Ian Stuart Donaldson Skrewdriver

Posts Tagged ‘Führer’

Joining the Hitler Youth

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Finally, my tenth birthday was near. Two events were about to occur; I could join the Hitler Youth organization and start high school.

With the arrival of my tenth birthday, I became eligible to join the Hitler Youth, or better, I should say, join the Young Folks’ (Jungvolk) movement. The Young Folks were a junior extension of the Hitler Youth for boys aged 10 to 14. After I had my parent’s permission to join, nothing could stop me from fulfilling my dreams of joining. I became a proud member of the Hitler Youth Young Folks.

Now, not only did I need a full uniform with all its paraphernalia, but I also needed camping accessories. My wish list included a backpack with a blanket, a pup tent canvas, a mess kit, a compass and more importantly a knife in a sheath with a Young Folks’ symbol.

During our weekly Young Folks’ meetings, older Hitler Youth members organized and conducted our get-together. There was no question that they impressed on us the importance of the Third Reich�s future, highlighting the need for purity and social improvements of an upcoming generation. The indoctrination emphasized love of one’s country, respect of spiritual and ethical values and unquestioning loyalty to our Führer.

Most of our meetings started with the singing of our national anthem which began, “Germany above all�” followed by a National Socialist Party song, “Raise high the flag�” One of us youngsters would stand at attention next to the lectern holding on to a pole displaying the swastika flag. We had to learn at least one new marching song every time we got together. Group singing was highly enjoyable, and once we started marching it never failed for the group leader to call for a song. Besides singing, we received lectures about good sanitation and cleanliness of body and mind. We were enlightened to the fact that our Führer depended on us to strengthen and perpetuate the Third Reich.

In addition to the more or less boring subjects, we planned outdoor adventures like camping trips, playing hide and seek between red and blue teams and finding your way after being lost in the wilderness. We played games and the comradeship was evident and enjoyable.

The words of the songs we learned would not have won today’s Pulitzer Prize, but the message came through loud and clear. Sacrifice yourself, if necessary, for the good of the country and hold honor and courage in high esteem. Every so often, we would go on overnight outings in the countryside. We learned to pitch tents and how to build campfires. Some very subtle political indoctrination was unavoidable, and especially the message concerning Adolf Hitler was clear. Our leader, the supreme commander�s words and actions, were irrefutable.

In recent years, I heard controversy about a particular song we had learned. That song had words stating that only Germany hears us now, but tomorrow the whole world will. The German words of that part in the song were as follows: Denn heute da hört uns Deutschland und morgen die ganze Welt. Not gehört which means belonging. That was the way I learned the song. Some scholars have suggested that we sang: “tomorrow the whole world will belong to Germany” instead of the world will hear us. I am sure that we, the youth, did not communicate suggestions through this song that Germany would own the world.

My sister also belonged to a youth movement, called the Bund Deutscher Mädchen (Organization of German Girls). I heard only scant words from my sister, but it appeared that honor and love for the country appeared to be their central message also. The Führer expected the girls, so they said, to remain pure, pledge in marriage only to Aryan boys, and create many babies for the Fatherland.

Early in 1938, with my primary schooling completed, I looked forward to attending high school. My parents made it perfectly clear that I had to quit fooling around and get down to studying. School homework, customarily handed out for most subjects, now received preferential treatment over any other activity.

Our class size normally consisted of 24 to 30 boys. Within an assigned classroom, we had the freedom to select our seat location. I preferred a seat about in the middle, not liking to sit right in front of the teacher, but close enough to read the blackboard clearly. Most of the time our school started at 8 o�clock and most classes lasted 90 minutes. We had 4 classes per day, 5 days a week, and 3 classes on Saturday. The teachers would come to our room instead of the students going to a teacher’s room. Almost all teachers would hand out homework, and I had no problems keeping up with the assignments except for a couple of subjects.

Luckily, during the first two years, we had no language classes but I had history classes taught by a disagreeable teacher, Mr. Lustig. I found out that I had problems memorizing historical dates, especially Mr. Lustig�s. Looking back, I am sure that his presentation also lacked some continuity or whatever.

Anyway, it appeared boring to me, and soon my history grades sank. Had I not excelled in mathematics and physics, I would have been in significant trouble. I strongly disliked Herr Lustig, my history teacher. He had a half-inch diameter, three foot-long bamboo cane. Standing in front of me, he would ask me what happened in Germany on April 24, 1547. Sure, ask another question. I had not the faintest idea. He would then whack that cane merciless on my upper arm while bombarding me with other dates and events. Even if I had known any of the answers, I surely would have been unable to handle any answers under those circumstances. This teacher’s behavior haunted me for many years, especially when I had to take a test.

Political propagandizing from our teachers was not on the curriculum. Even during my first year in the Hitler Youth movement, political indoctrination was relatively benign, with some mentioning of how the Jews were destroying our country.

All that changed on the night of November 9/10, 1938. I was now 11 years old and had one year of lectures from the Hitler Youth movement behind me. I was convinced of my leader’s wisdom, and believed in the goodness of the Nazi doctrine.

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The Wannsee Conference

Monday, August 6th, 2012

On January, 20, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler‘s second in command of the SS, convened the Wannsee Conference in Berlin with 15 top Nazi bureaucrats to coordinate the Final Solution (Endlösung) in which the Nazis would attempt to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe, an estimated 11 million persons.

“Europe would be combed of Jews from east to west,” Heydrich stated.

The minutes of that meeting have been preserved but were edited by Heydrich substituting the coded language Nazis used when referring to lethal actions to be taken against Jews.

“Instead of emigration, there is now a further possible solution to which the Führer has already signified his consent – namely deportation to the east,” Heydrich stated for example when referring to mass deportations of Jews to ghettos in occupied Poland and then on to the soon-opened death camps at Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.

“…eliminated by natural causes,” refers to death by a combination of hard labor and starvation.

“…treated accordingly,” refers to execution by SS firing squads or death by gassing – also seen in other Nazi correspondence in a variety of connotations such as “special treatment” and “special actions” regarding the Jews.

