age of conferences. If many of these meetings were completely unsuccessful, then the reason for this disappointment is not infrequently to be found in the way in which the program was drawn up and in the kind of goal which it was desired to achieve. Some cabinet or other feels—like all the others—that it is necessary to do something for the peace of Europe, which is considered to be menaced. But instead of communicating the general idea to all those who it is proposed should co-operate, with the wish to learn the views of the various States and of their Governments regarding the possible ways and means of dealing with and solving this question, a complete program is drawn up between two or three chancelleries. In such cases it is frequently difficult to resist the impression that, in fixing the contents of the resolutions to be adopted, the wish is the father of the thought in mingling the possible with the impossible and thus bringing about certain failure at the cost of those invited to participate later. For, while two or three States agree upon a program laid down in such detail, the party subsequently invited is merely informed of the contents of such a program, with the remark that this program is an inseparable whole, and must either be accepted or rejected in its entirety. As very good ideas may naturally be found in such a program, the State which does not agree to the whole draft is thereby held responsible for the failure of the useful parts as well. The procedure is very reminiscent of the practice of certain film distributors who adopt the principle of always distributing good and bad films together. . . .”

“So far as Germany is concerned, I can only say the following in regard to such attempts:—

“We shall take part in no further conference if we have not had our share in the drawing up of the program from the outset. Because two or three States dish up a draft treaty, we have no wish to be the first to sample it; which is not, however, to say that we do not reserve the right to give our assent and signature subsequently to a treaty because we were not present when it was drafted or at the conferences themselves. Not at all. ... It is quite possible that in its final shape and form a treaty may satisfy us as being useful although we were present neither when it was drafted nor at the conference in which it was accepted by a number of States. . . .”

“I must, however, again emphasize the fact that to draft programs for conferences with the heading ‘All or Nothing’ seems to me to be the wrong method. ...”

“It seems to me an equally doubtful procedure to misuse the thesis of the indivisibility of peace as an excuse for interpretations which—intentionally or unintentionally—serve the cause of war preparations rather than that of general security. In this respect the World War should serve as a terrible warning. I do not believe that Europe can survive such a catastrophe for a second time without the most frightful upheaval. But such a catastrophe can arise all the more easily when the possibility of localizing smaller conflicts has been rendered less and less by an international network of intersecting obligations, and the danger of numerous States and nations being dragged into the struggle becomes all the greater. So far as Germany is concerned I wish to leave no shadow of doubt in what I am about to say:—

“Germany has solemnly recognized and guaranteed France her frontiers as determined after the Saar plebiscite. Without taking the past into account Germany has concluded a nonaggression pact with Poland. This is more than a valuable contribution to European peace, and we shall adhere to it unconditionally. We dearly wish that it may continue without interruption and that it may tend to still more profound and friendly sincerity in the mutual relationships between our two countries. We did all this although we thereby finally renounced, for instance, all claims to Alsace-Lorraine, a land for which we have also fought two great wars. But we did it in particular to spare our own German nation a new and terrible sacrifice of lives. We are convinced that in so doing we are benefiting not only our own people, but also this frontier territory. We are prepared to do everything on our part to arrive at a true peace and a real friendship with the French nation. With the understanding and heartfelt friendship of genuine nationalists, we recognize Poland as the home of a great and nationally conscious people. While wishing to spare the German nation further bloodshed even where the renunciation of war implies a certain sacrifice, we certainly have no intention of pledging our blood, without right of choice, for the sake of foreign interests. We do not intend to enable anybody to sell by treaty the people of Germany, her manhood and her sons, in some conflict for which we cannot lay down conditions and which we cannot influence. The German soldier is too valuable and we love our people too well to commit ourselves to mutual assistance pacts where our undertakings are not defined.

“We believe that we can thus serve the cause of peace much better. For it can but enhance the necessary feeling of responsibility on the part of every individual State to know from the beginning that it possesses no mighty and powerful military allies in an eventual conflict.

“Here, too, of course, there are things which are possible and things which are not.

“As an example I should like to deal briefly with the Eastern pact as proposed to us.

“In this pact we find a mutual-assistance clause which in our view may lead to completely unforeseeable consequences. The German Reich—and in particular the present German Government—have no other wish than to live on friendly and peaceful terms with all neighboring States. We entertain these feelings not only toward the larger States, but also toward the neighboring smaller States. Indeed, insofar as they have a really independent existence we welcome them as peaceable neutral factors on our frontiers, which are otherwise from the military standpoint quite open and unprotected. Much as we ourselves love peace, it does not lie in our power to prevent inter-State conflicts from breaking out, especially in the East. In itself it is infinitely difficult in such a case to determine the guilty party. A divinely inspired court, which would be able to discover and pronounce the eternal truth in such a case, does not exist on this earth. As soon as the dogs of war are loosed on the nations, the end begins to justify every means. And then people soon begin to lose all clear sense of right and wrong. More than twenty years have passed since the beginning of the World War, and every nation lives in the sacred conviction that right stood on its side and wrong on the side of the opponents. I am afraid that if such a conflict were to break out again treaty obligations would contribute less to the identification of the aggressor than to the support of that State which served his particular interests. It would perhaps be more serviceable to the cause of peace if the other nations were to withdraw at once from both sides at the outbreak of such a conflict rather than to allow themselves to be involved in this conflict from the outset by treaty obligations.

“But apart from these considerations of principle we have here a special case. Germany today is a National Socialist State. The ideas by which we are governed are diametrically opposed to those of Soviet Russia. National Socialism is a doctrine which applies exclusively to the German people. Bolshevism lays emphasis on its international mission.

“We National Socialists believe that in the long run man can be happy only in his own nation. We live in the belief that the happiness and the achievements of Europe are indissolubly connected with the existence of a system of free, independent national States. Bolshevism preaches the constitution of a world empire and only recognizes sections of a central International. . . .”

“Both we National Socialists and the Bolshevists are convinced that there is a gulf between us which can never be bridged. ...”

“Insofar as bolshevism can be considered a purely Russian affair we have no interest in it whatever. Every nation must seek its salvation in its own way. So far as bolshevism draws Germany within its range, however, we are its deadliest and most fanatical enemies. . .

“Germany has nothing to gain by a European war of any kind. What we want is freedom and independence. For this reason we were ready to conclude pacts of non-aggression with all our neighbors, Lithuania excepted. The sole reason for this exception, however, is not that we wish for a war against that country, but because we cannot make political treaties with a State which ignores the most primitive laws of human society. . . .”

“A few wTeeks ago I saw the statement made in a great international newspaper that Germany could easily renounce her claim to the Memel Territory because she is big enough already. But the noble humanitarian author of that statement forgot one thing—namely, that 140,000 people have the right to live in their own way and that it is not a question whether Germany wants them or not but whether they themselves want to be Germans or not.

“They are Germans. By a surprise attack in the midst of peaceful conditions they were torn away from Germany and the attack was subsequently sanctioned. As a punishment for still adhering to their German feelings, they were persecuted, tortured, and maltreated in a most barbarous way. What would be said in England or France if members of one of these nations were subjected to a similar tragedy? . . .”

“With this exception, however—an exception which can be removed at any time by the Great Powers who are responsible—we are ready, through pacts and non-aggression undertakings, to give any nation whose frontiers border on ours that assurance which will also be beneficial to ourselves. But we cannot supplement such treaties by giving undertakings to assist other countries in case of war. ...”

“Moreover, in the concluding of certain assistance pacts which are known to us we see a development that in no way differs from the old type of military alliances. We regret this in a special way because, as a result of the military alliance between France and Russia, an element of legal insecurity has been brought into the Locarno Pact, which is the most definite and most really valuable treaty of mutual assurance in Europe. The points that have recently been raised in various quarters as to the legal obligations arising out of these new alliances are presumably the result of similar misgivings and prove, both in the way the questions are put and the manner in which they are answered, how great is the number of possible eventualities which might give rise to corresponding differences of opinion. The German Government would be specially grateful for an authentic interpretation of the retrospective and future effects of the Franco-Russian military alliance on the contractual obligations of the single parties who signed the Locarno Pact. The German Government also does not wish to allow any doubts to arise as to its own belief that these military alliances are contrary to the spirit and letter of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

“The signing of individual non-aggression pacts, as long as it is not clearly defined what this non-aggression means, is just as impossible for us as to undertake the aforementioned unlimited obligations. On our part we Germans would have more reasons to rejoice than any one if finally a way or method could be found to prevent the exercise of ' influence by outside forces on the inner political life of the nations. Since the end of the War, Germany has been the victim of such interferences continually. Our Communist party was a section of a political movement which had its headquarters abroad and was directed from abroad. All the revolts in Germany were fomented by teaching from abroad and were materially supported from abroad. The rest of the world knows this quite well but has never taken much pains about it.

“An army of emigrants is working against Germany from abroad. In Prague and Paris revolutionary newspapers are still being printed in the German language and are constantly being smuggled into Germany. Public incitements to acts of violence are published not merely in these papers but also in several of the great papers which have a large circulation. What are called ‘blackleg’ radio stations broadcast appeals which call for murderous activities in Germany.

Other stations make propaganda in the German language for terrorist organizations which are forbidden in Germany. Courts of justice are publicly set up abroad which endeavor to interfere in the German administration of justice. We are interested in seeing all these ways and methods abolished; but besides our own interest we recognize that if such operations are not defined with great exactitude a government which—in its own interior—does not govern by any other right but that of force might attribute any internal revolt to the influence of outside interference and then, in order to maintain its position, demand such military assistance as had been guaranteed contractually.

“The fact that in Europe political frontiers do not correspond to the cultural frontiers is a fact that can be and is very much regretted. Since the rise of Christianity certain ideas have spread in an unbroken tradition throughout Europe. They have formed groups which have had a decided influence on the destiny of Europe. They have bridged across frontiers of States and nations and have created elements of union.

“If, for instance, some foreign cabinet minister should express his regret that certain ideas which are held valid in Western Europe are not recognized today in Germany, then it will be easier to understand how the doctrines of the German Reich cannot be entirely without their influence in one or other of the German countries.

“Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to conclude an Anschluss. The German people and the German Government have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of a simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent, namely, that the right to self-determination should be guaranteed not only to foreign nations but to the German people everywhere. I myself believe that no regime which does not rest on public consent and is not supported by the people can continue permanently. If there are no such difficulties between Germany and Switzerland, which is to a large extent German, that is due to the fact that the independence and self-reliance of Switzerland is a reality, and because nobody doubts that the Swiss Government represents the real and legal expression of the will of the people.

“We Germans have every reason to be glad that there is on our frontier a State, a large percentage of whose population is German, which is firmly established and possesses a real and actual independence. The German Government regrets the tension which has arisen from the conflict with Austria all the more because it has resulted in disturbing o our former good relations toward Italy, a State with whom we otherwise have no conflict of interests.

“Passing from these general considerations to a more precise summing up of the present issues, I hereby declare that the position of the German Government is as follows:

“1. The German Government rejects the Geneva resolution of April 17. It was not Germany which unilaterally broke the Versailles Treaty. The Versailles Dictate was unilaterally broken, and thereby rendered invalid as regards the points at issue, by those Powers who could not decide to carry out in their turn the disarmament which was imposed on Germany and which should have followed in their case by virtue of the Treaty.

“The new discrimination introduced at Geneva makes it impossible for the German Government to return to that institution until the preconditions for a real legal equality of all members has been established. For this purpose the German Government considers it necessary to make a clear separation between the Treaty of Versailles, which was based on a classification of the nations into victors and vanquished, and the League of Nations, which must be constituted on the basis of equal valuation and equality of rights for all the members.

“This equality of rights must be extended to all functions and all property rights in international life.

“2. The German Government, consequent on the failure of the other States to fulfill their disarmament obligations, has on its part renounced those articles of the Versailles Treaty which, because of the one-sided burden this laid on Germany contrary to the provisions of the Treaty, have constituted a discrimination against Germany for an unlimited period of time. It hereby most solemnly declares that these measures relate exclusively to the points which involve moral and material discrimination against the German people and of which notice has been given. The German Government will therefore unconditionally respect the articles concerning the mutual relations of the nations in other respects, including the territorial provisions, and those revisions which shall be rendered necessary in the course of time will be put into effect only by the method of peaceful understandings.

“3. The German Government intends not to sign any treaty which seems to them incapable of fulfillment; but they will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed, even though it was concluded before their accession to power and office. In particular they will uphold and fulfill all obligations arising out of the Locarno Treaty, so long as the other partners are on their side ready to stand by that Pact. In respecting the demilitarized zone the German Government considers its action as a contribution to the appeasement of Europe, which contribution is of an unheard-of hardness for a sovereign State. But it feels bound to point out that the continual increase of troops on the other side can in no way be regarded as a complement to these endeavors.

“4. The German Government is ready at any time to participate in a system of collective co-operation for safeguarding European peace, but regards it necessary to recognize the law of perpetual evolution by keeping open the way to treaty revision. . . .”

“5. The German Government is of the opinion that the reconstruction of European collaboration cannot be achieved by the method of imposing conditions unilaterally. In view of the fact that the various interests involved are not always concordant, it believes it right to be content with a minimum instead of allowing this collaboration to break down on account of an unalterable maximum of demands. It has the further conviction that this understanding—with a great aim in view—can be brought about only step by step.

“6. The German Government is ready in principle to conclude pacts of non-aggression with its neighbor States and to supplement these pacts with all provisions that aim at isolating the warmaker and localizing the area of the war. In particular it is ready to assume all consequent obligations regarding the supply of material and arms in peace or war where such obligations are also assumed and respected by all the partners.

“7. The German Government is ready to supplement the Locarno Treaty with an air agreement and to enter upon discussions regarding this matter.

“8. The German Government has announced the extent of the expansion of the new German Defence Force. Under no circumstances will it depart from this. It does not regard the fulfillment of its program in the air, on land, or at sea, as constituting a menace to any nation. It is ready at any time to limit its armaments to any degree that is also adopted by the other Powers.

“The German Government has already spontaneously made known the definite limitations of its intentions, thereby giving the best evidence of its good will to avoid an unlimited armaments race. Its limitation of the German air armaments to parity with the individual Great Powers of the West makes it possible at any time to fix a maximum which Germany will be under a binding obligation to observe with the other nations. The limitation of the German Navy is placed at thirty-five per cent of the British Navy, and therewith still at fifteen per cent below the total tonnage of the French Navy. As the opinion has been expressed in various press commentaries that this demand is only a beginning and would increase, particularly with the possession of colonies, the German Government hereby makes the binding declaration: For Germany this demand is final and abiding.

“Germany has not the intention or the necessity or the means to participate in any new naval rivalry. The German Government recognizes of itself the overpowering vital importance, and therewith the justification, of a dominating protection for the British Empire on the sea, precisely as we are resolved conversely to do all that is necessary for the protection of our continental existence and freedom. The German Government has the straightforward intention to find and maintain a relationship with the British people and State which will prevent for all time a repetition of the only struggle there has been between the two nations hitherto.

“9. The German Government is ready to take an active part in all efforts which may lead to a practical limitation of boundless armaments. It regards a return to the former idea of the Geneva Red Cross Convention as the only possible way to achieve this. It believes that first there will be only the possibility of a gradual abolition and outlawry of weapons and methods of warfare which are essentially contrary to the Geneva Red Cross Convention, which is still valid. . .

“The German Government considers as erroneous and ineffective the idea of doing away with airplanes while leaving bombardment free. But they believe it possible to proscribe the use of certain arms as contrary to international law and to excommunicate those nations still using them from the community of mankind—its rights and its laws.

“Here also they believe that gradual progress is the best way to success. For example, there might be prohibition of the dropping of gas, incendiary, and explosive bombs outside the real battle zone. This limitation could then be extended to complete international outlawry of all bombing. But so long as bombing as such is permitted, any limitation of the number of bombing planes is questionable in view of the possibility of rapid substitution.

“Should bombing as such be branded as an illegal barbarity, the construction of bombing airplanes will soon be abandoned as superfluous and of no purpose. If, through the Geneva Red Cross Convention, it became possible as a matter of fact to prevent the killing of a defenseless wounded man or prisoner, then it ought to be equally possible to forbid, by an analogous convention, and finally to stop, the bombing of equally defenseless civil populations.

“In such a fundamental way of dealing with the problem, Germany sees a greater reassurance and security for the nations than in all pacts of assistance and military conventions.

“10. The German Government is ready to agree to any limitation which leads to abolition of the heaviest arms, especially suited for aggression. Such are, first, the heaviest artillery, and, secondly, the heaviest tanks. In view of the enormous fortifications on the French frontier such international abolition of the heaviest weapons of attack would ipso facto give France one hundred per cent security.

“11. Germany declares herself ready to agree to any limitation whatsoever of the caliber strength of artillery, battleships, cruisers, and torpedo boats. In like manner, the German Government is ready to accept any international limitation of the size of warships. And finally it is ready to agree to the limitation of tonnage for submarines, or to their complete abolition in case of international agreement. And it gives the further assurance that it will agree to any international limitation or abolition of arms whatsoever for a uniform space of time.

“12. The German Government is of the opinion that all attempts to bring about an alleviation of certain strained relations between individual States by means of international or multilateral agreements must be in vain until suitable measures are taken to prevent the poisoning of public opinion among the nations by irresponsible elements orally or in writing, through the theater or the cinema.

“13. The German Government is ready at any time to reach an international agreement which shall effectively prevent all attempts at outside interference in the affairs of other States. It must demand, however, that such a settlement be internationally effective, and work out for the benefit of all States. As there is a danger that in countries where the Government does not rest on the general confidence of the people, internal upheavals may all too easily be ascribed to external interference, it seems necessary that the conception of ‘interference’ should be subjected to a precise international definition.

“Members of the German Reichstag:

“I have been at pains to give you a picture of the problems which confront us today. However great the difficulties and worries may be in individual questions, I consider that I owe it to my position as Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich not to admit a single doubt as to the possibility of maintaining peace. The peoples wish for peace. It must be possible for the Governments to maintain it. I believe that the restoration of the German defense force will contribute to this peace. Not because we intend to increase it beyond all bounds, but because the simple fact of its existence has got rid of a dangerous vacuum in Europe. Germany does not intend to increase her armaments beyond all bounds. We have not got ten thousand bombing planes and we shall not build them. . . .”

“I cannot better conclude my speech of today to you, my fellow-fighters and trustees of the nation, than by repeating our confession of faith in peace. The nature of our new constitution makes it possible for us in Germany to put a stop to the machinations of war agitators. May the other nations too be able to give bold expression to their real inner longing for peace. Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos. We, however, live in the firm conviction that in our time will be fulfilled, not the decline but the renaissance of the West. That Germany may make an imperishable contribution to this great work is our proud hope and our unshakable belief.”


Le Temps, May 23—There are two things which stand out in the speech of the German Chancellor. First, a doctrinal section wherein the Fuehrer forcefully states his desire for peace and his willingness to co-operate, and attempts to justify the Reich’s policy by interpreting according to his own view events, principles, and methods. The other part contains the thirteen points which summarize the attitude of Berlin toward the current major problems of international disputes. . . . Rearmament is a fait accompli which Berlin is not going to undo. Now that the Chancellor has, in effect, said this, what means is left for diplomacy to pave the way for a general settlement? Now every government concerned must weigh its responsibilities in the light of the policy Germany has announced and reaffirmed.

London Times, May 22— . . . But the speech turns out to be reasonable, straightforward, and comprehensive. No one who reads it with an impartial mind can doubt that the points of policy laid down by Herr Hitler may fairly constitute the basis of a complete settlement with Germany—a free, equal, and strong Germany instead of the prostrate Germany upon whom peace was imposed sixteen years ago. The conditions on which she is prepared to return to the League of Nations are the same as were stated to Sir John Simon on the occasion of his visit to Berlin. . . . Germany, as he [Hitler] plainly admitted, had broken away from legal obligations; but they were obligations which had never been voluntarily accepted. He declared most solemnly that the German Government would respect unconditionally all the obligations affecting the relations between the German and other Governments that had already been assumed, even if they had been assumed before the advent of the National Socialist regime. In this connection Herr Hitler specifically mentioned the Locarno Pact. ... <

It is to be hoped that the speech will be taken everywhere as a sincere and well-considered utterance, meaning precisely what it says. There are no greater enemies to the peace of Europe than those who would spread an atmosphere of suspicion about an important and long-awaited pronouncement of this kind. . . .

In the present case the mere probability that Herr Hitler’s attitude might on the whole be conciliatory and pacific has led in the last few days to a good deal of interested propaganda to the effect that any olive branch from such a quarter must be poisoned and that any pleas from Germany for a respite from competition in armaments can only mean that its author is not yet ready for war. Even if this view were well founded at this moment it will be a crime against peace to make it the basis of a permanent policy.

New York Times, May 22—Herr Hitler’s speech on foreign policies holds out a number of fair promises, but they are vitiated by the fact that the speaker is the man who claims the right to annul solemn treaty obligations without the consent of the other side. All through the Reichstag address there sounds this note of unilateralism. . . .

It is strange that Herr Hitler should be so eager to live at peace with his neighbors on the Continent and yet will not try to work out a basis for peace by sitting down with his neighbors in conference or council. He deserts Geneva. When Sir John Simon and Captain Eden visit him in Berlin he fails badly in conveying to them his burning desire for peace. He will not go to Rome and discuss a Danubian settlement. The only people who can really understand him are his own Reichstag, where his performance is a monologue. Is the Fuehrer really qualified for membership in a family of nations? He lacks the first requisite for communal living, and that is the sense of mutuality. He is incurably unilateral. He promises many things, but when the time comes his law of eternal development threatens to end up like that famous necessity which knew no law in Belgium in 1914.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1935: Nuremberg, Reichstag


May 30—In France the Etienne Flandin Cabinet resigns after the Chamber refuses to give him plenary powers to reorganize the finances of the country. Bouisson forms a new cabinet with Joseph Caillaux as Finance Minister.

June 4—The Bouisson Cabinet resigns in France. Pierre Laval forms a cabinet.

June 7—Stanley Baldwin succeeds Ramsay MacDonald as Prime Minister of England.

June J#—Ribbentrop, in London, signs naval pact with England allowing Germany to build up to 35 per cent of the British tonnage.

September 77—The League meets in Geneva to study the Italo-Ethiopian conflict. In a speech Sir Samuel Hoare pledges British support to the League.

September 10—13—The Reichstag meets in Nuremberg.

September 75—The British Home Fleet is sent to the Mediterranean.

The Speech

. A COMMANDER without officers and soldiers— could many people make much of that? I will not be the commander without soldiers, but I will remain your Leader. For me you are the political officers of the German nation, bound up with me for better or for worse, even as I am bound up with you for better or for worse. It was not one man who conquered Germany, it was all in common who conquered Germany. One man has won you, and you have won the German people! One man has conquered with his will, and you have conquered with your wills. One man stood at the head as Leader in the Reich, and you stood every one of you at the head and led in the battle whether in a Gau or a District or a local center, and everywhere the National Socialist who stood at the head was better than the foes who stood against him! . .

“Is this fight, then, a closed chapter? The conquest of power is a process which is never, never ended, for here, if anywhere, does the principle hold true, ‘What you have won, win it ever anew, if you are to possess it!’ There is no people in history that has won liberation as a gift, there is no people that will keep its freedom as a gift! Always and forever must this precious possession be guarded without ceasing. And thereto are we National Socialists resolved! .. .”

“So the fight goes on, and now we are coming to the period of our second great task, the continuous education of our people, and the constant watch upon our people. Education to the end that all of us and our German people may be increasingly drawn into the world of the National Socialist idea, and watchfulness in order that continuously we may see to it that nowhere shall there be found retrogression or collapse. The fate which was unleashed upon the world in 1918 shall never strike us. Just as we mean to gather here together, year after year, in answer to this general muster, so we mean to hold continual musters of the German nation. And that is necessary. . . . Hoist the flag of courage, of willingness for sacrifice, of devotion, and mark well who ranges himself under it. Mark those who are drawn by the flag, for it is they who are called to lead a people, and no one else. ...”

“There are perhaps in Germany certain individuals who either regard this Movement as an incomprehensible phenomenon, or else cannot make at all clear to themselves the reason for its existence, and who comprehend still less clearly the conditions which made its existence a necessity, and why in the future it will never be overthrown. They have not felt one breath of the spirit which governs this Movement; they have experienced nothing of the strength of this ideal; they have remained cold. They imagine that a people and a State are nothing but a lifeless machine, which can be set in action only by considerations of reason. They have not understood that these 68 millions of men could never be governed by commands, as they could by an appeal to their inner instincts, an appeal to their conscience. Where should we stand today if we had not found the way to the soul of our people? . . . The strength of idealism alone has accom- lished these acts which have moved the world. Were any yet greater proof needed of the might of idealism, it can be found in this Movement. At its beginning there stood the word idealism; not calculation—we did not reckon up the risks! What could a man who undertook single-handed to take the field against a world of enemies, what could he expect? I made the venture, because I believed that I knew the heartbeat of my people: and I was not deceived.

“You have all felt this in the past, for to every single one of you at some time has occurred the reflection that it is no subtlety of the intellect, but rather an inner voice that has at some time given its commands to every one of you. Reason must have dissuaded you from coming to me; faith alone gave you the command. What idealism it was—but what a force lay in that idealism! . . .”

“We are especially happy today to see among us for the first time officers and men of the new army of the German people, that army from which almost all of us once came, and to which the German people will again in the future give its sons, entrusting them to loyal hands, that they may become brave, disciplined, reliable, and trustworthy men, as were our soldiers in the past.

“We know that our army does not educate them for a warlike militarism, any more than we have done. It educates them only to be reliable, decent members of the community, men who in the hour of need and danger will feel themselves united in loyalty with the nation; and should fate confront them with the sternest ordeal, will defend the freedom of their people with bravery and honor. That is the meaning of this recreation of our army. It has been formed not to wage wars of aggression, but to guard and protect our people, so that Germany may not again suffer the tragic fate which we were all forced to endure in this country for fifteen years. It is not to deprive other peoples of their freedom, but to protect our own German freedom: that is why the army is here.’'


Le Temps, September 75—The Fuehrer’s speech was short but forceful. He said that now he wished to make his first task the education of German youth in the spirit of National Socialism. The Chancellor concluded his speech with a tribute to the new army. The German Army will never be put to the service of any militarism; it exists only to defend the liberty of the Fatherland, if that should ever be threatened.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1935: Nuremberg, Reichstag

. THIS international unrest in the world would unfortunately seem to have given rise to the view amongst the Jews within Germany that the time has come openly to oppose Jewish interests to those of the German nation. From numerous places vigorous complaints have been received of the provocative action of individuáis belonging to this people, and the remarkable frequency of these reports and the similarity of their contents point to a certain system of operations. This attitude actually resulted in demonstrations which in a Berlin cinema were directed against a foreign film by which, though harmless in itself, certain Jewish circles felt themselves to be offended.

“If this proceeding is not to lead to very determined action in its own defense by the outraged population—the consequences of which in any single case cannot be foreseen— the only way to deal with the problem which remains open is that of legislative action. The German Government is in this governed by the thought that through a single secular solution it may be possible still to create a level ground on which the German people may find a tolerable relation toward the Jewish people. Should this hope not be fulfilled and the Jewish agitation both within Germany and in the international sphere should continue, then the position must be examined afresh.”


New York Times, September 16—Hitler was, according to advance predictions, to blow a trumpet in his speech at Nuremberg. It turned out to be very like a penny whistle. He scarcely touched upon any of the great issues which areagitating public opinion in Europe. . . . More serious, of course, and more repulsive was Hitler’s action in fanning anew the flames of anti-Semitism in Germany. Not able to lead his Nazi troops against a foreign foe, he beckoned them to attack again a weak and inoffensive minority at home.

London Times, September 16— Herr Hitler . . . delivered a short sharp speech and three laws were passed. One declares the swastika flag ... to be the sole official flag of the German Reich; the second imposes special conditions for full German citizenship which will exclude all Jews; and the third prohibits the marriage of Aryans with Jews and illicit relations between Jews and “Germans” and forbids German girls to serve as domestic servants in Jewish houses. The proceedings were dominated by the militant note of anti-Semitism and anti-communism that has been the most noticeable feature of all the speeches at the rally.

