Essay

Full text of "Speech delivered before the German Reichstag on January 30th, 1939."


I MILIIIm'.'LA -J4 » . DM', IM< im;:i- MA I N ^ niK IIBKAIIY niE iiiNivERsmr Ol TKXAH AT SPEECH DELIVERED BY ADOLF HITLER BEFORE THE GERMAN REICHSTAG ON JANUARY 30, 1939 Library Omversity of Texaa Ausun, Teicas % Members of the German Eeichstag, A¥heii six years ago on this evening tens of thou- Ny sands of National Socialist fighters marched through ^A the Brandenburg Gate to the light of their torches to express to me who had jnst been appointed Chan- cellor of the Eeich, their feeling of overwhelming joy .A and their vows as faithful followers, countless anxious .^ eyes all over Germany and in Berlin gazed upon the be- ginning of a development, the end of which still seemed unknown and unpredictable. Approximately thirteen million National Socialist voters then supported me. This was a tremendous number but still only a little over a third of all the votes cast. It is true that the other twenty million had been scattered and split up among approximately thirty-five other parties and little groups. The only thing that united them was their _^ common hatred _of our young movement/^ hatred v- born of their guilty coniwehces and even w^orse inten- 1^ tions. As it still does today in other parts of the world, this united the priests of the centre party and com- • munist atheists, the socialists out to abolish private '^r property and capitalists whose interests were bound ^s up with the stock exchange, conservatives who wished to preserve the State, and republicans whose aim was gto destroy the Eeich. During the long battle of National & Socialism for the leadership of the country they had "^ ail come together in defense of their interests and had made common cause with Jewry. The bishop politi- g cians of the various churches extended their hands over this union in benediction. These broken up frag- 450021 r n ments of the nation, united only in their negative aims, were now confronted by that third of German men and women of good faith who had undertaken to restore the German Nation and Eeich in the face of opposition, both at home and abroad. "~ The complete picture of the extent of the collapse in that period is gradually fading away. One thing, however, remains unforgotten: it seemed that only a miracle in the twelfth hour could save Germany. We National Socialists believed in this miracle, our opponents ridiculed our belief in it. The idea of redeeming the nation from a decline extending over fifteen years simply by the power of a new idea seemed to the non-National Socialists fantastic nonsense. To the Jews and the other enemies of the State, however, it appeared to be the last flicker of the national power of resistance. And they felt that when it had dis- appearedj then they would be able to destroy not only \ Germany but all Europe as well. ^ Had the German Eeich sunk into Bolshevik chaos it would at that very moment have plunged the whole of Western civilization into a crisis of inconceivable magnitude. Only islanders with the most limited vision can imagine that the Eed Plague would have stopped of its own accord before the sacredness of the democratic idea or at the boundaries of disinter- ested states. The rescue of Europe began at one end of the con- tinent with Mussolini and Fascism. National Social- ism continued this rescue in another part of Europe and at the present moment we are witnessing in still a third country the same drama of a brave triumph over the Jewish international attempt to destroy European civilization. What are six years in the life of one man — ^much less in the life of the peoples? In such a short period of development one sees scarcely more than the symp- toms of general stagnation, decline or progress. The six years which now lie behind us in Germany are, however, filled with the most tremendous events in all German history. On January 30, 1933, 1 moved into the Wilhelmstrasse filled with the deepest anxiety for the future of my people. Today, six years later, I am able to speak before the first Reichstag of Greater Germany, We are, indeed, perhaps better able than other generations to realize the full meaning of those pious ^vords: ''What a change by the grace of God.'^ T'^-Six years sufficed to fulfill the dreams of centuries ; ^ one year to give to our people the enjoyment of that unity for which numerous generations had longed and striven in vain J As I today see you assembled before I me as the representatives of our German people from I all over the Eeich, and know that among you are the newly elected men of the Ostmark and the Sudeten- land, I am once more overwhelmed by the tremendous impressions of the events of a year which realized the dream of centuries. How much blood has been shed in vain for this goal! How many million Germans have consciously or unconsciously trodden the bitter path to sudden or } painful death for the sake of this ideal How many others have been condemned to ^drag out behind the walls of fortresses and prisons lives which they would gladly have given for Greater Germany ! How many hundreds of thousands have been scattered over the wide world by the endless stream of German emigration driven by misery and want! For many a year they .J still think of their nnfortunate homeland, but as gener- ations go by they forget it. And now in a single year it has been possible to realize this dream. This was not achieved without struggle in spite of what thoughtless bourgeois may think. This year of German unification was preceded by nearly twenty years of fanatical struggle over a poli- tical idea. Hundreds of thousands, nay, millions de- voted to this idea their entire selves and their phy- sical and economic existence. They readily endured mockery and scorn as well as years of shameful treatment, frightful abuse and al- most unbearable terror. AH over the country we lost innumerable dead and w^ounded. And in addition, this success was fought for and achieved by an unpre- cedented energy and by the power of brave decisions fanatically adhered to. I would emphasize this because there is a danger that those very people who have made the smallest practical contribution to German unification will only too easily— noisy orators that they are^claim for themselves the credit of having created this Reich or look upon the entire events of the past year as a matter of course, a long overdue development which unfortunately was finally completed rather late by National Socialism — 1 would emphasize with regard to these elements moreover that the carrying through to a successful completion of this year called for strong nerves which is the very last thing that these gentry have. They are the old eternal pessimists, skeptics and indifferent individuals whom we all know, who never adopted a positive attitude during the twenty years of our struggle, but who, now that victory has been won, feel called upon to issue their critical commentaries as the chosen experts of the national rebirth. u r I will now in a few sentences give you the facts of the historical events of the memorable year 1938: Among the 14 points wiiich President Wilson promised Germany in the name of all the Allies as the basis on which a new world peace was to be established when Germany laid down her arms, was the funda- mental principle of the self-determination of peoples. The peoples w^ere not simply to be transferred like chattels from one sovereignty to another by the arts of diplomacy, but in the name of the most sacred natural rights were to determine tor tliemselves the course of their lives and their political existence. The proclamation of this principle might have been of fundamental importance. Actually during the follow- ing period the Allied Powers of the day also applied these theories w^hen they could make them serve their own selfish purposes. Thus they refuse to return Germany's colonial possessions, alleging that it would be ^vrong to return the native inhabitants of the colonies to Germany against their will. But of course in 1918 no one took the trouble to find out what their w^dl was. But while the Allies thus