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Hitler becomes Führer

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

By the summer of 1934, the elderly German President, Paul von Hindenburg, lay close to death at his country estate in East Prussia. He had been in failing health for several months, thus giving Adolf Hitler and the Nazis ample opportunity to make plans to capitalize on his demise.

Reich Chancellor Hitler planned to use President Hindenburg’s death as an opportunity to seize total power in Germany by elevating himself to the position of Führer, or absolute leader, of the German nation and its people.

On August 2, 1934, at 9 a.m., the long awaited death of 87 year old Hindenburg finally occurred. Within hours, Hitler and the Nazis announced the following law, dated as of August 1…

“The Reich Government has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated.
Section 1. The office of Reich President will be combined with that of Reich Chancellor. The existing authority of the Reich President will consequently be transferred to the Führer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He will select his deputy.
Section 2. This law is effective as of the time of the death of Reich President von Hindenburg.”

Following the announcement of this (technically illegal) law, the German Officers’ Corps and every individual in the German Army swore a personal oath of allegiance to Hitler.

A nationwide vote (plebiscite) was then scheduled to give the German people a chance to express their approval of Hitler’s unprecedented new powers.

Meanwhile, Hindenburg’s last will and testament surfaced. Contrary to Hitler’s intentions, Hindenburg’s last wishes included a desire for a return to a constitutional (Hohenzollern) monarchy. These last wishes were contained in the form of a personal letter from Hindenburg to Hitler.

Hitler simply ignored this and likely destroyed the letter, as it was not published and has never been found.

However, the Nazis did publish Hindenburg’s alleged political testament giving an account of his years of service with complimentary references to Hitler. Although it was likely a forgery, it was used as part of the Nazi campaign to get a large “Yes” vote for Hitler in the coming plebiscite.

On August 19, about 95 percent of registered voters in Germany went to the polls and gave Hitler 38 million votes of approval (90 percent of the vote). Thus Adolf Hitler could claim he was Führer of the German nation by direct will of the people. Hitler now wielded absolute power in Germany, beyond that of any previous traditional head of state. He had become, in effect, the law unto himself.

The next day, August 20, mandatory loyalty oaths were introduced throughout the Reich…Hitler watching festivities at Nuremberg - 1934

Article 1. The public officials and the soldiers of the armed forces must take an oath of loyalty on entering service.
Article 2
1.
 The oath of loyalty of public officials will be:
‘I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, respect the laws, and fulfill my official duties conscientiously, so help me God.’
2. The oath of loyalty of the soldiers of the armed forces will be:
‘I swear by God this sacred oath: I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath.’
Article 3. Officials already in service must swear this oath without delay according to Article 2 number 1.”

These oaths were pledged to Hitler personally, not the German state or constitution. And they were taken very seriously by members of the German Officers’ Corps with their traditional minded codes of honor, which now elevated obedience to Hitler as a sacred duty and effectively placed the German armed forces in the position of being the personal instrument of Hitler.

In September, 1934, at the annual Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies, a euphoric Hitler proclaimed, “The German form of life is definitely determined for the next thousand years. The Age of Nerves of the nineteenth century has found its close with us. There will be no revolution in Germany for the next thousand years.”

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Downfall of Adolf Hitler

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

All of his life, Adolf Hitler had been obsessed with the musical works of German composer Richard Wagner. As a teenager living in Austria, Hitler was deeply inspired by Wagner’s operas and their pagan, mythical tales of struggles against hated enemies. One time, back in 1905, after seeing Wagner’s opera Rienzi, young Hitler professed he would someday embark on a great mission, leading his people to freedom, similar to the opera’s story.

Now, some 40 years later, after failing in his mission as Führer of the German People and Reich, another of Wagner’s operas hearkened, and it was Hitler’s favorite – Der Ring des Nibelungen. It concerns a magic Ring granting its possessor the power to rule the world. In the last part of this opera, entitled Götterdämmerung, or ‘Twilight of the gods,” the hero Siegfried, betrayed by those around him, loses the Ring and winds up on a funeral pyre while the fortress of Valhalla burns and the kingdom of the gods is destroyed.

The dream of Germania–capital of Greater Germany as envisioned by Hitler in his scale model of a postwar Berlin. Below: Reality–the muck and mire of bombed out Berlin in the spring of 1945.

This essentially was the ending Hitler inflicted upon himself, his People and his Reich.

Piece by piece, it all came together over the last ten days of his life, beginning on Friday, April 20, 1945. That day Hitler met for the last time with his top Nazis. The occasion was Hitler’s 56th birthday, a dreary celebration inside the Führerbunker in Berlin. Present were Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim Ribbentrop, Albert Speer and Martin Bormann, along with military leaders Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Karl Dönitz, and Hans Krebs, the new Chief of the General Staff.

At first, those present tried to convince the Führer to leave doomed Berlin for the relative safety of Berchtesgaden, the mountain area along the German-Austrian border where he had his villa. From there he could continue the fight, supported by troops positioned throughout the impenetrable Alpine mountains of western Austria and southern Bavaria. Such a move might prolong the war indefinitely and improve the odds of a favorable outcome for Germany, one way or another.

But Hitler brushed aside this suggestion, knowing that any journey outside the bunker brought great risk of capture. And above all, the Führer did not want himself, alive or dead, to wind up prominently displayed by his enemies, particularly the Russians. However, he did give his bunker personnel permission to leave. Most of his staff therefore departed for Berchtesgaden via a convoy of trucks and planes, still hoping the Führer would follow. Only a handful of Hitler’s personal staff remained with him, including his top aide Martin Bormann, a few SS and military aides, two private secretaries, and his longtime companion, Eva Braun.

Hitler’s choice to remain in the Führerbunker to the very end amounted to his final decision of the war. It was made known to the German people via a special radio announcement in the hope that his presence in the Nazi capital would inspire all remaining Wehrmacht, SS, Volkssturm and Hitler Youth units in Berlin to hold out to the end as well.