Le Temps, September 17—There is no reason to be surprised that the Fuehrer expanded on the theme of a “purified Germany” in which internal and foreign affairs are to be well regulated. One wonders, however, whether all Germans, especially those who are excluded from the national community, are equally appreciative of their “liberty. . . .” As for the Jews, they have simply been placed outside the law.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 16z 1935: Nuremberg, Address to Army

The Speech

“. . . THE German was always a good soldier: the service of arms was never for our people an enforced service but at all periods of our history a service of the highest honor. Itwas thus the more grievous and the more depressing for the decent, honor-loving German not to be allowed to be a soldier—especially when that veto was imposed under dishonoring and humiliating conditions. To what an extent this state of affairs has now been overcome you, my soldiers, are the witness, and today the whole German people can see the evidence of this in this picture of the union of the German as soldier with the armament which is the result of modern technical achievement. Once more every young German man, if the nation considers him worthy of the honor, will take his place in your ranks; once more you will perform your service with the arms that are today employed by the other nations of the world. . . .”

“But what are all these sacrifices which are demanded today from you and from us when compared with the sacrifices which twenty years ago were demanded from us and from our comrades? Let each of you if he should ever feel the service of the soldier a burden consider that eight days’ drum-fire demanded more sacrifices from the battalions and regiments of our old army than does a whole year’s peacetime service. But that drum-fire did not break the German people in arms. The German people broke only because it had lost its inner freedom, its inner faith in the right of its cause. This faith has today returned, and this faith is not merely the possession of the hundreds of thousands in your own ranks, but millions and millions of our fellow-countrymen wrap you about with this burning faith, this burning confidence, this warm love.

“And if you must bring your personal sacrifice in obedience in performance of duty, in subjection to your superiors, in hardness, endurance, capacity, forget not, my soldiers, that on its side the whole German people brings great sacrifices for you. . .

“Before now Germany had a proud and brave army, had heroic fighters. This is but natural for the German soldier. But the army was not merely in war the nation’s great defense, it was in peace the splendid school of our people. It is the army which has made men of us all, and when we looked upon the army our faith in the future of our people was always reinforced. And this old glorious army, it is not dead; it only slept, and now it has arisen again in you!

“You, my comrades, bear on the points of your weapons and on your helmets an unequaled legacy. You are not an artificial creation, without tradition, without a past: there is nothing else in the whole of Germany which is so rich in traditions as that which you have to embody and can embody. There is indeed no need for you to win for the German Army a title to fame; that it possesses already. Your task is but to preserve that fame.

“And when we stand here in steel and armor of metal that is not because we feel that we must restore the honor of the German people. So far as this honor was supported by our soldiers, no one in the world has ever yet been able to take it away. Germany has never lost her military honor and least of all in the last war. We need not to recover it. . . /’


Le Temps, September 17—The maneuvers and the review of 16,000 men of all branches of the military made a very handsome demonstration which should interest professional military men as much as the public at large. What was most striking were the regiments and the arms which the Treaty of Versailles had forbidden. . . .

New York Times, September 16— It was as fine a soldiery as to be found anywhere in the world . . . and it seemed to most Germans as though the good old days of the Kaiser were back again even if other war lords now took the salute. But history has moved on and Hitler made this very plain in his oration before the closing session of the party congress. . . ..

SPEECH OF JANUARY 15, 1936: Detmold



October J—Mussolini begins conquest of Abyssinia.

October IS*—League agrees to apply economic sanctions to Italy.

November 14—In England, general elections give strong support to the Baldwin Government.

November 18—The League of Nations, supported by 51 members, applies economic sanctions to Italy.

December 9-20—Five Power naval conference in London: U. S., Great Britain, Japan, France, and Italy.

December 9—Publication of the Hoare-Laval plan offering a large slice of Abyssinia to Italy. Violent popular reaction in England.

December 18—Resignation of Sir Samuel Hoare. Anthony Eden succeeds him at the Foreign Office.

The Speech

“TIME has proved that we were right. We saw the battle through and from it we have drawn a lesson for the future. There may yet be difficulties at some time in the future. But you do not know me yet—not by a long way. I see here my people, and I see history, and I recognize its teachings. I have trained up the whole Movement in accordance with my ideals. Our opponents do not understand this, but I cannot help them. National Socialism governs in accordance with its ideals, and these the others must accept. We have no thought of giving up our ideals and adopting different aims. There is yet one more lesson for the future to bedrawn from the election campaign of that time: the Movement was then controlled by a single will, which swept everyone along with it. What should we have come to in Germany, if there had been not one Movement, but thirty-six or forty-five? A leadership worthy of the name must have the courage to make its will the will of the nation—or else abdicate. There is only one central power, and it confers authority and sovereignty. But it can recall them instantly in the case of every person and of every thing. We look back on this election campaign in Lippe with deep inward emotion and stirring of the heart. We beat our opponents on their own democratic basis. I am convinced of this, that our opponents of that time would not now be in a position to beat us on our basis. Yet that is what they would have to do, and for this reason I look forward with boundless confidence to the future. It is quite hopeless for anyone in Germany to try to alter this regime. If anyone should wish to make the attempt he may rest assured that he will be smashed to pieces like glass. Moreover, the Movement does not rest on one person alone. There is a Government today whose succession is secured, without being bound up with any single person.

“I am prepared to admit that the National Socialist ideal, in its final perfection, stands like a polar star above mankind. But mankind must ever follow a star. If it laid hold of this star, it would see it no more. We are on the right road, and we have the right goal. We shall be reforming the German people for centuries. . . .”

SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 12, 1936: Schwerin



January 26—In Geneva, Eden confirms many instances of infraction of the Constitution of the Free City of Danzig which the High Commissioner of the League for Danzig revealed.

February 7—Nazi leader Gustloff murdered in Switzerland.

The Speech

“. . . BEHIND every murder stood the same power which is responsible for this murder; behind these harmless insignificant fellow-countrymen who were instigated and incited to crime stands the hate-filled power of our Jewish foe, a foe to whom we had done no harm, but who none the less sought to subjugate our German people and make of it its slave—the foe who is responsible for all the misfortune that fell upon us in 1918, for all the misfortune which plagued Germany in the years that followed. Those members of the Party and honorable comrades of ours all fell, and the same fate was planned for others: many hundreds survived as cripples or severely wounded, blinded or lamed; more than 40,000 others were injured. And among them were so many loyal folk whom we all knew and who were near and dear to us, of whom we were sure that they could never do any harm to anyone, that they had never done any harm to anyone, whose only crime was that they devoted themselves to the cause of Germany.

“In the ranks of those whose lives were thus sacrificed there stood also Horst Wessel, the singer who gave to the Movement its song, never dreaming that he would join those spirits who march and have marched with us.

“And now on foreign soil National Socialism has gained its first conscious martyr—a man who did nothing save to enter the lists for Germany which is not only his sacred right but his duty in this world: a man who did nothing save remember his homeland and pledge himself to her in loyalty. He, too, was murdered, just like so many others. Even at the time when on January 30 three years ago we had come into power, precisely the same things happened in Germany, at Frankfort on the Oder, at Kopenick, and again at Brunswick. The procedure was always the same: a few men come and call someone out of his house and then stab or shoot him down.

“That is no chance: it is the same guiding hand which organized these crimes and purposes to do so again. Now for the first time one who is responsible for these acts has appeared in his own person. For the first time he employs no harmless German fellow-countryman. It is a title to fame for Switzerland, as it is for our own Germans in Switzerland, that no one let himself be hired to do this deed so that for the first time the spiritual begetter of the act must himself perform the act. So our comrade has fallen a victim to that power which wages a fanatical warfare not only against our German people but against every free, autonomous, and independent people. We understand the challenge to battle and we take up the gage! My dear comrade! You have not fallen in vain!”


London Times, February 73—The principal funeral oration was delivered by the Fuehrer, who accused the Jews of being responsible for every murder of a German patriot that had taken place since the war.

PHASE III: Scrapping the Treaties; March, 1936 — March, 1938


THE plebiscite which was held in the Saar, on January 13, 1935, and which resulted in the peaceful return of this

territory to Germany, may be considered as one of the rare instances in which Hitler consented to work within the legality of international treaties. It was certainly to be the last.

From then on, Hitler showed an increasing disregard for all kinds of international obligations, whether contracted by his predecessors or by himself.

Now that the world has been conditioned—so to speak—to Hitler’s technique of violating all engagements and breaking his own pledges with an absolute cynicism, it is difficult to recapture the astonishment and indignation which spread through the prewar world when Hitler first gave proof of his faithlessness. The statesmen of the western countries, and particularly those of England and France, had been educated in a tradition of diplomatic usage which had certainly not prepared them to deal with the unorthodox methods of Adolf Hitler. They played the rules of the game they had learned, and it seemed to them that the real crime of their opponent was his scorn of all rules. What they hated in Hitler was less his deeds than his complete lack of consideration for the trouble he gave them and for the infinite difficulties he created for them in the eyes of their own public opinion.

Ever since Hitler had assumed power in Germany, all his pronouncements on foreign policy could be interpreted as a mere reassertion of his fundamental purpose to awaken the soul of the German people. His denunciations of the Versailles Treaty, his complaints of the injustices to which Germany was subjected, all his most violent tirades against the outside world could be viewed with a certain amount of serenity by the leaders of the neighboring countries. Statesmen and dipomats, versed in history, know that political power cannot be obtained nor maintained without a good deal of demagoguery. The rantings and threats of Hitler were excessive, but it was felt that some allowances should be made for a man whose power was so recently acquired, and whose natural tendency would be to exaggerate this power— at least in his speeches—in order to impress his own people. Such had always been the ways of parvenus. No doubt, as absolute ruler of seventy million Germans, he should be treated with politeness and decency, but no doubt, also, nothing would be more foolish than to consider him as a real threat to the peace of Europe. As long as he actually remained within the limits of international law, to show undue alarm could only serve to encourage his recklessness.

The first form of the “appeasement” policy was therefore a mere attempt to preserve the subtleties and complexities of European diplomacy, and to ignore, as long as possible, the fact that both Mussolini and Hitler were determined to take practically any risks in order to break down the postwar peace structure which—in their own estimation—was keeping them down in a state of permanent inferiority.

The period which extends from the Saar plebiscite to the annexation of Austria in March, 1938, can be considered as a preliminary phase during which the two dictators tested the resistance of the democracies and—having found it even weaker than they could have hoped for—were able to undertake their program of geographic expansion.

The first definite violation of the Versailles Treaty by Germany took place on March 16, 1935, when Hitler decreed the re-establishment of universal military service.

The timing of this announcement was well planned. The day before, France had decided to extend her own military service from one to two years. Hitler’s decision therefore could appear as a reply to the French increase in military power.

The shock in the democracies was very great, however. For the first time, they had actually to decide on a positive course of action in the face of an open break of contract by Hitler.

The decision they took was to serve as a model for all the future evasions and half-measures which were to lead them step by step to accept every new show of force on the part of the dictator as a fait accompli.

Meeting in Stresa in April, the French and British delegates persuaded Mussolini to join them in lodging a protest with the League of Nations.

This was considered a great diplomatic success. But the truth is that the formation of the so-called Stresa Front was a remarkable example of unrealism. The basic principle of this so-called front was not a show of strength or unity, but the demonstration on the part of the democracies of their belief that the dictators could be bought. It revealed one of the most serious miscalculations of their statesmen. At Stresa they overemphasized the power of Mussolini and underestimated that of Hitler. They believed that they could establish a new balance of power in Europe by taking Mussolini into their camp—thus isolating and paralysing Germany. They believed that the only way to repair the damage done to existing treaties was to make new agreements. To Hitler’s first positive action, they merely opposed a vote of the League of Nations condemning Germany for violating a pact which Hitler himself had so often proclaimed he would not keep.

Nothing could serve Hitler better. The Stresa Front showed that the democracies were unable to act according to their own principles.. It showed, in fact, that they had no principles. For England and France, in attempting to placate Mussolini, the founder of Fascism, gave proof that some of their statesmen—such men as Pierre Laval and Sir John Simon—were ready to go to any lengths to avoid facing a showdown. They were obviously still confident that bargains, signed agreements, and solemn protests would be enough to keep up the fiction of international law.

When, a few days later, the same Pierre Laval signed a pact of assistance with Russia—the Franco-Soviet pact—further argument was given to Hitler to denounce the unscrupulousness and duplicity of the democracies.

This pact, it is true, had been engineered by Louis Barthou, who, with King Alexander of Serbia, had been murdered in Marseilles in 1934, and it was certainly not in line with the pro-Fascist policy of Pierre Laval who signed it. Nevertheless, it aggravated a fatal cleavage in the democracies, which for several years to come was to render national unity impossible and to help Hitler at every step.

The short-lived Stresa Front on the one hand, and the signing of the Franco-Soviet pact on the other, were symbolical of the ideological conflicts which were destroying from within the very substance of democracy in the western countries. It showed that while Hitler was pursuing one single objective: the domination of Europe—the democracies could be sidetracked by a fear greater than war: the fear of revolution.

One of Hitler’s most persistent themes of propaganda, the crusade against bolshevism, was bearing fruit. Hitler had allies within the democracies themselves—allies who were ready to buy him off at practically any price as long as he promised them peace and left them some hope that if he ever went to war, it would be against Russia.

There can be little doubt today that the desire to see Hitler come to grips with Stalin was the guiding idea of most of the conservative parties in England and France from that time on. However senseless their policy toward Hitler may appear in retrospect, this is the only plausible explanation of the course they followed. From the very moment that Hitler actually began to make his power felt outside of Germany, the illusion that his real purpose was to extend toward the East obsessed the statesmen of the West. It explains also the persistent refusal to disbelieve all proofs of Hitler’s real ambition which was, and still is, to establish German domination over the whole world. Being themselves limited in their views and calculations, the democratic statesmen could not conceive that Hitler’s ambition knew no bounds, and that for the first time since Napoleon they were dealing with this phenomenon called a conqueror.

All the speeches of Hitler during that period were intended to encourage the belief that his real enemies were the Bolshevists and the Jews, and that he had no warlike intentions in the West. Indeed, according to him, his dream was to establish a solid peace in Europe, a peace which would reunite all people under the anti-communist banner. His chief complaint against the democracies was that they could still tolerate leaders who did not recognize 1) that the whole system of Versailles was unjust, and therefore a permanent threat to peace, and 2) that the salvation of Europe was in his hands, because he alone saw clearly the mortal peril of Jewish bolshevism.

Having restored German pride and German equality, all Hitler wanted was a recognition of his mission by other powers. Certainly he did not want war. War, in modern times, was absurd and could only bring about the ruin of Europe.

This idea was expressed not only by him, but by the heads of the German Army who had rallied around Hitler. Speaking at the Heroes Memorial Day, on March 17, 1935, General von Blomberg said: “We do not want to be dragged into another world war. Europe has become too small for another world-war battlefield. Because all nations have equal means at their disposal for war, the future war would only mean self-mutilation for all. We want peace with equal rights and security for all. We seek no more.”

This, at the time, seemed reasonable and convincing enough. If such was the considered opinion of one of Germany’s military leaders, who could doubt that Hitler would dare to disregard the moderating influence of his own army?

In fact, the outside world was already indulging in one of the most curious and persistent self-deceits concerning the relations of the Nazi party and the Reichswehr. The prevalent idea was that the German High Command exerted a restraining influence upon Hitler and that it could be counted on to prevent him from committing any irreparable folly.

This was true in part, as proved by numerous clashes between Hitler and his generals. But what was not fully realized abroad was that in all those clashes, Hitler finally came out on top. The very same General Blomberg who showed such moderation in 1935 was to be dismissed in 1938 on the eve of Hitler’s invasion of Austria because he thought it unwise.

The real test between Hitler and his generals was to come much sooner, however, on the occasion of Hitler’s biggest gamble, which was the reoccupation of the Rhineland.

This event took place on March 7, 1936.

From the point of view of Hitler’s long-range strategy, it was by far the most daring and far reaching coup that he had, as yet, undertaken. In making this decision, Hitler was risking not only his whole future, but the fate of his country. At no point dirring his whole career—not even in the fateful days of the Munich crisis—did he gamble for such high stakes and with so few real trump cards in his hand. This is so true that, in order to convince his generals to let him go forward, he had to promise them that the occupying army would immediately withdraw if the French showed the slightest signs of offering resistance. And if that had happened, there is no doubt today that Hitler’s career would have come to an end then. He could not have survived the humiliation of such a failure, and his prestige—however great in Germany—would not have saved him.

That the High Command, the Nazi leaders and Hitler himself lived anxious hours after the fateful order was given has been confirmed by many witnesses and by the Nazis themselves. The tension in Berlin, while Hitler was explaining his coup in a speech at the Reichstag, was tremendous. The conviction of most was that the French would mobilize and march in. But the French did not move. “Hitler has got away with it!” wrote William Shirer in his Berlin Diary on March 8. “France is not marching. Instead, it is appealing to the League of Nations! No wonder the faces of Hitler and Goring and von Blomberg and von Fritsch were all smiles this noon while they sat in the royal box at the State Opera and for the second time in two years celebrated in a most military fashion Heroes Memorial Day. . .

The reoccupation of the Rhineland was indeed a daring gamble, not only because it could not have been accomplished if the French army had opposed it (it was then infinitely stronger than the feeble contingents that Hitler sent in) but also because the action constituted the most flagrant breach of a treaty that Europe had seen since the armies of the Kaiser invaded Belgium in 1914.

It is true, as we have seen, that Hitler had already violated the Versailles Treaty in re-establishing universal military service a year before, but the democracies had more or less admitted that the Diktat was dead and Hitler, anyhow, had never accepted it. But the demilitarization of the Rhineland was inscribed in the Locarno agreements. These agreements had been entered into voluntarily by Germany in 1925, and Hitler had never questioned that fact.

He did not question it even then and his only excuse for tearing up the Locarno agreement was the existence of the Franco-Soviet pact. This pact, according to Hitler, made Locarno invalid and relieved him of the obligation of keeping his own word.

This excuse was obviously mere window-dressing and it does not seem that Hitler himself had much hope that it would be accepted. He was determined to occupy the Rhineland. The pretext mattered little. During an “election” speech delivered a few days later (March 14) Hitler expressed his real thought in the following words: “Germany has no intention of being dragged before any international courts; for no international court has the same responsibility towards the German people as I have.”

In other words, Hitler wanted the world to know that he considered himself as the sole judge of what was right or wrong for Germany and that no treaty—even if previously approved by himself—could be allowed to stay once he had decided that it stood in his way.

In the same election campaign, the Gauleiter Wagner was even more explicit. “We have not broken any treaty,” he said. “But even if we have, we deny others the right to condemn us. What Hitler declares to be right is and will remain right for all time. What Hitler did on March 7 benefited the German people. Anything that benefits the German people is right; anything that harms the German people is wrong.”

Such was the new doctrine which confronted the democracies.

Most observers have agreed that if there ever was a time when Hitler’s growing power could have been broken without much cost or danger, it was on the seventh of March, 1936.

France, England, and Germany were cosignatories of the Locarno agreement. The reoccupation of the Rhineland constituted a clear violation of that agreement. France and England were not only entitled to act, they were morally bound to do so if they wished to preserve any vestige of international law and self-respect.

But they did not act. Instead of sending their troops into the Rhineland, the French—after consultation with the English—once more sent a protest to the League of Nations and asked that the matter should be arbitrated by the International Court of Justice of the Hague.

The interesting point about this behavior is not so much the weakness which it reveals on the part of the democracies, but the proof which it provides concerning the accuracy of Hitler’s judgment. Green as he was in matters of foreign policy, his first move in this field showed that his understanding of the real condition of Europe was keener than that of all his experienced opponents. His first stroke was a very daring one, but it had been well prepared and, if it was a gamble, it was not as rash as it appeared on the surface.

To the preparation of this coup, both Hitler and the democracies had contributed. The responsibility for the deterioration of international morality which culminated in this sensational unilateral action on the part of Hitler could be evenly shared. During the previous year, Hitler had watched the pitiful episode of the conquest of Ethiopia by Mussolini, the inability of the League to enforce its own regulations, and the betrayal of the Covenant by its two most important supporters, the English and the French. The scandalous deal embodied in the Hoare-Laval agreement, which delivered Abyssinia to Mussolini, had caused a violent revulsion of feeling in England, and forced the resignation of Sir Samuel Hoare and the fall of the Laval Cabinet. But it had not been sufficient to change the course of events. Mussolini had defied the League. Sanctions had been applied to Italy but the only sanction that could actually stop Mussolini —the embargo on oil—was never applied. Mussolini, in defiance of the whole world, conquered Ethiopia, and the world accepted his conquest.

The experiment of Mussolini was not lost on Hitler. It proved to him that even a weak power like Italy could blackmail successfully the combined forces of England and France. It showed that, in spite of all their appeals to justice and the sanctity of treaties, the democracies were not willing to use force to maintain order. It showed the internal disintegration of the moral position of the democracies. It showed that the threat of war was enough to scare them into accepting practically any fait accompli.

Hitler did not have to give any effective help to Mussolini. He merely gave him his moral encouragement in his fight against the League. Hitler was not strong enough then to embark on an adventure which was of no direct interest to Germany. But he could see in Mussolini’s action a confirmation of one of the ideas which he had expressed in Mein Kampf: that Italy could become an ally of Germany.

The Ethiopian affair also proved to Hitler that the entente between England and France was not as solid as it appeared on the surface. It revealed that there existed in both countries men who were ready to break the entente—Frenchmen who, like Laval, sought a rapprochement with Italy; Englishmen who, like Sir John Simon, Lord Londonderry, Lord Lothian, and many others, felt that Germany should be appeased at all costs.

Hitler exploited this situation with consummate skill. Now that he had attained supreme power in Germany, his efforts were bent on reassuring the outside world. To encourage the appeasers, it was necessary to prove that National Socialism was becoming respectable. Such manifestations as the Olympic Games which were held at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February, 1936, served to show not only the prowess of the German athletes, but also the hospitality of the new Nazi Germany. No effort was spared to please the visiting foreigners and to make them feel that what they had heard about the brutality of the Nazi regime was nothing but the product of distortion and lies on the part of the democratic journalists.

Simultaneously, Hitler never missed an occasion to cajole and lull to sleep the suspicious critics. In an interview given to a French journalist, Bertrand de Jouvenel, he went so far as to offer a twenty-five-year peace to France and to revise Mein Kampf because it contained offensive passages towards France. This interview is sufficiently typical to be quoted here in part:

“I was in prison when I wrote this book (Mein Kampf),” Hitler told Jouvenel. “French troops were occupying the Ruhr. It was the moment of greatest tension between our two countries. Yes, we wrere enemies. And naturally, with my whole country, I was against yours, as I had been against it in the trenches during four years and a half. I would despise myself if I was not a German above everything else when the conflict comes. But today there is no more reason for a conflict. You would like me to correct my book, like a writer preparing a new edition of his wrork? But I am not a writer. I am a politician. Corrections? I make them every day in my foreign policy, which is entirely aimed towards friendship with France. If I succeed in my policy of Franco-German rapprochement, as I wish to, it will be a correction worthy of me. My corrections will be written in the great book of History!”

It should be noted that this interview was given out on the eve of the ratification of the Franco-Soviet pact by the French parliament. Hitler’s intention was to confuse the French deputies and prevent them, if possible, from sanctioning a measure which Hitler feared would upset his future plans.

A few words will suffice to show the tremendous advantages which Hitler gained by the reoccupation of the Rhineland.

From the purely strategic point of view, he abolished the main protection against a new aggression which France had secured for herself after the war. The German armies were now face to face again with the French. No demilitarized zone separated them any more. This very fact reduced considerably the military value of the Maginot Line. It could still be used as a wall, but not as a basis of offensive operations for the French. Very soon, Hitler was to order the construction of the Siegfried Line, thus achieving the immobilization of the French army, behind its own fortifications.

Another result was to prevent France from bringing any effective help to her Eastern allies in case of need. The Poles saw this clearly when they offered to attack Germany on the seventh of March providing France attacked them too. But nothing was farther from the thought of the French leaders than a preventive war at that time. Rebuffed, the Poles turned toward Germany in the forlorn hope of pacifying Hitler.

The other allies of France, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Jugoslavia, immediately felt their insecurity. They did not formally cancel their alliances with France, but they knew from then on that France would be unable to help them in case Germany chose to attack them.

Generally speaking, the occupation of the Rhineland by the German armies, enabled Hitler to regain complete liberty of action. The French Army was still much more powerful than his own but it was neutralized. It could neither act promptly in an offensive way, nor feel so sure of being able to repulse an attack.

From the seventh of March, 1936, on, Hitler was potentially the master of the whole of Europe east of the Rhine. The road for annexation and conquest was wide open to him.

But Hitler was not quite ready to act yet, at least directly. Mussolini was not yet his ally and he still threatened to defend Austria’s independence by force if Hitler tried to invade it.

The Civil War in Spain which broke out in July, 1936, and which was to last until March, 1939, gave the two dictators the chance to test once again the will of the democracies and at the same time to try out their own weapons in a general dress rehearsal for war. The weakness of Franco-British diplomacy, on this occasion, showed itself in an even more glaring manner than during the Italo-Ethiopian conflict.

Although it was quite obvious that the Republican government in Spain could have crushed the Fascist rebellion of General Franco if they had been able to obtain arms from France, both France and England embarked on the policy of so-called “non-intervention” by which the Spanish Republican government was deprived of all legitimate help, relying mostly on the uncertain support of Soviet Russia.

From the very start of the Franco rebellion, it was known —and lately confirmed—that the whole enterprise had been encouraged and organized by Mussolini with the full approval of Hitler. Both dictators poured troops and material into Spain. Never once did they even pretend to obey the regulations of the Non-Intervention Committee sitting in London. Their trickery and cynicism knew no limits, but once again they got away with it.

This was due not only to the weakness of the democratic statesmen, but to a new factor: Now that Hitler occupied the Rhineland, his power became apparent. Europe realized that he could actually threaten war. Europe was scared.

Mussolini, who up to the time of the seventh of March, 1936, might have reason to doubt the real power of his “pupil” could now make his choice. The Spanish Civil War cemented the alliance between the two dictators. A possible basis for the future New Order in Europe and in the world was laid in the ruins of Spain. That basis was Hitler’s oldest theme: the fight against bolshevism.

On November 25, 1936, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact which Italy joined a year later.

But while the reoccupation of the Rhineland and Hitler’s lawlessness were thus bearing fruit in Spain, the Fuehrer was preparing for his next step—the annexation of Austria and the showdown of Munich.

SPEECH OF MARCH 7, 1936 Berlin, Reichstag


January 3— President Roosevelt, addressing Congress, denounces dictatorship and aggression. This is obviously aimed at Mussolini’s attack on Abyssinia.

January 22—Death of King George V of England.

January 22—In France, resignation of the Pierre Laval Cabinet. A cabinet, headed by the Radical-Socialist Albert Sarraut succeeds him.

February 7-16—Olympic winter games are held at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.

February 10-21—Lord Londonderry, notorious “appeaser,” visits Hitler and Goering in Berlin.

February 27—French Chamber ratifies the Franco-Soviet pact by large majority. The pact was registered with the League of Nations and its application made conditional to the approval of the signatories of the Locarno agreements.

February 27—League of Nations, before applying oil sanctions against Italy, decides to make a final appeal to Mussolini.

March 7—German Army reoccupies the Rhineland in violation of both the Versailles Treaty and the Locarno agreements.

The Speech

“MEN of the German Reichstag: Reichstag President Goering has called at my order the present session to give you an opportunity to receive a declaration of the Reich Government relative to questions which instinctively are regarded not only by yourselves but also by the whole German people as important, nay, decisive.

“When in the gray November days of 1918 the curtain was lowered on the bloody tragedy of the great war, millions of people throughout the wdiole world breathed easier again. Like a harbinger of springtime hope spread among the nations not only because one of the saddest wars in the history of mankind had come to an end but also because a period full of errors, therefore a calamitous period, had passed into history.