upheld the right of self-determination for primi- tive negro tribes, they refused in 1918 to grant to a highly civilized nation like the Germans the rights of man which had previously been solemnly promised to them. Many millions of German citizens were torn from the Eeich against their will or prevented from uniting with it. Indeed in sharpest contrast to the solemn promise of the right of self-determination, ^j^T.,^T ,^^-__ Ml the Peace Treaty of Versailles even forbade the union of the Germans of the Ostmark with the Reich at a moment when efforts were being made in Austria to give effect to the right of self-determination through , plebiscites. All efforts to bring about a change in the "situation through the normal method of reasonable revision had hitherto failed, and were bound to fail in the future. In view of the well-known attitude of the Versailles powers indeed all the articles dealing with revision in the covenant of the League of Nations had only a pla^omc, significance, _______ C myself as a son of the Ostmark was filled with the red ^^ish to solve this problem and thus lead my homeland back to the Reich. In January 1938, 1 finally resolved that in the course of that year, in one way or another, I would fight for and mn the right of self- ivdeterrainationfor the 6,500,000 Germans in Austria. 1) I invited Herr Schuschnigg, then Chancellor of Austi^ia, to an interview at Berchtesgaden, and made it clear to him that the German Reich would no longer inactively tolerate any further oppression of these German comrades. I, therefore, suggested that he should approach a final solution of this problem by means of a reasonable and equitable agreement, I left no doubt in his mind that otherwise freedom, in accordance with the principles of the right of self- determination, would be forcibly obtained for those 6,500,000 Germans by other suitable means. The result was an agreement which permitted me to hope for a solution of this difficult problem by means of a general understanding, 2) In my Reichstag speech of February 22nd, I stated that the Reich could no longer be indifferent to the fate of the ten million Germans in Central Europe who were separated from the motherland against their ^dlL I stated that above all further oppression and mistreatment of these Germans would lead to the most energetic counter-measures, A few days later, Herr Schuschnigg decided to violate in a glaring manner the agreement which he had entered into at Berchtesgaden. His idea was by means of a faked plebiscite to destroy the legal basis of the national right of self-determination and will of these 6,500,000 Germans, On the evening of Wednesday, March 9th, I learned of this intention through Schuschnigg *s speech at Innsbruck. That night I ordered the mobilization of a certain number of in- fantry and mechanized divisions with orders to cross the frontier on Saturday, March 12th, at 8 a. m., in order to liberate the Ostmark. On the morning of Friday, March 11th, the mobilization of these army and SS units was completed. They took up their positions during the course of the day. Meanwhile in the afternoon due to the pressure of all the events and the rising of the citizens in the Ostmark, Schusch- nigg resigned. On Friday night I was asked to order the German troops to march into Austria, in order to prevent grave internal disorders in that country. Toward 10 p. m. troops were already crossing the frontier at numerous points. At 6 a. m. the next morning the main body began to march in. They were greeted with tremendous enthusiasm by the popula- tion, which was thus at last free. On Saturday, March 13th, at Linz, through the two laws which are known to you,, I decreed the incorporation of the Ostmark in \ pffieTEeich and caused the members of the former Aus- trian army to swear allegiance to me as the com- mander-in-chief of the German forces. Two days later, the first great military parade took place in Vienna. All this had happened mth truly breath- taking rapidity. Our faith in the speed and efficiency of the new German forces was not disappointed. Our expectations were exceeded. The conviction of the great value of this excellent instrument had been con- firmed in the course of a few days. The first election to the Greater German Eeichstag which took place on April 10th, expressed the overwhelming approval of the German Nation. Approximately 99 per cent showed by their vote that they approved of what had been done. A few weeks later, influenced by the international campaign of hate carried on by certain newspapers and individual politicians, Czechoslovakia began an j intensified oppression of the Germans ^vithin her / borders^, ^_ Close upon 3,500,000 of our fellow countrymen lived there in selfcontained settlements which for the most part adjoined the boundaries of the Reich, together with the Germans who were driven out during the twenty odd years b^^ the Czech reign of terror. This makes a total of over 4,000,000 persons who were re- tained in this State against their will and were ill- treated to a greater or less degree. ISTo'^^dTld^poweTmth" any sense of honor would j have watched such a state of affairs permanently. The ' man responsible for this development, which grad- ually made Czechoslovakia the exponent of all hostile intentions directed against the Reich, was Br. Benes, at that time President of the State. It was he who, at the suggestion and with the co-operation of certain foreign circles, carried through the Czech mobilization in May of last year which had the aim of ^^ provoking the German Reich, and ^J^'^"^'*^^ \ (p lowering the international prestige of the Reich^ ^^TTespite a declaration twice given to the 'Czeeho- slovakian President, Mr. Benes, in my name that Ger- many had not mobilized a single soldier, despite the same assurances that it was possible to make to the representatives of foreign powers, the fiction was maintained and disseminated that Czechoslovakia for her part had been forced to mobilize in consequence of the German mobilization, and that Germany had thus had to counter-mand her own mobilization and to renounce her plans. Mr. Benes caused the version to be spread abroad that it was through his resolute measures that the German Reich had been kept in her proper place. But now, since Germany had neither mobilized nor had the slightest intention of attacking Czechoslovakia, this development had inevitably to lead to a serious loss of prestige for the Reich, In view of this intolerable provocation, which was further intensified by a truly infamous persecution and terrorization, of our fellow countrymen living in .Jj ^se territories J I therefore resolved to solve once / for all, and this time radically, this Sudeten German question. On May 28th I ordered : 1, That preparations should be made for military action against this State by October 2nd, 2. That the construction of our western defenses f ^houddbe greatly extended and speeded up. ^ ForTIie purpose of settling with Mr. Benes and to protect the Reich against other attempts to influence or even to threaten it, the immediate mobilization of 96 divisions was planned to begin with, and arrange- ments were made whereby these could be supplemented in a short time by a larger number. Developments late in the siimmer and the plight of the Germans in Czechoslovakia showed that these pre- parations were Justified. The various stages of the final settlement of this problem are a matter of his- tory. Once more the military preparations, which affected the whole of the services and some SS and SA units, as well as numerous police, as in the ease of Austria, were completely successful. In the west, the mobilization of Dr. Todts organization headed by its brilliant leader, achieved, thanks to the devotion of all the officers, soldiers, labor service men and laborers who participated in that work, a unique result, which A history in the past could never have believed pos- Q Sible. I If certain newspapers and politicians in the rest ' of the world now allege that Germany thus threatened other nations by military blackmail, it can only be as a result of crude distortion of the