Although the war was lost, Hitler nevertheless took pride in the knowledge that he had not allowed another repeat of November 1918, when the German Army had meekly asked the Allies for armistice terms to conclude the First World War. This was all Hitler had left. Just a few years earlier, the Führer had been regarded by most German’s as their greatest-ever military leader. Now, all that remained of his military legacy was the fact he had refused to give up no matter what.

The Führer’s stubborn pride insured that thousands of German soldiers, Hitler Youths and civilians would needlessly lose their lives in the streets of Berlin, where advance units of the Red Army were already probing. Inside the bunker, Hitler told General Jodl, “I will fight as long as I have a single soldier. When the last soldier deserts me. I will shoot myself.”

However, the Führer’s fatalism was not shared by his two oldest comrades, Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, who had both scooted away from Berlin just hours after Hitler’s birthday gathering. Göring made it safely to Berchtesgaden where he had his own villa, bringing along truckloads of artworks looted from museums all over occupied Europe. For his part, Himmler headed in the opposite direction, staying for the moment in a small town northwest of Berlin.

Both men were spurred to act on their own in the aftermath of the Führer’s shocking behavior during the military conference held in the bunker on Sunday, April 22nd. To everyone there that day, it seemed the Führer had suffered a total mental and physical breakdown, completely losing control while letting loose a shrieking denunciation of the Army, then collapsing into a chair. News of the Führer’s appalling condition spread like wildfire among the top Nazis outside Berlin, including Göring and Himmler.

Hermann Göring (center) with Hitler in early April 1945, mingling with German troops during one of their last public appearances together. Below: SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler (left) visits an SS Panzer Corps on the Western Front in 1944.
Below: The United States Army arm-in-arm with the Soviet Red Army at Torgau, Germany.
Below: Russian Shturmoviks in action over Berlin in April 1945 as the Red Army’s main attack commences.

Göring, the Führer’s designated successor, now pondered whether or not to announce he was the new leader of the Reich, since Hitler was presently cut off from the rest of Germany in besieged Berlin, and apparently incapacitated. But the inherent danger of such a move, even at this late stage, gave him pause for concern. And so Göring put off a decision and instead sent Hitler a carefully worded telegram the next day, Monday, April 23rd, trying to feel him out:

“My Führer! In view of your decision to remain in the fortress of Berlin, do you agree that I take over at once the total leadership of the Reich, with full freedom of action at home and abroad as your deputy, in accordance with your decree of June 29, 1941? If no reply is received by 10 o’clock tonight, I shall take it for granted that you have lost your freedom of action, and shall consider the conditions of your decree as fulfilled, and shall act for the best interests of our country and our people…”

Göring didn’t know that Hitler had since rebounded from his meltdown and regained a measure of composure. Therefore, Hitler’s response to Göring’s telegram, prompted by Martin Bormann, was that the Reich Marshal had committed “high treason.” Although this carried the death penalty, Göring would be spared if he immediately resigned all of his titles and offices – which Göring promptly did. Next, Bormann, a longtime behind-the-scenes foe of Göring, transmitted an order to the SS near Berchtesgaden to arrest Göring and his staff. As a result, just before dawn on Tuesday, April 24, Göring was put under house arrest. Thus ended the long career of the man who would be Führer.

In contrast to Göring’s cautiousness, Himmler took a much bolder approach. At the very moment that Hitler was reading Göring’s telegram, Himmler was secretly proposing the surrender all German troops in the West to General Eisenhower.

Himmler had traveled to the city of Lübeck in northern Germany to meet with Count Folke Bernadotte of the Swedish Red Cross. Himmler’s idea was to have Bernadotte contact Eisenhower regarding the surrender in the West, while at the same time Germany would continue fighting the Russians in the East, soon to be joined by the Americans and British. Playing a key role in this new German-American-British alliance would be the leader of post-Hitler Germany, Heinrich Himmler himself.

His proposal got nowhere. By now, Himmler’s name, and that of the SS organization he headed, was already synonymous with mass murder.

Meanwhile, the military situation continued to deteriorate. On Wednesday, April 25th, Russian and American soldiers greeted each other face-to-face at Torgau on the Elbe River, seventy-five miles south of Berlin, effectively severing Nazi Germany in two. The next day, Russian artillery fire made the first direct hits upon the Reich Chancellery buildings in Berlin and the grounds directly above the Führerbunker.

A German tank officer described the scene in his diary: “We retreat again under heavy Russian air attacks. Inscriptions [I see] on house walls [say]: ‘The hour before sunrise is darkest’ and ‘We retreat but we are winning.’…The night is fiery red. Heavy shelling. Otherwise a terrible silence…Women and children huddling in niches and corners and listening for the sounds of battle…Nervous breakdowns.”

By Friday, April 27, Russian bombardment of the Reich Chancellery buildings had reached its peak with numerous direct hits, causing Hitler to send frantic telegrams to Field Marshal Keitel demanding that Berlin be relieved by now non-existent armies.

For Hitler, the worst blow of all came the next day when BBC news radio reports concerning Himmler’s surrender negotiations were broadcast from London and picked up by Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry. According to eyewitnesses in the bunker, Hitler “raged like a madman” with a ferocity never seen before when informed of the betrayal. Himmler had been at his side since the beginning, earning the fond nickname Der Treue Heinrich (Faithful Heinrich) through years of murderous, fanatical service to his Führer. Now, Hitler wanted to have him shot.

Since Himmler was nowhere to be found, Hitler ordered his personal liaison in the bunker, SS-General Hermann Fegelein, shot instead. Fegelein was already under suspicion, having been nabbed the day before trying to sneak out of Berlin in civilian clothing. After some brief questioning, he was taken up to the Chancellery garden above the bunker and summarily executed.

In the meantime, advance units of the Red Army had smashed through the German defenses in Berlin and were only a few miles away from the bunker. Hitler was informed there was perhaps a day or two left before the Russians arrived at his doorstep.

Now, at long last, Hitler reconciled himself to defeat, and began preparations for his own death.

