Monday, 16 September 2019

Adolf Hitler Joins The „Deutsche Arbeiterpartei“

Source: „Germany’s Hitler“ (1938) by Heinz A. Heinz

Adolf Hitler's DAP[1] Membership Card

Adolf Hitler himself tells the story better than anyone has told it since. He read Drexler’s little pamphlet. Still, curiosity rather than anything as yet quite like decision, led his steps once more in the direction of the Sterneckerbräu, or perhaps it was to the „Alte Lilienbad“ in the Herrnstrasse, where the queer folk he had unearthed there a few nights previously, seemed wont to forgather on a Wednesday evening... There was certainly a good lot in what that chap Feder had been saying…

Hitler says: „I crossed the badly-lighted common room where no one at all was to be seen, and sought the door leading to a room at the back... There in the glimmer of a semi-broken gas-lamp four young men were sitting at a table, among whom was the author of the little brochure“ (previously given him to read, mark and digest), „who at once came forward and greeted me in the most friendly manner and bade me welcome as a new member of the German Workers’ Party.”

Hitler was a trifle nonplussed. However, he meant to see the evening through, and bit by bit got hold of the names of those present. They read the minutes of the last meeting, and then went into Party finances – a matter of some 7.50 marks – and read letters from absent members.

„Fürchterlich, fürchterlich. Das war ja eine Vereinsmeierei Allerärgster Art und Weise. In diesen Klub also sollte ich eintreten?“ („Dreadful, dreadful! This was a wretched little group of the feeblest sort and kind. Was I going to enrol myself in a Club like this?“)

Yes, indeed. So it fell out, for want of an alternative. Hitler was not the founder of this party. Those poor ineffectuals in the „Alte Lilienbad“ at Munich gave him his opportunity. But it seemed all too negligible and hopeless. How, in God’s name, Hitler asked himself, was anything to be made of such a beginning? How was a miserable little knot of pale people like this (he was the only soldier among them) to be welded into any decent sort of a going concern – club, or whatever it liked to call itself? How was any kick to be got into it? How was such a club to be carried any farther, brought to the semblance of some sort of a society? How was this society to become a significant movement? How would such a movement proceed to the uplifting of a prostrate, demoralised, humiliated country? For that and no less an aim from the first was in Hitler’s mind as he stumbled through the dark of the empty guest room in the „Alte Lilienbad.”

The new associate was dutiful enough to attend the next little meeting of the „Deutsche Abeiter-Partei,” and the next and the next. Nothing happened. Number; did not increase. The all-devouring question still hammered in the brain that would not despair. Hitler discovered three radical reasons why this little association should be so feeble.

First of all it had no faith in itself, its purpose, or the possibility of its ever amounting to anything Secondly, no remotest likelihood seemed to exist of any increase of its membership. Various efforts to this end including a hand to hand distribution of hand-written invitations to its meetings, met with no sort of response Thirdly, it was possessed of no funds. It could not afford the cheapest sort of leaflet publicity.

Hitler felt at once that much was needed here if the „Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei“ was to constitute any some of a starting-point for the energetic political campaign he had in view. Instead of the mere little weekly committee meetings, it must embark on frequent public assemblies, whence it might he hoped (and the event amply justified the aspiration) that money for propaganda might be forthcoming. Also the nucleus demanded fresh young energetic blood! „During the long years of my military life,” he says, „I had come across a lot of sterling comrades, many of whom through my persuasion began now to join the group... They were sound energetic young fellows, well disciplined, and schooled through army life to the axiom that nothing is impossible, everything is attainable by the man of strong will.”

The first few of the new series of meetings thus inaugurated were not particularly successful, but at last Hitler’s driving and energetic power made itself felt.

„Our audiences,” he says, „mounted very, very slowly in number. From eleven hearers we went on to thirteen: presently to sixteen, three and twenty – perhaps even to four and thirty!“

Something more, obviously, had to be done about it.

Enough marks were scraped together to insert a small advertisement in a Munich newspaper of an amibitious meeting proposed to be held in the Münchener Hof-bräukeller, a smallish room capable of seating some hundred and thirty people. This was to be the sort of meeting which, it was hoped, would really attract some public attention. All depended upon Adolf Hitler himself. As he went down to the hall that night his heart was in his mouth. He scarcely dared hope the place would be more than a third, or at very most, half-full...

By seven o’clock a hundred and eleven people had actually turned up, and proceedings began. This was the first occasion (apart from his lectures to soldiers) upon which Hitler was to speak in public. He was allotted twenty minutes... Then it was that both he and the audience made the discovery upon which the future of the German nation was to turn. The moment this ex-service man, this energetic recruit to the flabby little group which called itself the German Workers’ Party, got upon his legs to speak was the decisive moment for the Germany we see to-day. His tiny audience was electrified – transported!

Amazed himself, Hitler perceived in an illuminating flash wherein the secret lay, – in oratory, convinced and dynamic! He had not dreamed that he possessed such a gift. He tried it out that night with staggering success. The message he had to proclaim was not that with the German Workers’ Party nothing but a new election cry had been added to the existing political babel, but that the foundation stone had been well and truly laid for the rebuilding of the shattered nation. In the American phrase, Adolf Hitler „got that message across“! The money required[2] poured in. When all was over the hall emptied to scatter Hitlerism broadcast throughout the city.

From now on big meeting followed big meeting, with ever mounting success until early in 1920 Hitler (who had, naturally, assumed the leadership of the group) determined upon the first great mass meeting, despite the danger, by now grown to appreciable proportions, of its being suppressed by the authorities, or broken up by the opposition. It was held on February 24th, in the famous Festsaal, (not the Keller), of the Hofbräuhaus, and numbered an audience of two thousand. Hitler’s business was to lay before it nothing less than the reasoned and detailed programme of the new party.

„As the time went by,” he says, „hostile interruptions gave way to acclamations. As one by one, point for point, I laid down the five and twenty planks in our platform, and submitted them to the judgment of the audience, there gradually arose an ever-swelling jubilation in response, and as my last words made their way to the very heart of the mass, the whole room surged before me unanimous in a new conviction, a new belief, and a new determination.”

The „Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei“ was now fully in shape to draw upon itself the implacable enmity of the constituted authority, the Communists, the Marxists and other political organisations whom its programme affronted or threatened. It had become a force in Munich. It took to itself a flag and a symbol. Hitler himself, after many attempts, designed this standard. „We National Socialists see our purpose in our flag. The red stands for our social programme, the white for our national, and in the hooked cross we symbolise the struggle for the supremacy of the Aryan race.”

In 1920 it had already become dangerous to hold meetings and to flourish this flag, and the worthy Müncheners who frequented Nazi[3] demonstrations did so at increasing risk not only of bodily injury, but to life itself. It was this state of affairs which gave rise to the so-called „Saal-Schutz.”[4]

About a year after Hitler’s first great successful mass meeting in Munich, he decided upon holding a still greater one, upon which, in fact, the whole future of the young Movement might be held to turn. Were it to prove a fiasco, the „Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei“ would disappear in the welter of mushroom parties of that date: were it to succeed it would dominate in Munich and gird itself for a Reich-wide struggle.