facts. Germany restored the right of self-determination to ten million, of her fellow countrymen in a territory where neither the British nor any other Western Nation have any business. By so doing she threatened no one, she merely offered resistance to attempted interference by a third party. And I need not assure you, Gentlemen, that in the future as well we shall not tolerate the Western States attempting to interfere in certain matters which con- eern nobody but ourselves in order to hinder natural and reasonable solutions by their intervention. We were all happy therefore when, thanks to the initiative of our good friend Benito Mussolini ajid thanks also to the highly appreciable readiness of Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Daladier it became possible to find the ele- ments of an agreement which not only allowed of the 10 peaceful settlement of a matter which admitted no further delay, but could moreover be looked upon as an example of the possibility of a general and sensible treatment and settlement of certain vital problems. All the same we should not have achieved such agreement among the big powers in Europe without the firm determination to settle this problem one way or another. The Sudeten German people have for their part also had an opportunity of sanctioning the process of their incorporation into the Greater German Eeich by an individual and free expression of their will. They expressed their consent with the same overwhelming majority that the election of the first Greater German Reichstag exhibited. We thus have before us today a representation of the German nation which can claim to be regarded as a truly constituent [assembly. It is not my intention, nor is it possible, in the course of this review to mention by name all those who by their co-operation have provided me with the theoret- ical and material basis for the success of the great work of unification. I must, however, mention that side by side with the impulsive and enthusiastic effec- tiveness of our old party member, Field Marshal Goering, in the spheres with which he has been en- trusted, it is the judgment, as wise as it is bold, and the first-rate treatment of every single problem in foreign policy which he has been called upon to deal with, displayed by Herr von Ribbentrop, which in the important period that now lies behind us have been of such extraordinary assistance in the carrying-out of this my policy. This is my comment on the actual course of events during the historic year. However, it seems to me necessary today to declare before the 11 w^ Library Ooht" :ity of Twrsw Aur^iji, Texas nation that 1938 was above all a year which saw the triumph of an idea. It was an idea which united a nation, in contrast to former centuries when one be- lieved that such a task could only be entrusted to the sword. When the Grerman soldiers marched into the Ostmark and into the Sudeten Grerman territories, they were not only taking action against the oppres- sors of the people living there but were also bearers of the National Socialist Yolksgemeinschaft, to which all these millions of Germans had for many a long year given their spiritual consent and allegiance. For years, despite all oppression, the Germans of the Ost- mark and of the Sudeten territories had borne the flag of the National Socialist Reich as a symbol in their hearts. And this is the decisive distinction between the coming into being of Greater Germany and similar attempts made in the past centuries. In those days attempts were made to force the German tribes into one Reich. Today the German nation has overcome the enemies of the Reich. Barely eight months were required for one of the most noticeable changes in Europe. Formerly it was chiefly the alleged interests of the various tribes or states or the egotism of Ger- man princes which opposed every real union of the Reich. But this time, after the internal enemies of the Reich had been eliminated, it was the inter- national profiteers from Germany's disunion who tried to interfere in the last resort. This time, therefore, it was no longer necessary to draw the sword in order to compel national unity, but only in order to protect the latter from enemies without. The young services of the Reich stood their first test on this occasion with signal success. This unique event in the history of our nation re- )i presents for you, Gentlemen, a sacred and everlasting obligation. You are not the deputies of a district or of a certain tribe, you are not the representatives of particular interests but you are first of all the chosen delegates of the whole great German nation. You are thus guarantors of that German Reich which National Socialism has made possible and created. You are therefore in duty bound to serve with the deepest loyalty the movement which paved the way for and realized the miracle of German history in the year 1938. In you must be incorporated in the most super- lative form the virtues of the National Socialist Party, loyalty, comradeship, and obedience. As we have trained these virtues in ourselves in our struggle for Germany, so they must remain for all time the inner directive force of the members of the Reichstag. It is then that the representative delega- tion of the German nation will be a confederate com- munity of those who are actually helping to build the German State. The history of the last 30 years has taught us all one great lesson, namely, that the im- portance of nations in the world is proportionate to their strength at home. The number and value of a population determines the importance of the nation as a whole. But the final and decisive part played in the valuation of the real strength of a nation will always be found in the state of its internal order. That is, the organization of its national strength. The German of today is no different from that of ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Since then, the number of Germans has not increased to any con- is 450021 siderablo extent. Capabilities, genius and energy can- not be considered more plentifnl than in former times. The one thing which has changed considerably is the way in which these values are utilized to the full by the manner of their organization, and thanks to the formation of a new method of the selection of leaders. The German Nation, in former times, politically and socially disorganized as it was, had wasted the greater part of its inherent qualities in domestic strife which was as unfruitful as it was irrational What was known as democratic license in giving expression to opinions and instincts not only led to a development or liberation of particular values or forces, but also caused them to be foolishly wasted and finally paralyzed every person who might still possess real creative power. National Socialism, in putting an end to this un- profitable warfare, released at the same time the pow- ers within that had hitherto lain latent, allowing them full scope in representing the vital interests of the nation both in the sense of carrying out inportant tasks coimected with the community in the Reich itself, and in securing the common necessities of life in the world outside. It is absurd to say that obedience and discipline are only necessary for soldiers and are of little significance for others in the lives of nations. The opposite is the case. A community, disciplined and obligated to obey, is able to mobilize forces which facilitate the assertion of the existence of nations and consequently represent the interests of all with great success. A community such as this, however, cannot primarily be created by the power of the compulsion, but only by the compelling power of an idea, that is^ by the strenuous exertions of constant education.: Na- u tional Socialism aims at the establishment of a real national community. Such a conception would appear to be a very distant idealj This, however, must not be termed a misfortune. Eather the contrary. It is precisely the beauty of this ideal which compels men to go on working and consequently to strive after it undauntedly. This is the difference between the party programs