First, he married Eva Braun, as a reward for her ceaseless devotion, during a relationship in which she had spent nearly all of her time at Berchtesgaden waiting for him to show up. They were married in a brief ceremony about an hour past midnight, early Sunday, April 29, with Goebbels and Bormann in attendance. Everyone was then invited into the Führer’s private quarters for a wedding breakfast featuring champagne and fond reminisces by Hitler of better days gone by, followed by a bitter accounting of the recent betrayal by his two oldest comrades. Those who listened were moved to tears. Shortly thereafter, Hitler excused himself, bringing along his staff secretary, Traudl Junge, to whom he dictated his last will along with a two-part political testament.

In his will he left his possessions to the Nazi Party and also revealed his fate: “I myself and my wife – in order to escape the disgrace of deposition or capitulation – choose death. It is our wish to be burnt immediately on the spot where I have carried out the greatest part of my daily work in the course of twelve years’ of service to my people.”

His political testament recited familiar themes first stated in his book Mein Kampf back in 1925. In addition, he blamed the Jews for everything, including the war. He cited the extermination threat he had made on January 30, 1939, followed by a veiled reference to the gas chambers, labeling them a “humane means” of making the Jews atone for the guilt of causing the war.

In the second part of his political testament, he expelled both Göring and Himmler from the Nazi Party and appointed Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor, not as Führer, but as President of the Reich. Dönitz was to preside over a government with Goebbels as Chancellor and Bormann as Party Minister. After completing his dictations, Hitler went off to bed, having been up all night.

While the Führer slept, the Battle of Berlin raged in the streets above him, with the Germans fighting fanatically to defend every inch, just as Hitler hoped they would. Above all, they tried to knock out the Russian T34 tanks now rolling toward Hitler. A Russian tank driver recalled: “There were a lot of Panzerfausts [anti-tank grenade launchers] in Berlin. They were lying in every basement. Mostly the operators were old men or boys.”

Casualties on both sides were high. But the Russians pressed forward relentlessly, blasting through anything in their way. The Red Army under Marshal Zhukov, after a journey of some 1500 miles that had begun back in Stalingrad, was now close to victory. When the Führer awoke about noontime, he was told that Russian troops were only a mile from the bunker.

The Chancellery garden with entrance to the Führerbunker on left and adjacent ventilation tower as seen in 1947. Below: Portrait from 1942 of Eva Braun and Hitler with his dog Blondi.

Realizing their Führer intended to self-destruct, four of his remaining military adjutants asked for permission to leave the bunker, on the excuse that they wanted to check on the status of a relief column supposedly being led by General Wenck. Hitler granted their requests. He also took this opportunity to give his Luftwaffe adjutant, Colonel Below, one last Führer message to be hand delivered to the Army High Command:

“The people and the armed forces have given their all in this long and hard struggle. The sacrifice has been enormous. But my trust has been misused by many people. Disloyalty and betrayal have undermined resistance throughout the war. It was therefore not granted to me to lead the people to victory. The Army General Staff cannot be compared with the General Staff in the First World War. Its achievements were far behind those of the fighting front. The efforts and sacrifices of the German people in this war have been so great that I cannot believe that they have been in vain. The aim must still be to win territory in the East for the German people.”

Thus the last official words of the Führer contained both a final insult of the Army leadership along with a repetition of the Lebensraum theme for the East.

Shortly thereafter, the final bit of news from the outside world ever to reach Hitler told of the death of his oldest political ally, Benito Mussolini. The one-time dictator of Italy had tried to flee along with his mistress, but had been captured by Italian partisans, executed, hung upside down and then thrown into the gutter. Hitler’s only reaction was an expressed determination not to suffer a similar fate.

Hitler never heard the other news that day from Italy. SS-General Karl Wolff, formerly Himmler’s chief aide, had successfully negotiated the unconditional surrender of all German forces in Italy to the Western Allies.

Hitler’s sole concern right now was to ready himself for the moment of death. He had in his possession several small glass capsules containing liquid cyanide poison. All one had to do was bite down on the glass and painless death would follow in seconds. But since the capsules had been supplied by the now-traitorous Himmler, the Führer worried they might not be the real thing. Hitler therefore ordered one tested on his favorite dog, Blondi, which killed the animal instantly. After this, he handed out the cyanide capsules to his female secretaries, apologizing that he did not have better parting gifts for them. The capsules, he told them, were theirs to use when the Russians stormed the bunker.

As Sunday evening wore on, Hitler asked everyone to stay up. They waited for hours, for what they sensed would be a final goodbye. It came about 2:30 a.m., early in the morning of Monday, April 30th, when Hitler came out of his private quarters into the dining area. The remaining members of his staff lined up to receive him. With glazed eyes, Hitler shook each hand, muttering a few inaudible words quietly, then retired back into his quarters. His secretary, Traudl Junge, recalled the moment: “He looked like a shadow. He looked emotionless, and very gray and pale, like a broken old man…his movements were very slow. He was not the dictator anymore, and the impressive, fascinating man he was earlier.”

Following the Führer’s departure, his staff mulled over the significance of what they had just experienced. Strangely, the tremendous tension of preceding days seemed to suddenly evaporate upon their realization that the end was near. A lighthearted mood surfaced, followed by spontaneous displays of merry-making even including dancing. At one point, they had to be told to keep the noise down.

At noontime on April 30th, Hitler attended his last-ever military conference and was told the Russians were a block away. Two hours later, Hitler sat down for his final meal, a vegetarian lunch. His wife had no appetite. In the meantime, his chauffeur was ordered to deliver 200 liters of gasoline to the Chancellery garden.

Hitler, accompanied by his wife Eva, now bid a last farewell to Bormann, Goebbels, Generals Krebs and Burgdorf. Hitler and his wife went back into their private quarters while Bormann and Goebbels stood quietly nearby. A few moments later, about 3:30 p.m., a gunshot was heard. Bormann and Goebbels hesitated at first, then entered the room. They saw the body of Hitler sprawled on the sofa, dripping with blood from a gunshot to his right temple. He had killed himself with the same small revolver he once used to fire a warning shot into the ceiling back during the Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923 – a gun he had kept ever since. His wife, Eva, had died from biting into one of the cyanide capsules.