Already the local forces of opposition were fully alive to the significance of the new political activity, and the occasion of this unprecedented effort on its part was chosen for a decisive counter-demonstration. The Reds in Munich determined once and for all to smash up the

„Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei.” Hitler tells us that not only was appeal for police protection futile, but beneath the dignity of the Movement. The Movement must defend itself. Only so could it command the respect of those it would attract, or ensure the safety of its audiences.

A band of hefty and enthusiastic young supporters were specially told off by Hitler himself to keep the doors, and to act as ruthless chuckers-out at the very first sign of disorder. They were to fight with the gloves off an to show no quarter.

The event fully justified these precautions. After an enormous gathering in the Zirkus Krone in Munich, which had been an unqualified success, another meeting was held well packed with opponents only too eager to snatch the next best opportunity to wreck the whole business once and for all. Hitler was on his legs speaking on „The Future or Collapse“ when the signal was given. Thereupon followed such a scene, such a smash up, such an uproar and such a blood shedding, that it actually recalled to the ex-service man moments at the Front!

The „Saal-Schutz“ received their baptism of fists and chair legs, but bit by bit, fighting literally like berserkers, they hurled the enemy out, slung him head foremost through the doors, drove him into a corner and pummelled him into a jelly. Hitler stood still and looked on. His threat to rip the brassard from the arm of any one of his troopers who showed the white feather in this scrum, called for no fulfilment. Within appreciable time order was restored – the speaker took up the thread of his speech, and the meeting closed to the echoing strains of a patriotic song.

We have indeed an account of it from one of the eyewitnesses still living in Munich, from an old lady called Frau Magdalena Schweyer.

When Hitler was first demobilised he would have liked to have returned to his old lodgings with Frau Popp, but since she no longer had a room to spare he took up equally modest quarters in a little street called the Thierschstrasse near the Isar.

Immediately opposite the house stood a little shop – it still stands there. One could buy everything in it from matches to a cabbage. The legend over the door ran „Spezeri-Waren, Obst und Gemüse,”[5] with the shopkeeper’s name underneath, „Magdalena Schweyer.”

Frau Schweyer still stands behind the old-fashioned little counter within. She is an aged woman now, short of stature, and with grey hair. She came forward as I entered one day, glancing sharply up at me through her spectacles, and briskly smoothing down her apron with her toil-worn hands.

„I want to know something about Herr Hitler in the old days – in the beginnings of it all ”

Her eyes instantly lighted up. No one in Munich to-day is more proud than little old Frau Schweyer of her friendship with the Führer from the first, of the fact that she joined the Party in 1919 when it was utterly obscure.

„How I got to know him?“ she asked, and planked herself down on a little stool, happy to expand on this theme. I leant on the counter and watched her animated expressive face. Here was one of those working women who befriended Hitler through some of the thinnest times he had to experience; here was one of the people to whom he so urgently and so clearly and so simply aimed to bring his message home, here was one of the women whom he sought to place in positions of least danger at his meetings.

„Ja, ja, ganz richtig,” said Frau Schweyer, „it was in November, 1919. A young man came in here to buy some little thing or other – probably some fruit. He was rather poorly dressed: he never seemed to have more than one coat. I shouldn’t have taken no more stock of him than of another, most likely, if it hadn’t been he struck me as so well spoken. He was that polite. It didn’t seem to go with the poor clothes, somehow. I watched him out of the shop, and noticed that he went into the house over the way. So that, I supposed, was where he lived.

„I didn’t notice him come in again for a bit, and thought no more about him.

„Then one day – just about the turn of the year it was – a neighbour of mine happened to tell about him. She said his name was Adolf Hitler and he had something to do with a lot called the “Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei”. By all accounts he was a brilliant speaker – talked something astounding. My neighbour wanted me to go and hear him. She said the very next time there was a meeting on I had to go. She’d take me along with her.

„So we went. She came in one evening and said there was to be a meeting in the Leiberzimmer[6] of the Sterneckerbräu.

„Well, I did go, and I got all worked up. It was wonderful, what he said and all – I could understand every word. He seemed to think there was a way to be found out of all our troubles and miseries. We were all to join his party and help. I joined then and there. They gave me a number – 90.

„I went to all Hitler’s meetings after that, and got to know him himself. It didn’t take much to find out how poor he was. I had more than half a notion that often he wouldn’t have had nothing to eat but for folks giving him a bit now and then. It gave me an idea, that did. I thought I’d be able to help by sending him across a few things now and again – a pot of jam, or a snack of sausage, or a handful of apples. But it was as plain as daylight he hated to take them. He only did it because he was so poor. He never failed once to come across to me, after I’d sent him something, to thank me for it. Often though, when I was thinking to myself that would pretty well do him till next day, one or another of his pals come in and just let on as Hitler had given every bite away to them. They were such a hungry crowd, the whole lot of them! Anyhow he must have kept something for himself once in a while or he wouldn’t be where he is today!

„Then there was a Herr Esser[7] had pop in sometimes, one of Herr Hitler’s friends, and buy a couple of Rettiche (large white radishes) for the pair of them. That was their idea of a supper.

„Things must have gone on just like that for a twelvemonth – them just living on folks remembering that they hadn’t got nothing in their insides. But the Party presently began to grow a bit, and when everyone helped as well as they could things got a little easier for Hitler. Even when I knew he must have a bit coming in like, now, I used to send him them apples now and again. He was that fond of fruit.

„It was wonderful how the Party grew. I know because I hung on all those first hard months, and went to every meeting, and saw how they had to be held in a bigger room every time. We soon outgrew the Sterneckerbräu. We went after that to the Hof-bräukeller, then to the Eberlkeller. Then Hitler rented a little sort of office called the * Deutsches Reich.’ Things was really looking up.

„But the meeting I remember best was that big one they held one November, 1921 – the 4th to be exact – in the assembly room of the Hofbräuhaus, when they had that terrific dust up with the Communists. A real battle that was! I shan’t ever forget it as long as I live. If I hadn’t kept my head low over the table that night and folded my arms above it, like all the rest of us women was told to do, sure as fate it would have been clean knocked off my shoulders. The beer mugs were flying around that night something alarming!

„Not long before this meeting was billed to come off there’d been an attack made on one of the members of the Landtag, Herr Auer. No one seems to have witnessed it. Auer himself seemed to think his own bravery saved him. But the Party he belonged to[8] set it about that it was the new Hitler Party what had done it. They went about all they knew to stir up the people and egg the working folk on to get a blow in at the Nazis. Everyone knew – everyone of us I mean – knew that something would be tried, that night, to bust up our meeting. We didn’t take it too serious as we were pretty well used to this sort of threats which so far hadn’t gone no further. This time, though, was to be different 1

„It was to begin sharp at eight o’clock. My neighbour came to fetch me as usual. The first thing we saw as we went in was a group of young men standing about the entrance each with a band round his arms with a hooked cross on it. They were ex-service chaps, friends of Hitler from Traunstein. I heard him come up and tell them to keep order at all costs. He spoke sharp and soldier-like; said he’d rip them bands off their arms if so much as one of them showed the white feather. No one of them was to clear out unless he cleared out dead! He smiled though, and added he knew well enough as they wouldn’t!