of a vanished past and the ultimate aim of National Socialism. They contained variously form- ulated conceptions or aims of an economic, political or denominational character. They were, however, only applicable to their own age, and consequently, limited. National Socialism, on the other hand, has set itself an aim in its community of the nation wliich can only be attained and held by continuous and con- stant education. Whereas the work of former poli- tical parties exhausted itself for the most part in dealing with, questions and matters of the day that were mainly concerned with the State or economic affairs when most of the discussions took place in Parliament, the National Socialist movement on the other hand, has its work to do, boldly and resolutely among the people itself. The practical evaluation of this work, however, is not proceeded with in the Reichstag but in every sphere of political life, both domestic and foreign. It is the community of the nation which is the determining value and consequent- ly the all-powerful factor which the leaders of the state are enabled to make use of in forming their decisions. The importance of these facts overrules the singular lack of understanding shown in particular by the former representatives of bourgeois parties for aims such as these. There are people who even in the face of stu- 15 pendoiis and overwhelming happenings ai-e utterly incapable of reflection, mucli less, emotion. Such people possess no inward spark of life and are worthless to any community. They are not makers of history, nor is it possible to make history with them. What with their stupidity or blase deca- dence they are but useless and spoilt pieces of nature 's work. They find their own gratification or satisfac- tion in the thought of an exalted frame of mind, that is to say in ignorance, which in consequence of their would be cleverness or wisdom, they deem, raises them to a plane above the happenings of their age. It is quite conceivable that a nation should not possess only one such fool and yet be capable of sublime acts and deeds. It is, however^ impossible to imagine a nation or even to govern one which consists for the most part of such fools instead of being composed of pure- blooded, idealistic, trustful and loyally enthusiastic men and women. Such people are the only valuable elements in a national community. They may be for- given for a thousand weaknesses if only the^^ possess the strength to give— if need be — even their lives for an ideal or a conception. And sOj in the presence of you all, gentle- men, I can but reiterate the urgent request which I have voiced in thousands and thousands of national gatherings. Look upon the creation and strengthening of the National Socialist community as the means of preserving the Reich. This in itself will cause you to achieve really practical results in numer- ous domains of work. Thus alone will it be possible effectively to utilize the services of hundreds and thou- sands and millions of vigorous characters in our na- 16 tion whose ordinary citizens* lives spent in business can never give them adequate satisfaction. The or- ganization of the National Socialist Community re- quires millions of active members. To find and choose them means helping in that stupendous process of selection which makes it possible for us to discover men of outstanding gifts to be our representatives and to perform the work of the State. Men prominent because of their own merit, not merely schoolbread. This is decisive, not only for the nation but for the administration of the state. For among the millions that make up the mass of the nation there exist suffi- cient talents eminently suitable for filling every posi- tion. This is the best guaranty ior the safety of state and people in the face of the revolutionary ideas of individuals and the disruptive tendencies of the time. Danger comes only from those Avho are overlooked but are at bottom creative geniuses, never from petty critics with their negative objections or from grum- blers. There is neither idealism nor energy in such people, to spur them on to achieve something demand- ing energy. Rarely does their spirit of opposition and ill-will attain more than writing pamphlets and news- paper articles or letting itself go in oratorical excesses. Throughout the ages the real revolutionaries familiar to the world have always been those wiio desired lead- ership but who lacked opportunity or belonged to an arrogant, vitiated and exclusive class of society. Thus it is in the interests of a State by means of a careful selection to make investigations again and yet again in order to find what talents exist in the nation and how they may best be used. The first essential in this direction is the powerful organization of a living national community. For it 17 allots the most comprehensive tasks and demands work of a permanent and manifold nature. Just think of the enormous amount of educational work, that is leadership work, that is necessary in an organization like that of the Labor Front. Gentlemen, we are faced with further enormous and stupendous tasks. A new history of the leadership of our nation must be con- structed. Its composition is dependent on race. It is, howeyer, just as necessary to demand and make sure through the system and method of our edu- cation that above all, bravery and readiness to accept responsibility, should be regarded as essential quali- ties in those about to assume public office of any kind. When appointing men to leading positions in the State and Party, greater value should be placed on character than on purely academic or allegedly intellectual suit- ability. It is not abstract knowledge which must be considered a decisive factor, wherever a leader is re- quired, but rather a natural talent for leadership and with it a highly developed sense of responsibility which brings with it determination, courage and endurance. It must be recognized in principle that the lack of a sense of responsibility can never be made up for by its supposedly first class academic training of which certificates may supply the proof. Knowledge and the qualities of leadership, which always imply energy are not incompatible. But in doubtful cases knowledge can in no circumstances be a substitute for integrity, courage, bravery and determination. These are the qualities that are more important in a leader of the people in State and Party. And I say this to you now, G-entlemen, looking back on the one year of German history which has shown me more clearly than 18 the whole of my previous life, how vital and essential these very qualities are ; and how in a time of crisis, \ one single energetic man of action outweighs a thou- / sand feeble intellectuals. But as a factor in society this new type, selected as embodying the qualities of leadership, must also be freed from numerous prejudices, which I can really only describe as an untruthful and fundamentally non- sensical code of social morals. There is no attitxtde which cannot find its ultimate justification in the benefit which it brings to the community as a whole. Anything that is obviously unimportant or even harm- ful to the existence of the community is not to he recognized as a moral code on Avhich a social order can be built up. And most important of all, a national community is possible only when laws are recognized which are binding for all. It will not do to expect or demand that one man should act in accordance with principles which in the eyes of the others are absurd or harmful or even just unimportant. I fail to appre- ciate the efforts of social classes which are dying out to cut themselves off from real life and keep them- selves artificially alive behind a hedge of dry outlived class laws. So long as the idea is only to secure a peaceful burial place there is no objection. But if this is an attempt to place a barrier in the way of life 's progres- sive march, then the stormwind of youth will clear away the whole tangled growth in its onward sweep. In the German State of today, the people ^s State, there are no social prejudices, and consequently there is no special social code of morals. This State recog- nizes only the laws of life and the necessities at which man has arrived through reason and insight. National n Socialism recognizes these laws and necessities, and it is one