Russian soldiers in Berlin gaze upon a Nazi eagle fallen from the Reich Chancellery building. Below: Germans POWs from Berlin are escorted by Russians.
Below: Hitler’s successor, Karl Dönitz, now a prisoner of the British along with Albert Speer and General Alfred Jodl.

As Russian artillery shells exploded nearby, the bodies were carried up the stairs to the Reich Chancellery garden, placed in a shell crater, doused heavily with gasoline and burned while Bormann and Goebbels stood by silently, with arms extended in a final Nazi salute. Over the next three hours, the bodies were repeatedly doused until there were only charred remains, which were swept into a canvas, laid in a different shell crater and buried anonymously.

Back inside the bunker, with the Führer now gone, people lit cigarettes, a practice Hitler had forbidden in his presence. Next, they began to organize themselves into groups to flee the bunker and hopefully escape the Russians.

For Joseph Goebbels, life without Hitler was not worth living for himself, his wife and their six young children. On Tuesday, May 1st, Goebbels and his wife therefore poisoned their six children, aged 12 and younger, whom they had brought into the bunker. Next they went up into the Chancellery garden and each bit into a cyanide capsule. After collapsing and dying, they were shot in the head by an SS man as Goebbels had requested. Their bodies were then burned, but only partially, and were not buried. The macabre remains were discovered by the Russians the next day and filmed, with the grotesquely charred body of Goebbels becoming an enduring symbol of the legacy of Hitler’s twelve-year Reich.

At 10 p.m. on May 1st, a special radio announcement told the German people their Führer had died “fighting with his last breath for Germany against Bolshevism,” and also announced Dönitz as his designated successor. By now, the Russians were already combing through the wreckage of the Reich Chancellery looking for any sign of Hitler’s body.

With the Führer dead and the German nation in ruins, Dönitz and surviving leaders of the Wehrmacht had just one thing in mind – stall for time to allow as many troops and civilians as possible to flee from the Russians and make it into western zones occupied by the Americans and British.

Thus it wasn’t until Saturday, May 5th, when a military representative, Admiral Hans von Friedeburg, was sent by Dönitz to General Eisenhower’s headquarters at Reims, France. He was then joined by General Jodl. Even now, the Germans tried to stall the proceedings by suggesting a piecemeal surrender limited to the West, thereby allowing even more troops to flee the Russians. But Eisenhower saw through this ploy and demanded the Germans quit stalling and sign an unconditional surrender for all fronts.

And so, in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7th, with authorization from Dönitz, General Jodl signed the unconditional surrender document. The signing was, as Winston Churchill put it, “the signal for the greatest outburst of joy in the history of mankind.” Huge crowds gathered to rejoice in London, Paris, New York and Moscow.

The guns across Europe were silent. Nazi Germany was finished.

The German people, who had once cheered mightily for Hitler and enthusiastically embraced Nazism, now faced a stark and uncertain future. A German woman summed up the dilemma: “There won’t be any more dying, any more raids. It’s over. But then the fear set in of what would happen afterwards. We were spiritually and emotionally drained. Hitler’s doctrines were discredited. And then the desperation set in of realizing that it had all been for nothing, and that was a terrible feeling. Surviving, finding something to eat and drink, was less difficult for me than the psychological emptiness. It was incomprehensible that all this was supposed to be over, and that it had all been for nothing.”

For Jews and others, who had been targeted by Nazis, a great sense of relief was felt at outlasting Hitler. One woman who survived the Final Solution reflected: “During the five terrible war years, we could not indulge in simple pleasures that life offers to normal people. All our efforts were directed towards fighting the enemy and surviving. Now, for the first time since September 1, 1939, we could unwind and be normal again – to walk the streets without the fear of hearing the hated “Halt!” without the fear of being rounded up by the Germans and pushed into military trucks. No more “Achtung, Achtung!” coming down from the street loud-speakers. No more ghettos, no more starvation, typhus, gas chambers, Einsatzgruppen [killing squads]. The intense fear and persecution were over.”

The Germans themselves had paid dearly for Hitler’s war, suffering four million civilian and three million military deaths. Hitler’s nemesis, Soviet Russia, had suffered staggering losses including seven million soldiers and an estimated 16 million civilian deaths. Throughout Europe and Russia, six million Jews had been systematically murdered by Nazis.

For the victorious Allies, with images of recently liberated concentration camps still fresh in their minds, the question of justice now arose. Fortunately for the Allies, the rapid demise of Nazi Germany had resulted in the wholesale capture of gigantic document archives from all branches of Hitler’s government along with secret papers, conference reports and private diaries.

The Nazis had kept meticulous written records of their activities, from mass murder of the Jews, to Hitler’s private talks. In addition, captured Nazi officials and high ranking military officers underwent lengthy interrogations. With all of the evidence at hand, the Allies decided to prosecute. The place chosen for the trial was Nuremberg, the now-ruined city that had once hosted annual rallies glorifying Hitler and Nazism

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Attack on Russia

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

In calling off Operation Sea Lion, Adolf Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the world’s most powerful armed forces, had suffered his first major setback. Nazi Germany had stumbled in the skies over Britain but Hitler was not discouraged. In the past, he had repeatedly overcome setbacks of one sort or another through drastic action elsewhere to both triumph over the failure and to move toward his ultimate goal. Now it was time to do it again.

All of Hitler’s actions in Western Europe thus far, including the subjugation of France and the now-failed attack on Britain, were simply a prelude to achieving his principal goal as Führer, the acquisition of Lebensraum (Living Space) in the East. He had moved against the French, British and others in the West only as a necessary measure to secure Germany’s western border, thereby freeing him to attack in the East with full force.

For Hitler, the war itself was first and foremost a racial struggle and he viewed all aspects of the conflict in racial terms. He considered the peoples of Western Europe and the British Isles to be racial comrades, ranked among the higher order of humans. The supreme form of human, according to Hitler, was the Germanic person, characterized by his or her fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes. The lowest form, Hitler believed, were the Jews and the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, including the Russians.