„The place was pretty well full. We womenfolk

were told to get well up in front: it would be safest there, far from the doors. I was too excited really to be frightened. It was plain there’d be some trouble: half the people in the place belonged to the Reds. I found a table right in front. Then they came and set another near it, and a Herr Esser got up on it to open the meeting. As soon as he jumped down again, Herr Hitler took his place. They greeted him with a few boos and yells, but after a bit he gripped even the enemy, and was speaking without interruption for quite an hour, before things began to look threatening again.

„People were drinking and attending all ears. Then I noticed that whenever more beer was called for, instead of giving up the empty mugs, fresh ones were brought, and the old ones were piled under the tables, whole batteries of beer mugs grew up under the tables.. ..

„Hitler had been speaking some time when the sign was given. Someone shouted “Freiheit,’[9] and a beer pot went crash! That was the signal for things to begin. Three, four, five heavy stone pots flew by within an inch of the speaker’s head, and next instant his young guards sprang forward shouting to us women to “duck down!“

„We ducked sharp enough! The row was ear-splitting. Never heard anything like it in your life! Pandemonium had broken out; it’s no use me trying to describe it. One heard nothing but yells, crashing beer mugs, stamping and struggling, the overturning of heavy oaken tables, and the smashing up of wooden chairs. A regular battle raged in the room.

„Hitler stuck to his post. Never got off that table! He made no effort to shield himself at all. He was the target of it all: it’s a sheer miracle how he never got hit. Them murderous heavy mugs was flying at his head all the time. I know because I got a sharp look round just between whiles: there he stuck, quiet as a statue waiting for those boys of his to get the tumult under. Goodness only knows how long it went on – twenty minutes perhaps, but it seemed never ending. The Reds was five times as many as we Hitlerites. The boys with the arm-bands were enormously outnumbered. They were in a fine state I can tell you before order was restored, their jackets torn half off their backs, and their faces all patched and dabbled with blood. Anyhow, they did get the Reds outside somehow, and then, cool as a cucumber, up gets Herr Esser beside Herr Hitler and calmly announces that the meeting will go on. The speaker was to continued.

„That’s famous now. Everyone in Germany remembers them words: „Die Versammlung geht weiter“

. . . „The Speaker will proceed.”

„The room was simply wrecked. There was over four hundred smashed beer mugs lying about everywhere, and piles of broken chairs.

„This, you know, was the first time them Reds got as good as they gave. This was the first time since the Revolution as anyone got up and gave them the no to their face – the first time they got roundly trounced and walloped themselves. I say it was the real beginning of our Party as a force and power.

„Ever after this Hitler’s young men what he told off to keep order were called the Storm Troops. People ought to have seen that fight and that room afterwards to know how necessary they were. We should have gone under, for good, then and there, without the „Saal- Schutz.’ Because from now on the Movement had to fight and fight and fight, and always – at first – at tremendous odds. Up to now the Reds had had it all their own way. It was always them what did the smashing up and the storming of other people: they’d done enough here in Munich 1 Now they was to meet a Party what wouldn’t take it from them lying down no more....”

Frau Schweyer had become quite excited as she retailed the story. Something of the light of battle flashed in her eyes again. They were brave women who attended Hitler’s first meetings.

„But then,” she said, „you see we knew him, what sort of a man he was! I’ll tell you – -just one little thing:

„In the middle of December the year after he’d been shut up in Landsberg, we National Socialists in Munich heard that he was to be set free. Just before Christmas, too, on the 20th. We was wild with joy! We hadn’t expected that. We’d been thinking how miserable everything would be this year. Then between us we struck on a bright idea to welcome him. He would come out of the fortress just as desperately poor as he went in. So we arranged to have a bit of a collection, just in our part of the city, so as he should have a little money to put in his pocket straight away. Altogether we scraped up about fifty marks. But more than that – on the day itself we filled his old room in the house opposite my shop with flowers (although it was winter time), and covered the poor table with good things to eat, and saw that there was fruit and stuff in the cupboard. We even secured a bottle of wine for the occasion, although we knew he never touched it.

„It was December 20th, 1924, a raw, grey, miserable day. The hours dragged by; I began to be mortal afraid somehow that he wouldn’t come after all. I was always running to the door and looking up and down our street. And then, sure enough, about two o’clock in the afternoon a motor drove up to the house opposite. Hitler was in it. I saw him through the window. He got out and was just going in at the door, when he turned round and caught sight of me standing staring across the way. He just came over and shook me by the hand and said: „Grtiss Gott, Frau Schweyer,’ as though nothing had happened at all in all that long sad time since we’d seen each other last.

„His hand was icy cold and his grip was like iron. It gives me the creeps to think how cold and how hard it was, to this day. I remember the thought went through my head – how awful to incur the enmity of such a fist as that! I couldn’t say a word. My throat swelled and the tears would come. It was such a joy to see him back again.

„Well, he had come, anyway! I went back into the shop all flustered, thinking of his climbing those stairs opposite and coming into his old room, and finding the flowers and the eatables and our little preparations for his welcome. I could just imagine him sitting down in the middle of it all and starting to think of nothing but how to get the Party going again.

„An hour or two went by and then a neighbour of mine come into the shop asking for a subscription to the organ fund for St. Anne’s Church. She had a list with her. I couldn’t afford much; nor could anybody else apparently. All down the list people had only been able to give a few Pfennige each. We were only poor folks round about there. Frau Pfister agreed. We had a little talk together. She said what awful difficult work it was to get anybody to subscribe for the organ, times was that hard. And I suddenly said, Well, go over to Herr Hitler, see if he’d give you anything. I know he’s got a bit. Tell him what it’s for. He’s not the one to say no.’

„Frau Pfister got up and crossed the street. I watched her enter the house opposite.

„In a few minutes she came flying back, radiant, and thrust the list under my nose, so that I could see for myself what an incredible lot Herr Hitler had given.

„Fifty marks! There it was, just under his name, Adolf Hitler.

„I could scarcely believe my eyes. I stared at the figure, stared at Frau Pfister, took off my glasses and looked again – „Adolf Hitler, fifty marks.’

„Well, I never!“ I exclaimed, „if the Führer hasn’t gone and given the whole lot away!“

„Frau Pfister nodded, beaming.