“Amid the tumult of war, savage threats, accusations, maledictions, and condemnations, the views of the President of the United States had reached the ear of the world. They spoke of new times and a better world.

“In fourteen points, the nations were given an outline such as would make a new order for the peoples of mankind. Whatever faults there might be, or were, found with these points, one thing doubtless is in their favor:

“Recognition that the mechanical restoration of former conditions and institutions and opinions would in a short time lead to like consequences.

“This was the magic of these theses, that they, with uncontestable grandeur, attempted to give new laws to a community of peoples, to fill them with a new spirit through which an institution could grow and flourish to become a League of Nations, not only to weld nations together outwardly but, above all, to bring them inwardly closer together in mutual consideration and mutual understanding.

“No people succumbed more completely to the magic power of this fantasy than the Germans. Germany had the honor of having fought against the whole world and the misfortune to have been defeated in this struggle. As the defeated party, however, she was loaded down with the curse of responsibility for a struggle that the German people had neither foreseen nor desired.

“The German people believed in these theses with the strength of one despairing of himself and the world. Thus Germany was led to her most sorrowful period. . . .”

“We had been dragged into the war, for whose outbreak we were exactly as guiltless, or guilty, as other peoples. But precisely because we sacrificed the most, we also were those who succumbed most easily to a faith in better times. But not only we, the vanquished, but also the victors experienced a transformation of the fanciful image of new times in human development into a pitiful reality.

“Since the statesmen of those times met at Versailles to determine a new order of things, seventeen years have passed. It has been long enough to form a judgment on the general tendency of development. It is unnecessary to search for or to co-ordinate the critical voices from literary or publicist sources to arrive at a final conclusion. . . .”

“That peace, which was intended to be the final stone laid on the cover of the tomb of war, developed into dragons’ seed for new struggles. Wherever we have looked since then we have experienced the flaring up of domestic and foreign troubles. . . .”

“One thing more. We are not to blame for this development for it was not in our power after the terrible collapse in the time of our humiliation and defenseless ill-treatment to give ideas to the world, let alone prescribe laws. That was done by the mighty rulers of the world. Germany for fifteen years belonged only to the ruled. ...”

“Since that time there has existed a discrepancy between a world divided by the peace treaty into the defeated—that is, the people without rights—and the victors—that is, people who alone possess rights—and the only thoretical principle of a League of Nations as a community of free and equal nations.

“From the spiritual atmosphere of this treaty there further ensued short-sighted treatment of numerous political and economic questions of the world. Frontiers were drawn not according to the clear necessities of life and recognition of factual traditions but were dominated by the idea of revenge and retribution, accompanied by feelings of fear and apprehension concerning the spirit of revenge that might result. . . .”

“Worst of all, however, is that the spirit of secrecy inherent in this treaty became part and parcel of the general mentality of the peoples. It began to infect and master public opinion. Because of this spirit of hatred, lack of sense began to triumph and failed to recognize at their worst the most natural problems of life of the peoples; yes, even the most personal interests, and destroyed them with the poison of misspent passion. . . .”

“That the world, for example, will reach no understanding of the causes behind the difficulties of the German people’s need for living is lamentable.

“Just as shocking, however, are the daily reports in so many press organs of the satisfaction with which one regards these sorrows which forcibly accompany the life of our people. So far as this concerns unimportant journals the matter can be overlooked. But it is an ugly consideration, however, when statesmen also begin to see joyful moments in regard to judgments of the present situation and the future in growing or waning indications of need and suffering of our people. . . .”

“There was the folly with which, for instance, in the case of Germany, a nation of 60,000,000, all possible vital strands connecting her with the outside world were first cut off with scientific accuracy, all economic connections prevented, all capital invested abroad confiscated, her trade destroyed and then an unfathomable astronomic debt foisted upon this people.

“Finally, to enable Germany to pay off this debt, foreign credits were granted upon which again to draw interest, then an export-at-any-price move encouraged, then markets for foreign sales were walled up. Thus this people was driven into terrible poverty and misery: and now complaint is made about the lack of ability to pay, or about ill-will. That, however, was then called ‘wise statesmanship.’

“My deputies! If I always go with so much detail into these psychological problems, it is because I am convinced that without a change of spiritual outlook regarding the development of our international relationships real pacification of the world will never be attained.

“Today’s fatal tension in Europe, of which we are witnesses, also owes its existence to this folly with which it is believed the natural interest of nations can be managed. There are politicians today who seem to feel secure only when the living conditions of their neighbors are as bad as possible. The worse off their neighbors are the more triumphant these politicians feel in the belief that it is all due to their farsighted policies. . .

“I should, therefore, like to have the German people understand the inner motives underlying the National Socialist foreign policy, which, for instance, is very much pained that the approach of 33,000,000 people to the sea leads over territory formerly belonging to the Reich, which, however, regards it as senseless, because impossible, simply to want to deny so large a State an approach to the sea.

“It cannot be the meaning or purpose of a superior foreign policy to bring about conditions that would of necessity immediately cry for a change. It is no doubt possible, especially by falling back on one’s power, for politicians to commit such violations of natural vital interests, but the more this is done, the greater will the pressure be for giving vent to stored-up and violated power and energies. ...”

“How much anxiety could have been spared humanity, especially the peoples of Europe, if the natural self-evident necessities of life had been respected and taken into account in the political constitution of European space for existence as well as in co-operating along economic lines!

“This, however, seems tome to be an essential if one wants to reach better and more satisfactory results. And this particularly is true for Europe. European peoples represent just one family of this world—often somewhat quarrelsome, but, despite everything, related to one another and not separable spiritually, culturally, or economically. Every attempt to see and treat European problems other than according to the laws of cool, considered reasonableness leads to a reaction which would be inconvenient to everybody. . . .”

“It is wise statesmanship to put a brake on turbulent senselessness, but at the same time to yield to the visible necessities of the time and intelligently aim at a social settlement which avoids one extreme without falling into another.

“For Europe, it can be prophesied today that where this process is not followed intelligently or where it fails, tension is bound to increase, eventually finding an outlet for itself in accordance with the spiritual tendencies of the time.

“It also belongs to the wisdom of constructiveness and the maintenance of the family of nations as we have it in Europe to apply these inner State laws externally. It is not sound judgment to imagine in the space of a restricted house, such as Europe, a community of nations can be kept for long under different principles of law. Any such attempts lead to an accumulation of will and energies by those suffering unrightfully and thereby, of course, again an accumulation of the psychosis of fear among those who are guilty.

“Such a development, however, I deem to be not sensible but, on the contrary, consider it senseless and very dangerous besides. I consider it especially critical if, in addition thereto, spiritual incitation occurs which, originating with shortsighted literateurs and internationally known troublemakers, also mobilizes the passions of confused and excited masses of people.

“If I give expression to these fears, I merely render also what millions of humans are divining, feeling or experiencing without perhaps being able to explain the deeper causes to themselves. I have the right to unfold these viewpoints of mine for you gentlemen, Deputies of the Reichstag, because they furnish the key at the same time to our own political experience and to out work among our people domestically as well as our position in matters abroad.

“If the rest of the world frequently speaks of the ‘German question,’ then it is necessary to assure one’s self with objective clarity regarding the nature of this question. For many the question involves the German administration, in misunderstood differentiation of the German administration in contrast with another administration in the so-called rearmament which generally is felt to be threatening.

“The question for many resides in the noticed desire for war of the German people, in a slumbering intention of making an attack or in a devilish dexterity in outwitting an opponent.

“No, my dear politicians! The German question involves something entirely different.

“Here 67,000,000 persons are living on a very restricted and not everywhere fertile area. That means, roughly, 136 per square kilometer. These people are no less industrious than other European peoples and also no less insistent upon getting what they tvant.

“They are no less intelligent but also no less insistent upon living. They have exactly as little ambition to be shot dead heroically in pursuit of a shadow as have the French or English.

“But neither are they more cowardly and in no case are they less honorable than the citizens of other European nations. They were once dragged into a war in which they believed as little as did the other Europeans and for which they bore just as little responsibility.

“Today’s young German of twenty-five was in the time leading up to the war just one year old. Therefore he was hardly responsible for the world catastrophe. Even the youngest German who might be held responsible was, according to the voting age then, twenty-five years old. So today he would be fifty.

“That means that the overwhelming majority of German men have simply taken part in war as a matter of course exactly like the last of the surviving members of the French or British peoples. If they were loyal they at that time did their duty exactly as every loyal Frenchman or Englishman did his if he possessed the necessary age. . .

“Now the German question consisted in the fact that this people as late as 1935 was supposed to stand, because of a fault which it never committed, for the inferiority of rights, which for the honor of a loving people is unbearable, for an industrious people, fraught with suffering, and for an intelligent people a cause for indignation. . .

“For the Germans there is eighteen per cent less ground per capita of population than, for example, for the Russians. It is understandable, therefore, how hard the struggle for existence and for daily bread must be. And without the energy and diligence of the German farmers and the organization capacity of the German people, finding a means of existence for these 67,000,000 would be scarcely thinkable. . .

“And here it would be in the interest of the rest of the world to understand the cry for bread among a 40,000,000, 50,000,000 or 60,000,000 population is not a trumped-up piece of maliciousness of a regime or certain regimes but is the natural expression of the necessities of the struggle for existence.

“And to comprehend also that well-fed peoples are more sensible than hungry ones and that governments should not only be interested in feeding their own citizens but also in feeding surrounding peoples and therefore to comprehend that providing for such living maintenance is in the highest sense of the word in the interest of all. . .

“The second German question is the following:

“Owing to the fact that, as a consequence of the extraordinarily unhappy general conditions and presuppositions, the economic struggle for existence of the German people is very difficult, while the intelligence, industry, and natural standard of life are very high, exceptional concentration of all energies is necessary to master this first German question.

“This can succeed, however, only if this people also in its relations with other nations possesses a feeling of political equality and with it of political security. It is impossible to deal with or even lead a people possessed of honor and of bravery forever, though it were made up of helots.

“There is no better proof of the innate love of peace of the German people than the fact that despite its ability and its bravery, which I suppose cannot be denied even by opponents, and despite its dense population, it has secured for itself only such a modest share of space for living and the good things of this world. However, precisely, this more and more introspective character of the German nature cannot put up with being deprived of its rights unworthily, nor with violation of its rights. . .

“I have determined not to solve this problem according to the signature of the peace treaty of the year 1919. Not because I want to harm France or any other State, but because the German people cannot forever bear the injury done it, should not bear it and will not bear it!

“In the year 1932 Germany stood on the brink of a bolshevistic collapse. What this chaos in so large a State would have meant for Europe perhaps several European statesmen will sometime have an opportunity to study in other places.

“I have, at all events, conquered this approaching crisis of the German people only through the mobilization of the general moral values of the German nation. The man who wanted to save Germany from bolshevism had to bring the question of German equality to a decision and thereby to a solution.

“He had to solve it, not to add to the sorrows of other peoples but just the opposite, to prevent, indeed, a perhaps greater sorrow through the hindering of an outbreak, the extent of which cannot be estimated.

“The re-winning of German equality has caused nothing painful to the French people. Only the Red uproar and threatened collapse of the German Reich has given a blow to European order and business of whose results most European statesmen unfortunately have no real conception. This fight for German equality which I led for three years is not the setting up of the German problem, but its solution.

“It is truly a tragic misfortune that precisely by the Versailles treaty a situation was created in the preservation of which the French people were believed to be especially interested. The real advantages derived from it by a single Frenchman were small, but the unreal link between the antiGerman discrimination of Versailles and French interests seemed all the greater.

“Possibly it was the fault of a character weakness of the German post-war years and of our governments, especially our parties, that the fallacy of these views could not be brought home sufficiently to the French people and to serious French statesmen. For the worse our previous governments were, the more they were bound to shrink from a national awakening of the German people.

“Hence all the greater was the dread of any revival of national consciousness, hence their bowing to the general international defamation of the German people. More, they used these shameful bonds to prop up their own miserable regimes. . . .”

“I shall at some future date be able to demand of history that it will certify that at no hour of my actions in behalf of the German people did I forget the duties which I and all of us owe to the preservation of European culturalized civilization. A prerequisite, however, for the continued existence of this Continent, which is so extraordinary because of the differences of its cultures, is the realization that it is unthinkable without the existence of free and independent national States. Let every European people be convinced it has made the greatest contribution to our Occidental culture. . . .”

“During these years I have tried again and again—unfortunately too often in vain—to construct a bridge of understanding to the French people. The further we become removed from the bitterness of the World War and the years following it, the more human memories forget the unpleasant incidents, and the more beautiful aspects of life, knowledge and experience push into the foreground.

“Those who once faced each other as embittered opponents respect each other today as brave combatants in a past great struggle and meet each other again as bearers and conservators of the great general human treasure of culture. Why, then, should it not be possible to call off the purposeless, century-long quarrel which could not and cannot bring a final decision to either of the two peoples and to substitute for it a recognition of a higher common sense?

“The German people is not interested in having the French people suffer, and vice versa. Where would there be any advantage for France if Germany were to go under in misery? What advantage does the French farmer enjoy if the German farmer has a bad time of it, and vice versa?

“What advantage can the French worker derive from, say, the misery of the German? And what blessing could it bring the German worker, the German middle class or the German people at large if France were to be visited by misfortune?

“I have tried to solve the questions of the hateful class struggle theory within the interior of Germany along the lines of a higher common sense. In this I have succeeded.

“Why should it not be possible to lift the problem of general European differences between nations and States out of the sphere of senselessness and passion and move it under the quieter light of higher reasonableness?

“At any rate, I once swore to myself I would fight doggedly and bravely for German equality and to achieve it in one way or another. I also determined to strengthen the feeling of responsibility for the necessity of European mutual respect for each other and of European co-operation.

“If I am reproached by my international opponents on the grounds that I refuse this co-operation with Russia, then I must explain the following in that connection: I refused and refuse co-operation, not with Russia, but with bolshevism, which has claimed the mastery of the world. ...”

“I tremble for Europe and the thought of what would happen to our old, overpopulated continent if the chaos of a bolshevistic revolution should be successful through the outbreak of this destructive Asiatic world conception, which strikes at all hitherto recognized values.

“To many European statesmen, I am, perhaps, a fantastic and, at all events, an inconvenient admonisher. That I, however, pass for one of the greatest enemies in the eyes of the bolshevistic international world oppressors is for me a great honor and justification for my dealings before posterity. . . .”

“I see no possibility for making it clear to the German workers the danger, so disturbing to me, of the misery coming from bolshevistic chaos in Germany, if I myself, as leader of the nation, were to bring myself into close relationship with this danger.

“Here, as a statesman and as the people’s leader, I will do all that I demand and expect from any single fellow-citizen.

“I do not believe that close contacts with a concept which is detrimental to a people can be useful to a statesman. We have had full opportunity to gather experiences of this sort in Germany’s history of the past twenty years.

“The first contact with bolshevism in 1917 brought us revolution one year later. The second contact sufficed to bring Germany a few years later to the brink of communist ruin. .

“I have severed these connections and thereby saved Germany from perdition.

“Nothing will move me to go another way but the way which experience, insight, and foresight tell me to go. I know this conviction has become the deepest realization and the ideal of the whole National Socialist Movement. . . .”

“If I transmute this attitude of principle to the realm of general European politics, their results will mean the division of Europe into two halves:

“That half which is built up of independent, self-sustaining national States of the peoples with whom we are bound a hundredfold through our history and culture, and with whom we should like, for all the future, to remain bound just as with the free and independent nations of other than European continents.

“And in the other half: That which is governed by that intolerant bolshevik doctrine which lays claim to general international rule, a doctrine which preaches destruction even to the most eternal and sacred values of this life and the life hereafter, in order to build up another world, which, to us, appears horrible as regards culture and the appearance of its contents.

“Aside from the necessity of political, economic, and international relations, we do not desire any more intimate contact with it.

“A fathomless tragedy lies in the fact, as a conclusion to our honest endeavor of many years to win the confidence, sympathy, and affection of the French people, a military alliance was born, the beginnings of which we know today but the end of which, will, perhaps, be accompanied by consequences which no one can foresee unless, indeed, providence once again proves more merciful than men deserve.

“I have endeavored for the past three years, slowly but steadily, to create the prerequisites for Franco-German understanding. I have never left a doubt that these prerequisites include absolute equality, equality of the status of the German people and States.

“Intentionally, I have not only seen in this understanding merely a problem capable of solution by means of parleys, but also a problem that first has to be brought near to the two peoples psychologically, as it must be prepared, not only for the intellect but also for the emotion.

“I therefore have also often been subjected to the charge that my offers of friendship contained no concrete proposals. That is not true. Whatever could be proposed at all concretely to improve German and French relations, I have proposed courageously and concretely.

“There was a time when I did not hesitate to support a concrete proposal for the limitation of armaments to 200,000 men. Then, when this proposal was abandoned by the responsible originators themselves, I turned to the French people and the European governments with quite a concrete new proposal. My proposal for 300,000 men also was turned down.

“I have brought a whole array of further concrete proposals for the purification of the public viewpoints in the various States and for cleansing the conduct of war and, in the final analysis, for careful but certain disarmaments.

“Only one of these German proposals has been really considered. The realistic sense of an English administration received my proposal for the restoration of a lasting relation between the German and British fleets which takes into consideration the needs of German security and the enormous overseas interests of a great World Power.

“And I may well explain that until today only this agreement has remained as the single practical existing attempt to eliminate armaments.

“The Reich administration is ready to extend this treaty through a wider qualitative understanding with England.

“I have expressed the very concrete principle that the joint programs of an international pact mania contain just as little prospect of workability as general treaties for world disarmament, which, under such conditions, have been demonstrated to be incapable of fulfillment. I have expressed the opinion, in contrast, that these problems can be approached only step by step and, indeed, in the direction of the least opposition.

“I have developed from this conviction a concrete proposal also for an air pact on the basis of like strength for France, England, and Germany. The result was first a misconception of this proposal and then the introduction of a new Eastern European-Asiatic factor, incalculable in its military extent, into the European equilibrium. ...”

“I may point out here that it would have been quite possible for me, as a German, to set up the restoration of the 1914 frontiers morally as my program and to proclaim it by publicity and oratory just as the French Ministers and popular leaders did after 1871.

‘‘The critics cannot pretend that I have no capacity for such a thing. It is far more difficult for a nationalist to preach understanding to people than to do the opposite. And it would probably be easier for me to excite popular instincts for revenge than to awaken sentiments for the necessity for European understanding and to make them ever stronger.

“And that is what I have done. I have eliminated from German public opinion a pact of this nature against our neighbors.

“I have removed from the German press all hatred directed against the French people. I have tried to inculcate in our youth an appreciation for the ideal of such an understanding, certainly not without success. . . .”

“This endeavor of mine was doubly difficult because I was compelled at the same time to liberate Germany from the meshes of the treaty which robbed it of its equality but in the continuance of which the French people—whether rightly is secondary—thought they must continue to be interested.

“In that connection I, as a German nationalist, had to bring an additional and especially great sacrifice. Until now, at least in the more modern times, an attempt had never been made after a war to deprive a loser of sovereign rights over large and ancient parts of his territory.

“In the interests of understanding, and for this reason alone, I have made this greatest sacrifice that could be imposed upon us politically and morally, and I was ready to continue to make it merely because I believed I ought to stick to a treaty which might possibly help to take the poison out of the political atmosphere between France, Germany, and England and to spread a feeling of security to all sides.

“Yes, beyond that also, here in this house, I have often taken the position that we were not only ready to make this most heavy contribution to the security of European peace as long as the other partners also live up to their obligations, but that we saw in this treaty the only possible—because concrete-attempt at making Europe secure.

“You, my deputies, know the content and the meaning of this treaty. It was intended for all future to prevent the use of force between Belgium and France on one hand and Germany on the other.

“Through France’s treaties of alliance previously concluded there unfortunately arose the first difficulty, although it did not rob this pact of its meaning.

“Germany made her contribution to this pact, for while France supplied her frontier with ore and weapons and studded it with numerous garrisons, we were burdened with a continuous maintenance of complete defenselessness. . .

“In contravention of this pact there now exists an arrangement upon which France has entered in the past year with Russia and which it has already signed, while its ratification by the Chamber of Deputies has just taken place.

“For, through this new Franco-Soviet arrangement, there is led into the middle of Europe, via detour of Czechoslovakia, which has entered upon a similar arrangement with Russia, the threatening military power of a gigantic empire.

“The impossible situation which has risen consists of the fact that these two States obligate themselves in this arrange-meat—without taking into consideration a decision of the League of Nations’ Council which either already has been rendered or which is expected to be—in the event of Eastern European entanglements to settle the question of guilt according to their own lights and in accordance therewith to regard the obligation of mutual assistance as existent or nonexistent.

“The idea that in this pact a primary obligation is again affirmed through an added restriction is not understandable. I cannot establish and thereby accept as binding a definite method at a point where there is an explicit break with an otherwise valid obligation in order to determine at another point that there should be no dealings concerning these other obligations. . . .”

“France has not concluded the pact with an old European power. France had, even before the Rhine pact, assistance agreements with Czechoslovakia as well as with Poland. Germany took no exception thereto, not only because these pacts, in contrast to the Franco-Soviet pact, were within the framework of the League of Nations, but also because Czechoslovakia, like Poland, always primarily followed the policy of representing the national interests of these States.

“Germany does not desire to attack these States nor does it believe it will lie in the interests of these States to launch an attack upon Germany. Above all, Poland will remain Poland; France will remain France.

“Soviet Russia, however, is the constitutionally organized exponent of the revolutionary philosophy of life. Its State creed is its confession in favor of world revolution.

“It is impossible to determine whether or not, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, this creed also will triumph in France. Should, however, such an eventuality occur—and as a German statesman I must make provision for it—then it is certain that this new bolshevik State would become a section of the bolshevik International which means a decision concerning attack or nonattack will then not be arrived at according to their own objectives and desires, but in accordance with directions given from one place.

“That place would, however, in the event of such a development, no longer be Paris but Moscow.

“Germany hardly is in a position—if only for purely territorial reasons—to attack Russia, but Russia could at any time, using its advanced positions, start a conflict with Germany. The determination as to who was the attacker would be certain from the beginning, since that determination would be independent of the League of Nations Council.

“The assertion that France and Russia would do nothing to expose themselves to eventual sanctions—from England or Italy—is immaterial, because it is impossible to gage the kind of sanctions that would be applied against a structure which is so overwhelming. . .

“Our serious misgivings in this connection have been met by the argument that the Russian war-machine is not ready, even that it is a clumsy and unwieldable machine, for a European war.

“We have always opposed this view, not because we think the Germans are inferior, but because we all know that numbers have their own weight and importance.

“We are all the more grateful for the explanations given by M. Herriot in the French Chamber regarding Russia’s military significance. We know that these explanations were furnished M. Herriot by the Soviet Government itself and we are convinced that the latter cannot have supplied false particulars to inspire in France the desire for the new alliance.

“Neither do we doubt that M. Herriot has passed on all this information correctly.

“According to this information, it is certain, first of all, that the Russian Army has a peace strength of 1,350,000 and that it comprises, secondly, 17,500,000 men in war strength and reserves, and that it is, thirdly, equipped with the largest tank equipment, and that it, fourthly, owns the largest air force in the world.

“The introduction of this most powerful of all military factors, which also, as regards its mobility and leadership, was described as excellent and at all times ready to give an account of itself, into the Central European field of operation, destroys every real European balance of power.

“Besides, it renders impossible any determination as to the necessary weapons for defense on land and in the air as far as the European States concerned are involved, especially as regards the one opponent envisaged, namely Germany.

“This gigantic mobilization of the East against Central Europe stands, not only according to the letter but also according to its meaning, in contravention of the spirit of the Locarno Pact. Not only we as the nation affected feel that way about it. Our feelings are shared by uncounted sensible men among all peoples and are being freely expressed everywhere, as can be evidenced publicly and politically.

“On February 21 a French journalist approached me with the request to grant him an interview. As I was told that he was one of those Frenchmen who, just like ourselves, are trying to find the ways and means for an understanding between the two peoples, I wanted all the less to decline, as such an act would immediately have been interpreted as a sign of my lack of respect for French journalism.

“I gave the desired explanations just as I have expressed them in Germany hundreds of thousands of times, and as I have again tried to turn to the French people with the plea for understanding which we want with all our hearts and which we, so willingly, would like to see in actuality.

“I expressed my deepest sorrow over the development in France, through the formulation of the pact for which no pressing need is visible, but which in the event of its realization must and will produce a new situation.

“This interview was, as you know, on grounds which are unknown to us, withheld, and it appeared first on the day after the ratification in the French Chamber [of the FrancoSoviet pact].

“In accordance with my announcement in this interview, I shall also be ready, and sincerely desirous in the future, to serve this Franco-German understanding because I see in it the necessary element for the security of Europe against unseen danger and because I can promise for both peoples from no other procedure any possible advantage and see without it the most serious general and international danger, so much so that the knowledge of the final conclusion of this pact has forced me now to enter upon the examination of the new situation created and to draw the necessary conclusions.

“These consequences are very serious, they deeply grieve us and me personally. But I am obliged not only to make sacrifices for European understanding but also to obey the interests of my own people.

“So long as the sacrifice meets appreciation and understanding on the other side, I will gladly make it and recommend the same to the German people. But from the moment that it becomes certain that a partner no longer values or appreciates such sacrifices, a one-sided burden is placed on Germany and thereby there is discrimination which is unbearable to us. . .

“I want to cheat neither ourselves nor the rest of the world with a people that would then have no value whatever because it lacked the most natural feeling of honor. I believe at the same time that even in the hour of such bitter realizations and difficult decisions, one must not fail, despite everything, to champion European co-operation and to cast about for new methods for making possible the solution of these questions in a manner useful to all concerned.

“I have therefore made further efforts, by concrete proposals, to give expression to the feelings of the German people, who, anxious about their security, and ready, for the sake of freedom, to make every sacrifice, are at all times ready for real, honest, and equal European co-operation.

“After a hard struggle within myself, I have therefore decided in the name of the German Reich Government today to transmit to the French Government and other powers signatory to the Locarno pact a memorandum.

“Men of the German Reichstag! In this historic hour, when in the Reich’s western provinces German troops are just entering their future peace garrisons, we all unite in two holy inner confessions:

“First, we swear to yield to no force whatever in the restoration of thé honor of our people, and rather to succumb with honor to the severest hardships than capitulate to it;

“Secondly, to confess that now, more than ever, we shall strive for an understanding between European peoples, especially for one with our western neighbor nations.

“After three years, I believe I can today regard the struggle for German equality as over. I believe that the first ground for our one-time withdrawal from European collective cooperation has been removed.

“If we now are again ready to resume this co-operation, it is with a sincere wish that perhaps the present proceedings and a review of these years may help to strengthen an understanding for this co-operation among other European peoples also.

“We have no territorial demands to make in Europe. We know above all that the tension resulting either from long territorial provisions or from the wrong relationships between the population living in areas can, in Europe, not be solved by wars.

“We hope, however, that human insight will help to ah leviate the painful consequences of such conditions and to remove tension by embarking upon a slow evolutionary development of peaceful co-operation. . .

“I cannot terminate this historic period of restitution of the honor and freedom of my people without now asking the German people to give its supplementary approval to me and thereby to all my co-workers and co-fighters, for all that I have had to execute during these years in the way of decisions which seemed to be stern, and for what I had to demand in the way of sacrifices.

“I have therefore decided today to dissolve the German Reichstag so the German people may pass judgment on my leadership and on that of my associates. . . .”

“I now ask the German people to strengthen me in my faith and to give me, through the strength of its will, further individual strength with which to fight always courageously for its honor and freedom and to be able to take care of its economic well-being. And especially to support me in my struggle for a new peace.”


London Times, March 8—Herr Hitler’s invasion of the Rhineland is a challenge abrupt in form and deliberate in fact, to the voluntary agreement which has maintained the inviolability of the eastern frontiers of France and Belgium for the last eleven years. The age-old clash of suspicions lies behind the story. Is Germany, who has now repudiated a freely negotiated treaty, ever to be trusted? Is France, who has brought Russia to redress the balance of manpower in the West, ever to be satisfied? . . . France and Britain alike have reason for indignation and food for suspicions. But since neither stands alone, they have the more power, even while they are faced with an admitted offense against the law of Europe, to take a steady measure of the undertakings which Germany has offered in extenuation.