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of the concerns of National Socialism to have them respected. In speaking to you thus. Gentlemen, I want to bring home to you once more on this solemn day the sense of your duty, as fighters for the National Socialist movement. To do your share towards attainment of the great aims of our philosophy which are also the aims of the struggle of our people. For your position here is not that of elected members of Parliament, but you are here as National Socialist fighters, whom the movement itself has presented to the German people. Your function consists in the main in the forming of the nation and in the moulding of the com- munity, in educating the nation and to think along genuinely national and socialist lines. It is for this reason that the German people has chosen both me and you. The laws of our movement are binding for us, in whatever position w^e may find ourselves. But for this very reason we have more right to represent the German Nation than those par- liamentarians of democratic ancestry whom we knew in Germany in former days who obtained their author- ization by paying a more or less high premium. Wlien now after six years in which the leadership of the German people and the Reich has been in my hands, I look towards the future, I must give expres- sion to the deep sense of confidence and trust that inspire me. The solidarity of the German Nation of which you, Gentlemen, in the first place are and will continue to be the guarantors, makes me certain that whatever tasks our people have to face, the National Socialist State will sooner or later find a solution. Whatever sort of difficulties there may be ahead of us, 20 the energy and the courage of the leaders ^ill over- come them. Just as I am convinced that the German people having learned the unique, historic lesson of past years, will follow those leaders with supreme determination. Gentlemen, we live in an age when the air is full of the cries of Democratic defenders of morals and world reformers. Judging from the statements of these apostles, one might almost conclude that the whole world is only waiting its chance to redeem the German Nation from its unhappy plight, to lead it back to the blessed State of cosmopolitan brotherhood and mutual assistance in international affairs, which w^e Germans were so thoroughly able to test during the fifteen years before the National Socialist assump- tion of power. Speeches and newspapers in these democracies tell us every day about the difficulties with which we Germans are faced. One difference is to be noted betv/een the speeches of the statesmen and the leading articles of their journalists. The statesmen either pity us or else unctuously praise the tried recipes— which unfortunately, how- ever, do not seem to be so successful in their own coun- tries; the journalists on the other hand give expres- sion to their true sentiments somewhat more candidly. They inform us confidently and with a feeling of mali- cious pleasure that we are either suffering a famine or that one is — God willing^about to descend upon us, that we are facing ruin as the result of a financial crisis, or else a production crisis, or — if even that should not come to pass — a consumption crisis. The only thing is that the sagacity of these democratic 21 world economic scholars, of which we have so much concrete proof, does not always produce a quite uni- form diagnosis. During the past week alone in view of the increased concentration of German self-assertiveness one could read at the same time : ^ 1. that although Germany had a surplus of produc- tion, she would succumb as a result of the lack of consumption power ; 2. that althongh there was a huge consumers' de- mand, the shortage of production goods alone would bring the country to ruin; 3. that we should certainly collapse under the terri- fic burden of our debts ; ■ 4. that we wanted no debts, but by National Social- ist policy in this field too we were acting contrary to the last sacred capitalist ideas, and consequently — please God— would ruin ourselves ; 5. that the German people were in revolt on account of the low standard of living; 6. that the State could no longer maintain the high standard of living of the German people — and so on. All these and many similar theses of these democra- tic world economic dogmatists had their forerunners in countless statements made during the period of the National Socialist struggle, and in particular during the last six years. In all these laments and prophecies there is only one sincere strain, and that is the single honest democratic wish that the German people and particularly the National Socialist Germany of today should finally perish. One thing, admittedly, the German people, more especially we ourselves, do realize, and that is: that Germany has undoubtedly always been in a very diffi- 22 cult position economically. In fact since 1918 many people have considered her position hopeless. But whereas in a period following 1918, one simply gave in in the face of these difficulties, or relied on the rest of the world, only to be disappointed, National Social ism has broken with this system of cowardly surren- der to an apparently inevitable fate, and has sum- moned up the instinct of self-preservation in the na- tion. Not only did this instinct set to work mth extra- ordinary determination, but— as I surely made plain today— it also met with extraordinary success, so that I can say two things : first, that we really are engaged in a tremendous struggle, making use of every ounce of the united strength and energy of our people, and, second, that we shall win this struggle completely— in fact, we have already won it ! What is the root cause of all our economic diffi- culties! It is the over-population of our territory. And in this connection there is only one fact and one question which I can hold up to the critics in the Western and in the extra-European democracies. The fact is this: In Germany there are 135 people to the square kilometre, living entirely \\ithout external assi- stance and without their former reserve ; for 15 years a prey to all the rest of the world, burdened with tremendous debts, without colonies, the German people are nevertheless fed and clothed, and, moreover, there are no unemployed among them. While the question is this: Which of the so-called great democracies is capable of performing this same feat? If we choose particular methods, the reason was simply that we were forced into particular circum- stances. And in fact, our position was so difficult that there can be no possible comparison with the position 23 ■M of the other great States. There are countries in the world where instead of 135 people to the square kilo- metre, as there are in Germany, there are only between 5 and 11, where vast stretches of fertile land lie fallow, where all imaginable minerals are available. There are countries which have all this and the natural wealth of coal, iron, and ore and yet are not even cap- able of solving their own social problems, of doing away with unemplojTuent or overcoming their other difficulties. And now the representatives of these states swear by the wonderful qualities of their democracy. They are quite at liberty to do so as far as they are con- cerned. But as long as we still had an offshoot of this democracy in Germany, ^^e had seven million unem- ployed; trade and industry were faced with absolute ruin in town and country, and society was on the point of revolution. Now we have solved these problems in spite of our difficulties, and for this we have our regime and our internal organization to thank. The representatives of foreign democracies marvel that we now take the liberty of maintaining that our regime is better than the former one; above all they marvel that the Ger- man people acquiesces in the present regime and re- jects the former. But after all