All of this had been outlined in his book, Mein Kampf, first published in 1925. In it, Hitler stated his fundamental belief that Germany’s survival depended on its ability to acquire vast tracts of land in the East to provide room for the expanding German population at the expense of the inferior peoples already living there, justified purely on racial grounds. Hitler explained that Nazi racial philosophy “by no means believes in an equality of races…and feels itself obligated to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker.”

Therefore, in stark contrast to the battles so far in the West, Hitler intended the quest for Lebensraum in the East to be a “war of annihilation” utilizing the might of the German Army and Air Force against soldiers and civilians alike.

In March of 1941, he assembled his top generals and told them how their troops should behave:  “This struggle is one of [political] ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. All officers will have to rid themselves of obsolete [moral] ideologies…I insist absolutely that my orders be executed without contradiction.” Hitler then ordered the killing of all Russian political authorities. “The [Russian] commissars are the bearers of ideologies directly opposed to National Socialism. Therefore the commissars will be liquidated. German soldiers guilty of breaking international law…will be excused.” His generals listened in silence to this command, known later as the Commissar Order.

For his most senior generals, the utterances of their Supreme Commander posed a dilemma. They were mostly men of the old-school, born and raised in Imperial Germany, long before Hitler, amid traditional morals of bygone days. Now, they felt duty-bound to follow Hitler’s orders, no matter how drastic, since they had all sworn an oath of obedience to the Führer. But to comply, they would have to abandon time-honored codes of military conduct, considered obsolete by Hitler, which prohibited senseless murder of civilians.

At the same time, they each owed a debt of gratitude to Hitler for restoring the Germany Army to greatness and for the slew of promotions bestowed upon them by the Führer in the wake of its continued success. Rank and privilege, and the immense prestige of holding the title of Colonel-General or Field Marshal in Hitler’s Wehrmacht, had tremendous appeal for these men, Therefore, in the end, despite their misgivings, not one of them dared to speak up or refuse Hitler in regard to his war plans for Russia. Instead, they dutifully planned the invasion of Russia, knowing the attack would unleash an unprecedented wave of murder.

The invasion plan for Russia was named Operation Barbarossa (Red Beard) by Hitler in honor of German ruler Frederick I, nicknamed Red Beard, who had orchestrated a ruthless attack on the Slavic peoples of the East some eight centuries earlier.

Barbarossa would be Blitzkrieg again but on a continental scale this time, as Hitler boasted to his generals, “When Barbarossa commences the world will hold its breath and make no comment!” Set to begin on May 15, 1941, three million soldiers totaling 160 divisions would plunge deep into Russia in three massive army groups, reaching the Volga River, east of Moscow, by the end of summer, thus achieving victory.

Facing them would be Stalin’s Red Army, estimated by the Germans at 200 divisions. Although somewhat outnumbered by the Russians, Hitler believed they did not pose a serious threat and would fall apart just like their fellow Slavs, the Poles, did in 1939. Against an army of battle-hardened, racially superior Germans, the Russians would be finished in a matter of weeks, Hitler claimed.

Most of his generals concurred, supported by recent evidence. They had watched with keen interest as Soviet Russia confidently invaded Finland in November 1939, only to see the Red Army disintegrate into a disorganized jumble amid embarrassing defeats at the hands of a much smaller blond-haired Finnish fighting force.

Buoyed by Hitler and awash in their own arrogance, the generals confidently finalized the details of Operation Barbarossa as the bulk of the German troops and armor slowly moved into position in the weeks leading up to May 15. But as the invasion date neared, complications arose that upset the whole timetable.

Hitler’s old friend and chief ally, Benito Mussolini, leader of Fascist Italy, had foolishly tried to imitate the Führer and achieve battlefield glory for himself by launching a surprise invasion of Greece. British troops stationed in the Mediterranean then moved in to help the Greeks fend off the Italians. For Hitler, the very idea of British troops in Southern Europe was enough to keep him awake at night. Their presence was a threat to Germany’s vulnerable southern flank, the region of Europe known as the Balkans, which also supplied most of Germany’s oil. It would therefore be necessary to secure the Balkans before launching Barbarossa.

To quickly achieve this, Hitler slipped back into a familiar role – the political master manipulator – forging overnight alliances with two Balkan countries, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.

But in Yugoslavia, things unexpectedly spiraled out of control when the government, upon its alliance with Hitler, was immediately overthrown by its own citizens. Hitler was enraged by the news, perceiving it as a blow to his prestige. In a tirade, he ordered his generals to crush the country “as speedily as possible” and also ordered Göring’s Air Force to obliterate the capital city, Belgrade, as “punishment.” For the Luftwaffe, Belgrade was an easy target and they quickly turned it to rubble while killing 17,000 defenseless civilians.

Meanwhile, beginning on Sunday, April 6, 1941, the Wehrmacht poured 29 divisions into the region, taking Yugoslavia by storm, then took Greece for good measure, forcing British troops there to make a hasty exit. Thus the Balkans were secured. However, these actions took nearly five weeks and caused a lot of wear and tear on tanks and other armored equipment needed for the Russian campaign.

July 1941. A confident looking Hitler with Luftwaffe Chief Hermann Göring (right) and a decorated fighter pilot. Behind Hitler is his chief military aide Wilhelm Keitel, now a Field Marshal. Below: General Heinz Guderian in Russia, full of confidence as well.

The new launch date for Barbarossa was Sunday, June 22, 1941. On that day, beginning at 3:15 am, 3.2 million Germans plunged headlong into Russia across an 1800-mile front, taking their foes by surprise. Russian field commanders made frantic calls to headquarters asking for orders, but were told there were no orders. Sleepy-eyed infantrymen scrambled out of their tents to find themselves already surrounded by Germans, with no option but to surrender. Bridges were captured intact while hundreds of Russian planes were destroyed sitting on the ground.

At 7 am that morning, over the radio, a proclamation from the Führer to the German people announced, “At this moment a march is taking place that, for its extent, compares with the greatest the world has ever seen. I have decided again today to place the fate and future of the Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers. May God aid us, especially in this fight.”