„He was that kind,’ she said, „do listen! He

opened the door to me himself and asked what I wanted. When I told him, he made me come in and sit down. So I did and Herr Hitler catched hold of a glass and filled it with wine and gave it to me, with a cake and said I was to eat and drink. I didn’t like to. I tried to excuse myself. I said as how the things on the table was all for him. But he would have it, “Now you do as I bid,’ he said, “I don’t drink wine, but that little drop it won’t hurt you.’ Then he reaches for my paper, glances at it and scribbles something under his own name. He puts it down and goes over to a little side table, pulls out a drawer and comes back and pushes fifty marks over to me. “There you are,’ he says, “I’d give you more, but that’s all I’ve got. Some friends of mine have just dotted that up for me.’ I gaped and couldn’t for the moment find a blessed word to say, but he read my face clear as a book and laughed and added, “Believe it or not as you like, but I’m jolly glad to have it to give. It’s a good object. The priests don’t particularly love me, but that’s neither here nor there.’

„ I tried to thank him, but he shut me up. He wouldn’t hear a word… “.

„He used,” Frau Schweyer concluded, „to come across to the shop as long as he lived in our street, and often afterwards when he had become a very much bigger man. He didn’t forget me. When my husband died in 1929 Hitler was in Leipzig. But he sent me a lovely wreath and wrote ever such a nice letter with it.

„People needn’t wonder why we love the Führer. He was always for us small folk. He never had no time and no wish to think of himself. He was always out for everybody but himself. ...”

[1] German Workers’ Party.
[2] Hitler seldom appealed directly for funds. He appealed to the audience to support the movement.
[3] Nazi short for “Nazi-onal (National) Socialist”, a nickname given the new movement.
[4] Party-body organised with the express purpose of protecting the meetings against red disturbances.
[5] Spices (i.e. general chandlery), Suit and vegetables.
[6] Name of a room reserved for the members of the Infantry Life Guards.
[7] Herr Herrmann Esser, today President of the Reichsfremdenverkehrsverband.
[8] Auer belonged to the Social Democratic Party, then strongly represented in Parliament in Munich. Dr. Gustav von Kahr had been appointed as General State Commissioner with dictatorial powers. This regime was inimical to the Republic as represented at Berlin. It favoured the dispossessed Wittelsbachs. Its members took oath to the Bavarian State, not to the Reich. It is necessary to recall these political facts in order that the reader may obtain some idea of what and who the „authorities“ were, in Munich, with whom the newly constituted National Socialists (Hitler’s Party) were soon to find themselves in conflict. From what has already been written about the bitterness of party warfare in Munich it can be well understood that the danger which threatened the big meeting described by Frau Schweyer was by no means negligible. The break-up of a political gathering in Munich at that time might easily involve fatalities. It may be confusing for the reader to hear that Hitler’s Movement was opposed by the working people (that it was the Workers themselves who proposed to smash up his meetings and his party), since it was the interests of the common folk he had so supremely at heart. When it is remembered, however, that these workers were Marxists and Communists, light is at once shed on this matter. Hitler was all out against Marxism and Communism, for reasons already given in a previous chapter.
[9] The Marxist battle cry, „Liberty.”

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 2

Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Performance: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

I. Adagio - Allegro con brio [0:00]
II. Larghetto [10:22]
III. Scherzo. Allegro [20:59]
IV. Allegro molto [24:52]

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Die Deutsche Wochenschau - Newsreel No. 470 - 07 September 1939

- World War 2 Begins:  Germany Invades Poland;
- Air and Sea Bombardment of Westerplatte;
- German Tanks and Infantry Move Deep into Poland.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Adolf Hitler - speech in Danzig - 19.09.1939

September 19, 1939

My Gauleiters! My dear Volksgenossen of Danzig!

This moment deeply moves not only you, but the entire German Volk is struck with profound emotion. I myself am aware of the greatness of the hour.

It is for the first time that I step on this soil, of which German settlers took possession half a millennium before the first white men began settling in what is today the State of New York. Half a millennium longer this earth has been German and has remained German. And-of this you may rest assured-it will always remain German.

The fate which beset this city and this beautiful countryside was the fate of all of Germany. The World War, this perhaps most senseless struggle of all time, has victimized this land and this city. This same World War which, in its wake, left no winners, only losers, also left a conviction in the minds of many, namely, that a similar fate would never again be repeated. Apparently, the main warmongers and war profiteers have forgotten the lessons of this slaughter of peoples (Volkergemetzel). As this bloody struggle, into which Germany had entered without any war objective, drew to an end, there was the desire to bestow upon mankind a peace which would lead to the restoration of law and hence to the final elimination of all despair. This peace was, however, not placed before our Volk at Versailles for discussion. Rather this peace was forced upon us by means of a brutal Diktat.

The fathers of this peace saw in it the end of the German Volk. Perhaps many men believed that this peace signaled the end of all destitution. Yet it meant only the beginning of new tribulations. For the warmongers and those who ended the war deceived themselves on one particular issue: this Diktat not only failed to resolve a single problem, it created a multitude of new problems.

It was only a matter of time before the trampled-down German nation would rise up once more to resolve the problems forced upon it.

The essential problem was completely overlooked at the time. This was the fact that peoples exist whether or not this pleases one or another British warmonger. Eighty-two million Germans are united within this one Lebensraum. These eighty-two million Germans wish to live and they shall live whether or not this pleases these warmongers! Germany was grievously wronged by the injustice of Versailles. When today a statesman of another people believes he is entitled to say that he has lost faith in the word of German statesmen or of the German Volk, then to the contrary it is we Germans who are entitled to say that we have lost faith completely in the assurances of those who back then so pitifully broke the solemn promises once extended.

It is not the injustice of Versailles that I wish to speak of here. The worst thing in the life of the peoples was perhaps not even the injustice perpetrated, but above all the nonsense, the utter lunacy and stupidity, with which the men back then sought to impose upon the world a peace which simply ignored all historical, economic, ethnic, and political facts. At the time, measures were taken which in retrospect lead us to doubt the sanity of those who perpetrated this crime. Devoid of any understanding of the historical developments in the European Lebensraum, devoid also of a comprehension of the economic situation there, these men ravaged Europe, tore asunder states and geographical units, suppressed their peoples, and destroyed ancient cultures.

The land of Danzig also fell victim to the insanity of the time. The Polish State as such arose as a product of this insanity. Perhaps the world is not sufficiently aware of the sacrifices Germany was forced to make for this Polish State. For there is one thing I must say: all those territories incorporated into Poland owe their cultural development exclusively to German vigor, to German diligence, and to German creative work. Motives for the tearing of more than one province from the German Reich and for incorporating them into the new Polish State were supposed ethnic necessities. And this in view of the fact that later, as a result of plebiscites in these areas, it became clear that no one in these provinces longed to become part of this Polish State. The Poland which grew on the fertile lands drenched by the blood sacrificed by countless German regiments expanded at the expense of ancient lands settled by Germans, and, above all, at the expense of reason and economic opportunity.

The last twenty years have proven beyond doubt: the Poles, who had not founded this culture, were not even capable of sustaining it. Once more it was proven a self-evident truth that only he who himself is creatively endowed in the cultural sphere is also able to secure true cultural achievement in the long run.