does not a regime which has the support of 99% of the people represent quite a different kind of democracy from the patent solution which in some countries is possible only with the help of extremely doubtful methods of influencing election results? And above all, what is the meaning of this attempt to foist something onto us which— in so far as it is a question of government by the people — we already possess in a much clearer and better form. 24 But as for the method that is so much recommended, it has proved absolutely useless in our country. In those other countries it is maintained that collabora- tion should be possible between democracies and what they term dictatorships. And what might that mean^ The question of the form of government or of the organization of the national community is not a sub- ject for international debate at all. It is a matter of absolute indifference to us in Germany what form of government other nations have. At the most it is a matter of indifference to us whether National Social- ism-^which is our copyright, just as Fascism is the Italian one— is exported or not. ^e are not in the least interested in this ourselves. We see no ad- vantage in making shipments of National Socialism as an idea, nor do we feel that we have any occasion to make war on other peoples because they are demo- crats. The assertion that National Socialist Germany will soon attack and dismember North or South Amer- ica, Australia, China or even the Netherlands, because different systems of government are in control in these places, is on the same plane as the statement that we intend to follow it up with an immediate occupation of the full moon. Our State and our people exist under very difficult economic conditions. The regime which preceded us capitulated before the difficulty of this task, and was unable, by reason of its very character, to fight against the odds w^hich confronted it. For National Socialism the w^ord capitulation does not exist either in home or in foreign affairs. National Socialism is inspired by the dogged determination to attack problems which must be solved, and solve them one way or the other. Because of our circumstances, we are forced to com- / 25 r pensate for our lack of material possessions by the greatest possible industry and the most intense con- centration of our working power. Those who can lie under a banana tree and eat the fruit as it falls into their hands have, of course, an easier struggle for exi- st ance than the German peasant, who must exert him- self throughout the whole year in order to cultivate his field. In this connection we refuse to admit that a carefree international banana-picker has any right to criticize the activities of the German peasant. If certain methods of our economic policy appear injurious to the rest of the world, it should recognize that a hatred on the part of the former victor states, which w^as irrational and purposeless from an eco- nomic point of view, was chiefly responsible for mak- ing these methods necessary. On this occasion again, as so often before, I wish to make clear in a few words to you, gentlemen, and thus to the entire German people, an existing situation which we must either accept or alter. Before the war Germany was a flourishing economic power. She participated in international trade and observed the economic laAVs which had general validity at that time, as well as the methods of that trade. I need say nothing here with regard to the compulsion to participate in this trade activity, since it is pre- sumptuous to assume that God created the world only for one or twp peoples. Every people has the right to ensure its existence on this earth. The German people is one of the oldest civilized peoples of Europe. Its contribution to civilization is not based on a few phrases of politicians but on immortal achievements Avhich have been of positive benefit to the world. It has exactly the same right as any other people to share in the opening up and development of the world. Nevertheless, even in pre-war years, English circles upheld the idea — which was utterly childish from an economic point of view — that the destruction of Ger- many would tremendously increase British profits from trade. In addition, there was the further fact that even then the Germany of that day was believed to be, in the final analysis, a not entirely amenable factor with regard to the domination of the world which the Jews were attempting to establish. Con- sequently, from this side all available means were uti- lized to incite to an attack upon Germany. The war in which Germany found herself involved purely as a result of a mistaken interpretation of loyalty to an ally, ended after over 4 years with that fantastic pro- clamation of the famous American President Wilson. These Fourteen Points which were then supple^ mented by four additional ones represent the solemn commitments of the Allied Powers, on the basis of which Germany laid down her arms. After the Armi- stice these undertakings were broken in the most in- famous manner. There then began the insane efforts of the victor states to transform the sufferings of the war into a permanent state of warfare during times of pe^e. ^f for the most part an end has been put to this condition today, this has not happend because the democratic statesmen have displayed insight or even merely a sense of equity, but solely through the strength of the re-awakened German Nation. It is in any case a fact that at the end of the war any rational consideration would have shown that no state had visibly profited. The clever British writers of eco- nomic articles, who had formerly written that the de- st ruction of Germany would increase the wealth, of every indiyidnal Englishman and benefit the welfare of their country, were forced— at least for a certain period Avhen reality too clearly showed the nntrnth of their statements — to remain silent. Similar brilliant discoveries have begun to crop up again in the speeches of British politicians and the leading articles of the same type of newspaper writers during the past few months. What was the war fought fori In order to destroj^ German sea power which then occupied second place I The result in any case was that now two other States have stepped in, one occupying a better position than Germany held, and the other taking Germany's place. Or was it wuth the object of destroying Germany's trade? The destruction of German trade has injured England at least as much as it has Germany. England and the English have not become richer. Or was it to eliminate the German Eeich for some other reason! The German Reich is today stronger than ever before. Or was it perhaps to strenghten the position of "West- ern democracy in the world? In large parts of the world the earlier edition of this democracy has been withdrawn from circulation and destroyed.'* From the shores of the Pacific ocean in the Far East to the w^aters of the North Sea and the coasts of the Mediterranean^ other forms of government are spreading with great rapidity. Any benefit one can possibly imagine from this war has been completely cancelled, not merely by the tremendous sacrifices of human lives and goods but also by the continuing burden on all production, and above all on the budgets of the states. This, however, was a fact wiiich was evident and could I be seen immediately after the war. If it had been taken into consideration, the peace treaties would certainly have been drawn up on a different basis. For example, a proof for all time to come of an ex- traordinarily limited insight in judging economic pos- sibilities was furnished by the sums proposed in the years 1919 and 1920 as possible reparation payments. They are so far beyond the bounds of any economic reason that one can only assume a general desire for world destruction as the sole intelligible cause for this procedure, which otherwise can only be characterized as insanity. For the situation was as follows : First, the war was waged to exclude Germany from world trade. Consequently, in accordance with this aim of the war the conclusion of peace should have transformed