New York Times, March 8—That Germany has created a grave situation in Europe is readily apparent. Military occupation of the Rhineland is a clear violation both of the Versailles Treaty and of the Locarno Pact. It is a brusque repudiation of Hitler’s many declarations that he had no intention of jeopardizing the safeguards of peace erected on Germany’s western frontier . . . Hitler has chosen not to wait for a judicial settlement of the status of the new treaty.

. . . No one can mistake the significance of this latest move.

Le Temps, March 8—The Fuehrer’s statement went much further than anyone expected. M. Hitler denounced the Locarno Pact and proclaimed the sovereignty of the Reich in the demilitarized zone. He announced that German troops were going to occupy their garrisons. At the same time he proclaimed that Germany would henceforth consider herself possessing equal rights with other nations. He then declared himself ready to return to the League of Nations.

SPEECH OF MARCH 20, 1936 Hamburg


March 8—After a prolonged cabinet meeting and consultations with the French General Staff, the Sarraut Cabinet decides to lodge a protest with the League of Nations against the reoccupation of the Rhineland.

In Warsaw, the French Ambassador is informed that the Polish Army is ready to march if the French Army marches too.

March 9—In a speech, Albert Sarraut says that France will not negotiate under threat of violence and as long as Strasbourg is under the Nazi guns.

The Speech

“I NEED the German people in the struggle that I carry on for its own sake, in the struggle for German equality, in the struggle against the insolence of others who still regardGermany as an inferior or as enjoying inferior rights or who try to act as if such were the case.

“I need the German people to demonstrate therewith to the whole wTorld that whatever happens we will not retreat one inch from our equal rights—not because we want to disturb European order but because we are convinced, contrary to the opinion of temporary and mortal politicians, that permanent order in Europe is possible only on a foundation of peoples enjoying equal rights.

“The opinion that European order can be founded permanently on the defamation of a people numbering 67,000,000 is lunatic and madness. They do not need to think that the German nation has rebelled simply because a certain man, Adolf Hitler, stands at its head. No, if I were not there, another would have come sooner or later. Germany will live longer than such an opinion will live.

“The German nation in its history has often suffered a bitter fate, as other nations have. It is alone in that it has never been destroyed by such events, as our enemies once believed. When they struck at Germany’s heart in 1918 they did not recognize that they had thereby created the deepest basis for a German resurrection. What at that time they regarded as a death-blow was in reality nothing else than the signal for a new and stronger unification of the German nation. . .

“I do not desire anything further than that this German nation shall take its place and grow into the unity and cooperation of the European community.

“I am sorry, however, for statesmen who think that such co-operation can best be commenced by new defamation of the German nation. If they would only look a little further than supposed momentary successes, I believe they would be shocked to recognize the inevitable results of such historically false policies.

“In any case, I do not feel myself, as leader of the German people and as its spokesman and responsible administrator, in a position to take even one step that is not in accord with the honor of the German nation. . . .”


London Times, March 21—In his speech at Hamburg tonight Herr Hitler said that the General Election had not been called to decide any home political question, but to let the world know that when he spoke he was speaking for the entire German nation.

New York Times, March 21—Chancellor Adolf Hitler delivered a stormy oration here tonight on the old thesis of German equality which outdid in fury any of his preceding campaign speeches.



March 29—Elections are held in Germany to ratify reoccupation of the Rhineland. Ninety-five per cent approval is recorded.

April 20—Dedication of three monasteries as schools for the future Party members.

Goering is made Commissioner of Raw Materials and Foreign Exchange.

Himmler is made chief of the unified German police.

April 26—May 3—National elections in France. They are won by the Popular Front (a coalition of Radical-Socialists, Socialists, and Communists).

May 2—The Italians enter Addis Ababa. The Negus is in flight.

May 26—First sit-down strikes in France.

June 4—Sarraut Cabinet resigns formally. Léon Blum, head of the Socialist party forms new cabinet.

July 77—Germany and Austria conclude a “cultural pact.”'

July 77—The Senate of Danzig, dominated by the Nazis, abolishes the Danzig Constitution.

July 18—Civil war breaks out in Spain.

July 30—Two Italian military planes en route for Spain crash in North Africa.

August 7—Olympic games open in Berlin.

Léon Blum issues communiqué stating that no exports of arms to Spain will be authorized.

August 5-6—British and French governments present a convention to all interested powers laying down the plan of the policy of “non-intervention” in Spain.

August 8—The “blockade” of Spain, i.e., embargo on war material from England and France, is decreed.

September 8—Opening of the Nuremberg annual convention of the National Socialist party.

September .9—Hitler announces a Four-Year Plan to make Germany self-sufficient in raw materials. Goering is put in charge of the plan.

Germany, Italy, and Soviet Russia join the non-intervention conference.

The Proclamation

“AS WE open this ‘congress of honor,’ we are stirred by two emotions, first, one of pride as we look back on the last four years, especially the last year, and, secondly, a feeling of the justification of all our acts as we behold the world about us filled with dissension and instability.

“Elsewhere years, if not decades, in the life of a nation pass without claiming especial consideration except where they involve political and economic collapse, and it is in this connection that we National Socialists proudly assert that the period of Germany’s collapse dating from November, 1918, moved at a slower pace than the period that marks the four years of our national recovery.

“Was this miracle a genuine revolution or was it not? Have our achievements justified it in the eyes of the German people and, above all, who else but us could have accomplished this wonder. ...”

“What, however, has Nazism made of Germany in these four years? Which of our opponents would have the insolence to appear as a complainant against us today?

“What appeared in my proclamation of 1933 to be fantastic and impossible now appears a mere modest announcement of accomplishments that tower above it.

“Our opponents did not believe it possible that time would accomplish that program of 1933, which now looks so small to us. What would they have said, however, if I had presented to them that program which Nazism has genuinely accomplished in the last four years?

“How they would have laughed if I had declared on January 30, 1933, that in four years Germany would have reduced its unemployment from six to one million;

“That the forced sale of peasant holdings would have been brought to an end;

“That the income of German agrarian economy would be higher than in any preceding year in our peace time;

“That the total national income would have risen from 41,000,000,000 marks to 56,000,000,000;

“That the German middle class and the German trades would experience a new period of prosperity;

“That commerce would regain its feet;

“That the German Hanseatic cities would no longer resemble ship cemeteries;

“That in 1936 ships totaling 640,000 tons would be under construction at German wharfs;

“That a multitude of factories would not double but triple and quadruple their employes;

“That many other new factories would appear;

“That the Krupp works would again hear the rumble of machines working for Germany’s regeneration;

“That all these undertakings would recognize that their final law was service to the nation and not unscrupulous private profit;

“That inactive automobile factories would not only come to life again but would be greatly increased in size;

“That our production of automobiles of all sorts would increase from 45,000 in 1932 to almost 250,000 now;

“That in these four years the deficits of our cities and provinces would disappear;

“That the Reich would have a tax income increase of about 5,000,000,000 marks yearly;

“That the Reichsbank would finally be made financially sound;

“That its trains would be the fastest in the world;

“That the German Reich would receive roads such as had never been built since human culture existed;

“That of 7,000 kilometers [about 4,350 miles] of roads projected 1,000 would be in use after only four years and 4,000 more would be under construction;

“That tremendous new homestead colonies with hundreds of thousands of houses would appear in the Reich;

“That new buildings would rise which are among the largest in the world;

“That hundreds upon hundreds of new immense bridges would cross valleys and gulleys;

“That German culture in such and like accomplishments would demonstrate its internal character;

“That the German theater would experience a renaissance;

“That the German people would take an active part in the revival of the drama;

“That Germany would experience a great intellectual awakening without a single Jew having a hand in it;

“That the German press would work only in the interests of Germany;

“That new professional ethics would be proclaimed for German business;

“That the German human being would experience a thorough reformation of his modes of activity and his character. . .

“What would our opponents have said if four years ago I would have predicted that four years hence the German people would be a united nation with neither Social Democrats, Communists, Centrists nor bourgeois parties left to transgress against the German people or trade unions to scatter dissension among the workers?

“What would they have said had I then predicted that four years hence there would no longer be independent states with their own legislatures and sixteen different flags and traditions, but that the whole nation from the humblest worker up to the soldier would be pledged to one flag?

“But, above all things, what would our opponents have said had I then prophesied that during these four years Germany would have shaken off the chains of the slavery of Versailles, that the Reich would have regained its defense freedom, that, as formerly in peace time, every German would dedicate two years of his life to the freedom of his country, that our coasts and our commerce would be protected by a navy now in the course of construction, that a powerful new air weapon would vouchsafe protection to our cities and factories, and that the Rhineland would again be restored to the sovereignty of the Reich?

“And perchance what would these opponents have said had I predicted that before even four years had elapsed this National Socialist policy for the recovery of our honor and national freedom would receive an affirming endorsement by ninety-nine per cent of the German electorate? . .

“But a second miracle, and one which cannot fail to fill us with grim satisfaction, is the realization that our other predictions have proved all too true.

“Unrest, hate, and mistrust fill the world about us. With the exception of one major Power and a few other States, we encounter throughout Europe the convulsions of bolshevistic rioting and revolution.

“My party comrades, did it not strike you as something akin to symbolism that at a time when in other countries hate reigned and ruin spread there could take place in Berlin amid the plaudits of a happy people an Olympic festival dedicated to the noble motives of enlightened humanity?

“Despite all their attempts, it was not possible for even Jewish reporters to distort the truth and misrepresent what millions had seen with their own eyes... .”

“But while these Jewish-bolshevistic baiters and revolution mongers talked and showed a preference for applying an incendiary torch to human culture, National Socialist Germany, through heroic efforts and within its own frontiers and the restricted scope of its domestic resources has striven to rehabilitate its national economy, protect the lives of its people, and insure its economic future.

“The worries and disappointments that the government of the German people have encountered in this process in the last four years were probably greater and more acute than those that had confronted other governments in half a century. . . .”

“The problems of our national economic maintenance are infinitely great. First, the 136 persons per square kilometer in Germany cannot find complete sustenance of their own even with the greatest efforts and the most ingenious exploitation of their existing living room.

“What the German peasant has accomplished in these last few years is singular and unique. What the National Socialist State has accomplished in the cultivation of the last heath and the last moor in Germany cannot be surpassed.

“However, in spite of all, there will always remain a deficiency in some fields of our nutrition. To cover this deficiency by import is all the more difficult because unfortunately we also lack in Germany a number of important raw materials.

“German economy is, therefore, compelled to compensate for its lack of foods and raw materials by industrial export, which must likewise take place under all circumstances because of the unavoidability of imports, especially in the case of food.

“It is regrettable that the rest of the world has no understanding for the nature and magnitude of these tasks, thanks to the frivolous as well as stupid and, yes, even spiteful treatment of these problems.

“In order to buy a certain amount of fat for Germany, Germany must export goods to an even greater value. But since questions of food are not, as some foreign statesmen seem to think, matters of malicious intentions but vital tasks, it follows that the exports that are a presupposition of these imports must take place under all circumstances.

“It is therefore a truly deplorable lack of reason to reproach a people with its cheap exports when for lack of self-sustaining economic territory that people absolutely . needs exports in order to import the food lacking.

“If, therefore, an English politician declares that Germany does not need colonies because it is free to buy raw materials, then the declaration of this gentleman is about as intelligent as the question of that well-known Bourbon Princess who at the sight of the revolutionary mob roaring for bread remarked in surprise why, if the people did not have bread, they did not eat cake.

“If the German people and the German Reich had not been squeezed for fifteen years and deprived of all their international savings, if they had not lost all their foreign investments and if they still had their own colonies, we could master these problems much easier.

“The objection that colonies would not help us much is unjustified. The leadership of the State which has produced no longer deniable economic accomplishments under conditions such as faced the German Government would likewise know how to administer colonies with economic usefulness.

“For it was much harder for the German State and economic leadership, for instance, to reduce the number of unemployed from six and one-half to one million within our overpopulated territory and at the same time assure daily bread for all than it was in those countries which at any rate seem to have been unable to solve this question thus far. . . .”

“As National Socialist State leaders we follow a natural but to some foreigners perhaps incomprehensible principle, namely, we are not so much moved by the question whether butter is more or less plentiful at the time or whether eggs get scarcer or not; our first concern is rather to keep the broad masses of our people at work earning wages and thereby save them from sinking back into the ghastly distress of unemployment.

“We are less interested in whether the upper classes get so and so much butter all the year round, but we are greatly concerned to assure cheaper fats for the broad masses and, most of all, to keep them from unemployment.

“The bourgeois governments surrounding us will naturally consider this wholly incomprehensible, but then Germany has no bourgeois but a National Socialist government.

“It is therefore also the great task of our national economy to guide the consuming power of our people in those directions in which we can satisfy it from our own national production.

“Inasmuch as an increase in our agricultural production is possible only to a limited extent, the increase in production must take place in other fields. It is the task of our national leadership and popular education to guide and interest the nation in these fields and increase its requirements in these directions.

“But if foreign critics make German armaments responsible for the German butter shortage, if they reproach us that instead of buying butter we are carrying through Germany’s rearmament, then I can only give these notable economists the advice to consider what would happen if the millions of German workers now producing for Germany’s domestic requirements and therewith for our armaments should suddenly be put to the production of export goods.

“I am afraid that these clever economists would cry out in even greater despair in view of the then inevitable flooding of the world markets with cheap German export goods.

“Like every healthy national economy German economy has first of all the desire to utilize as far as possible its own economic possibilities for the maintenance of its people, in order to use the secondary consideration and participate with its own healthy economy in world economy.

“Inasmuch as the National Socialist State under no circumstances is willing to restrict the numbers of its population, but is rather determined to increase the natural fertility of the nation, we are forced to consider and weigh the consequences of such a development for the future.

“A substantial increase in production from our soil is impossible and a substantial increase in exports in the near future is improbable.

“It is therefore the task of the National Socialist State economic leadership to investigate thoroughly what essential raw materials, fuel, etc., can be produced within Germany.

“The foreign exchange we can save will serve in the future as an additional safeguard for our food supply and for the purchase of those materials which cannot be found in our territory under any circumstances.

“I therefore announce this today as our new four-year program:

“In four years Germany must be wholly independent of foreign countries in respect to all those materials which can in any way be produced through German capability, through our chemistry, machine, and mining industries. The creation of this great German raw material industry will employ productively those masses freed by the completion of rearmament. We hope thus to increase national production in many fields so as to reserve the proceeds of our exports first of all for food and for raw materials, which we will still lack.

“I have just issued necessary orders for carrying out this mighty German economic plan. Its execution will take place with National Socialist energy and force.

“Independent of this, Germany cannot, however, relinquish her demand for a solution of her colonial demands. The right of the German people to live is just as great as that of the people of other nations.

“I know, my National Socialist racial comrades, that this new program represents a mighty task, but scientifically it is already solved in many fields; the production methods are being already partly tried.

“As National Socialists we never acknowledged the word ‘impossible’ and we shall not accept it in the future as an enrichment of our vocabulary. In four years we will give an accounting to the nation on this gigantic work and assure its nutrition and with that its life and independence.

“Perhaps we shall hear anew in the mouths of Western democrats the complaint that we deprive business of freedom for its own arbitrary activity and put it in the straight-jacket of our State planning. But you, my racial comrades, will understand that the question here is not democracy or freedom, but being or not being.

“Not the freedom or profit of some industrials is the subject for debate here, but the life and freedom of the German nation. Whoever believes he cannot exist because of the curtailing of freedom has no right to exist in our community. Posterity will not ask us whether in this critical and dangerous period we held high democratic freedom, meaning license, but whether we succeeded in keeping a great people from economic and political collapse. . .

“The National Socialist State leadership is so sovereign, so above all economic ties, that in its eyes the designations ‘employe’ and ‘employer’ are. immaterial concepts. Before the higher interests of the nation there are neither employer nor employe, but only labor delegates of the entire people. . . .”

“Just as we in Germany can solve the problems before us only if internal peace is preserved, so we are convinced that the European peoples and States can approach a happier future only through the preservation of European peace. It is our grim determination, however, not to let Germany become the unarmed victim of any foreign military power.

“We have learned from the last eighteen years. We know what is the fate of the nation that, without force of its own, depends on foreign justice. We see around us signs of evil times to come. What we preached for years about the greatest world danger of the end of this second thousand years of our Christian era has become a terrible reality.

“Everywhere the undermining work of bolshevist agents has begun. In the period while bourgeois statesmen are discussing non-intervention, the Jewish revolutionary headquarters in Moscow is using the radio and every available financial and other agent to accomplish revolution on this continent.

“Do not tell us that by constantly referring to these dangers to Germany we are creating a fear psychosis. We are National Socialists. We have never been afraid of bolshevism.

“We are not, however, members of that absurd bourgeois guild who sing ‘Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf?’ on the edge of a catastrophe and then, when its eyes are finally opened, jumps under the bed, teeth chattering.

“We German National Socialists have never been afraid of communism. We only recognized the real character of this shameful Jewish world-destroying doctrine. We studied its abominable methods and warned against its results. . . .”

“We are not afraid today of a bolshevist invasion of Germany, not, however, because we do not expect it but because we are determined to make the nation so strong that it will be able, like National Socialism within our boundaries, to face this doctrine of world hate and resist victoriously every foreign attack.

“This is the explanation of the military measures we have taken. Germany’s measures will be larger or smaller in proportion to the dangers surrounding us. It is for us no pleasure to lock up these forces of our people in armaments and barracks. We are simply men enough to look the facts in the face.

“I want to state this proclamation before the whole German people that I am profoundly convinced that it is necessary to preserve Germany’s bulwark of peace as I guaranteed its internal peace. I will not avoid any measure calculated to give the nation a sense of security and above all to secure for ourselves the sense that the complete independence of the Reich is guaranteed. ...”

“I, therefore, after discussions with the Reich War Minister, decreed the immediate introduction of a two-year military service term. I know that the young German, without moving an eyelash, will obey this necessity.

“The present regime in Germany has the right to ask this of Germans, for we all served in the great war, not for two but for four years. We did it for Germany, for the German nation, for our German homeland. The Nazi movement fought fifteen years and required great sacrifices from its followers for the salvation of Germany from the internal bolshevist enemy. . . .”

“The army educated us. We have all come from the army, those of us who became the party Storm Troops and the motor corps. The army gave us the men with whom we created our Storm Company’s old guard and movement.

“To the army shall belong for two years the young sons of our people so they will secure the strength and capacity to fight for the independence and freedom of our Fatherland, for the protection of the German nation. Because I am able to make this declaration on the fourth Reich Party Day I regard with profound joy this proudest accomplishment of the National Socialist Government’s military spirit.

“Now generation after generation will make the most noble sacrifice that can be demanded of man.

“The German people have in the year 1936, in the fourth year of the National Socialist regime, ended the period of their historic dishonor.”


New York Times, September 77—There is no reason to believe, that he is satisfied or that he has relinquished the determination expressed in Mein Kampf not only to absorb Austria but also to expand Germany’s frontiers eastward to include within the Reich all Germans “for the safeguarding of the race.” This could be achieved only through the dismemberment of Poland and Czechoslovakia—and this means war; or the amputation of a portion of the Ukraine from Soviet Russia—and this means war.

These territorial ambitions help to explain Hitler’s violent and uncompromising hatred of Soviet Russia and his wooing of Great Britain. If Western Europe and especially Great Britain can be persuaded that Germany is in fact the bulwark against communism, British pressure may be brought to bear on France and its Eastern European allies to permit German expansion at Russia’s expense. There are influential British Conservatives who favor this “solution. . . .”

Hitler’s reaffirmation of peaceful intentions may be accepted as sincere. But are his ambitions consistent with a peaceful Europe? Does his denunciation of democracy as the forerunner of anarchy help toward stabilization in a troubled world? Does his extolling of the military spirit strengthen the forces of conciliation? To ask these questions is to answer them. Hitler has shown that Nazi Germany is still on the march. The direction and nature of its future advances may determine the issues of peace or war.

London Times, September 10—... The general tone of the proclamation would seem to support the belief that while the Nazi are so much preoccupied with the manipulation of the bolshevist bogey on the stage of foreign affairs there will be a relaxation of the pressure which militant forms of Nazi activity have been exerting at home. Both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Churches will presumably benefit by this concentration on foreign affairs. Even the Jews may find themselves no worse off for some little time to come, although the wild cheering which greeted a casual but unfavorable reference to Jews in the proclamation today was an indication of the extent to which an announcement of further anti-Jewish legislation would have been welcomed in extremist party circles.

London Times, editorial, September 10, 1936—The claim to colonies which Herr Hitler stated at the opening of the Congress of the National Socialist party at Nuremberg yesterday was only the culmination of a propaganda which has assumed steadily large prominence in Germany during the last six months. . . .

There can at least be an understanding of the German desire to possess colonies on grounds of prestige; and, in spite of considerable pressure in Parliament, the British Government have not specifically bound themselves never to discuss the question with Germany. . . .

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1936: Nuremberg, Labor-Front

“HOW Germany has to work to wrest a few square kilometers from the ocean and from the swamps while others are swimming in a superfluity of land!

‘‘If I had the Ural Mountains with their incalculable store of treasures in raw materials, Siberia with its vast forests, and the Ukraine with its tremendous wheat fields, Germany and the National Socialist leadership would swim in plenty! . .

“There was sometimes advanced as an excuse for Russia that she had been through war and through revolution. Well, we stood against twenty-six States in the war and we had a revolution, but I have taken as my fundamental law not to destroy anything. Had I done so there would have been an excuse for rebuilding during another eighteen years.

“But that was not our plan. We wanted additional work for our unemployed and the use of the volume of their increased production to increase every man’s share in consumption. Wages are not based on production; production itself is the wage.

“If I had wished I could have substituted officials for employers, but nature and reality select best. We do not wish bureaucratic economics as in Russia, nor do we wish to establish economic democracy here.

“Yet that does not mean either that we wish to let things drift as they please. Our fundamental economic principles are, first, to unite all the forces existing, and secondly, to educate our people better in their use.

“This Labor Front is the greatest element in such education. You are servants of the nation, but you alone are nothing. As part of the organic whole you are everything. . . .”

“It is hard to build up a new life out of your poverty, but I am not complaining. On the contrary, I find it wonderful to face difficult problems.

“Some people say, ‘He has brought out another plan.’ When he had completed the first, why couldn’t he leave us in peace? Now he is tackling problems that cannot be solved.’

“I say that they can be solved; there is no problem that cannot be, but faith is necessary. Think of the faith I had to have eighteen years ago, a single man on a lonely path. Yet I have come to leadership of the German people. . . .”

“People complain of a shortage of this and that—for instance, of a shortage of cotton. I say that in the next four years we shall produce our own German cloth.

“Others raise the question of rubber. I tell you that factories will spring from the earth and that in four years we shall ride on our own German rubber tires.

“It may then be asked, ‘With what motive power will you drive you cars?’ I say that we shall take gasoline from our own oil and. coal.

“Whenever I see the Labor Front I am impressed by the word ‘front.’ It signifies one will, one goal of achievement. Life is hard for many, but it is hardest if you are unhappy and have no faith. Have faith. We are not a helpless State.

“Nothing can make me change my own belief. I am convinced that the unworthiest among us is he who cannot master his ill fortune.”


New York Times, September 13—. . . There was no expression of a wish to acquire these resources (Russian) and there was distinctly no threat. Yet when the cheers that greeted this passage had died away one was conscious that a thought had been cast into the pool of German mentality and that the ripples created by it might spread far indeed. . . .

To the shop stewards and factory leaders there assembled Hitler spoke extemporaneously and at length, quite simply, his voice rising at times to passionate earnestness.

London Times, September 14—. . . On his way to the meeting Herr Hitler received an obvious inspiration from the sight of units of the 400 military aircraft summoned for tomorrow’s display exercising in formation at a very low altitude over the railway station and the headquarters of the foreign press representatives. . . .

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1936: Nuremberg

“I CAN come to no terms with a Weltanschauung [bolshevism] which everywhere as its first act after gaining power is—not the liberation of the working people—but the liberation of the scum of humanity, the asocial creatures concentrated in the prisons—and then the letting loose of these wild beasts upon the terrified and helpless world about them. . .

“Bolshevism turns flourishing countrysides into sinister wastes of ruins; National Socialism transforms a Reich of destruction and misery into a healthy State and a flourishing economic life. . .

“Russia planned a world revolution and German workmen would be used but as cannon-fodder for bolshevist imperialism. But we National Socialists do not wish that our military resources should be employed to impose by force on other peoples what those peoples themselves do not want. Our army does not swear on oath that it will with bloodshed extend the National Socialist idea over other peoples, but that it will with its own blood defend the National Socialist idea and thereby the German Reich, its security and freedom, from the aggression of other peoples. . . . The German people as soldiers is one of the best peoples in the world: It would have become a veritable ‘Fight to the Death Brigade’ for the bloody purposes of these international disseminators of strife. We have removed this danger, through the National Socialist Revolution, from our own people and from other peoples. ...”

“These are only some of the grounds for the antagonisms which separate us from communism. I confess: these antagonisms cannot be bridged. Here are really two worlds which do but grow further apart from each other and can never unite. When in an English newspaper a Parliamentarian complains that we wish to divide Europe into two parts, then unfortunately we are bound to inform this Robinson Crusoe living on his happy British island that—however unwelcome it may be—this division is already an accomplished fact. . . . That one should refuse to see a thing does not mean that it is not there. For many a year in Germany I have been laughed to scorn as a prophet; for many a year my warnings and my prophecies were regarded as the illusions of a mind diseased. . .

“Bolshevism has attacked the foundations of our whole human order, alike in State and society, the foundations of our conception of civilization, of our faith and of our morals: all alike are at stake. If this bolshevism would be content to promote this doctrine in a single land, then other countries might remain unconcerned, but its supreme principle is its internationalism and that means the confession of faith that these views must be carried to triumph throughout the whole world, i.e., that the world as we know it must be turned upside down. That a British headline-writer refuses to recognize this signifies about as much as if in the fifteenth century a humanist in Vienna should have refused to admit the intention of Mohammedanism to extend its influence in Europe and should have objected that this would be to tear the world asunder—to divide it into East and West. Unfortunately I cannot escape the impression that most of those who doubt the danger to the world of bolshevism come themselves from the East. As yet politicians in England have not come to know bolshevism in their own country; we know it already. Since I have fought against these Jewish-Soviet ideas in Germany, since I have conquered and stamped out this peril, I fancy that I possess a better comprehension of its character than do men who have only at best had to deal with it in the field of literature. . . . I have won my successes simply because in the first place I endeavored to see things as they are and not as one would like them to be; secondly, when once I had formed my own opinion I never allowed weaklings to talk me out of it or to cause me to abandon it; and thirdly, because I was always determined in all circumstances to yield to a necessity when once it had been recognized. Today when fate has granted me such great successes I will not be disloyal to these fundamental principles of mine. ...”

. . . : “It is not necessary for me to strengthen the fame of the National Socialist Movement, far less that of the German Army, through military triumphs. He who is undertaking such great economic and cultural tasks as we are and is so determined to carry them through can find his fairest memorial only in peace. . . . But this bolshevism which as we learned only a few months since intends to equip its army so that it may with violence, if necessary, open the gate to revolution amongst other peoples—this bolshevism should know that before the gate of Germany stands the new German Army. ... I believe that as a National Socialist I appear in the eyes of many bourgeois democrats as only a wild man. But as a wild man I still believe myself to be a better European, in any event a more sensible one, than they. It is with grave anxiety that I see the possibility in Europe of some such development as this: democracy may continuously disintegrate the European States, may make them internally ever more uncertain in their judgment of the dangers which confront them, may above all cripple all power for resolute resistance. Democray is the canal through which bolshevism lets its poisons flow into the separate countries and lets them work there long enough for these infections to lead to a crippling of intelligence and of the force of resistance. I regard it as possible that then—in order to avoid something still worse—coalition governments, masked as Popular Fronts or the like, will be formed and that these will endeavor to destroy—and perhaps will successfully destroy—in these peoples the last forces which remain, either in organization or in mental outlook, which could offer opposition to bolshevism.”