Fifty additional years of Polish mastery would have sufficed to restore these lands to that barbarism out of which Germans had brought them with arduous industry and diligence. Everywhere the first traces of regression and decline are already evident today.

Poland itself was a state of nationalities, a trait for which the old Austrian state was so faulted. Poland never was a democracy. A thin, consumptive upper class dictatorially ruled not only foreign nationalities, but also their own people, so-called. This state was founded upon violence. The rule of the policeman’s baton governed this state, to be supplanted at last by the military.

The fate of the Germans in this state was frightful. And we must differentiate here: it is one thing if a people of inferior cultural significance has the misfortune to be governed by one of greater import, and another if a people of high cultural standing has to experience the tragedy of being violated by one culturally less developed. For this culturally inferior people will take the opportunity to gratify all sorts of imaginable feelings of inferiority against the carrier of the higher culture. This superior people will be gruesomely and barbarously mistreated. Germans have been subject to such a fate for nearly twenty years. There is no need for me to give a detailed account of the fate of these Germans here. All in all, it was an exceedingly tragic and painful one.

Nevertheless, as always, in this instance, too, I sought to obtain an understanding which could have led to a reasonable settlement.

Once I endeavored to draw final borders for the Reich in the West and the South. Thereby I sought to relieve region after region from political insecurity and to secure the peace there for the future. I endeavored to attain the same here in the East.

At the time, a man of undeniable, realistic insight and great energy governed Poland. I managed to conclude an agreement with Marshal Pilsudski which would smooth the path toward peaceful understanding between both nations; an agreement which strove to secure at least a base, by completely ignoring the Versailles Treaty, for a reasoned, bearable cohabitation.

As long as the Marshal lived, it seemed as though this attempt could perhaps contribute to a relaxation of the tense situation. Immediately after his death, the fighting against Germans started anew. This struggle-which found a manifold expression-increasingly embittered and poisoned the relations between the two peoples. It is hardly possible in the long run to stand by patiently while the German minorities living in this state, whose existence means a great injustice to Germany, are being persecuted in an almost barbaric fashion.

The world which otherwise sheds many a tear if a Polish Jew who emigrated to the Reich only a few decades ago is expelled, this same world is blind and mute to the plight of the millions who were driven from their homes by the implementation of the Versailles Treaty. For after all, these are only Germans! And what so oppresses and outrages us is the fact that we had to bear this from a state which stood far beneath us.

In the final count, Germany is a great power, even if a few crazed men believe they can erase the right to life of a great nation by means of a senseless treaty or Diktat. For how could a great power such as Germany in the long run stand by to observe how a people far beneath it and a state far beneath it maltreated Germans! Two special circumstances made all this even more unbearable:

1. A city, the German character of which no one could deny, was not only prevented from finding its way back to the Reich, but it also was subjected to purposeful attempts to Polonize it, albeit in a roundabout manner.

2. The traffic of a province severed from the German Reich was made dependent upon the mercy of the Polish State in between and was subject to manifold harassment.

No power on earth would have borne up under the circumstances as long as Germany did! And I know not what England would have said if a similar peaceful resolution had been applied at its expense, or how France would have taken it, not to mention America.

And I still sought to find ways to a bearable solution of even this problem.

I brought these attempts orally to the attention of those in power in Poland at the time. You, my Volksgenossen, know of these proposals: they can only be termed reasonable.

I strove to attain a balance between our desire to connect East Prussia with the Reich once more, and the desire of the Poles to have access to the sea. I strove to obtain a synthesis between the German character of the city of Danzig and its desire to return to the German Reich, and the economic demands of the Poles.

I believe I am justified in claiming that I was more than modest back then.

There was many a moment in which I questioned myself, brooding, whether I could indeed answer to my own Volk for submitting such proposals to the Polish Government. I did it nonetheless because I wished to spare the German Volk and also the Polish people the suffering engendered by an armed confrontation.

The proposals then conceived I once more reiterated, in a most concrete manner, in the spring of this year: Danzig was to return to the German Reich. An extraterritorial route was to be built to East Prussia-at our expense, naturally. In exchange, Poland was to enjoy full rights to the harbor at Danzig and be accorded extraterritorial access thereto. I was even willing, in turn, to guarantee the barely tolerable situation along our borders and moreover to allow Poland to share in the securing of Slovakia.

Truly I know not what strange state of mind inspired the Polish Government to reject my proposal. But I do know this was a great relief to millions of Germans who held that I had already ventured too far with this offer. Poland’s only reply was an immediate mobilization of its troops, accompanied by a wild campaign of terror. My request to speak with the Polish Foreign Minister in Berlin, to once more discuss these questions, was declined.

Instead of going to Berlin, he went to London! Every week, every month, threats increased: threats of a nature barely tolerable for a small state. In the long run, this was simply insufferable for a great power. Polish newspapers informed us that Danzig was not the bone of contention; instead it was East Prussia which was to be annexed by Poland within a short time. The like continued day after day. Other Polish papers declared that East Prussia represented no solution to the underlying problem.

Instead, it was absolutely necessary, under all circumstances, to integrate Pomerania into Poland also. Then the Oder river was questioned as Poland’s frontier and many asked if the Elbe river did not in fact constitute the natural boundary of the Polish State.

Many racked their brains to determine whether it would be better to hack to pieces our army in front of Berlin or rather behind it. A Polish Marshal, who today has pitifully abandoned his army, declared at the time that he would hack Germany and the German Army to pieces.

Simultaneously, the martyrdom of our Volksgenossen began. Tens of thousands were abducted, abused, and murdered in a most gruesome manner. Sadistic beasts let themselves go and allowed their perverted instincts to run free. And the pious democratic world stood by without batting an eyelid.

I then asked myself: who could have so deceived Poland? Did the Poles truly believe that, in the long run, the German nation would stand for all this from so ludicrous a state? Apparently someone must have believed it, as this belief was reinforced elsewhere. This elsewhere has been the site where, not only in the last decades but in fact throughout the last centuries, the main warmongers have taken up residence-where they reside still as of this day! There they declared that Germany need not be considered a power. There they convinced the Poles they could, at any point, mount a sufficiently strong resistance to Germany without great difficulty. There they went yet a step further, reassuring the Poles that, should their own resistance falter, others would instantly come to their rescue, i.e. relieve them of this burden. It was there they received this infamous guarantee effectively placing the decision whether or not to go to war in the hands of an insignificant, megalomanic state. For these warmongers Poland was but a means to an end. Today they calmly proclaim that what is at stake in this war is not Poland at all, but the elimination of the regime in Germany! I have always warned of these men. You will recall, my German Volksgenossen, my speeches in Saarbrucken and Wilhelmshaven. In both these speeches I pointed to the danger here: that in one country some men simply get up and, without restraint, preach that war is a necessity, as the gentlemen Churchill, Eden, Duff Cooper, and the like, have repeatedly done.

I have pointed out how dangerous this is, especially in a country where no one knows if these men shall not be at the helm of government shortly.