Germany into an autarchy, that is, the other states, which felt themselves threatened by German w^orld trade, should at the end of the w^ar have placed at the disposal of the German people an area suited to a self-sufficient existence, requiring the Ger- man people to live from this area and to have no fur- ther economic contacts with the rest of the world. This was not done. Instead, a world war was waged to exclude Germany from w^orld trade. This was the only genuine motive of the belligerents of that period* And then there w-as imposed upon the defeated State a burden of international reparations, which could only be paid through actually doubling its activity on the world market. But this was not all : In order to prevent or hamper any autarchic activity by Germany, the Eeich was even deprived of its own colonial possessions, which had been acquired by purchases and treaty. This 28 29 means that tlie strongest people of Central Europe was forced tlirongli a series of trnly brilliant manoeuvres to work much harder than before as an exporting na- tion regardless of cost. For German exports had to be large enough not only to satisfy German require- ments, but also to provide additional, insanely high reparations, which, of course, meant that in order to pay one mark, three or four marks worth of goods had to be exported, since in the long run these gigantic sums could only be paid from profits and not from capital. Since Germany was not in a position to ful- fill these obligations the Victor Nations, by means of loans, subsidized German trade competition on the world market, after ten or twelve million men had given their lives on the battlefields to eliminate Ger- many, the trade enemy from the world market. I will only mention parenthetically that this insane procedure finally led to exaggerated developments and in the end upset all national economics and caused serious currency crises. The entire conduct of the so- called victor powers after the end of the war was completely irrational and irresponsible. The theft of the German colonies was morally an injustice. Economically, it was utter insanity! The political motives advanced were so mean that one is tempted merely to call them silly. In 1918, after the end of the war the victorious powers really would have had the authority to bring about a reasonable settlement of international problems. The lack of such a settlement cannot be excused by the fact that feeling was running too high to allow the nations to listen to the voices of sensible statesmen. Nor would •this be exactly to the credit of the democracies. The ■statesmen themselves had no idea of what they were doing and of the consequences w^hich were bound to follow. In actual fact the problem at the end of the war had become still more critical than it was before the war* Quite briefly, the problem was as follows : How can a just and sensible share in the world's wealth be as- sured to all great nations I For surely no one can seriously assume that, as in the case of Germany, a mass of 80,000,000 intelligent persons can be perma- nently condemned as pariahs, or be forced to remain passive forever by having some ridiculous legal titles, based solely on former acts of force, held up before them. And this is true not only of Germany but of all nations in a similar position, for it is quite clear that either the wealth of the world is divided by force, in which case this division will be corrected from time to time by force, or else the division is based on grounds of equity and therefore also of common sense, in which case equity and common sense must also really serve the cause of justice and ultimately of expediency. But to assume that God has permitted some nations first to acquire a world by force and then to defend this robbery with moralizing theories is perhaps com- forting and above all comfortable for the ** haves ^*, but for the ^'havenots" it is just as unimportant as it is uninteresting and lays no obligation upon them. Nor is the problem solved by the fact that a most im- portant statesman simply declares with a scornful grin that there are nations which are ^ 'haves'^ and that the others on that account must alw^ays be **havenots'\ This profound truth may perhaps function as a prin- ciple for the solution of social questions inside the capitalistic democracies. But the states which are really ruled by their peoples reject such theories in 31 their home as well as in their foreign policy. No na- tion is born to be a ''havenot" and no nation is born to be a '^have^'j but the distribution of wealth in the world has been the result of historical development. It is conceiyable that in the course of long periods of time nations in consequence of inner crises may seem to disappear temporarily from the arena of histor- ical events, but to imagine that in Europe a nation like the German or the Italian should disappear for ever from the stage on which it had appeared as an equal partner in history, and as an active as well as a passive force for civilization, is a profound fallacy. As far as Germany is concerned, the situation is very simple. The Reich has 80,000,000 inhabitants, that means over 135 persons to the square kilometre. The great German colonial posse ssions^ which the Reich once acquired peacefully by treaties and by pay- ing for them, have been stolen — contrary indeed to the solemn assurance given by President Wilson, which was the basic condition on which Germany laid down her arms. The objection that these colonial posses- sions are of no importance in any case, should only lead to their being returned to us with an easy mind. But the objection that this is not possible, because Germany would not know what to do with them, since she did not do anything with them before, is ridiculous. Germany w^ho was late in acquiring her colonial pos- sessions, was able to develop them in a relatively short time, and before the war was not faced by the same acute needs as today. This objection is consequently just as foolish as if anybody were to question a na- tion's capacity to build a railway because it had no railway a hundred years ago. The further objection that her colonial possessions cannot be returned to -1 her because Germany would thus acquire a strategic position is a monstrous attempt to deny general rights to a nation and a people a priori. For this can be the only reason: Germany was in any case the only state which set up no colonial army since she trusted to the terms of the Congo Act which were afterwards broken by the Allies, Germany does not require her colonial possessions at all in order to set up armies there—she has a sufficiently large population for this purpose at home — but to relieve her economic diffi- culties. But even if this be not believed, it is wholly immaterial and in no way affects our rights. Such an objection would only be justified if the rest of the world wished to give up its military bases and were only forced to maintain them if Germany were to be given back her colonies. The fact remains that a nation of 80,000,000 will not be willing permanently to be as- sessed differently from other nations. The fallacy and poverty of these arguments clearly show that at bottom it is only a question of power, in which com* mon sense and justice receive no consideration. From the common sense point of view, the very reasons which could once be advanced against taking Ger- many's colonies from her, can be used today for their return. As she lacks a sphere of economic develop- ment for herself, Germany is forced to satisfy her own requirements by an increasing participation in world trade and in an exchange of goods. For on one point those very nations must be agreed, which themselves have immense economic possibilities at their disposal, either because they themselves occupy a large terri- tory or because they have great additional colonial possessions — namely, that the economic existence of a nation cannot be maintained without a sufficient 32 33 jsupply of foodstuffs or without certain indispensible raw materials. If both are lacking, a nation is forced to participate in world trade under