“The brutal mass-slaughters of National Socialist fighters, the burning of the wives of National Socialist officers after petrol had been poured over them, the massacre of children and of babies of National Socialist parents, e.g. in Spain, are intended to serve as a warning to forces in other lands which represent views akin to those of National Socialism: such forces are to be intimidated so that in a similar position they offer no resistance. If these methods are successful: if the modern Girondins are succeeded by Jacobins, if Kerensky’s Popular Front gives place to the Bolshevists, then Europe will sink into a sea of blood and mourning. . .


Le Temps, September 16—The Fuehrer’s closing speech at the National Socialist Congress was another manifestation of the prevailing mood at Nuremberg: against bolshevism.

London Times, September 15—As the gathering force of anti-bolshevist invective here had suggested, Herr Hitler’s closing speech at the Party Congress tonight was an appeal and a warning to Europe against the bolshevist menace in extremely violent terms. .. .

The nearest Herr Hitler came to this point tonight was when he declared passionately that National Socialist Germany could not enter into any kind of bargain with the Bolshevist outlook; they could not negotiate with bolshevism. Rhetorically, to judge by the rousing response, the speech was a fitting climax; what it was diplomatically will become clearer through the course of events. . . .

London Times, September 17—Against a background of marching troops and massed airplanes the fourth official rally of the National Socialist party will be brought to an end at Nuremberg today, and a murmur of relief will surely rise from the lips of all who hope and work for the pacification of Europe. . . . Herr Hitler alternated between invocations of peace and a call to stand fast against the Russian terror, which must bring to many minds the former warnings of the ex-Kaiser against the Yellow peril. . . .

From the Fuehrer himself downwards it has always been a stock theme of Nazi writings and oratory that Germany ought to have more territory to the East in which to hold her cramped population. The alarm of the two countries (France and Russia) and their determination to help each other is therefore wholly understandable. . . .

SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1937: Reichstag



October 3—In Germany, battleship Scharnhorst is launched.

November 18—Germany and Italy recognize Franco.

November 28—Germany and Japan sign the anti-Comin- tern pact.

December 4—England and France propose to extend the non-intervention agreement to so-called “volunteers.”

December 8—Battleship Gneisenau is launched in Germany.

December 27—First rationing of fats introduced in Germany. Death penalty is decreed for evasion of foreign exchange regulations.


January 7—Marriage of Prince Lippe-Biesterfeld to Princess Juliana of Holland.

January 73—State Department in Washington warns citizens against serving in Spain.

January 19—Opening of the Trials against “Trotskyists” in Moscow. Karl Radek and 16 others are condemned to death in the first trials.

The Speech

“MEN! Deputies of the German Reichstag! The Reichstag has met today on a day momentous for the German people. Four years have passed since the greatest national revolution and reformation that Germany has ever experienced began. These were the four years which I asked for as a trial period. . . .”

“I do not know whether there has ever been such a thorough revolution as ours, which nevertheless left unmolested numerous former political functionaries and allowed them to work in peace and paid pensions to its bitterest enemies.

“But our policy has not been of much use to us as far as other countries are concerned. Only a few months ago honorable British citizens felt they must make a protest to us for detaining in a concentration camp one of the most criminal subjects of Moscow. [Presumably Herr von Ossietzky, ’winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.] I do not know whether these honorable men have also protested against the slaying and burning of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Spain. We are assured that the number of people slain in Spain is 170,000. On this basis we would have had the right to murder 400,000 to 500,000 people in the Nazi Revolution!

“The National Socialist program replaces the liberalistic conception of the individual by the conception of a people bound by their blood to the soil. Of all the tasks with which we are confronted, it is the grandest and most sacred task of man to preserve his race. This will not lead to an estrangement of the nations; on the contrary, it will lead for the first time to a mutual understanding. It will also prevent the Jewish people from trying to disintegrate and dominate other people under the mask of an innocent bourgeoisie.

“Within a few weeks the social prejudices of a thousand years were swept away. So great was the Revolution that its spiritual foundations have not been understood even today by a superficial world. They speak of democracies and dictatorships, and have not realized that in this country a Revolution has taken place that can be described as democratic in the highest sense of the word. Does a more glorious socialism or a truer democracy exist than that which enables any German boy to find his way to the head of the nation? The purpose of the Revolution was not to deprive a privileged class of its rights, but to raise a class without rights to equality. . .

“There is now only one representative of German sovereignty—the people itself.

“The will of the people finds its expression in the Party as its political organization.

“Therefore there is only one legislative body.

“There is only one executive authority.

“Therefore the people is the basis, and Party, State, Army, industry, justice, etc., are only the means of maintaining the people.

“In a new penal code, justice will be put for all time into the service of maintaining the German race.

“When I took over power there were more than 6,000,000 unemployed and the farmers seemed doomed to decay. Today you must admit that I have fulfilled my promises. . .

“The Four-Year Plan will give permanent employment to those workmen who are now being released from the armament industry. It is significant for the gigantic economic development of our people that there is today a lack of trained workmen in many industries. There will be no strikes or lockouts in Germany, because every one has to serve the interests of the entire nation.

“Education of the people will never come to an end, and this education includes the Hitler Youth, the Labor Service, the Party, and the Army, as well as books, newspapers, theaters, and films.

“The restoration of Germany’s equality of status was an event which exclusively concerns Germany herself. We have never taken anything from any people or harmed any people. In this sense I will deprive the German railways and the Reichsbank of their former character and place both without reservation under the sovereignty of the Government.

“The time of so-called surprises has thus been ended.

“I solemnly withdraw the German signature from the declaration, extracted by force from a weak Government against its better judgment, that Germany was responsible for the War.

“The restoration of the honor of the German people was the most difficult and the most audacious task and work of my life.

“As an equal State, Germany is conscious of its European task to co-operate loyally in removing the problems which affect us and other nations. My views concerning these problems can perhaps be most suitably stated by referring to the statements recently made by Mr. Eden in the House of Commons. I should like to express my sincere thanks for the opportunity of making a reply offered me by the frank and notable statement of the British Foreign Minister.

“I shall first try to correct what seems to me a most regrettable error—namely, that Germany never had any intention of isolating herself, of passing by the events of the rest of the world without sharing them, or that she does not want to pay any consideration to general necessities. I should like to assure Mr. Eden that we Germans do not in the least want to be isolated and that we do not feel at all that we are isolated. Our relations with most States are normal, and are very friendly with quite a number. I only call your attention to our agreement with Poland, our agreement with Austria, our excellent relations with Italy, our friendly relations with Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc., and our no less friendly relations with a whole series of nations outside Europe. The agreement with Japan for fighting the Comintern is a virile proof of how little the German Government is thinking of isolating itself.

“Germany, and I solemnly repeat this here, has declared that there can be no humanly conceivable object of dispute whatsoever between Germany and France.

“The German Government has assured Belgium and Holland of its readiness to recognize and guarantee these States as untouchable and neutral regions for all time.

“From the economic point of view there is not the least reason to assert that Germany is giving up international cooperation.

“When I consider the speeches of many statesmen in the last few months, the impression may be obtained that the whole world is waiting to inundate Germany with economic favors, which we refuse to share. The German people have been making commercial treaties to bring about a more lively exchange of goods. German foreign trade has increased since 1932 both in volume and in value.

“I do not believe that there can be durable economic cooperation except on the basis of a new mutual exchange of goods. World economics are not suffering from any refusal of Germany to participate in them. When we got into power the world economic crisis was worse than today.

“I fear that I must interpret Mr. Eden’s words as meaning that he sees in the carrying out of the Four-Year Plan a refusal of international relations on the part of Germany. The decision to carry out this plan does not allow of any change. Germany has an enormous number of people who do not only want to work but to eat. I cannot build the future of the German nation on the assurances of a foreign statesman or on any international help, but only on the real facts of production.

“If Europe does not awaken to the danger of bolshevist infection, commerce will decrease in spite of all the good will of individual statesmen. Therefore I am not in a position to judge the economic future of Europe as optimistically as Mr. Eden apparently does. I rejoice at every increase of our for- > eign trade, but in view of the political situation I shall not regret anything that will guarantee to the German people their existence when other nations have perhaps become the victims of bolshevist infection. The British Foreign Minister offers us theoretical prospects of existence, whereas in reality totally different things are happening—for instance, the revolutionizing of Spain has driven 15,000 Germans from the country and done great harm to our commerce. Should this revolutionizing of Spain spread to other European countries the damage would be increased. ...”

“The League of Nations has never been a real league of peoples. A number of great nations do not belong to it or have left it, without anybody being able to assert that these countries were in favor of a policy of isolation. I think, therefore, that in this respect Mr. Eden misjudges Germany’s intentions and views. I have already tried to bring about a good understanding in Europe, and I have especially assured the British people and Government how ardently we wish for sincere and hearty co-operation with them.

“The division into two parts, hot only of Europe but of the rest of the world, is an accomplished fact. It is to be regretted that the British Government did not decide earlier that a division of Europe must be avoided under all circumstances, for then we would not have had a Treaty of Versailles.

“Secondly, division has been brought about by the proclamation of the bolshevist doctrine, the chief feature of which is to enforce itself on all peoples. For Mr. Eden, bolshevism is perhaps a thing which has its seat in Moscow, but for us it is a pestilence against which we have had to struggle at the cost of much bloodshed—a pestilence which tried to make of our country the same desert as Spain. National Socialism has not sought to conquer bolshevism in Russia, but Jewish International Moscow Bolshevists have tried to invade Germany and are still trying to. It is not suitable that National Socialist Germans should ever hope to protect bolshevism or that we should ever accept help from a bolshevist State.

“Three times I have made concrete offers for armament restriction or at least limitation. These offers were rejected. . .

“It would be better to mention in the first instance the armaments of that Power which is the basis of the armaments of all the others. Mr. Eden believes that in future all States should have only that armament which is necessary for their defense. I do not know whether Mr. Eden has already got into touch with Moscow about the realization of this fine idea or what assurances he has got there. I must, however, state one thing. It is absolutely clear that the amount of armaments for defense is determined by the degree of dangers which threaten a country. We cannot imagine anyone outside London being competent to estimate the strength necessary for the protection of the British Empire. The estimate of our need for protection is decided exclusively in Berlin. A general recognition of these principles would contribute to a lessening of the tension. Germany is happy to have found Italy and Japan to be of the same opinion. Nobody welcomed the apparant lessening of the tension in the Mediterranean brought about by the Anglo-Italian agreement more than we.

“Germany has no interest in Spain but the cultivation of those economic relations which Mr. Eden himself has described as so important and profitable.

“Germany has no colonial claims on countries which have taken no colonies away from her. Our sympathies with General Franco and his Government are in the first place of a general nature, but they are also based on the hope that the consolidation of a real National Spain may lead to a strengthening of the European economic system. We are ready to do everything which may lead to a restoration of orderly conditions in Spain.

“During the last 100 years a number of new nations have arisen in Europe which, owing to their incapacity, have been of no economic importance and almost of no political significance. They have brought into the world new tensions. The new Italian State, however, is a reality. The German people and the German Reich are also a reality. The Polish people and State are also a reality.

“The unreasonable division of the world into peoples who have and peoples who have not does not remove or solve problems. If it is to be the task of the League of Nations only to guarantee the existing state of the world and to safeguard it for all time, then we might as well entrust it also with the task of guarding the high tide and the low tide, or of regulating for the future the direction of the Gulf Stream. Its continued existence depends on the extent to which it is realized that necessary reforms which concern thé relations of the nations must be considered and put into practice.

“The German people once built up a Colonial Empire, without robbing anyone and -without any war. This was taken away from us. It was said that the natives did not want to belong to Germany, that the colonies were not administered properly by the Germans, and that these colonies had no true value. If this is true, this valuelessness would also apply to the other nations, and there is no reason why they should wish to keep them from us. Germany has never demanded colonies for military purposes, but exclusively for economic ones. It is obvious that in times of general prosperity the value of certain territories may shrink, but it is just as clear that in time of distress such value changes. Today Germany lives in a time of fierce struggle for foodstuffs and raw materials. Sufficient imports are only conceivable if there is a continued increase in our exports. Therefore the demand for colonies for our densely populated country will again and again be raised as a matter of course.

“I should like to express a few opinions on possible ways of bringing about a genuine pacification of Europe, and beyond:—

“1. It is in the interests of all nations that individual countries should possess stable political and economic conditions. This is the most important condition for lasting and solid economic and political relations between the nations.

“2. The vital interests of the different nations must be frankly recognized.

“3. The League of Nations, to be effective, must be reformed and must become an organ of evolutionary commonsense and not remain an organ of inactivity.

“4. The relations of the nations with one another can only be regulated and solved on a basis of mutual respect and absolute equality.

“5. It is impossible to make one nation responsible for armaments or another responsible for armaments limitation, but it is necessary to see this problem as it really is.

“6. It is impossible to maintain peace so long as an international, irresponsible clique continues its agitation unchecked. I greatly regret that the British Foreign Minister did not state categorically that there was not one word of truth in the calumnies about Morocco spread by these international war agitators. Thanks to the loyalty of a foreign diplomat and his Government, the immediate clearing up of this stirring case was made possible, but is it not conceivable that on another occasion it might not be possible to enable the truth to come to light so quickly, and what would happen then?

“7. It has been proved that European problems can be solved properly only within the limits of the possible. Germany is hoping to have close and friendly relations with Italy. May we succeed in paving the way for such relations with other European countries. The German Reich will watch over its security and honor with its strong Army. On the other hand, convinced that there can be no greater treasure for Europe than peace, it will always be a reasonable supporter of those European ideals of peace, and will be conscious of its responsibilities.

“8. It would be profitable to European peace as a whole if, in the treatment of the nationalities who are forced to live as minorities within other nations, mutual consideration were shown for national honor and consciousness. This would lead to a decisive lessening of tension between the nations who are forced to live side by side and whose State frontiers are not identical with the frontiers of the people.

“In concluding these remarks I should like to deal with the document which the British Government addressed to the German Government on the occasion of the occupation of the Rhineland. We are convinced that the British Government at that time did everything to lessen the tension, and that the document in question was intended to contribute to disentangling the situation. Nevertheless it was not possible for the German Government, for reasons which the British Government will certainly appreciate, to reply to those questions.

“We preferred to settle some of those questions in the most natural way by the practical improvement of our relations with our neighbors. I should like to state now that complete German sovereignty and equality have been restored, and that Germany will never sign a treaty which is in any way incompatible with the honor of the nation and of the Government which represents it, or which otherwise is incompatible with Germany’s vital interests and therefore in the long run cannot be kept. With all my heart I hope that the intelligence and good will of responsible European governments will succeed, in spite of all opposition, in preserving peace for Europe. Peace is our dearest treasure. . .

“When I look upon the work of the past four years my first feeling is of gratitude to the Almighty who made it possible, and who has blessed our work and enabled us to pass through all obstacles.

“I have had three unusual friends in my life. In my youth, poverty accompanied me for many years. When the Great War came to an end it was great sorrow that took hold of me and prescribed my path—sorrow at the collapse of our people. Since January 30 four years ago I have made the acquaintance of anxiety as the third friend—anxiety for the people and Reich which have been confided to my leadership. Since that time it has never left me, and in all probability will accompany me to my end. How could a man shoulder the burden of this anxiety if he had not faith in his mission and the consent of Him who stands above us?”


New York Times, February 1— A certain amount of reflection ... is required to classify, appraise, and digest all the varied implications left by such a speech as that made by Chancellor Adolf Hitler before the Reichstag yesterday.

. . . Germany must choose between co-operation and isolation. . . . But Hitler . . . has not chosen, or if he has, he did not make known his choice yesterday. He merely indicated he was willing to discuss matters before announcing it. . . . The era of German surprises has ended, Hitler said.

That is so much gain and should help soothe European nerves. But he has not surrendered or even modified a single point in his program, although expressing his willingness to talk about all points. This is no surprise. Anyone who has devoted more than casual study to Nazism and its mentality long ago accepted it as an axiom that its program would never voluntarily be modified. ... As to arms limitation, Hitler definitely refuses to trade German armaments for economic concessions, as it was expected he would. However, if the speech is read correctly, he does leave the door open for an armament agreement without economic ties on the basis of ’’security.” That means security according to the German idea and not the French idea.

London Times, February 1— The part concerned with international affairs was a blend of defense and defiance. The Fuehrer’s pronouncements have a way of proving later to have had more significance in unexpected places than they seemed to have. . . . He withdrew—symbolically, of course —Germany’s signature from the so-called “War-guilt” paragraph of the treaty. . . .

Le Temps, February 7—The character of the Chancellor’s renewed demand for equal rights is obvious. From the first our neighbors across the Rhine have felt that such equality should be unqualified by any preliminary guarantees. On the other hand, the Geneva Resolution, while recognizing in principle Germany’s right to equality, required such guarantees. . . . The Fuehrer expressed indignation at England’s blindness to the fact that bolshevism was a doctrine of world revolution. . . . He said that now the epoch of “surprises” was over. This, then, amounts to a formal promise of loyal co-operation in the European Order. As for the West, the Fuehrer once more emphasized that there were no possible causes for dispute between Germany and France. The Chancellor also declared that the German Government is willing to recognize Belgium and the Low Countries as neutral territory and to guarantee their inviolability. In reference to Russia and bolshevism, the Fuehrer’s most significant statement was that any new pact with Soviet Russia would be utterly worthless to Germany. Obviously this would exclude Soviet Russia from the European commonwealth, and would render extremely difficult any general settlement upon the basis of collective security and mutual assistance; On the question of Spain, the leader of the Reich, while openly admitting his hopes for the victory of the Burgos government, declared that the Germans are ready to do all in their power to re-establish order in that country.

SPEECH OF MAY 1, 1937:


January 31—Germany: Foundation of the National Prize for Arts and Science. Germans are forbidden to accept any Nobel Prize in the future.

February 2—Germany: Gauleiter Bohle is made chief of a new organization, attached to the Foreign Office, to organize the Germans abroad.

February 18—England: Stanley Baldwin announces a program in four points: 1, rearmament; 2, closer collaboration with France; 3, project of a new Locarno treaty; 4, no return of German colonies.

March 3d—Reconciliation between Hitler and Ludendorff, estranged since the Munich revolt.

April IP—Germany: Creation of the National Socialist Flying Corps.

April 3d—Germany: 1000 Catholic monks are put on trial. Opening of the Four-Year Plan Exhibition.

The Speech

“IF ON this day we celebrate the festival of the community of the German people, then the question arises: What is it which is common to this people? Our blood? Certainly, but that community of blood has never prevented this people from shedding its best blood in civil warfare. Language? Certainly, but community of language has never prevented men who spoke one common language from failing, often for centuries, to understand one another. Is it our common economic interests? But it was precisely over economic differences that conflicts raged most fiercely. Or is it our history? That history we know; it is a tragic chronicle of perpetual wars, of disagreements between brothers. Is it a common religion? No! here too we have fought and striven with each other; for thirty years in our people’s life bloodshed ever followed bloodshed and all in the name of religion. And it was not either common custom or common usage. No, it is something other than all these which guides, nay rather forces us to this community. It is, my fellow-countrymen, our common destiny, this compelling common destiny from which none can escape, our life’s destiny in this world.

“And it is no easy thing, it is a hard destiny, for the problems which life sets for us are harder than those of other peoples. There are peoples perhaps who can allow themselves the luxury of domestic warfare, they may indulge in quarrels, may smash each other’s heads with impunity. Where Nature gives everything to man in superfluity there perhaps folk need not value so highly the necessity for unity of action and of will. But we Germans have been treated by Nature in our life on this earth in a more than stepmotherly fashion. A great people, a people of endless capacity, an industrious people, a people that has the will to live, which has the courage to make demands on life, yet lives in a space which even with the greatest industry is far too small and limited to give it from its own territory the essentials for its existence. When we often hear foreign politicians say, ‘For what purpose do you need other wider possibilities of life?’ we could turn the question back on them and ask, ‘Why do you then set such value on them?’ Precisely because this life-struggle with us is much harder than anywhere else we are forced to draw from this fact, which is our fate, conclusions which are peculiar to our own case. We cannot live from phrases, from platitudes and theories, but only from the results of our work, our capacity, and our intelligence. This hard life-struggle of ours is not made any easier by each going his own way, if each man says, ‘I do what I will and what seems good to me.’ No, we must live one with another. No one can shut himself off from this community, because no one can escape from this common destiny. And from this hard and sober recognition of facts there arises the compelling necessity for our German community of the people. That community is the condition for the practical conduct of our life-struggle. ...” “. . . We cannot admit that this [the Government’s] authority, which is the authority of the German people, shall be attacked by any other instance whatever. That applies also for all churches. So long as they concern themselves with their religious problems the State does not concern itself with them. But so soon as they attempt by any means whatsoever— by letters, Encyclica, or otherwise—to arrogate to themselves rights which belong to the State alone we shall force them back into their proper spiritual, pastoral activity. They have no title to criticize the morals of a State when they have more than enough reason to concern themselves with their own morals. For the morals of the German State and of the German people the leaders of the German State will be responsible—of that we can assure all anxious folk both within and without Germany. For this people must remain sound; with its soundness stands or falls our own existence. It is for the generation now growing up that we live; they are our care and them we will guard and protect in the face of everyone. Many may regret that our youth is not so divided now as it

was formerly, that it can no longer be broken up into class organizations, into confessional organizations, and so on. Such times are past! We will see to it that our youth shall be the strong support of Germany’s future. . . .”


New York Times, May 2—Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in the name of the Nazi Party and the German State it dominates, flung defiance at protesting church organizations, especially the Catholic Church and the Pope, whom, however, he did not name. . . . He went on later to state uncompromisingly the National Socialist demand for exclusive control over the molding of youth, which is at the bottom of the quarrel with the Catholic Church.

London Times, May 3— . . . the speech was striking for its vehement expression of the Fuehrer’s conviction that the German people must be subjected in the interests of national unity to an iron discipline ruthlessly overriding all manifestations of individualism and of the principles of the Christian churches insofar as these are incompatible with the idea of the supreme authority of the State.

SPEECH OF JULY 18, 1937: Munich


May 3—Germany: Lord Lothian visits Goering in Berlin.

May 7—Zeppelin Hindenburg goes up in flames in Lakehurst.

May 12—England: Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

May 29—Spain: Republican planes bomb German cruiser Deutschland.

May 31—In reprisals, German battleships bomb Almeria.

In his first speech, the new British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain pledges conciliation abroad.

June 21—France: Léon Blum’s Cabinet falls.

June 25—Germany: The State takes over the financial regulation of the Protestant Church.

June 29—France: Camille Chautemps forms new Popular Front Cabinet with Léon Blum as Vice-President.

July 16—Cordell Hull sends an appeal to thirty-seven nations in favor of peace between Japan and China.

The Speech .

“. . . WORKS of art that cannot be understood but need a swollen set of instructions to prove their right to exist and find their way to neurotics who are receptive for such stupid or insolent nonsense will no longer find the road whereby they can reach the German nation open.

“Let no one have illusions. National Socialism has set out to purge the German Reich and our people of all those influences threatening its existence and character. . .

“If this purge cannot occur in one day, all those taking part in such pollution do not want to forget that sooner or later the hour will strike for their disappearance. With the opening of this exhibition has come the end of artistic lunacy and with it the artistic pollution of our people.

“I can promise you all that cliques of gossips, dilettantes and artistic cheats will be sought out and suppressed. . . .”

“Either these so-called artists really see things in the fashion they represent, and in that case we would merely need to discover whether their visual abnormality is the result of mechanical defects or inheritance, or they do not themselves believe in the reality of such impressions but burden the nation with such humbug for other reasons, in which case . such activity is a matter for the police and the criminal court. . .

“Like all truly great architecture this building is unparalleled and inimitable. It will remain entrenched in the memory of all seeing it and it is a true monument for this city and all German art. This master work is as great in its beauty as it is practical in its construction.

“The creation of this building is to be the turning point, putting an end to the chaotic and stumbling architecture of the past. It shall be the first new building to take its place in the ranks of the immortal creations of our German artistic life.

“It is the present State alone that has laid the basis for a new and mighty flowering of German art. Not bolshevist art collectors or their literary satellites have created the foundation for the new art, but it is we who have called this State to life and since then have given German art immense means and have, above all, presented German art with new, stupendous undertakings.

“If I had done nothing more for German art than merely to have ordered the construction of this building, I would have done more than all the absurd Jewish scribblers of our former Jewish newspapers.

“I know, however, that the new Reich will call into being an astounding blossoming of German art. For never has art been presented with greater duties and opportunities than in this Reich. Never before has more generous support been measured out than in National Socialist Germany. . .

Hitler earlier in his address revealed that he had perfect trust in his own artistic judgment, saying:

“I was always determined if fate ever gave us power not to discuss these matters with anyone, but to make decisions. Understanding for so great affairs is not given to everyone.”

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1937: Nuremberg


July 24—Germany: The “Herman Goering” corporation for mining and ironworks is founded.

July 31— Chamberlain and Mussolini exchange personal letters which seem to lead to an Anglo-Italian rapprochement.

September 6—National Socialist party convention opens in Nuremberg.

September 11—England and France agree to guard Mediterranean against attacks of mysterious submarines. Italy refuses to join them.

The Speech

“. . . THIS is the greatest crisis in which humanity has ever found itself, the greatest upheaval since the advent of Christianity. It may be unpleasant for democratic statesmen to concern themselves with bolshevism, but it will not matter whether they will want to or not—they will have to deal with it. . . .”

“Germany, like Italy, has become immune from this danger because we have protected ourselves by a new internal order. But while we are thus secure, we believe many other countries surrounding us are unsafe. The world is in a state of growing unrest emanating from the Jewish bolshevist dictatorship in Moscow. If Russia is to be a bridgehead whence other nations are to be invaded, there arises a problem that will be solved only because it has to be solved. . . .”

“In the press of our Western democracies and in the speeches of many politicians, we discern recurring asseverations of the common interests of these Powers in certain spheres. It appears to representatives of these States as selfevident that their interests include every ocean and every State in Europe and even beyond by natural ordination. Conversely we encounter immediate outbreaks of indignation whenever a nation not belonging to this exclusive circle aspires to speak of certain interests lying beyond its own frontiers.

“In the face of this assumption I desire once for all to make the following declaration: We repeatedly hear from Britain and from France that they possess certain interests in Spain. Of what nature are these interests? Are they of a political or an economic nature? In the event they are political, we are unable to comprehend them any more than we would be if someone claimed a political interest in Germany. Who rules in Germany concerns nobody so long as this regime does not contemplate hostilities against another State.

“Exactly as Britain and France do not desire a shift in the European balance of power in favor of Germany or Italy, so equally we do not desire a shift of power in the sense of an accretion of bolshevist influence in Europe. . . .”

“If fascism rules in Italy, that is purely an Italian national affair. It would be stupid to assume that fascist Italy is receiving from the outside instructions or commands. It would be still more stupid to assert that fascist Italy constitutes a component part of a greater international organization that dominates it. On the contrary, it is an integral principle of fascism and National Socialism that they are based on a political principle whose ideology and effectiveness are confined within their national frontiers. It is equally certain that a national Spain will remain Spanish rather than international, as bolshevism consciously is.

“Just as Britain and France profess to be concerned that Spain may be occupied by Italy or Germany, so we are disturbed by the prospect that Spain may be conquered by Soviet Russia. Such a conquest need not be in the nature of an occupation by Russian troops. It would become an accomplished fact the very moment a bolshevized Spain became an intriguing annex of the Moscow bolshevist headquarters, from which it would receive not only political orders but material subventions. . .

“Speaking generally, we recognize in every attempt to expand bolshevism to Europe a shift in the European balance of power. Just as Britain is interested in preventing a shift under her own interpretation so we are interested in similar prevention from our viewpoint.

“In that connection we must categorically decline to receive instructions concerning what a shift in power toward bolshevism might mean from statesmen who do not possess the knowledge of it that we have acquired and who furthermore are not in a position to acquire the practical experience forced upon us.