Thereupon I was afforded the explanation that this surely would never occur. To the best of my knowledge, however, precisely these men govern today! And so precisely what I then predicted has occurred.

At the time I warned the German nation of these men. But I also left no doubt that Germany would not capitulate before their threats and their use of force. This answer of mine suffered the most shabby of attacks. A type of practice has become established in these democracies: there agitation for war is permissible; there foreign governments and heads of state may be subjected to slander, defamation, and insults, for there a liberal and free press reigns. In authoritarian states, one may not rise to protest this-for there discipline reigns! Accordingly, it is only permissible to agitate for war in undisciplined states, while in disciplined states no appropriate answer may be given.

In practice this would lead to the undisciplined states agitating for war and their peoples succumbing to it, whereas in disciplined states the people would not have a clue as to what was going on around them. Back then I decided to awaken the German Volk to these goings-on, to put it in a defensive posture. I judged this necessary so as not to be taken by surprise one day.

As September came, this situation had indeed become insufferable. You know the course of events in August; in spite of this, I hold that-without a British guarantee and the agitation of these apostles of war-it might well have been possible to reach an agreement in these last days.

At one particular point, England itself attempted to bring about direct talks between us and Poland. I was willing. The Poles, however, failed to show up, naturally. I sat with my Government in Berlin for two days, and waited, and waited. In the meantime, I had worked out the new proposal.

You are aware of it. On the evening of the first day [August 30], I had the British Ambassador informed of it. It was read to him sentence for sentence.

Moreover, my Foreign Minister gave supplemental explanations. The next day dawned. Nothing happened-not a thing! Then came the general mobilization in Poland, renewed acts of terror, and endless assaults on Reich territory.

In international relations, one ought not to mistake patience for weakness. For years, I have stood these persistent provocations with sheer boundless patience. What I myself suffered in these days few can truly appreciate. For barely one month passed, barely a week went by, in which a delegation from these territories did not come to me to describe the unbearable nature of the situation, and to implore me to finally intervene.

Time and time again I bade them to exercise patience just a little longer.

The years passed by in this manner. Lately, however, I have taken to issuing warnings that things had to come to an end finally. And after months of waiting, making ever new proposals, I finally determined, as I have already declared in my speech to the Reichstag, to speak with Poland in the language Poland itself believes it is uniquely entitled to employ. Evidently this is the only language Poland understands.

And still, at this minute, the peace could have been saved yet one more time. Befriended Italy, the Duce, intervened to make yet one more proposal for mediation. France agreed to this, and I also pronounced my agreement. But England believed it was in a position to reject this proposal and to place a two-hour ultimatum before the German Reich, an ultimatum which contained provisions impossible to comply with.

However, the English were mistaken on one account. Once, in November 1918, they faced a government they themselves helped to prop up.

And, apparently, the English now mistook the present regime for this puppetregime of old and the present German nation for the German Volk then blinded and misled. Germany can no longer be handed ultimatums-of this London ought to take note.

Within the last six years, we have suffered great outrages from states such as Poland. Nevertheless, I never sent any of them an ultimatum. Now that Poland has chosen war, it has chosen it because others incited it to enter into this war. Those who incited it believed that this war would allow them to attain their great ambitions in world and financial politics. In doing this, however, they will not obtain the greatest profits, but the greatest disappointments.

Poland chose the struggle-and it got it! It chose the struggle with a light heart because certain statesmen in the West assured it that they had detailed documentation on: the worthlessness of the German army; the inferiority of its equipment; the deficient morale among its troops; the defeatist sentiment throughout the interior of the Reich; the gulf supposedly separating the German Volk from its Fuhrer. The Poles were persuaded that it would be exceedingly easy not only to resist our armies, but to throw them back as well.

And it was thanks to this advice by the western chiefs of staff that Poland apparently conceived its entire military strategy.

Since then eighteen days have passed. Scarcely ever before in history was this saying more appropriate: “Man and steed and wagon, the Lord struck all of them down.” And, as I am speaking to you now, our troops are arrayed along a long line stretching from Lemberg [Lvov] to Brest and northwards. Since yesterday afternoon, endless columns of the badly beaten Polish Army have been marching from the Kutno area as prisoners of war. Yesterday morning, they numbered 20,000; there were 50,000 last night; 70,000 this morning. I do not know how great their numbers are at present, but there is one thing I do know: whatever remains of this Polish Army west of this line will capitulate within a few days and lay down its arms, or it will be smashed! It is at this moment that our grateful hearts fly to our soldiers! The German Wehrmacht has accorded those ingenious statesmen, who were so well informed on the state of affairs in the German Reich, the necessary practical instruction.

Marshal Smigly-Rydz has a poor sense of direction. Instead of in Berlin, it has landed him in Czernowitz. And with him went his entire government and all those seducers who have so deceived the Polish people as to drive them into this insanity.

On land, at sea, and in the air, the German soldier, however, has done his duty and fulfilled his obligations in an exemplary fashion! Once more the German infantry has proven its unparalleled mastery. Time and again, others have sought to attain its level of valor, courage, and expertise.

All have failed. The new weaponry of our motorized units has proven itself worthy to the utmost. The soldiers of our Navy have fulfilled their duty in an astounding manner.

And above all this, it is the German Luftwaffe which keeps watch and secures the air space. All those who dreamed of crushing Germany, of reducing German cities to ashes, all are far less outspoken now because they know only too well that for every bomb on a German city five or ten will be dropped in return! They should not act as though they exercised such restraint because of humanitarian considerations. They are less concerned about humanity than retribution.

Let us take this occasion to render justice to the Polish soldier. He fought courageously at many sites. The lower ranks of the military made desperate efforts; the middle-rank leadership lacked intelligence; its upper-echelon leadership was bad beyond criticism. Its organization was Polish! At this moment, around 300,000 Polish soldiers are German prisoners of war. Nearly 2,000 officers and many generals share their fate.

I must also mention, however, that this admitted valor of many Polish units stands in contrast to the dirtiest deeds perhaps committed throughout the past centuries. As a soldier in the World War who fought only in the West, I never had the opportunity to witness such deeds: the thousands of slaughtered Volksgenossen; the brutishly butchered women, girls, and children; the countless German soldiers and officers who fell, wounded, into the hands of the enemy and who were massacred, bestially mutilated with their eyes gouged out. And worse yet-the Polish Government has openly admitted this in a radio broadcast-the Luftwaffe soldiers forced to parachute were killed in a cowardly fashion. There were moments when one had to ask oneself: under these circumstances, should one exercise restraint oneself? I have not heard whether any of the democratic statesmen found it worth their while to protest against these acts of barbarity.

I have instructed the German Luftwaffe to lead this war in a humane manner, i.e. only against fighting units. The Polish Government and the head of the armed forces have instructed the civilian population to lie in ambush, to fight this war as snipers.