all circumstances and perhaps to an extent which may even be undesirable to other countries. Only a few years ago, when conditions forced Germany to adopt her Four Year Plan, we could to our great astonishment hear from the lips of British politicians and statesmen the reproach (which at that time sounded so sincere) that Germany was withdramng from the sphere of international eco- nomics, even from world economy contacts, and was thus retiring into regrettable isolation. I replied to Mr, Eden that this apprehension was perhaps a little exaggerated and, if it was meant at all sincerely, was not admissible. Conditions today make it quite im- possible for Germany to Avithdraw from world trade. They simply compel us by the mere force of necessity to participate in it under all circumstances, even when the form of our participation perhaps does not suit one country or another. In this connection I must add that the reproach that world trade is declining through the German methods of a mutual exchange of goods can, if it is correct at all, only be addressed to those who are to blame for this development, and they are the States with an international capitalist outlook, who by their currency manipulations have arbitrarily de- stroyed every fixed relationship between individual currencies as it suited their own egoistic needs.j^ But under these circumstances the German system of ex- changing for every piece of honest work an equally honest piece of work, is a more decent practice than payment in foreign currency which a year later will be devalued by so and so much percent. ') ■) 34 If certain countries combat the German system this is done in the first instance because through this Ger- man method of trading the tricks of international cur- rency and bourse speculations have been abolished in favor of honest business transactions. Germany moreover does not force her trading methods upon anybody else but neither does she let any parliamen- tary democrat lecture her on the principles on which she shall or may act. We are buyers of good foodstuffs and raw materials and suppliers of equally good commodities. It is clear that everything w^hich an economic system cannot pro- duce in the territory in which its own currency circu- lates, can only be imported as additional co m modities by an increased turnover in exports. But since, as I have already emphasized, a nation which has insuffi- cient freedom of movement economically is imperativ- ely forced to import foreign raw materials and food- stuffs, its economic system by doing so is acting under the most imperious force which exists, namely, the force of necessity. By trying to satisfy a large part of her requirements in her economic domain, which has been developed by the Four-Year-Plan, the German Nation is freeing foreign markets from German com- petition. What cannot be solved satisfactorily from the economic point of view with the resources which are actually at our disposal today, must find its solu- tion through our participation in world trade, German economic policy is subjugated to necessities of such a severity that no sort of threat with capital- istic weapons can restrain us from this course, be- cause, as emphasized already the power which impels us does not lie in the desire for profits of a few capital- ists, but rather in the exigent situation of our whole 35 people, a situation forced on ns for no good reason through somebodyelse's fault, and it is completely im- material what regime attends to the interests of the German Nation, all that matters is that they are attented to. That is to say, no other regime could ignore the pre- sent economic necessities. It would have to follow exactly the same course as the present regime unless in neglect of its duties it chose to expose a great nation to ruin, not only economically, but also culturally. 'The effects of the reparations policy have cured the G-erman people not only of a number of illusions, but of numerous economic ideologies and financial dogmas that border on sanctity. If ever need makes humans see clearly, it has made the German people do so. Under the compulsion of this need we have learned, in the first place, to take full account of the most essen- tial capital of a nation, namely of its capacity to work. All thoughts of a gold reserve and foreign exchange fade before the industry and efficiency of well planned national productive resources. We can smile today at an age when economists were seriously of the opinion that the value of currency was determined by the reserves in gold and foreign exchange lying in the vaults of the National Banks, and, above all, was guar- anteed by them. Instead of that we have learned to realize that the value of a currency lies in a nation -s power of production, that an increasing volume of production sustains a currency, and could possibly raise its value, whereas a decreasing production must, sooner or later lead to a compulsory devaluation. And at a time when the financial and economic prophets in other countries were predicting our collapse every three or six months, the National Socialist State was 36 able by increasing production to the utmost, to stabil- ize its currency. A natural ratio was established between expanding production and money in circula- tion. Stable prices, which were maintained at all costy were rendered possible only by stable wages. And what has been distributed in Germany in the last six years in the way of increasing national income, is in proportion to the increased production, that is, to the increased amount of work done. Thus it has become possible, not only to allow these seven million unem- ployed to earn wages, but to assure to their higher income, a stable purchasing power, that is to say, to every mark paid out to them, there corresponds im- mediately in the same ratio an increase of value in our national production* In other countries the reverse method has been adopted. Production is decreased, the national income is raised by raising wages, the purchasing power of their money thereby sinking till they finally end up by devalueing their currency. I admit the German course is apt to be less popular because it means nothing less than that every rise in wages must neces- sarily come from an increase in production, that pro- duction thus is primary, and increase in wages second- ary, or in other words, the absorption of seven million unemployed into trade and industry is, or was, not chiefly a wage problem, but purely and simply one of production. But it is not till the last labor re- sources in Germany are utilized that the further in- crease in the total amount of work done, whether through more intensive work or a greater degree of rationalization of technical processes, will lead to a more extensive participation of the individual in the increased consumption and in that way to a practical 37 ^m increase in wages. We are, however, ail sure of one thing, Gentlemen, that m one respect such an increase in our production cannot take place, viz. in respect of our food supply. Wliat the German farmer manages to produce from the German soil is astounding and hardly believable He deserves our highest thanks. At one point, how- ever, nature sets the limit to any further intensifica- tion of effort. That means, if some change does not take place, that German consumption power would find its natural limitation in the maximum of production of food supplies. The situation which would then arise could only be overcome in two ways : First by means of additional imports of food stuffs and an increased export of German products which would necessitate the importation of at least some of the raw materials necessary for their manufacture, with the result that only a proportion of import proceeds would be avail- able for the purchase of foodstuffs. Or secondly, the extension of our nation ^s '^Lebensraum'^ so that in our domestic economy the problem of Germany ^s food supplies can be solved. As the second solution is for the time being not yet feasible, by reason of the con- tinued blindness of the one time victo


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