In attacking Russia, Hitler had indeed stunned the world. But he also made a lot of Germans very nervous. Maria Mauth, a 17-year-old German schoolgirl at the time, recalled her father’s reaction: “I will never forget my father saying: ‘Right, now we have lost the war!’ ” But then reports arrived highlighting the easy successes. “In the weekly newsreels we would see glorious pictures of the German Army with all the soldiers singing and waving and cheering. And that was infectious of course…We simply thought it would be similar to what it was like in France or in Poland – everybody was convinced of that, considering the fabulous army we had.”

Indeed, it was true. Whole armies of hapless Russians were now surrendering as the relentless three-pronged Blitzkrieg blasted its way forward. Soviet Russia had been caught unprepared due to the astounding negligence of the country’s dictator, Josef Stalin, who had stubbornly disregarded a flurry of intelligence reports warning that a Nazi invasion was imminent.

The result was chaos. Georgy Semenyak, a 20-year-old Russian soldier at the time, remembered: “It was a dismal picture. During the day airplanes continuously dropped bombs on the retreating soldiers…When the order was given for the retreat, there were huge numbers of people heading in every direction…The lieutenants, captains, second-lieutenants took rides on passing vehicles…mostly trucks traveling eastwards…And without commanders, our ability to defend ourselves was so severely weakened that there was really nothing we could do.”

Hitler and the Army High Command were now poised to achieve the greatest military victory of all time by trouncing the Russians. At present, three gigantic army groups were proceeding like clockwork toward their objectives. Army Group North, with 20 infantry divisions and six armored divisions, headed for Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) by the Baltic Sea. Army Group Center, the largest, with 33 infantry and 15 armored divisions, continued on its 700-mile-long journey toward Russia’s capital, Moscow. Army Group South, with 33 infantry and eight armored divisions, headed for Kiev, capital of the Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe with its fertile wheat fields. Along the way, German field commanders employed their already-perfected Blitzkrieg techniques time and time again to pierce Russian defensive lines and surround bewildered Red Army soldiers.

By mid-July 1941, all that remained was for the Russians to give up and accept their fate under Hitler, just like Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

But the Russians kept fighting.

October 1941. German infantrymen plunge ever deeper into Russia. Below: Hitler at the map table with Army Commander-in-Chief Brauchitsch and others, including Friedrich Paulus (2nd from left).

Despite staggering losses of men and equipment, pockets of fanatical resistance now emerged, unlike anything the Germans had encountered thus far in the war. And there were more surprises for the Germans. They had grossly underestimated the total fighting strength of the Red Army. Instead of 200 divisions, the Russians could field 400 divisions when fully mobilized. This meant there were three million additional Russians available to fight.

Another emerging factor was the vastness of Russia itself. It was one thing to ponder a map, something else to traverse the boundless countryside, as Field Marshal Manstein remembered: “Everyone was captivated at one time or other by the endlessness of the landscape, through which it was possible to drive for hours on end – often guided by the compass – without encountering the least rise in the ground or setting eyes on a single human being or habitation. The distant horizon seemed like some mountain ridge behind which a paradise might beckon, but it only stretched on and on.”

The vastness created logistical problems including worn out foot soldiers and dangerously overstretched supply lines. It also taxed the ability of the Luftwaffe to provide close cover for advancing ground troops, a vital ingredient in the Blitzkrieg formula.

On top of this, Russian resistance began to stiffen all over as the soldiers and people rallied behind Stalin in the defense of their Motherland. Stalin, at first overwhelmed by the magnitude of Barbarossa, had regained his bearings and publicly appealed for a “Great Patriotic War” against the Nazi invaders. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, he enacted ruthless measures, executing his top commander in the west and various field commanders who had been too eager to retreat.

Under Stalin’s tight-fisted grip, the chaos and panic that had initially enveloped the Russian officer corps gradually subsided. Red Army commanders took heed from Stalin, instilling his ‘fight to the death’ mentality in their frontline soldiers. They set up new defensive positions, not to be yielded until every last soldier was killed. They also began their first-ever counter-attacks against the advancing Germans.

As a result, with each passing day the Germans began to lose momentum. They could no longer easily blow through the Russian defenses and had to be wary of counter-strikes. All the while, German foot soldiers were becoming increasingly fatigued. By August of 1941, it had become apparent to the Army High Command there would be no speedy victory. “The whole situation makes it increasingly plain that we have underestimated the Russian colossus,” General Franz Halder, Chief of the General Staff, had to admit.

Therefore the question now arose – what to do – follow the original battle plan for Barbarossa or make changes to adapt?

Army Group Center was presently about 200 miles from Moscow, poised for a massive assault. However, the original plan called for Army Groups North and South to stage the main attacks in Russia, with Army Group Center playing a supporting role until their tasks were completed, after which Moscow would be taken.

A majority of Hitler’s senior generals now implored him to scrap Barbarossa in favor of an all-out attack on Moscow. If the Russian capital fell, they argued, it would devastate Russian morale and knock out the country’s chief transportation hub. Russia’s days would surely be numbered.

The decision rested solely with the Supreme Commander.

In what was perhaps his single biggest decision of World War II, Hitler passed up the chance to attack Moscow during the summer of 1941.Instead, he clung to the original plan to crush Leningrad in the north and simultaneously seize the Ukraine in the south. This, Hitler lectured his generals, would be far more devastating to the Russians than the fall of Moscow. A successful attack in the north would wreck the city named after one of the founders of Soviet Russia, Vladimir Lenin. Attacking the south would destroy the Russian armies protecting the region and place vital agricultural and industrial areas in German hands.

Though they remained unconvinced, the generals dutifully halted the advance on Moscow and repositioned troops and tanks away from Army Group Center to aid Army Groups North and South. By late September, bolstered by the additional Panzer tanks, Army Group South successfully captured the city of Kiev in the Ukraine, taking 650,000 Russian prisoners. As Army Group North approached Leningrad, a beautiful old city with palaces that once belonged to the Czars, Hitler ordered the place flattened via massive aerial and artillery bombardments. Concerning the five million trapped inhabitants, he told his generals, “The problem of the survival of the population and of supplying it with food is one which cannot and should not be solved by us.”