It is most difficult to exercise restraint oneself here, and I would like to stress on this occasion: the democratic states ought not to be so vain as to believe this state of affairs can continue forever! If they would prefer things to go differently, well then they can have them differently. Here, too, I may lose my patience. In spite of this perfidious method of warfare which has not been paralleled throughout the past decades, our armies have dealt with the enemy at lightning speed (in Blitzesschnelle). A few days ago, an English paper wrote I had relieved a colonel general of his duties because I had counted on a Blitzkrieg for this operation and had been deeply disappointed by the slow pace of the mission.

Authors of this article may well have been those strategists who advised the Poles on how to array their troops.

Hence, we have beaten the Poles in scarcely eighteen days. Thereby we brought about a situation which may well enable us to speak with the representatives of these people calmly and in reasoned terms. In the meantime, Russia has felt it necessary, to safeguard the interests of its Belorussian and Ukrainian minorities, to march into Poland as well. And now we witness how England and France are outraged at this cooperation of Germany and Russia. It is termed a heinous crime-yes, one Englishman even writes that it is perfidious.

Here the English are experts! I believe the English conceive of this perfidy as the failure of cooperation between democratic England and Bolshevist Russia in view of the success of the attempt of National Socialist Germany and Bolshevist Russia at cooperation.

I would like to make a declaration here: Russia remains precisely what it is, and Germany will also remain what it is. On one point there is total agreement between both regimes: neither the Russian nor the German regime wishes to sacrifice even one man to the interests of the Western democracies.

The lessons of four years of war are sufficient for both states and both peoples. Ever since then we have known only too well that either one or the other would have the honor to come to the rescue of the ideals of the Western democracies. Both states and both peoples say no thank you to such a mission.

We intend to attend to our interests ourselves from now on. And we have found that we are best able to realize these interests when both great peoples and states come to an understanding.

And this is all the easier as the British claims concerning the unrestrained nature of German foreign policy objectives are lies. I rejoice in being able to contradict these assertions of the British statesmen in reality now. Persistently they claimed that Germany intended to rule Europe up to the Ural Mountains.

Accordingly they should be happy to learn of the limited nature of Germany’s ambitions. I believe I am robbing them of yet another rationale for going to war when I proclaim this-as they declare they must fight the present regime because it pursues “unlimited war aims.” Well, my dear gentlemen of the Great Britannic World Empire, Germany’s objectives are very limited in fact. We have discussed this in great detail with Russia, as the Russians are our next-door neighbors and, in the end, those most immediately affected. Accordingly, England ought to welcome the understanding arrived at by Germany and Soviet Russia. For the arrival at this understanding should remove once and for all the haunting images of the present German regime being out to conquer the world, an image which robbed the British statesmen of their sleep so many nights. It ought to be reassuring to know that it is not true that Germany wishes to conquer the Ukraine, or wished to do so in the past.

Our interests are of a very limited nature. However, these interests we are determined to pursue, no matter what the danger or who opposes us. The last eighteen days should have amply proven that we are not joking in this respect.

What state formations shall populate this vast terrain in the end depends foremost upon the two countries which possess vested, vital interests in this area. Germany strides forth in pursuit of limited, but unyielding demands.

Germany will realize these demands in one way or another. Germany and Russia will create a situation which some day one will only be able to call a relaxation of tensions, here on the site of a storm-center of Europe.

I would like to make a few statements in reply to the West, where many, especially in England, have announced their determination not to allow, under any circumstances, anything of the kind and, if need be, to do battle to this end in a war of three years’ duration, of even five or eight years in length.

1. With difficult sacrifices, Germany has accepted a redrawing of the Reich’s frontiers in the West and in the South in order to obtain a final pacification of these borders. At the time, we truly believed this could indeed be attained. And I still believe we would have been successful had not certain warmongers had a vested interest in the disruption of the peace in Europe.

I do not pursue any war aim against either England or France. Ever since I came into office, I have sought to slowly restore close relations and trust with the former enemies in the World War. I endeavored to remove all tensions which once existed between Italy and Germany. And it is with a feeling of great contentment that I say that I was extraordinarily successful in this. Close and heartfelt relations have been established between both countries and have found a firm foundation in the close human and personal relationship between the Duce and myself.

I went further yet. I endeavored to accomplish the same thing with regard to France. Immediately after the resolution of the Saar question, I solemnly, for all time, renounced the further pursuit of revision of the borders in the West. I did this not only in theory but in practice as well. I have placed the entire German propaganda apparatus in the service of this, my idea. I eliminated every trace of what might have furnished occasion for doubt or apprehension in Paris.

You know of my proposals to England. All my ambitions were to enter into a sincere and friendly relationship with England. Now that all of them have been rejected and today the English believe they must wage war against Germany, I must say the following: never again will the Poland of the Versailles Treaty arise! Not only Germany guarantees this, the Russians do so as well! And now that England has chosen to refocus its war aims, i.e. now that it has finally betrayed its true objectives in this war, I would like to comment on this.

In England they say that this war is about Poland, although this is only of secondary importance. What is of greater import is the present regime in Germany. In this context, I am accorded the honor of a special mention as the representative of this regime.

Since, apparently, this is the primary objective pursued, I would like to reply as follows to the gentlemen in London: It is an honor for me to be judged in such a manner. As a matter of principle, I have educated, taught the German Volk to regard as contaminated any regime our enemies praise. Hence the German Volk will reject it. Should the gentlemen Churchill, Duff Cooper, Eden, etc., choose to accord their approval to a German regime, this would be interpreted to mean that this regime is being propped up and paid for by these gentlemen. Hence it would not represent a viable option for Germany.

This cannot be said of us, naturally. Condemnation by these gentlemen constitutes praise in our eyes. For my person, I can assure you of one thing: should these men praise me, I would be greatly upset. I am proud to furnish a target for their attack.

Should they truly believe they can divorce the German Volk from me in this fashion, then they hold the German Volk to be as weak in character or as stupid as they themselves are! They are mistaken on both counts! National Socialism has not re-educated the German man for naught these past twenty years. All my men have known only attacks from our opponents throughout their lives. This has merely served to reinforce the love of our followers for them and has created inseparable bonds between them.

And just as the National Socialist Party took up the challenge throughout the years to emerge victorious in the end, so the National Socialist German Reich and the German Volk rise to the challenge today! May the gentlemen rest assured: their ludicrous propaganda campaign no longer has the ability to divide the German Volk. These propaganda amateurs would do well to serve an apprenticeship with us here for an extended time.

Should peoples indeed perish, then this shall not hold true for the German Volk which is fighting for its right. The German Volk does not want war, yet it was attacked. No, other peoples shall perish, those who are slowly learning who their seducers are; they are slowly realizing what little cause they had for entering into this war. Yes, a small clique of profiteers actually is the only party with a viable political interest in this war.

And now that the English further declare that this war shall last three years, I can only express my compassion for the French Poilu. It does not know what it will be fighting for, but it does know, at least for starters, that it will have the dubious honor of fighting for three years at a minimum.