“Of no less importance is the circumstance that a shift of power toward bolshevism would be identical with an economic development that might have catastrophic results in our closely knit European community of States. The first visible result of every bolshevist revolution is not an enhancement of production but the total destruction of prevailing economic values and economic functions in the country affected.

“The world does not live by reason of international economic conferences such as are convoked from time to time, but by the exchange of commodities and their production. If, therefore, through criminal madness the production of commodities is destroyed the results cannot be remedied by further conferences. They will reach into such States as have not secured their frontiers against bolshevism and will deprive them of their international commerce. We have had practical experience of this. . .

“In the very moment that bolshevism controls Spain an entire national production will be so endangered that the further exchange of commodities with it will become impossible. If this is countered with the assertion that Britain and France are still doing good business with Spain, we must point out that payment for their goods is being made in gold, which is not a product of bolshevism but of previous Spanish national labor pilfered by bolshevism and sent abroad.

“It may be a matter of indifference to Britain if Spain is converted into an economic desert, but for us Germans, who do not have an opportunity to shift our trade from one continent to another, Europe as it exists today constitutes a prerequisite to our existence. A bolshevized Europe would make our commercial policies impossible because we could no longer find markets.

“If Spain should become bolshevized and the wave should further reach Belgium, France, and Holland it would mean an economic catastrophe to Germany because we are dependent upon a reciprocal exchange of goods with these countries for the existence of the German people. We have therefore a serious interest in preventing the spread of this bolshevist plague. In the community of European nations Jewish world bolshevism is an alien body that does not contribute a single element to our economic or cultural life, but instead creates confusion in it. . . .”


New York Times, September 14—Chancellor Adolf Hitler closed the National Socialist Congress here tonight with a new tirade against bolshevism and a declaration of Germany’s relentless opposition to any extension of its influence. . . .

London Times, September 14—Herr Hitler wound up the National Socialist Party Rally of Work tonight with an assertive speech on German foreign policy, which, he again made clear, means in general a campaign against international bolshevism wherever it raises its head.

Le Temps, September 14—The Fuehrer’s closing speech at the Nuremberg Congress last night was almost entirely an attack upon bolshevism. The important part of the speech was that devoted to the Spanish problem. M. Hitler objected strenuously that France and England were pretending to fidrt Franco for the sake of their own interests. ... In the o

course of his speech the Fuehrer replied to the widespread opinion abroad that Germany is economically isolated.

SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1937: Munich


September 22—Germany: First air-raid protection drill in Berlin.

September 25—Mussolini visits Munich and Berlin.

The Speech

“. . . WE HAVE just witnessed a historic event, the significance of which has no parallel. More than a million people have gathered here, participating in a demonstration which is being closely followed by the national communities of two countries, numbering one hundred and fifteen millions, besides hundreds of millions more in other parts of the world who were following the proceedings over the radio as more or less interested listeners.

“What moves us the most at this moment is the deep- rooted joy to see in our midst a guest who is one of the lonely men in history who are not put to trial by historic events but determine the history of their country themselves.

“Secondly, we realize that this demonstration is not one of those meetings which we can experience anywhere. It is an avowal of common ideals and common interests. It is the avowal pronounced by two men and it is heard by a million people assembled before us, an avowal which is expected by and is the concern of one hundred and fifteen millions with a burning heart.

“That is why the present demonstration is more than a public meeting. It is a manifestation of nations. The true meaning of this public gathering consists of the sincere desire to guarantee a peace to our two countries which is not the reward for resigned cowardice but the result of a responsible policy safeguarding the racial intellect and physical fitness of the nation as well as its cultural possessions. In doing this we hope to serve the interests of two nations and, more than that, the interests of the European Continent.

“The fact that we are in a position today to hold this meeting reminds us of the changes that have taken place in the period which we have left behind us. There is no nation in the world which longs more for peace than Germany and no country has suffered more from the terrible consequences of misplaced blind confidence than our nation. We recall a period of fifteen years before National Socialism came into power, a time which was marked by oppression, exploitation, the denial of equal rights with other nations, and with unutterable mental torture and material distress.

“The ideals of liberalism and democracy have not preserved the German nation from the worst depression history has ever seen. National Socialism was thus forced to create a new ideal and a more effective one, according all human rights to our people which had been denied the nation for fifteen long years.

“During this time of bitter experience Italy, and fascist Italy especially, refused to take part in the humiliation Germany was subjected to. I must make it a point to say this tonight before the German people and the whole world.

In the course of these years, Italy has shown understanding for the demands of a great nation claiming equal rights with other peoples in the endeavor to provide the means of subsistence and, above all, to save its honor.

“We are only too glad that the hour has come in which we are given the opportunity to recall the past and, I believe, we have remembered our debt of gratitude.

“The common trend of ideas expressed in the fascist and National Socialist Revolutions has developed today into a similar course of action. This will have a salutary influence on the world, in which destruction and deformation are trying to win the upper hand. Fascist Italy has been transformed into a new Imperium Romanum by the ingenious activities of a compelling personality.

“You, Benito Mussolini, will have realized that in these days, due to the National Socialist State, Germany has become a Great Power, thanks to her racial attitude and her military strength. The inherent strength of the two countries is the best guarantee for the preservation of Europe, which is inspired by a sense of responsibility in the discharge of its cultural mission. It is not willing to allow destructive elements to cause its decline and dissolution.

“You who are present at this very hour and those who are listening to us in other parts of the world must acknowledge that two sovereign national regimes have come into contact at a time in which the democratic and Marxist International revels in demonstrations of hatred which must result in dissension. Every attempt to interfere with the understanding between the two nations or to play one up against the other by casting suspicion and by obscuring the real aims in order to dissolve the ideal partnership will be of no avail because of the innermost desire of one hundred and fifteen million people, who are united at the manifestation of this very hour, and because of the determination of the two men who are standing here to address you. . .


New York Times, September 29—There was no menace to anybody, although, of course, there were hard things said about bolshevism and its corrosive and disruptive effects upon peaceful peoples. There was no hint of war because, as it appeared, there will not be any need for war, since the whole world is gradually coming around to fascism or Nazism, realizing how good these are for nations presently sweltering in the darkness and confusion of democracy. . . .

SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 20, 1938: Reichstag



October 7—Roosevelt makes a speech in Chicago suggesting that aggressors be put “in quarantine.”

October 22—Fifteen hundred German veterans attend a French veteran meeting in Besançon (France).

November 3—The Nine-Power Conference meets in Brussels to study the Sino-Japanese conflict. Japan declines to appear and the conference brings no results.

November 6— Italy joins the Anti-Comintern Pact.

November 10—Germany warns Austria against alleged infractions to the “cultural pact.”

November 76—France: The “Cagoulards,” a secret fascist society, is unmasked and their offices and armories raided.

November 26— Germany: Schacht leaves the Cabinet and is succeeded by Walter Funk.

December 1—Big Colonial demonstration in Berlin.

December 11—Mussolini, in a violent speech, announces Italy’s withdrawal from the League of Nations.

December 12-26—Strong tension between Washington and Tokyo following the sinking of the gunboat Panay.

December 20—Death of Ludendorff.

December 24—Christmas talk of the Pope denouncing German persecutions of the Catholic Church.


February V—War Minister von Blomberg and Foreign Minister von Neurath resign. Hitler becomes Commanderin-Chief of the Wehrmacht; Keitel, Chief of Staff, Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister.

February 12—Chancellor Schuschnigg of Austria visits Hitler at Berchtesgaden, following which Nazi ministers are introduced in the Austrian Cabinet.

The Speech

“I KNOW you and the German people expected to be called together on the fifth anniversary of the National Socialist State.

“The selection of this date is due to two considerations: first, I thought it right to make certain personal changes beforehand, and second, it was necessary to bring about a clarification in one specific sphere of foreign politics, because such a speech of mine not only deals with the past but also with the future.

“Despite the really exemplary discipline, strength, and restraint which National Socialists preserved in their revolution, we have seen that a certain portion of the foreign press inundated the new Reich with a virtual flood of lies and calumnies. It was a remarkable mixture of arrogance and deplorable ignorance which led them to act as the judgesof a people who should be presented as models to these democratic apostles.

“The best proof for showing up these lies is success. For if we had acted during these five years like the democratic world citizens of Soviet Russia, that is, like those of the Jewish race, we would not have succeeded in making out of a Germany, which was in the deepest material collapse, a country of material order. For this very reason we claim the right to surround our work with that protection which renders it impossible for criminal elements or for the insane to disturb it. . .

“It was the A B C of our creed to find help in our own strength. The standard of living of the nation is the outcome of its total production; in other words, the value of every wage and salary corresponds to the volume of goods produced as a result of the work performed. This is a very unpopular doctrine in a time resounding with cries such as ‘higher wages and less work.’

“Next to the United States, Germany today has become the greatest steel country in the world. I could give many more examples. They are documentary proof of the work such as our people never before achieved. To these successes will be added in a few years the gigantic results of the Four- Year Plan. Is it not a joke of history when those very countries which themselves have only crises think they can criticize us and give us advice?

“We have given the German nation that weapon of steel which presents a wall at our frontiers against the intentions of the malicious international press campaign. .. .”

“The Reich’s protection against the outer world, however, is in the hands of the new National Socialist armed forces. The German Army of peace has now a vast air force to protect our homes and a new power on the sea protects our coasts.

“There exists in Germany no problem between the National Socialist State and the National Socialist party, no problem between the National 'Socialist party and the National Socialist armed forces. In this Reich every one who holds a responsible position is a National Socialist.

“I had to respect the wish of Blomberg [Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg] to spare his health which had been undermined by his first-rate work. In this connection I should like to express the thanks of myself and the German people for the faithful and loyal work of this soldier of the new Reich and its armed forces.

“The same applies to the activity and surpassing achievements of Fritsch and all those who gave up their places in the most noble spirit for the sake of having younger men in the ranks of our political and military leaders.

“If ever international agitation or poisoning of opinion should attempt to rupture the peace of the Reich, then steel and iron would take the German people and German homesteads under their protection. The world would then see, as quick as lightning, to what extent this Reich, people, party, and these armed forces are fanatically inspired with one spirit, one will.

“Furthermore, it is not my intention to protect the honorable corps of officers from the slander of international journalism. That is not necessary, for, although there are two kinds of journalists—those who prove the truth and those who are miserable swindlers and war agitators—there is only one kind of German officer.

“If Great Britain should suddenly dissolve today and England become dependent solely on her own territory, then the people there would, perhaps, have more understanding of the seriousness of the economic tasks which confront us. If a nation which commands no gold reserves, no foreign exchange—not because National Socialism reigns but because a parliamentary, democratic State was exploited for fifteen years by a world hungry after loot; in other words, if a nation which must feed 140 people to the square kilometer and has no colonies, if a nation which lacks numerous raw materials and is not willing to live an illusory life through credits, reduces the number of its unemployed in five years to nil and improves its standard of living, then all those should remain silent who, despite great economic advantages, scarcely succeed in solving their own unemployment problems.

“The claim for German colonial possessions, therefore, will be voiced from year to year with increasing vigor. These possessions, which Germany did not take away from other countries and which today are practically of no value to these Powers, are indispensable for our own people.

“I should like to refute here the hope that such claims can be averted by granting credits. Above all, we do not wish for naïve assurances that we shall be permitted to buy what we need. We reject such statements once and for all. . . .”

“I cannot allow our natural claims to be coupled with political business. Recently rumors have been cropping up, rumors that Germany was about to revise her opinion concerning her return to the League of Nations. I should like again to declare that in 1919 the peace treaty was forced upon some countries. This treaty brought in its train far- reaching inroads upon the lives of the peoples involved. The rape of national and economic destinies and of the communal lives of the nations took place under a cloud of moralizing phrases which, perhaps, tended to salve the uneasy conscience of those who instituted the affair.

“After the revision of the map of the world and of territorial and racial spheres, which was as thorough as it was fundamental, had been effected by means of force, a League of Nations was founded whose task it was to crystallize these crazy, unreasonable proceedings and to co-ordinate its results into an everlasting and unalterable basis of life.

“I notice very often that English politicians would be glad to give back to us our colonies if they were not so disturbed by the thought of the wrong and violence which would thus be done to the native inhabitants.

“All those colonial empires have not come into being through plebiscites. They are today naturally integral parts of the States in question and form, as such, part of that world order which always has been designated to us, especially by democratic policies, as the ‘world order of right.’

“That right the League of Nations now has been ordered to protect. I cannot understand why a nation which itself has been robbed by force should join such illustrious company and I cannot permit the conclusion to be drawn that we should not be prepared to fight for the principles of justice just because we are not in the League of Nations. On the contrary, we do not belong to the League of Nations because we believe that it is not an institution of justice but an institution for defending the interests of Versailles.

“A number of material considerations must, however, be added.

“First, we left the League of Nations because—loyal to its origin and obligations—it refused us the right to equal armament and just as equal security.

“Second, we will never re-enter it because we do not intend to allow ourselves to be used anywhere in the world by a majority vote of the League of Nations for the defense of an injustice.

“Third, we believe we will please all those nations who are misled by misfortune to rely on and trust the League of Nations as a factor of genuine help. We should have regarded it as more correct, for instance, in the case of the Ethiopian war, for the League to have shown more understanding for vital Italian needs and less disposition to help the Ethiopians with promises. This would, perhaps, have enabled a more simple and reasonable solution for the whole problem.

“Fourth, on no account will we allow the German nation to become entangled in conflicts in which the nation itself is not interested. We are not willing to stand up for the territorial or economic interests of others without the slightest benefits to Germans being visible. Moreover, we ourselves do not expect such support from others. Germany is determined to impose upon herself wise moderation in her interests and demands. But if German interests should be seriously at stake we shall not expect to receive support from the League of Nations but we shall assume the right from the beginning to shoulder our task ourselves.

“Fifth, we do not intend to allow our attitude to be determined in the future by any international institution which, while excluding official recognition of indisputable facts, resembles less the acts of a man of considered judgment than the habits of a certain type of large bird [evidently the ostrich]. The interests of nations insofar as their existence or nonexistence are ultimately concerned are stronger than formalistic considerations. For in the year 2038 it is possible that new States may have arisen or others disappeared without this new state of affairs having been registered at Geneva.

“Germany will not take part in such unreasonable proceedings by being a member of the League of Nations.

“Germany will recognize Manchukuo. I have decided on this step in order to draw the line of finality between the policy of fantastic lack of understanding and the policy of sober respect for the facts of reality. To sum up, I want to explain that Germany no longer thinks of returning to this institution and certainly not since Italy’s departure from it.

“That does not mean the refusal to collaborate with other nations. On the contrary it only means the rejection of obligations which in most cases are impossible of fulfillment.

“PPziTz one country alone have we scorned to enter into relations. That State is Soviet Russia. We see in bolshevism more now than before the incarnation of human destructive forces. We do not blame the Russian people as such for this gruesome ideology of destruction. We know it is a small Jewish intellectual group which led a great nation into this position of madness. If this doctrine would confine itself territorially to Russia maybe one could put up with it. Alas, Jewish international bolshevism attempts to hollow out the nations of the world from its Soviet center.

“Any introduction of bolshevism into a European country means a changing of conditions. For those territories under bolshevik leadership are no longer sovereign nations having a national life but sections of the revolutionary center of Moscow.

“I know Eden [British Foreign Secretary] does not share this view. Stalin shares it and admits it openly, and in my opinion Stalin himself is a more trustworthy expert and interpreter of bolshevik views and intentions than the British Minister. We, therefore, oppose any attempt at spreading bolshevism, wherever it may take place, with disdain, and wherever it threatens us, with hostility.

“From this arises our relationship with Japan. I cannot agree with those politicians who believe they are rendering the European world a service by harming Japan. I believe a Japanese defeat in the Far East would never be any good to Europe or America, but would exclusively benefit bolshevist Soviet Russia.

“I do not consider China mentally or materially strong enough to resist any bolshevik attack on it, but I believe even the greatest victory for Japan would be infinitely less dangerous to the culture and general peace of the world than a bolshevik victory would be. Germany has a treaty with Japan to combat Comintern aspirations. It has always been on friendly terms with China. I believe we may be considered most genuinely as neutral observers of this drama.

“I do not need to emphasize that we all wished and still wish that relations between those two great Eastern nations will again calm down and become peaceful. We believe that there might have been a peaceful solution in the Far East long ago if certain powers had not, as in the case of Ethiopia, thrown into one scales their advice and, perhaps, promise their moral support.

“But a drowning man clutches at any straw. It would have been better to have called China’s attention to the full seriousness of her position instead, as usual, of quoting the League of Nations as a sure guarantee of peace.

“No matter when and how events in the Far East find their final solution, Germany will always consider and value Japan as an element of security in its stand against communism and in its assurance of human culture.

“Germany has no territorial interest in East Asia. She has an understandable desire for trade and business. This does not bind us to take sides for one party or the other. It does, however, bind us to the recognition that victory for bolshevism would destroy the last possibility in this sphere. Moreover, Germany once had possessions herself in East Asia. This did not prevent certain nations from combining with yellow races to drive out the Germans. We no longer want an invitation to return there.

“Nor have we any territorial interests connected in any way with the terrible civil war now raging in Spain. There is a situation there similar to one Germany once experienced. An attack on an independent national State carried out with men and materials furnished by Moscow leads to the defense by the national population not willing to be slaughtered. Exactly as in the case of Germany, the democratic international is on the side of the incendiaries.

“The German Government would see the introduction of bolshevism into Spain as not only an element of unrest in Europe but also as upsetting the European balance of power, for if this country were to become a section of the Moscow center there would arise the danger of the further spread of this plague of destruction to which we should under no circumstances be indifferent.

“But we are happy that our anti-bolshevist attitude is shared by a third State.

“The condition in which Italy finds herself is somewhat similar to that of Germany. It was, therefore, only natural that we who suffer from the same overpopulation showed understanding for the actions of a man and a regime not willing to let a nation perish to please the fantastic ideals of the League of Nations but were determined to save it. Also in the Spanish conflict Germany and Italy have adopted the same views and, therefore, the same attitude. It is their goal to secure for national Spain complete independence. German and Italian friendship has gradually developed from certain causes into an element of stabilization for European peace.

‘‘In this connection the two States with Japan represent the most formidable obstacle against the further advance of the Russian bolshevik force.

“As I have more than once stated Germany has in Europe no more territorial demands to make of France. With the return of the Saar we trust the period of Franco-German territorial differences is finally closed.

“Germany also has no quarrel with England apart from her colonial wishes. However, there is no cause for any conceivable conflict. The only thing that has poisoned and thus injured the common life of these two countries is the utterly unendurable press campaign which in these two countries has existed under the motto ‘freedom of personal opinion.’

“I do not understand it when I am told by foreign statesmen and diplomats that there is no legal possibility in these countries of putting an end to the lies, for private matters are not at stake. It concerns the problems of the common lives of the peoples and States. We cannot shut our eyes to the consequences of these campaigns for it could so easily come to pass that in certain countries contemptible international lie manufacturers could generate such violent hatred against our country that gradually hostile public opinion would be created against us which the German people would not be able to resist. This is a danger to peace. I am no longer prepared to tolerate unanswered this unbridled slander. From now on we shall answer back and do so with National Socialist thoroughness.

“What has occurred in the last few weeks in the way of utterly mad, stupid, and imprudent statements about Germany is simply unendurable.

“What can we reply when Reuters [British News Agency] discovers attacks on my life? When English newspapers publish outrageous stories of the number of arrests in Germany and the closing of the German frontiers on the Swiss, Belgian and French sides? When other newspapers say that the Crown Prince had fled Germany, that there had been a military putsch in Germany, that German generals had been imprisoned, that German generals had marched with their regiments to the Reich Chancellery, that a quarrel over the Jewish question had broken out between Hitler and Goering and that I, myself, was in a difficult position, that a German general, through intermediaries, had contacted with Daladier [French Defense Minister], that a regiment had mutinied in Skolp, that 2,000 officers had been dismissed from the Army, that the entire German industry had received mobilization orders for war, that between the government and private industry violent differences had arisen, that twenty German officers and three generals had fled to Salzburg, that fourteen generals with the body of Ludendorff had fled to Prague; also that I had lost my voice and that my voice would be imitated by someone else so that I could in the future speak from gramophone records.

“In a recent speech Eden referred warmly to various forms of freedom in his country. There was one very special freedom which had been forgotten, namely, that of allowing journalists to insult other countries, their institutions, their public men, and their government. All this is too stupid to be taken seriously. But in the long run this will prove to be a serious strain on international relations. I gladly state that a section of the foreign press has not taken part in these infamous attacks against the honor of other nations.

“Nevertheless, the damage wrought by such a press campaign is so great that henceforth we will no longer be willing to tolerate it without stern objections. This crime becomes especially evil when it obviously pursues the goal of driving nations into war.

“I need only to point to a few facts. I remind you of how in the past year the lie was suddenly spread that Germany had landed 20,000 men on the Spanish Moroccan coast. It was fortunate that this most infamous falsification could be put right immediately. What, however, would happen if such a rectification could not be brought about in the necessarily short space of time?

“To the series of these felonies belongs also the assertion that Germany and Italy had come to an agreement to divide Spain between themselves, or the very recent infamous falsehood that Germany and Japan had arrived at an agreement to acquire jointly the Dutch colonial possessions.

“The British Government desires the limitation of armaments or the prohibition of bombing. I myself proposed this some time ago. However, I also suggested at the time that the most important thing was to prevent the poisoning of the world’s public opinion by infamous press articles. That which strengthened our sympathy with Italy, if this were possible, is the fact that in that country State policy and press policy tread the same road.

“To this chapter of disturbance of international relations belongs the arrogance of writing letters to the head of a foreign State with the request for information about court judgments. I recommend that the British House of Commons worry themselves about the verdicts of the British courtmartial in Jerusalem and not about the verdicts of the German peoples’ court.

“Interest in German cases we can, perhaps, understand. But it certainly does not contribute to the improvement of relations between Great Britain and Germany. Moreover, let nobody imagine he can exert any influence by such tactless interferences in German courts or on the execution of German verdicts. I should never allow members of the German Reichstag to interfere in matters of English justice.

“The interests of the British Empire certainly are very great and they are recognized by us. Concerning the interests of the German people the German Reichstag decides and as its delegate it is I who decide and not a delegation of British letter writers.

“I think it would not only be useful work to prevent the international dropping of poison, incendiary, and explosive bombs upon populations but above all to abolish the selling of newspapers which have a worse effect upon populations than bombs could ever have.

“Since this press campaign must be considered as an element of danger to the peace of the people I have decided to carry through that strengthening of the German Army which will give us the assurance that these threats of war against Germany will not one day be translated into bloody force.

“These measures have been under way since February 4 and will be carried out rapidly and with determination.

“Under these circumstances it cannot be seen what use there is in conferences and meetings as long as governments in general are not in a position to take decisive steps irrespective of public opinion.

“I believe, therefore, that for the present the procedure of diplomatic exchanges of notes is the only one that can be adopted in order to remove the possibility of excessive misinterpretation on the part of the international press.

“There are more than 10,000,000 Germans in States adjoining Germany which before 1866 were joined to the bulk of the German nation by a national link. Until 1918 they fought in the great war shoulder to shoulder with the German soldiers of the Reich. Against their own free will they were prevented by peace treaties from uniting with the Reich.

“This was painful enough, but there must be no doubt about one thing: Political separation from the Reich may not lead to deprivation of rights, that is the general rights of racial self-determination which were solemnly promised to us in Wilson’s fourteen points as a condition for the armistice. We cannot disregard it just because this is a case concerning Germans.

“In the long run it is unbearable for a world power, conscious of herself, to know there are citizens at her side who are constantly being inflicted with the severest sufferings for their sympathy or unity with the total nation, its faith and philosophy.

“We well know there can scarcely be a frontier line in Europe which satisfies all. It should be all the more important to avoid the torture of national minorities in order not to add to the suffering of persecution on account of their belonging to a certain people.

“That it is possible to find ways leading to the lessening of tension has been proved. But he who tries to prevent by force such lessening of tension through creating an equilibrium in Europe will some day inevitably conjure up force among the nations themselves. It cannot be denied that Germany herself, as long as she was powerless and defenseless, was compelled to tolerate many of these continual persecutions of the German people on our frontier.

“But just as England stands up for her interests all over the globe, present-day Germany will know how to guard its more restricted interests. To these interests of the German Reich belong also the protection of those German peoples who are not in a position to secure along our frontiers their political and philosophical freedom by their own efforts.

“I may say that since the League of Nations has abandoned its continuous attempts at disturbance in Danzig and since the advent of the new commissioner this most dangerous place for European peace has entirely lost its menace.

“Poland respects the national conditions in the Free City of Danzig and Germany respects Polish rights.

“Now I turn to Austria. It is not only the same people but above all a long communal history and culture which bind together the Reich and Austria.

“Difficulties which emerged in the carrying out of the agreement of July 11, 1936, made essential an attempt to remove misunderstandings and obstacles to final reconciliation. It is clear that whether we wished it or not an intolerable position might have developed that would have contained the seeds of catastrophe. It does not lie in the power of man to stop the rolling stone of fate which through neglect or lack of wisdom has been set moving.

“I am happy to say that these ideas correspond with the viewpoint of the Austrian Chancellor, whom I invited to visit me. The underlying intention was to bring about a détente in our relations which would guarantee to National Socialist sympathizers in Austria within the limits of the law the same rights enjoyed by other citizens.

“In connection with it there was to be an act of conciliation in the form of a general amnesty and better understanding between the two States through closer and friendlier relations in the various spheres of cultural, political, and economic co-operation. All this is a development within the framework of the treaty of July 11.

“I wish to pay tribute to the Austrian Chancellor for his efforts to find together with me a way which is just as much in the interests of both countries as in that of the entire German people whose sons we all are regardless of where we came from. I believe we have thus made a contribution to European peace.

“Our satisfactory relations with other countries are known to all. Above all is to be mentioned our co-operation with those two great powers which, like Germany, have recognized bolshevism as a world danger and are therefore determined to resist the Comintern with a common defense. It is my earnest wish to see this co-operation with Italy and Japan more and more extended.

“We welcome any détente which may arise in the general political situation. For however great the achievements of our people may be, we do not doubt that all would benefit by an improvement in international co-operation.

“The German people is no warlike nation. It is a soldierly one which means it does not want a war but does not fear it. It loves peace but it also loves its honor and freedom. . . .”


Le Temps, February 22—The Chancellor was peculiarly insistent in his emphasis that all German institutions, and especially the Army, were being incorporated into National Socialism. It is noteworthy that the Fuehrer refrained from making any allusion to the religious question. There seemed to be far more substance in his speech when he touched on foreign problems. . . . Special attention should be paid to the passage in which he speaks of the “10,000,000 Germans” who live so close to the borders of the Reich. “We shall know how to defend German interests wherever they are found,” the Chancellor said. When we consider the manner in which M. Hitler spoke of that “defense” in the course of his recent interview at Berchtesgaden, we will not be long in doubt as to the interpretation National Socialist diplomacy may choose to put upon that phrase in the future. The Fuehrer congratulated himself on the “spirit of understanding” M. von Schuschnigg evinced and declared that at Berchtesgaden all were working “for peace.” What kind of peace can it be that is based on a “Diktat” unmercifully handed down, while behind the scenes the naked bayonets gleam?

London Times, February 21—These passages in the speech, bearing upon the Eastern frontier, will have been awaited with particular interest both in Germany and abroad, and they will be read with as much attention here as in any country. Herr Hitler’s comparison between German and British interests and their defense half suggested that Britain had no concern with events in Central and Eastern Europe. Public opinion in some other countries seems to have reached the same conclusion. They have noted, whether with relief or with regret, that the changes effected in the state of Austria in the last ten days have been accepted here with comparative equanimity. But there was never the slightest excuse for supposing that Great Britain would “intervene,” if the occasion for intervention had arisen, in what would have been in effect an Austrian civil war, provoked by Germany, but involving a large part of Austria on the German side. That does not mean for a moment that this country, which can never be isolated from Europe, is not deeply concerned with the fortunes of Austria; nor that it has taken anything but warning from the methods by which the Berchtesgaden agreement was apparently brought about. If these methods are pursued to the end in every case where Germany cherishes unsatisfied ambitions, then they can only end in a catastrophic conflict, from which Great Britain would not be able to stand aloof. The temptation to pursue them may grow with success, and the vigilance of other nations is bound to keep pace with it. Our own program of rearmament, for example, cannot be relaxed for a moment so long as Europe is liable to sudden spasms when opportunity provides an opening for a stroke of policy. It is not a time for provocative speaking and writing, least of all for empty threats. But it is emphatically a time when the British Government must be perfectly clear in their own mind about the requirements and limits to a settlement in Europe, and about the point at which they are bound to take a stand against pressure.