Whether this war will truly last three years depends a bit on us, too, however. Should it indeed last three years, the chapter will no more close with the word “capitulation” than it would at the end of a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, or a seventh year.

May the gentlemen please note: the generation now leading Germany is not the generation of Bethmann-Hollweg. Today they once more face a “Frederician” Germany! The German Volk will not be divided by this struggle. It will stand ever the more firmly united. If anything shall be divided thereby it will be those states whose substance is as inhomogeneous as that of these plutocratic world democracies, these so-called world empires, whose might rests on the suppression and rule of foreign peoples.

We fight for our national existence! And we will let no one among these narrow-minded propagandists (beschrankte Propagandafatzken) tell us that what is at stake is our regime-that is a lie! Imagine the people who say: “Oh, in this country, there is someone in power who is not to our liking. Therefore, we will just have to engage in war for the next three years. Naturally, we will not wage this war ourselves. No, we will search the world for someone who will wage it in our stead. We will provide the cannons and grenades to him and he will provide the grenadiers, the soldiers, and the men.” What recklessness! What would they have said of us had we, at some point, stood up to declare: “We do not like this regime which presently rules-let us say for instance-France or England. Therefore we will engage it in war now.” What utter recklessness! To drive men to their deaths for that?! Let there be no doubt as to one thing: We shall pick up the gauntlet! We shall fight in the manner of the enemy! The English have already once more, under the cover of deceit and dishonesty, begun conducting war against women and children.

England possesses one weapon under the umbrella of which it believes it cannot be attacked, namely, its naval forces. And now the English say: because we ourselves cannot be attacked with this weapon, this entitles us to use this weapon not only against the women and children of our enemies, but also against the neutral states, if this should be necessary.

One ought to be careful not to let oneself be deceived here either! Soon there could come a time in which we would use a weapon with which we ourselves cannot be attacked. I hope it will not be then that others begin to suddenly recall the term “humanity” and the “impossibility” of conducting war against women and children. We Germans do not want this! In this campaign also I have issued orders to spare the cities, if possible. Should however, a column choose to march across the market square and is attacked by fighter planes, then it cannot be excluded that someone else might become a victim as well.

As a matter of principle, we have consistently exercised mercy. In towns where no crazed or criminal elements have put up resistance, not a window pane was smashed. In a city such as Cracow, for example, not one bomb fell on the city itself. Only the airport and the train station, purely military objectives, were subject to bombardment. If, however, in a city such as Warsaw the war involves the civilian population, if it spreads to all street corners and houses, then, of course, we must involve the entire city in the war.

We have abided by this general rule in the past and wish to do so in the future as well.

It is up to England either to conduct this blockade in compliance with international law, or in violation of international law. We shall follow suit.

However, let no one be deluded as to one fact: the English objective in this war is not the elimination of a regime-it is the elimination of the German Volk, of German women and children, and, therefore, we shall act accordingly. And, in the end, one thing is certain: this Germany will never capitulate! We know only too well what the fate of such a Germany would be. Mr. King-Hall has kindly informed us on behalf of his masters: a second Versailles Treaty, worse yet. For we have in the interim been afforded precise illustration of what they have in mind for us: how Germany is to be torn to pieces, how large sections of its southern lands are to be severed from it; what lands are to be restored to Poland; what type of new states are to be erected, and which princes are to be crowned as their heads of state. The German Volk acknowledges this information and will fight accordingly! I would like, above all, to express my gratitude to the German Volk on this occasion. It has not only rendered evidence of its inner unity within these past weeks. It has also given us ample proof of its truly valiant character.

And here, too, National Socialism has wrought a change: “The German Volk is not as enthusiastic as in 1914!” Oh no, it is all the more enthusiastic! Only the enthusiasm of today is a flame burning inside which steels people. It is not a superficial “hurrah” patriotism. Rather it is a fanatical determination.

It is the serene enthusiasm of men who know war. They have lived through one war already. They have not entered into this one light-heartedly. Once forced into another war, however, they will wage it in the manner the old German front once waged it.

As I saw numerous regiments and divisions in the course of my visits to the front-the young, the old, all with one state of mind-I saw before me the entire German Volk. We need no “hurrah” patriotism. All of us know how terrible war is. Yet we still are determined to bring these developments to a victorious conclusion, come what may. Not one of us is worth any more than the men and women who lived in the past. All the sacrifices they had to make back then were no easier than the sacrifices we must make today.
Every sacrifice demanded of us is no more difficult than the sacrifices borne in the past. We are determined, in one way or another, to see this struggle through and to survive it.

We have but one desire: that the God Almighty who has now bestowed His blessings on our weapons might enlighten the other peoples, that He might impart to them insight into how senseless this war, this struggle of the peoples, will be. May He induce them to contemplate the blessings of a peace they abandoned merely because a handful of infernal warmongers and war profiteers sought to drive the peoples into a war. It is for the first time that I am in this city of Danzig today. It shared the fateful path of the German Volk throughout many a century. It shared in the fighting of the Great War through its sons. After the war, its fate was one of particular suffering, a bitter one. Now, after twenty years, it returns to the great German Volksgemeinschaft. Much has changed in the Reich since. The former state of classes and castes has become the German Volk State. This state which was once defined and ruled by the interests of a few groups has now become a Reich, which is the possession of the German Volk. The ideas reigning supreme in this state were preached in this city for many, many years. Yes, you have helped to raise the spirit which made it possible to retain the German character of this city and to suffuse it with faith, and to persist until the hour of deliverance and liberation had finally come. This hour has now come! Imagine my own feeling of joy to be called upon by Providence to realize that goal which the best of Germans have always longed for. Imagine how deeply I was touched when, in these hallowed halls, I stood up to speak to you and the people of this city and of this land. Once I resolved not to journey to Danzig before this city belonged again to the German Reich. I wished to make my entry into this city as its liberator. And it is today that this proud happiness has been imparted to me! I regard and receive this happiness as ample recompense for numerous hours, days, weeks, and months of great inquietude. Please, my dear men and women of Danzig, see in me also an emissary of the German Reich and of the German Volk which, through me, embraces and admits you into our eternal community, and which never again shall release you.

Whatever suffering shall be imparted to individual Germans within the next months or years, it shall be easier to bear in the acknowledgment of the inseparable community encompassing and forming our great German Volk.

We accept you into this community with the firm resolve never again to permit you to withdraw from it. This decision also forms a commandment for the entire Movement and for the entire German Volk. Danzig was German, Danzig has remained German, and Danzig shall be German from now on as long as there exists a German Volk and a German Reich! Generations will come and generations will pass. They will reflect on the twenty years of absence of this city from the annals of German history as a sad epoch. And they will not only think the same of the year 1918, but they will also think with pride of the period of Germany’s resurrection. And they will remember the German Reich, that Reich which has now brought together all German tribes to form one unity for which we shall stand up until we draw our last breath.

To this Germany, to this German Volksgemeinschaft of all German tribes, to this Greater German Reich:

Sieg Heil!