February 20—Anthony Eden resigns as British Foreign Secretary, on grounds of “fundamental differences” between him and Chamberlain concerning foreign policy.

February 26—French Chamber approves government’s policy of co-operation with Great Britain, maintenance of the Franco-Soviet pact, and fulfillment of obligations to Czechoslovakia.

February 28—Lord Halifax appointed Foreign Secretary.

March 9—Schuschnigg calls plebiscite for March 13 on the question of maintaining Austria’s independence.

March 11— Yielding to Hitler’s threat of invasion, Schuschnigg resigns. An Austrian Nazi, Seyss-Inquart, forms a cabinet.

England and France protest to the German Government.

March 12—German troops enter Austria.

March 13—Formal annexation of Austria.

PHASE IV: Bloodless Conquests; March, 1938 — March, 1939



IF ANYONE had any doubts as to what Hitler’s next step should be, these doubts were to be dispelled on February 20, 1938, when he told the Reichstag that it was Germany’s intention to take into her hands the protection of “over ten million Germans who live in two of the States adjoining our frontiers.”

The population of Austria being seven million and the Sudeten Germans of Czechoslovakia three millions, it was clear that these were the two States concerned.

It took exactly twelve months for Hitler to achieve his objectives. By March 13, 1938, the protection of the Germans living in Austria had been assured by the radical process of annexing that country to the Reich. And by March 1939, not only the Sudeten Germans but the Czechs and the Slovaks were also brought under the protection of the German Fuehrer. Two sovereign countries were wiped off the map in spite of the fact that the independence of both was guaranteed by all the nations of the world, either by formal treaty or by the general spirit of international law and order.

This twelve-month period can be considered as Hitler’s first campaign. True enough the conquests were bloodless, but they were no less real. From the strategic point of view, they assured Hitler a solid basis from which to undertake expansion in both the south and the east of Europe. They allowed him to dominate the Balkans, and to establish a common frontier between him and his partner, Mussolini, thus forcing the latter to follow from then on a policy of subservient collaboration. They enabled him, too, to prepare the encirclement of Poland and to create a springboard for the later march into Russia.

Moreover they brought to a climax the long drawn out conflict between, the western democracies and the totalitarian dictators—a climax which ended at Munich with the utter defeat of the democracies. It was a bloodless campaign, but it was the first one of World War II. Hitler came out of it the undisputed victor. The moral humiliation suffered by his opponents and the loss of prestige were perhaps greater than their strategic defeat. Returning from Munich, Chamberlain was to say that he was bringing back “peace with honor” and that he believed “it was peace for our time.” But what he brought back in fact was a stinging moral defeat and the certainty of war.

The technique of Hitler to achieve his victory was both simple and effective. His speeches of that period reflect it clearly and they present no difficulty of interpretation.

The basic theme was not new: Hitler promised his people to deliver them from the shackles of the Versailles Treaty and to do so against any opposition. The Versailles Treaty was not only unjust to the Germans and intolerable, it was also a perpetual threat for the peace of Europe. Until the wrongs of that treaty were righted, there could be no peace for any nation. It was Hitler’s mission to destroy the whole Versailles system and to create a new European peace.

These ideas had been droned into the ears of the world so often that they ceased to produce any reaction. The victors of World War I were by now so convinced of their own guilt that they had lost all power of argument. They did not defend their work. Quite the contrary, they concurred with Hitler that he was right in destroying it. Speaking in Commons on March 24, Chamberlain admitted that his “original belief in the League as an effective instrument for preserving peace has been profoundly shaken.”

Versailles and everything that stems from it being wrong and unbearable, it naturally followed, according to Hitler, that the nations born out of the Treaty had no real right to existence. They were artificial and monstrous creations which should be treated accordingly.

This was particularly true of such nations as Austria— which was completely German—and Czechoslovakia—which contained an important German minority.

Although Hitler despised all the principles upon which the Versailles Treaty was founded, he nevertheless claimed, in his Reichstag speech of February 20, that there was such a thing as the Wilsonian “right to self-determination”—as far as the Germans were concerned at any rate—and that the separation of ten million Germans from the Reich was therefore a violation of that right.

This was the more intolerable when these German minorities were persecuted (as in the case of the Sudeten Germans) or unable to express freely their National Socialist convictions (as in the case of Austria).

The theme of the persecution of the Germans was exploited by Hitler with relentless energy first in the case of Austria, then in the case of Czechoslovakia, and finally in Poland.

The method was always the same: news was brought to the German people that their blood-brothers across the border were being discriminated against, persecuted, robbed, tortured, and murdered. Flaming headlines in the papers and stories on the radio told of the most infamous atrocities. On September 19, 1939, during the Sudeten crisis, Berlin newspapers carried the following headlines: “WOMEN AND CHILDREN MOWED DOWN BY CZECH ARMORED CARS,” “POISON-GAS ATTACK ON AUSSIG,” “EXTORTION PLUNDERING SHOOTING-CZECH TERROR IN SUDETEN GERMAN LAND GROWS WORSE FROM DAY TO DAY,” etc. . . .

The next step was usually to single out the political head of the neighboring country (Schuschnigg in the case of Austria, Benes in the case of Czechoslovakia) and to heap upon their heads all the conceivable—or inconceivable- abuses for allowing such horrors to be perpetrated.

While these propaganda campaigns were going on, Hitler was represented as making superhuman efforts to control his indignation and to settle the conflict by peaceful negotiations. But all his efforts were in vain, either because the neighboring State was too obdurate, or because the government had lost control, or because the big democracies encouraged them in defying Germany—or for all these reasons at once. Finally, Hitler’s patience was exhausted. He had to take matters into his own hands and send the Reichswehr across the border to protect the unfortunate Germans, and bring back order.

In the case of Austria and Czechoslovakia—and in order to insure the success of the projected annexation—Hitler also worked from the inside. Nazi parties, whose task was to create violent agitation and call for the Liberator, existed in both these countries. Even before Hitler marched in, such men as Seyss-Inquart in Austria and Henlein in the Sudeten Land served as his official agents and acted openly under his orders. Chancellor Schuschnigg, in fact, sealed the doom of his country the day he was forced by Hitler to take Seyss-Inquart into his government.

Intimidation, terrorization, and even moral torture was inflicted on the leaders of the victimized countries in order to force them into submission. During his visit at Berchtesgaden in mid-February, 1938, Chancellor Schuschnigg was abused by Hitler who called him “dwarf,” “Jesuit’s spawn,” and “murderer.” General von Reichenau was called in to explain to the Chancellor of Austria the plan of invasion of his country. During the ordeal which lasted one whole day, Chancellor Schuschnigg was treated to several scenes on the part of Hitler who shouted, wept, stamped on the floor, and all but threatened his guest with physical violence.

A year later, another statesman, Dr. Hacha, President of Czechoslovakia, was subjected to an even worse treatment when Hitler had him come to Berlin in order to force him to accept the statute of so-called “protectorate” over what was left of his country. Coulondre, French Ambassador to Germany, related the scene in detail: how Dr. Hacha and his minister Chvalkovsky “were literally hunted round the table on which the documents were lying,” how Goering, Ribbentrop and other Nazis “were thrusting continually these documents before them, pushing pens into their hands, incessantly repeating that if they continued in their resistance, Prague would lie in ruins from aerial bombardment within two hours . . . how “President Hacha was in such a state of exhaustion that he more than once needed medical attention from the doctors,” and how finally, “at 4:30 in the morning, Dr. Hacha, in a state of total collapse and kept going only by means of injections, resigned himself, with death in his soul, to give his signature.”

Such methods had not been seen in Europe since the Middle Ages, but the scenes during which Hitler displayed with no shame the brutality of his temper, his hysterical emotionalism, and his sadism are too frequent not to lead one to the conclusion that “acting like a madman” had become part of Hitler’s technique to terrorize his victims. His frequent references to himself as a “fanatic,” which can be found in his speeches, were not figurative. Hitler knew that his fanaticism placed him more or less in the category of the abnormal and that nothing was better calculated to disconcert and scare his adversaries who had been trained to believe that the affairs of the world should be dealt with in an atmosphere of sanity and reasonableness.

But neither fanaticism, nor terror, nor third-degree methods would have been enough to assure the success of Hitler in his progress towards the domination of Europe. In spite of the growing strength of the German war machine and of the strategic advantages which he had gained since the reoccupation of the Rhineland, the potential forces that could be aligned against him were still far greater than his own. A united front comprising all the countries which were to be later on destroyed or threatened by Nazi Germany (and that meant all the European nations, including Russia, plus the Americas)—such a united front would have been well able to stop Hitler at any moment. The only condition for the constitution of such a front was the perception of its necessity and the will to create it.

But the leadership of Europe during those years—and particularly that of England and France—was not confided to men who had that kind of vision and that kind of will. Although very different in temperament, motives, and training, such men as Neville Chamberlain or Lord Halifax in England, Edouard Daladier or Georges Bonnet in France, were united in one common purpose: to avoid war at practically any price.

A great deal has been written about the policy of “appeasement.” Various motives, such as selfish interest, reactionary fear of revolution, cowardice, and even collusion with Hitler have been attributed to the “appeasers.” But at the root of the policy of appeasement one finds a popular and universal sentiment against the phenomenon of war, so deep and so imperative that it overshadowed all other considerations. The fear of war and the desire to maintain even the most precarious form of peace proved stronger than national honor and faithfulness to signed treaties. They justified, in the eyes of the people, humiliation as well as treachery, any compromise and even the renunciation of future security for the sake of a few more months or weeks of relative tranquillity. This profound horror of war explains why Chamberlain and Daladier, returning from Munich, were greeted as saviors, while one of them, at least, expected to be lynched.

The German people were no less fearful of war than the people of the democracies, but whereas the democratic leaders were compelled to speak more or less in conformity with their actions, and to submit to the control of public opinion, Hitler could talk of peace and take whatever risks he chose, including that of war. For many years there had been no public opinion in Germany. Goebbels manufactured it. The result was that Germany spoke with only one voice—that of Hitler—was governed by only one will—the will of Hitler.

Hitler, in other words, could prepare his plans in secrecy and act with lightning speed. The democratic leaders had to consult their ministers and their parliaments. They had to consult with the leaders of other countries. They followed the orthodox rules of diplomacy while Hitler had initiated gangsterism and the strategy of terror. In fact, while his opponents were clinging to peace and performing the clumsy rites of peace-time diplomacy, Hitler was already at war and moving freely in the realm of pure force.

The “appeasers” therefore were the misguided interpreters of a genuine and deep-rooted popular feeling: the hatred and fear of war. While Hitler, although he pretended to obey a similar sentiment, was at any moment ready to betray it and plunge his country into war.

But these allowances for the fundamental reason of the policy of appeasement and for the natural advantages which Hitler, as an absolute dictator, enjoyed over his democratic opponents, are not sufficient to explain or excuse the methods of the appeasers in dealing with such a situation. If one is to judge them by the result, they failed completely to achieve their purpose: Munich brought no peace to Europe, but only a brief truce. It did not strengthen the position of the democracies; it weakened it to such a point that a few months later, both England and France, realizing the catastrophic plight in which they found themselves, had only one solution left—to arm intensively and to prepare for war.

Moreover, they had to find a new excuse for Munich. The argument that they had hoped to save peace permanently was not acceptable any longer. They were therefore forced to admit that Munich, far from being a triumph for the cause of peace, was a retreat—a retreat made necessary by the fact that England and France were not prepared to meet successfully the new might of Germany. This new line of apology served Hitler well. The spokesmen and the press of the democracies had now become his best propaganda agents. They advertised his military power, and especially his air superiority with a persistency and a masochistic emphasis which could only result in spreading fear and discouragement among their own people. On the other hand,’ they described their own military position and that of their potential allies (especially Russia) as so feeble and inadequate that the very notion of fighting Hitler appeared as suicidal.

All this was done in order to justify the failure of the appeasers and to enable them to wash their hands of the frightful consequences of their own miscalculations. But it also shows how the so-called policy of appeasement finally led to sheer defeatism. The events which preceded and followed Munich established a pattern which was to serve again at the time of the Polish crisis and later on in America where the isolationists utilized in their campaigns many of the basic arguments which had led Neville Chamberlain and Georges Bonnet to their shameful and useless capitulation to Hitler.

At no time did the speeches of Hitler carry more significance than during that fateful period. At no time did he enjoy a vaster and more responsive audience. The whole world, literally, listened to him and willingly admitted that it waited for his words to know its fate. At no time did one man exert such power over the whole of the human race by the virtue of his unpredictable words and the facilities of the radio. No supremacy was established so thoroughly, no will of man transmitted so far and so instantaneously to millions of other men.

Hitler reached then the highest point of his effectiveness as what might be called a “strategic orator.” With consummate skill, he used the platform and the microphone as instruments of torture. The nerve-racking suspense which preceded many of his speeches was greatly instrumental in creating the condition of universal jitters necessary for the development of his plans and for the disintegration of the morale of his opponents. Thanks to the radio, the whole world was subjected to the same third-degree methods which had broken the resistance of Chancellor Schuschnigg and President Hacha—with the difference that Hitler’s radio audiences had no doctor at hand to administer stimulants.

Moreover, thanks to the censorship established in Germany, it was always possible for Hitler to speak in such a way as to give the maximum of reassurance to the Germans and the maximum of alarm to the outside listeners. For instance, in his speech of September 26, 1938, at the Sportpalast, he dealt with the Czech problem in such a way that his German listeners could have no idea that the crisis implied more than a localized conflict, at the worst. But Hitler knew, and so did the outside world, that England and France had finally warned Hitler that his actions might force them to go to war. Thus, while the vituperations of Hitler conveyed nothing more to the Germans than the impression of an unpleasant tension with a small neighbor, they meant the possibility of Armaggedon for the rest of Europe.

The two main crises which took place in that period—the Anschluss and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia—revealed to what extent the civilized world had disintegrated from within. For twenty years the western democracies had oscillated between two possible policies: collective security and the system of balance of power. Neither had been clearly nor consistantly pursued either by England or France, although the firm adherence to one or the other of these formulas offered the only chance to maintain peace. However, up to the moment when Hitler showed his intention to disregard treaties and to break his own pledges—i.e., from the moment he reoccupied the Rhineland—Britain and France’s only hope of saving the peace was to compel Hitler, by force if necessary, to return to an observance of the law and international order. And it mattered little, in practice, whether that order assumed the form of collective security, or of a coalition of all the threatened nations.

But at no time between 1936 and 1939 did England or France possess leaders with enough foresight and resolution to enlighten public opinion concerning the reality of the peril. On the contrary, the Anglo-French leaders seemed infinitely more concerned with justifying or concealing their own devious maneuvers and defending themselves against their respective oppositions, than assuring the security of Europe.

It might be said that one of the most disastrous effects of Hitler’s methods of duplicity, treachery, brutality, and blackmail was that they were contagious. Hitler’s terrorism and cynicism actually demoralized Europe, and in the absence of opponents of sufficient integrity and courage to purify the poisonous atmosphere he had created, the example of Hitler tended to bring out the worse aspects of European diplomacy.

An easy indictment can be drawn against the democratic leaders of those years which would show that, while they were denouncing Hitler for treachery and lawlessness, they themselves gave many proofs of the same immorality and perversions of truth. The refusal to apply effective sanctions against Mussolini when he attacked Ethiopia and the farcical policy of non-intervention in Spain, which covered in fact the violation of an established right for a legal government to receive help from other governments, prefaced the abandonment of Austria and the betrayal of Czechoslovakia.

The world was shocked when Hitler invaded Austria—his first bloodless conquest—but no gesture was made to help the unfortunate Schuschnigg. France and England pretended it was Mussolini’s concern, but the Duce, by that time, was at once too frightened by the power of his Axis partner and too far committed to support him to do anything that might displease him.

In the case of Czechoslovakia’s dismemberment, the behavior of the democratic leaders was considerably worse still. Under the cover of “appeasement,” the English and French statesmen were led, step by step, into a jungle of deceit and double dealings more odious perhaps than Hitler’s brutality because their actions were veiled with hypocrisy and fallacious good will.

Both the British Cabinet, under the leadership of Neville Chamberlain, and the French Cabinet, under Georges Bonnet and Daladier, carried on their negotiations with Hitler and with the Czechs in an atmosphere of conspiracy and dishonesty which was only surpassed by Hitler himself.

Although as early as May 10, 1938, Chamberlain had confided to a group of American correspondents that he had no intention of upholding the Czechs, and although a few weeks later in Paris, Georges Bonnet said the same thing in the presence of this commentator, both London and Paris proclaimed officially and repeatedly their resolve to abide by their engagements. Up to the very last days of the crisis, the Czechs were made to believe that France would stand by her treaty and that England would stand by France. But at the same time, both Chamberlain and Bonnet were threatening to make Benes responsible for the war if he did not give in to Hitler, of whom they had, by then, become the frightened spokesmen.

The part played by Lord Runciman, Chamberlain’s envoy, during these negotiations has never been made completely clear, but although his mission was that of an arbitrator and possible mediator, it soon turned out that his purpose was to “soften up” the Czechs. As Hamilton Fish Armstrong stated it: Lord Runciman’s mediation “ended in a series of international ultimata—from Hitler via Henlein (the Sudeten leader) to Benes, then from Hitler to Chamberlain, then from Chamberlain and Daladier to Benes, and finally from Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler and Mussolini to Benes.” The expression “Trojan horse” was not used in those days, but it is no exaggeration to say that Lord Runciman was a forerunner in that respect—the first “Trojan horse” of appeasement sent into the bastion of Czechoslovakia to demoralize its defenders and prepare their surrender.

Many other examples could be given to show how the doctrine of appeasement was used by Hitler to defeat the appeasers themselves and assure his own success. Without impugning the sincerity of Chamberlain and his high-mindedness, the fact remains that Hitler could not have found a better adversary—or collaborator—had he chosen him himself. Even the famous flight of Chamberlain to Berchtesgaden—which the British Prime Minister conceived as a psychological and political master stroke—turned out to be a disastrous mistake. Taking this step could only impress Hitler in one way: whatever respect he might have retained for the dignity and legendary lordliness of a British Prime Minister, he lost that day. The very fact that the aged Chamberlain stepped in a plane for the first time in his life to visit the exwar corporal in his own eagle’s nest convinced the Fuehrer that the game was won, and increased—if it were possible— the high opinion he had of himself as the real ruler of Europe.

It is true that he did not treat him quite as badly as Chancellor Schuschnigg, but the confrontation was a terrible ordeal for Chamberlain. All his dignity and stiffness were of no avail. He did not impress Hitler, but Hitler scared him.

In fact it would appear that Chamberlain never quite recovered from his visits to Berchtesgaden and Godesberg. When he went to Munich a few days later, he had ceased to fight. Both he and Daladier behaved as if they had been vanquished. They let their victors, Hitler and Mussolini, dictate the terms of the capitulation without a word.

England and France, and with them all the democratic world, had indeed suffered a catastrophic defeat. From the purely political point of view, a radical change in the European balance of power had taken place. England and France, who through the Entente Cordiale had effectively controlled the destinies of Europe since 1905, suffered an extraordinary setback. The powers of the Axis, or rather Hitler alone, had won out in one of the most remarkable diplomatic struggles of history.

That this was clearly realized in the outside world was shown by the reaction everywhere, but more particularly in America. The Americans, being separated from the conflict by three thousand miles of ocean, judged the event with the objectivity that comes from security. There were no “appeasers” then in America (appeasers, realists, defeatists, and the like only appear when the danger comes close—as was to be demonstrated in America later on). American public opinion was quick to feel the blow which had been inflicted on the whole moral order of the world and to condemn those responsible for it: Hitler first, but also Chamberlain, Bonnet, the “Cliveden set,” etc. America had difficulty in understanding why the “appeasers” who had brought such disaster upon their own countries were still kept in power. At this distance it was difficult to appreciate the extraordinary sense of relief that swept all over Europe—in Berlin as well as in London, in Paris as in Rome—merely because war had been avoided.

In fact, and during a few more months, appeasement far from being discredited in Europe reached new heights. On December 6, Ribbentrop came to Paris to sign a pact of friendship with Georges Bonnet, through which both countries recognized the permanency of their current frontiers. Paris was not cordial to Ribbentrop. His presence in the capital brought home a sense of humiliation and defeat. But the French as well as the English were too tired by the many crises, they were content enough to go about their daily affairs and wait. They were unnerved.

But Hitler was neither unnerved nor tired.

With relentless activity he pressed his advantages. He visited the western frontiers of the Reich and hastened the completion of the Siegfried Line. He negotiated feverishly to extend his influence in the affairs of Bohemia, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Turkey. He gave moral support to Mussolini in the latter’s new defiance to France when the Fascist deputies, assembled in Rome, shouted for the return of Savoy, Corsica, Nice, and Tunis.

Hitler also spoke.

In a speech delivered at Saarbruecken, on October 9, 1938, Hitler made two remarkable and disturbing statements. He revealed that his decision to lead back into the Reich ten million Germans had been taken “at the beginning of this year.” This was an admission by Hitler himself that he was lying when he promised so many times during that year that • he intended to respect the integrity of Austria and Czechoslovakia. The second statement was a direct warning given to France and England that they could not change their present rulers—the men of Munich—without incurring Germany’s displeasure. “In England,” said Hitler, “it is merely necessary that instead of Chamberlain, a Duff Cooper or an Eden or a Churchill come into power. We know that the aim of these men would be to start war.”

Thus Hitler clearly asserted that he had a right to tell the English and French what kind of government they should have. Even the “appeasers” received a jolt when they heard this and the London press was very alarmed.

A month later, an event of another nature reminded the world that the man with whom they had made their peace in Munich still possessed resources of brutality and cruelty rarely seen in modern history. On November 11, at a given hour and throughout Germany, a wave of anti-Jewish atrocities was let loose by the Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young Jew. Disgust and revolt shook the world. The American Ambassador in Berlin was called back to Washington. The English public was struck with horror.

Were those the fruits of Munich? Could this be what Hitler meant by European peace?

Thus it soon became apparent, through both Hitler’s speeches and his actions that Munich, far from being a humane settlement and a permanent understanding, was to be on the contrary the source of new troubles and more horrors. Munich had not bridged the abyss that separated two worlds.

The reason for this was simple and it was to be found in the profound and irreparable opposition between the mentality of Hitler and that of the democratic leaders. Whereas for Chamberlain and Daladier and for the great majority of the English and French people, Munich meant the extreme limit of possible concessions, it meant for Hitler merely a new springboard from which to jump to new conquests.

Chamberlain came back from Munich believing he had secured “peace for our time.” And that would have been true enough if that meant Hitler’s peace. But peace to Chamberlain meant order, repose, quiet, the possibility of calm negotiation and of business as usual. It did not mean allowing Hitler to pursue his career of annexation, conquest, plunder and terrorism of the strong and the weak.

The misunderstanding between Hitler and Chamberlain was as complete after Munich as it had been before.

That Chamberlain and the other democratic leaders could not understand what had happened to them, exasperated Hitler. Couldn’t they see what had happened to them? Didn’t they realize that he was the master of Europe for the simple reason that they had delivered Europe to him? Wasn’t that implicit in the Munich agreement and in the new pacts of friendship with England and France? What did friendship mean then?

In the presence of such stubbornness and incomprehension, Hitler resolved to carry out his program without bothering any longer with Munich, London or Paris.

One year after he had entered Vienna as a conqueror, he entered another European capital, Prague. What was left of Czechoslovakia disappeared from the map.

This was the second and last of his bloodless conquests.

President Roosevelt had said that he was not sure that “peace by fear” was better than “peace by the sword.” Hitler, having successfully tried one, was now going to attempt the other.

SPEECH OF MARCH 12, 1938 Linz (Austria)



March 11-72—German troops enter Austria.

The Speech

“I THANK you for your words of greeting. Above all I thank all of you assembled here who have borne witness that it is not the will and the wish of some few only to found this great Reich of the German people, but that it is the wish and the will of the German people. Would that on this evening some of our international seekers after truth whom we know so well could not only see the facts but later admit them to be facts. When years ago I went forth from this town, I bore within me precisely the same profession of faith which today fills my heart. Judge of the depth of myemotion when after so many years I have been able to bring that profession of faith to its fulfillment.

“If Providence once called me forth from this town to be the leader of the Reich,' it must, in so doing, have given to me a commission, and that commission could be only to restore my dear homeland to the German Reich. I have believed in this commission, I have lived and fought for it, and I believe I have now fulfilled it. You all are witnesses and sureties for that. I know not on what day you will be summoned, I hope it will not be far distant. Then you must make good your pledge with your own confession of faith, and I believe that then before the whole German people I shall be able to point with pride to my own homeland. And this must then prove to the world that every further attempt to tear this people asunder will be in vain.

“And just as then it will be your duty to make your contribution" to this German future, so all Germany is ready for its part to make its contribution and it is already making it today. In the German soldiers who now from all the shires of the Reich are marching into Austria you must see those who are ready and willing to make sacrifices in their fight for the unity of the whole great German people, for the power of the Reich, for its greatness and its glory now and evermore—Germany, Sieg Heil!”


London Times, March 13— This, the latest and worst demonstration of the methods of German foreign policy, can only deepen in this country the suspicions and indignation aroused by the manner in which the Berchtesgaden agreement was negotiated. ... It deals a blow to the policy of appeasement by leaving it more than doubtful whether appeasement is possible in a continent exposed to the visitations of arbitrary force. . . . Inevitably, as Germany and all the world know, and as history warns them, no limit can beset to the consequences of any act which risks a European upheaval.

New York Times, March 73—No event in the recent history of Europe matches in importance Germany’s conquest of Austria by force of arms . . . what remains to be seen is whether large developments are not now in the making which may in the end overshadow in importance even the conquest of Austria itself.

SPEECH OF MARCH 18, 1938 Berlin, Reichstag



March 73—Léon Blum forms new Cabinet in France.

March 77—Soviet Foreign Minister Litvinov hands out a statement protesting against the Anschluss and reiterating that the USSR will stand by its engagements with Czechoslovakia. , '

The Speech

“I HAVE summoned you in order to give a report on events the importance of which you all appreciate. Moreover, I must bring to your cognizance decisions that concern the German people and the German Reichstag itself. ...”

“Innumerable racial enclaves in Europe make it, to a certain degree, simply impossible to find a frontier that would be equally just toward racial State interests. In Europe alone there are national forms that bear in themselves the strong appearance of intentional national injustice. But in the long run their maintenance is only possible by the most brutal force.

“Thus, for instance, the creation of the new, mutilated State of Austria was in a measure brought about by the naked violation of the right to self-determination of 6,500,000 people of German birth. This violation was admitted with cynical frankness. It was of no importance to the well- known discoverer of the rights of self-determination and the freedom of peoples, nor to the other interested, pious rulers of the world who were then so much preoccupied with righteousness on earth, that the free will of 6,500,000 should be strangled by this so-called peace treaty and that they should thus be compelled by force to acquiesce in the violation in their right of self-determination and accept an unnatural separation from the great common motherland.

“Indeed, when it was decided in Austria, despite this, to hold a plebiscite—I should like to remind the democrats in London and Paris particularly of this point—more than 95 per cent of the voters were in favor of incorporation, but the apostles of new rights prevented this action with the help of brutal force.

“At that time neither in Germany nor in Austria did National Socialism exist. The tragedy of this was that the State of Austria represented from the outset a State completely unable to live. The economic distress was correspondingly dreadful and the people’s mortality figure rose in the most fearful manner. In Vienna alone last year out of 100,000 births there were 20,000 fatalities. I don’t say this because I believe I could impress the self-righteous citizens of the world, for I know they are completely without feeling toward such affairs. They can firmly look on while in Spain 500,000 people are butchered, without being in the slightest moved by it. And without going red in the face they can hypocritically display profound disgust when in Berlin or Vienna a Jewish provocateur is deprived of his business foundation.

“No, I merely mention this in order to state quite coldly how the crime of a dictated peace treaty pronounced for millions of persons a death sentence that has been gradually executed by creating nations that could not live.

“That persons should be willing to secure for themselves positions in the government at the expense of their people by personally supporting such sham sovereignty organized from the outside does not surprise anyone who has an insight into the moral and spiritual weaknesses of mankind.

“It is little to be wondered at that among the mass of national thinking people affected there began to spread slowly a disgusted bitterness and that there arose the fanatical determination to destroy one day such unnatural and disgusting maltreatment and set up in the place of a lying, democratic violation of the people the more holy rights of the eternal racial life. But as these oppressed people attempted to alter the lot that was forced upon them, an increased power had to be employed against them, for only thus can the most natural of feelings and hopes be suppressed. But he who knows any history can have no doubt that the stamina of racial maintenance is stronger than the efficacy of oppression.

“It, therefore, comes about in the long run that even the most brazen cannot talk about rights when injustice is so horribly obvious; and above all that a proceeding cannot at one moment be characterized as the just foundation of the life of the people and at another as the devilish attempt to destroy the peace of nations. . . .”

“Right must be right even where Germans are concerned. And who will be surprised that the people who have been so obstinately deprived of this right have been compelled to secure it for themselves?

“Nations are the creations of gods of will and are of everlasting duration, but the League of Nations is of the highly dubious construction of human fallibility and human greed and interests. This is certain—just as the nations have lived for innumerable centuries without a League of Nations so there will soon be no more League of Nations. And despite this fact nations will continue to live for centuries. This institution would only have a meaning if its ideas were reconciled with those higher ideas that correspond with the general and equal and thus better notion of justice.

“It is, therefore, clear that a State molded by force, such as Austria, if prevented by force from joining her motherland and already condemned to death economically, can only be maintained by the permanent use of force. So long as Germany lay in the deepest distress its attraction to our millions living outside was limited—although even they desired to unite themselves despite the misery then prevailing in the Reich.

“As the Reich experienced its renaissance and the German people became filled with a new racial faith and became lifted higher by great confidence the eyes of the oppressed and ill-treated comrades outside her frontiers naturally turned with ever-increasing longing toward the great mother country. As Germany’s economic recovery began to show from year to year more visible effects the idea of Anschluss grew because of the desire for self-preservation.

“On the other hand disgust also reigned in the Reich the more the continual persecution of Germans living along the frontier was realized. Germany now again has become a world power. But which power of the world would calmly tolerate in the long run that a host of its own members, numbering millions, should be most bitterly ill-treated before its very gates?

“There are moments when it is impossible for a proud nation to look on any longer. I, therefore, decided also for these reasons to bring about the conversations in Berchtesgaden known to you with the former Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg.

“I explained to this man most solemnly that a regime lacking every kind of legality and that fundamentally was only ruled by force must in the long run get into conflict with that expression of public opinion that is diametrically opposed to its tendencies. I, therefore, explained to him that this development must lead, on the one hand, to ever-increasing rejection and, on the other hand, to ever-increasing oppression and that, in view of the revived great power of the German Reich, revolutionary upheavals were bound to take place in the long run. The only consequence, in these circumstances, would be a further increase of the terror. Finally State affairs must arise that would make it impossible for a Great Power with a sense of honor patiently to continue to look on or declare itself disinterested.

“I left Schuschnigg in no doubt on the matter that there was no German-born Austrian with a feeling of national decency and honor who did not, at the bottom of his heart, long for union with the German people and would strive toward it. I begged him, a German Austrian, to spare himself and the German Reich a situation that sooner or later must lead to a grave dispute. I warned Schuschnigg it would be the last attempt undertaken on my part and that I was resolved, in the event of the miscarriage of this attempt, to protect the rights of the German people in my country with those means that alone remained when human understanding declined to listen to the call of justice.

“Not a single decent nation has died for the sake of democratic formalities; moreover people think least about them in these democracies who talk most about them.

“Deputies, men of the German Reichstag, on February 20, in your presence, I stretched out my hand to former Chancellor Schuschnigg. In his first answer he rejected this hand. He began to fulfill the obligations agreed upon with hesitancy. Moreover, we are now in a position to know that part of the lying campaign against Germany was inspired by the press office of Schuschnigg himself. There could no longer be any doubt that Schuschnigg, who possessed no legal right of existence and who violated German Austria with a dwindling minority, was determined to break this agreement.

“The first reports of the planned plebiscite appeared on Tuesday, March 8. They seemed so fantastic that they were thought to be pure rumors. On Wednesday evening we received knowledge through a really astounding speech of the attempted attack not only against the agreement worked out between us but also, and principally, against the majority of the Austrian people.

“In a country in which for years there had been no election, in which there were neither election files nor lists, it was decided there should be an election in exactly three days. The vote in question was put in such a way that a refusal appeared to be punishable, according to laws then in force. There were no voters’ lists. It was, therefore, impossible to examine them. Demands for corrections could not be made. Secrecy was neither safeguarded nor desired. The voter who voted 'no’ was a marked man right from the beginning. 'Yes’ voters were to receive every opportunity for falsifying the results; in other words, Schuschnigg, who well knew there was only a minority of the population back of him, tried by an unexampled election forgery to obtain moral justification for open violation of the agreement that he had entered. He desired a mandate for the further and still more brutal oppression of the overwhelming majority of the German Austrian people.

“This breaking of his word to this extent could only lead to insurgency. Only a crazy, blinded man would believe he could thus close the mouth of a tremendous majority of the people in order to give a legal foundation, in the eyes of the world, to an illegal regime. This insurgence, however, in whose outbreak there could be no doubt and that showed itself immediately, would have led this time to a new and, on this occasion, more terrible shedding of blood.

“I was now determined to put an end to the further oppression of my home country. I therefore immediately gave orders for those measures to be taken that appeared adequate to save Austria from the fate of Spain.

“The ultimatum that suddenly caused the world to complain was nothing but the resolute declaration that Germany would no longer stand for the further suppression of her German-Austrian compatriots and, therefore, it was meant as a warning against taking a course that must have resulted in bloodshed. That this attitude was wise was proved by the fact that within three days my whole country rushed to meet me without a shot being fired and without a single victim, so far as I am aware, although to the sorrow of our international pacifists.

“Perhaps Schuschnigg did not think it possible that I would decide in favor of intervention. He and his supporters may thank God I did so, for probably only my decision saved his life and the lives of thousands of others who had forfeited them through their responsibility in the deaths of countless Austrian victims of the movement. I am happy that I have been the man who carried out this highly historic task. Behind my decision stand 75,000,000 people protected by the German Army.

“It is almost tragic that an event, that cannot but remove what in the long run must have become a point of unrest in Central Europe, was greeted with a complete lack of understanding by our democracies. . .

“Their reactions were in part beyond understanding, in part insulting. A number of other' States had, it is true, from the first declared that they were not concerned in the matter or had expressed their hearty approval. This was the case not only with most of the smaller European countries, but also with quite a number of large States. I will mention only the dignified and understanding attitude of Poland, the friendly and warm-hearted approval of Hungary, the declarations, inspired by hearty friendship, of Yugoslavia, together with the assurances of sincere neutrality on the part of several other countries. . .

“I cannot, however, conclude the enumeration of these friendly voices without alluding more in detail to the attitude of Fascist Italy. I felt obliged to explain to the leader of that great Fascist country, who is such a great friend of mine, in a letter my reasons for my action and to assure him in particular after this event that nothing will change the attitude of Germany toward Italy and that Germany regards—just as in the case of France so also in the case of Italy—the existing frontiers as given frontiers.

“I should like to express to the great Italian statesman in the name of the German people and my own name our warmest thanks. We know what Mussolini’s attitude has meant for Germany in these days. If there could have been a strengthening of the relations between Italy and Germany it took place then.

“The ideological unity of our interests has become for us Germans an indissoluble friendship. The land and frontiers of this friend are to us inviolable. I repeat I shall never forget Mussolini’s attitude. The Italian people know that the German nation supports my word. Thus on this occasion as before, the axis that connects our two countries proves of the greatest service to the peace of the world.

“For Germany wants only peace. She does not want to add to the sorrows of other nations. She is ready, however, to give her last man for her honor and existence. Let nobody think this is only a phrase. Let it be understood that a great and honorable people cannot stand by inactive while millions of their own blood are oppressed.

“Deputies of the German Reichstag! I believe that in these great historical hours in which, thanks to the National Socialist idea of the new power of the Reich, the eternal dream of the German people has been fulfilled, not just a single part of our people should be called on to confirm by its consent the tremendous events of the foundation of a truly greater German Peoples Reich.

“On April 10, millions of German Austrians will testify before history to greater German unity. They shall not be left alone on this their first action in the new German Reich. From March 13 the path of the Austrians is the same as that of the other men and women of our Reich. Therefore, on April 10 the whole German nation will come forward and declare themselves solemnly for a greater Reich. Not 6,500,000 are to be asked, but 75,000,000.

“And secondly, I now dissolve the Reichstag of the old German Reich and order the election of new representatives of greater Germany. I also order it to be held on April 10. I appeal to the 50,000,000 electors of our people to give me a Reichstag which with the gracious aid of God will enable me to carry out our new tasks.

“In these days the German people should once again examine what I and my colleagues accomplished in the last five years since the Reichstag elections of March, 1933.

“I expect for my people that they will have the understanding and strength to come to such decisions. German people, give me another four years so that I can now exploit the accomplished union for the benefit of all.

“After the expiration of this period the new German people’s Reichstag must grow into indissoluble unity anchored in the will of its people, politically led by the National Socialist party, protected by its young National Socialist forces and rich in the prosperity of its economic life. ...”


New York Times, March 19— . . . No National Socialist Reichstag session in the last five years equaled tonight’s with respect to the tumultuous ovation showered on Hitler. . . . Hitler literally bristled with furious determination to justify his Austrian adventure before a hostile world. . . . The most significant portion of the . . . speech was that in which hemade a cordial acknowledgment of Premier Mussolini’s attitude. . . .

SPEECH OF MARCH 25, 1938 Königsberg

“GERMANY was to be weakened! She was to be torn asunder so that she might remain powerless as in past times. That was the purpose of this ‘sovereignty,’ that was the meaning of the veto on the Anschluss. . . . And that is only what one might expect. Today it is only under quite peculiar presuppositions that such small State formations can have a possibility of life. . .

“That is what all these international apostles of truth should have seen who today lie about an act of violence and refuse to see the facts because they do not suit their book. The world and the conscience of the world had no understanding for the facts. A foreign paper asks: ‘Why could you not have done this “peaceably”? The world would have been ready to grant you all you wanted?’ We know better: the conscience of the world, the justice of the world shone forth upon us for the first time from the Peace Treaties. When has more shameless violence been done to peoples than in the period when men began to talk about ‘world-conscience’ and ‘world-justice’? When have economic territorial unities been torn apart with less regard to conscience than since the day when a ‘League of Nations’ was established with the professed aim of serving the interests of peoples? . . . How often have I made representations, have warned and counseled—but all to no effect? I should only rejoice if now—as perhaps may be deduced from the remarks in this English newspaper—there should be a change of mind. We still have a few injustices to complain of: perhaps now they may be settled by agreement! Up to the present our complaints fell on ears that were stone deaf. . .

“ . . . and then one day there came the hour when one had to make a decision before one’s conscience, before one’s own people, and before an eternal God Who had created the peoples. And a fortnight ago I made that decision, and it was the only possible decision. For when men are deaf to every behest of justice, then the individual must assert his rights himself. Then he must turn to that ancient creed: Help yourself arid then God will help you. And God has helped us! . . .”

“I said to the Austrian Chancellor: ‘Herr Schuschnigg, you are oppressing a country. You have no right to do so. This country is my homeland as much as it is yours. How comes it that you are continually doing violence to it? I am ready to stand with you before the people at an election. Both of us will stand as candidates. The people shall decide.’ He objected that that was impossible on constitutional grounds. But I warned him to seek a peaceful way of lessening the tension, as otherwise no one could guarantee that a people’s tortured soul would not cry aloud. And besides I could not let there be any doubt that on the frontiers of Germany no more fellow-countrymen could be shot.

“And I tried to make clear to him in all seriousness that this was the last way which perhaps might lead to a peaceful solution of this crisis. I left him in no doubt that, if this way should fail, in one way or another matters would not end there. I begged him to have no doubt that I was serious in my intention to place the help of the Reich at the service of my oppressed fellow-countrymen and not to doubt my resolution if, through deserting this way, a crisis should arise. He did not believe the seriousness of my assurances and for this reason, one may suppose, he broke the agreement.

“Today we have the proofs of that. We have found the letters in which on February 19—one day before my speech in the Reichstag—he writes that on his part the whole affair would be purely a tactical move in order to gain time so that he could wait until the situation abroad should be more favorable. He therefore counted on being able at a more propitious hour to stir up foreign countries against Germany. In order to give a moral foundation to his scheme this man then invented this ridiculous comedy of a plebiscite on which the clearest light is thrown by the fact that we were able to confiscate broad-sheets and placards in which eight days before the plebiscite the figures of the voting were published! It was an unheard-of fraud in a country in which for many years there had been no election, where no one could vote. It was clear that if this new fraud should be a success, then the world, cold as ice, would have declared: ‘Now this regime is legitimated!’

“And against this the German people in Austria at last began to rise, it turned against its persecutors. It revolted. And now I had to intervene in its behalf. And so I gave the order to answer the wish of this people: I let the forces march!

“And I did this firstly in order to show the world that I was now in bitter earnest, that the time for any further oppression of Germany was past. . .

“I admit openly that at times, in view of the terrible persecutions, the thought might even come to one that it was only right if the people did at last wreak its vengeance on its torturers; but in the end I decided to prevent that. For I saw one thing: amongst our opponents there are men who are so depraved that they must be counted as lost to the community of the German people, but on the other hand there are many blinded and mad folk who have only run with the rest. Perhaps their eyes have been thoroughly opened. And above all, who can guarantee that when once madness has begun private passions will not begin to rage as well, that private scores will not be settled under the watchword of a political act? . . .”

“We will be quit of those of our opponents who are incurable through the normal means of our State. Part of them will without our help go where all the European ‘worthies’ of this stamp have assembled of recent years. And we are glad that some of them have gone already. I can but hope and expect that the rest of the world which feels so deep a sympathy with these criminals will be at least magnanimous enough to turn this pity into practical assistance. On our side we are quite prepared to put all these criminals aboard luxury ships and let these countries do with them what they will. We have in the overwhelming joy of these days forgotten all desire for vengeance. . . .”

“I wanted to spare this country the horrors of Spain and then I had to help: I had been summoned. I could not have borne the responsibility before the history of Germany if I had not given the order to march.

“Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods: I can only say: even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political battle won much love from my people, but when in these last days I crossed the former frontier of the Reich there met me such a stream of love that I have never experienced a greater. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators: an entire people rejoiced. . . .”

“Here not brutal violence, but our Swastika has conquered. As these soldiers marched into Austria, I lived again a song of my youth. I have in days past sung it so often with faith in my heart, this proud battle-song: ‘The people arises, the storm breaks loose.’ And it was in truth the uprising of a people, and the breaking loose of the storm. Under the force of this impression I decided not to wait until April 10 but to effect the unification forthwith. . . .”

“That which has happened in these last weeks is the result of the triumph of an idea, a triumph of will, but also a triumph of endurance and tenacity and, above all, it is the result of the miracle of faith: for only faith has availed to move these mountains. I once went forth with faith in the German people and began this vast fight. With faith in me first thousands, then hundreds of thousands, and at last millions have followed after me. With faith in Germany and in this idea millions of our fellow-countrymen in the New Ostmark in the south of our Reich have held their banners high and have remained loyal to the Reich and to the life of the German people. And now I have faith in this April 10. I am convinced that on this day for the first time in history in very truth all Germany will be on the march. . .

“And on this day I shall be the Leader of the greatest army in the history of the world; for when on this April 10 1 cast my voting-paper into the urn then I shall know that behind me come 50 millions and they all know only my watchword: One People and one Reich—Deutschland!”


London Times, March 26— . . . Herr Hitler said he had read in a newspaper that he might have accomplished the Anschluss in a peaceful manner, since the world was ready to agree with it. He had been grateful for the information. An apparent allusion to Times, March 19, 1938, editorial: “The stock of confidence”: . . All over Europe the opinion has steadily gained acceptance that the prohibition of the Anschluss with Austria was a mistake, and if Hitler had set about to achieve it with the consent of both peoples, he had every opportunity to do so with international good will or, at the least, acquiescence.”

New York Times, March 26— . . . Hitler delivered his . . . speech ... in a distinctly threatening tone, warning again that the Reich was going to watch over the fate of Germans on the other side of its frontiers and act again if he thinks it necessary. . . .

SPEECH OF APRIL 9, 1938 Vienna



April 8—Speaking in Birmingham, Chamberlain says he disapproves of dictatorships, but adds: “There they are. You cannot remove them. We have to live with them.”

In France, Léon Blum falls. It is the end of the Popular Front Government.

The Speech

“BE ASSURED that this city is in my eyes a pearl. I will bring it into that setting which is worthy of this pearl and I will entrust it to the care of the whole German Reich, the whole German nation. ...”

“I desire particularly to address those who in this hour do not feel that they can give their approval and confidence to the new Germany or still less to me or who think that they must stand apart in the face of this truly great world-historical decision. I want to speak as a man who is himself completely guiltless of all that which Germany has suffered in the past. . . .”

“For every people there is only one help possible: the help which lies in itself. But for that there is a condition: the people must come together into a single closely united body, for only from such a unity can the strength to win salvation come. . . .”

“I have not relied upon Geneva or Moscow, but on one thing alone, on my people, on Germany. ...”

“Others have built castles in the clouds, but we build for our German folk an earthly but a decent life. . . .”

“But if that will not suffice I stand nere because I pride myself that I can do more than Herr Schuschnigff!

“I believe that it was God’s will to send a boy from here into the Reich, to let him grow up, to raise him to be the leader of the nation so as to enable him to lead back his homeland into the Reich.

“There is a higher ordering and we all are nothing else than its agents. When on March 9 Herr Schuschnigg broke his agreement then in that second I felt that now the call of Providence had come to me. And that which then took place in three days was only conceivable as the fulfillment of the wish and the will of this Providence.

“In three days the Lord has smitten them! . . . And to me the grace was given on the day of the betrayal to be able to unite my homeland with the Reich! . . .”

“I would now give thanks to Him who let me return to my homeland in order that I might now lead it into my German Reich! Tomorrow may every German recognize the hour and measure its import and bow in humility before the Almighty who in a few weeks has wrought a miracle upon us!” •


Le Temps, April 77—The Fuehrer constantly presents himself as conducting his defense against imaginary critics. He spoke one sentence which is, perhaps, one of the most interesting in the speech, for it throws astounding light upon the psychology of the orator. “March 9, . . . when I learned that Schuschnigg had broken our treaty, I felt at that moment that Providence had summoned me.” And so, when news came that M. von Schuschnigg had decided upon a plebiscite, M. Hitler immediately came to his decision; it was a kind of revelation. As a matter of fact, his last speech ends on a religious note. . . .

London Times, April 77—Had the elections in Austria itself been perfectly free, in the sense in which freedom is understood in this country, the result would probably have been a majority in favor of the Anschluss. Herr Hitler has justification for the claim which he made in his last speech, on Saturday, when he said that Austrians are a German people, living in a German country, who wanted to be a part of Greater Germany from the moment that the old Austro- Hungarian Monarchy was broken up. Others must take the responsibility that the union was not effected in a quieter way, which might have given historic Austria a place in a less rigidly centralized system, and on the other hand would not have left so many sore feelings behind. . . .

Almost every one of the Fuehrer’s election speeches invites Germans to think of themselves as a people oppressed and ill-used by foreign countries and compelled to win their rights by force alone. Whatever substance there may have been in these charges in the past, they have no relevance in the present or future. Certainly in this country there have been many ready to reckon with Greater Germany—which, whoever likes it or not, is the product of inevitable forces and Herr Hitler’s historic accomplishment as one of the sure developments in Europe.

The task of the future is to succeed where the Europe of twenty-four years ago failed in finding a settled basis of relations proof against fundamental disturbance, and, in the new phase now opening, the question is what limit is to be set to the employment of force. Mr. Chamberlain and successive Foreign Ministers have made it perfectly clear for their part that they do not for a moment refuse to deal with any foreign country because its social doctrine differs from our own. Apart from the methods by which it was accomplished, there has never been any public feeling in England against the union of Austria and Germany, nor is it in itself the slightest bar to an understanding between Grossbritannien and Grossdeutschland. It will no doubt increase the resources and the strength of Germany. Great Britain is also engaged in increasing her strength. But it is perfectly appropriate that negotiations should be conducted from strength by both parties.

New York Times, April 10—Chancellor Hitler closed his campaign for tomorrow’s plebiscite with a speech here tonight in which he greeted a huge audience with frequent references to the Deity.

SPEECH OF MAY 7, 1938 Rome



April 10—Election, Austrian plebiscite.

April 10—Daladier forms Cabinet with Georges Bonnet as Foreign Minister. Socialists are excluded.

April 16—Anglo-Italian pact signed in Rome. Recognition of Ethiopia and withdrawal of Italian troops from Spain to come into effect after Franco’s victory.

April 24—Konrad Henlein, leader of the Sudeten German party, makes a speech at Karlsbad asking for revision of Czech foreign policy which has led the country in the ranks of Germany’s enemies.

April 28—Anglo-French agreement signed by Daladier in London. It provides for military consultations and unified command in case of war.

May 7—Hitler visits Rome, assuring Mussolini of inviolability of frontiers.

The Speech

“DUCE, with deep emotion I thank you for the moving words which you have addressed to me in the name both of the Italian Government and of the Italian people. I am happy to be here in Rome in which the powerful manifestations of the young Fascist Italy are united with the evidences of its incomparably venerable past.

“Since the moment when I Erst set foot on Italian soil I have been conscious everywhere of an atmosphere of friendship and sympathy which fills me with profound pleasure. With the same heartfelt emotion the German people last autumn greeted in your person the creator of Fascist Italy, the founder of a new Imperium and at the same time also the great friend of Germany.

“The National Socialist Movement and the Fascist Revolution have created two new powerful States which today in a world of unrest and disintegration stand as creations of order and healthy progress. Germany and Italy have thus like interests and through sharing in a common Weltanschauung are closely bound together. In this way there has been created in Europe a bloc of 120,000,000 people who are determined to safeguard their eternal vital rights and to defend themselves against all those forces which might venture to oppose their natural development. .

“Out of this fight against a world which rejects and refuses to understand their claims, a fight which Germany and Italy have had to wage shoulder to shoulder, there has gradually grown up a warm friendship between the two peoples. This friendship has proved its strength during the events of the last few years. These events have, further, shown to the world that in one way or another account must be taken of those justified interests which are of vital import to great nations. It is therefore only natural that our two peoples should in the future continue to build up and deepen in constant co-operation this friendship which in recent years has ever proved of increasing value.

“Duce, last autumn on the Maifeld in Berlin, you proclaimed a principle which, as you said, the moral law was sacred both for yourself and for Fascist Italy: ‘Speak plainly and frankly, and if you have a friend, march with him right to the end.’

“In the name of National Socialist Germany I, too, profess my allegiance to this law. Today I wish to give you the following answer:

“Two millennia have now passed since Romans and Germans met for the first time in history so far as that history is known to us. Standing here, on this the most venerable soil in our human history, I feel the tragedy of a destiny which formerly failed to draw clear frontier lines between these two highly gifted, valuable races. The consequence of that failure was untold suffering for many generations. Now today after nearly two thousand years, thanks to your historic activity, Benito Mussolini, the Roman State arises from remote traditions to new life, and north of you there arose, formed out of numerous tribes, a new Germanic Reich. Now that we have become immediate neighbors, taught by the experience of two millennia, we both wish to recognize that natural frontier which Providence and history have clearly drawn for our two peoples. That frontier will then render possible the happiness of a permanent co-operation peacefully secured through the definite separation of the living-spaces of the two nations, but it will also serve as a bridge for mutual help and support. It is my unalterable will and my bequest to the German people that it shall accordingly regard the frontier of the Alps, raised by Nature between us both, as for ever inviolable. I know that then through this delimitation a great and prosperous future will result both for Rome and Germany.

“Duce, just as you and your people maintained your friendship with Germany in days of crisis, so I and my people will show the like friendship towards Italy in times of difficulty.

“The stupendous impressions I have just received of the youthful strength, the will to work, and the proud spirit of the new Italy will remain for me an imperishable memory. Unforgettable, too, was the sight of your soldiers and Blackshirts covered with the glory of their recent operations [in Abyssinia], of your well-tried fleet, and of the élan of your magnificent air force. They give me the certainty that your admirable constructive work which I follow with the sincerest well-wishing will in the future as in the past lead to great successes.

“So I raise my glass and drink to your health, to the good fortune and greatness of the Italian people and to our unchanging friendship. . . . How can I translate the sentiment which I experienced as I stood before the millennial monuments of Rome? How profoundly I regret that I could only see their grandeur far too quickly and then had to pass by. This journey to Italy and my visit here I have experienced not merely as a politician but also as an artist. It has always been against my will and with sorrow that I parted from every room of the splendid palaces which were shown to me. . . .”


London Times, May 9—The speeches of Signor Mussolini and Herr Hitler, delivered on Saturday night after four full days of impressive pageantry on land and sea, were notable for their restraint. They held the language of statesmanship. . . . The meeting in Rome will have been immensely valuable if it has led to any understanding which may help forward a peaceful settlement of the issues raised by Herr Henlein.

New York Times, May 9—Mussolini and Hitler exchanged pledges of continued warm friendship between their countries at a State banquet in Rome last night. The German leader promised the Alpine frontier would remain inviolate.

Le Temps, May 9—The Fuehrer interpreted the natural frontier between Germany and Italy as a sacred pledge, which was confirmed not only by the Alps, but by “Providence and history.” He spoke not only of the frontier itself, but of its significance . . . that the frontier between the two countries was inviolable.

In his toast, the Fuehrer spoke of Rome as the most glorious spot in the history of humanity. Is the Germanic myth to bow down before the Roman myth? Are we to think that the German Chancellor accepts the supremacy of the Eternal City and of fascism? Some observers may find that his words have an overtone reminiscent of Canossa.

SPEECH OF MAY 26, 1938 Failersleben (To inaugurate new automobile plant)



May 12—Henlein, leader of Sudeten party, visits London.

May 19—Henlein visits Hitler.

German troop movements are reported on the Czech frontiers.

May 27—German press starts campaign against Czechs, speaking of “intolerable provocations.”

In Paris, Georges Bonnet assures foreign press that France will fulfill all her engagements, if need be.

The Speech

“THE first step towards making Germany motor-minded was to free people from the earlier conception that the motor-vehicle was an article of luxury. That is natural enough, if in a country there are only two, three, or four hundred thousand motor-vehicles on the roads. But in the case of the German people there is a demand not for two to three hundred thousand, but for six or seven million motor-cars! Here the only decisive factor is that the cost of the production and maintenance of this most modern means of transport shall be brought into conformity with the people’s income. ‘That is impossible!’ was the objection raised in 1933. To this I could give only one answer: ‘What is possible in other countries shall be possible in Germany as well!’ I hate the word ‘impossible’; it has always been the mask of the faint-hearted, of men who did not dare to carry out great resolves.

“The motor-car, then, must become the people’s means of transport! Since this goal could not be reached with car prices as they were then, I had already determined, before I came into power, that immediately the government fell into our hands I would begin the preliminary work for the production of a car whose price would enable it to become a real means of transport for the grea