Now, with Leningrad surrounded and the Ukraine almost taken, the generals implored Hitler to let them take Moscow before the onset of winter. This time Hitler consented, but only partly. He would allow an attack on Moscow, provided that Army Group North also completed the capture of Leningrad, while Army Group South advanced deeper into southern Russia toward Stalingrad, the city on the Volga River named after the Soviet dictator.

This meant German forces in Russia would be attacking simultaneously on three major fronts over two thousand miles long, stretching their manpower and resources to the absolute limit. Realizing the danger, the generals pleaded once more for permission to focus on Moscow alone and strike the city with overwhelming force. But Hitler said no.

In the meantime, German troops still holding outside Moscow had remained idle for nearly two months, waiting for orders to advance. When the push finally began on October 2, 1941, a noticeable chill already hung in the morning air, and in a few places, snowflakes wafted from the sky. The notorious Russian winter was just around the corner.

At first it appeared Moscow might be another easy success. Two Russian army groups defending the main approach were quickly encircled and broken up by motorized Germans who took 660,000 prisoners.

Confident the war in Russia was just about won, Hitler took a leap by announcing victory to the German people: “I declare today, and I declare it without any reservation, that the enemy in the East has been struck down and will never rise again…Behind our troops already lies a territory twice the size of the German Reich when I came to power in 1933.”

By mid-October, forward German units had advanced to within 40 miles of Moscow. Only 90,000 Russian soldiers stood between the German armies and the Soviet capital. The entire government, including Stalin himself, prepared to evacuate.

But then the weather turned.

Russian Winter. Near Moscow, a wounded German is rescued. Below: A Panzer III tank stuck in the snow and cold as the whole offensive stalls.
Below: Both men and horses are pushed to the limit amid the intense wind and deep snows.

It began with weeks of unending autumn rain, creating battlefields of deep, sticky mud that immobilized anything on wheels and robbed German armored units of their tactical advantage. The non-stop rain drenched foot soldiers, soaking them to the bone in mud up to their knees. And things only got worse. In November, autumn rains abruptly gave way to snow squalls with frigid winds and sub-zero temperatures, causing frostbite and other cold-related sickness.

The German Army had counted on a quick summertime victory in Russia and had therefore neglected to prepare for the brutal winter warfare it now faced. German medical officer Heinrich Haape recalled: “The cold relentlessly crept into our bodies, our blood, our brains. Even the sun seemed to radiate a steely cold and at night the blood red skies above the burning villages merely hinted a mockery of warmth.”

Heavy boots, overcoats, blankets and thick socks were desperately needed but were unavailable. As a result, thousands of frostbitten soldiers dropped out of their frontline units. Some divisions fell to fifty-percent of their fighting strength. Food supplies also ran low and the troops became malnourished. Mechanical failures worsened as tank and truck engines cracked from the cold while iced-up artillery and machine-guns jammed.

The once-mighty German military machine had now ground to a halt in Russia.

Frontline Russians noticed the change. A Soviet commander in the 19th Rifle Brigade recalled: “I remember very well the Germans in July 1941. They were confident, strong tall guys. They marched ahead with their sleeves rolled up and carrying their machine-guns. But later on they became miserable, crooked, snotty guys wrapped in woolen kerchiefs stolen from old women in villages…Of course, they were still firing and defending themselves, but they weren’t the Germans we knew earlier in 1941.”

Ignoring the plight of his frontline soldiers, Hitler insisted that Moscow could still be taken and ordered all available troops in the region to make one final thrust for victory. Beginning on December 1, 1941, German tank formations attacked from the north and south of the city while infantrymen moved in from the east. But the Russians were ready and waiting. The weather delays had given them time to bring in massive reinforcements, including 30 Siberian divisions specially trained for winter warfare. Wherever the Germans struck they encountered fierce resistance and faltered. They were also stricken by temperatures that plunged to 40 degrees below zero at night.

Hitler had pushed his troops beyond human endurance and now they paid a terrible price. On Saturday, December 6th, a hundred Russian divisions under the command of the Red Army’s new leader, General Georgi Zhukov, counter-attacked the Germans all along the 200-mile front around Moscow. For the first time in the war, the Germans experienced Blitzkrieg in reverse, as overwhelming numbers of Russian tanks, planes and artillery tore them apart. The impact was devastating. By mid-December, German forces around Moscow, battered, cold and tremendously fatigued, were in full retreat and facing the possibility of being routed by the Russians.

Just six months earlier, the Germans had been poised to achieve the greatest victory of all time and change world history. Instead, they had succumbed to the greatest-ever comeback by their Russian foes. By now a quarter of all German troops in Russia, some 750,000 men, were either dead, wounded, missing or ill.

Reacting to the catastrophe he had caused, Hitler blamed the Wehrmacht’s leadership, dismissing dozens of field commanders and senior generals, including Walther von Brauchitsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army. Hitler then took that rank for himself, assuming personal day-to-day operational command of the Army, and promptly ordered all surviving troops in Russia to halt in their tracks and retreat not one step further, which they did. As a result, the Eastern Front gradually stabilized.

In the bloodied fields of snow around Moscow, Adolf Hitler had suffered a breathtaking defeat. The German Army would never be the same. The illusion of invincibility that had caused the world to shudder in the face of Nazi Germany had vanished forever – replaced now by a sliver of hope.

But for the populations of Eastern Europe and occupied Russia, there was much suffering yet to be endured. In cities and villages behind the front lines, Hitler’s war of annihilation was fully underway, comprising the most savage episode in human history.

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14 Days in a Gau Propaganda Office by August Sill

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

An organization has value not only when it is intelligently and effectively organized, but also when it remains lively. What good are newsletters and lists, card files and statistics, when the organization itself calcifies and becomes paralyzed, when each branch fails to remain in contact with the whole? Only from such liveliness and mutual cooperation comes independent and responsible action. Only a living organization guarantees success!

The Gau Propaganda Office [Gaupropagandaleitung] in Württemberg is an excellent example of this truth. Clear guidelines organize each propaganda action. Each Kreis receives the speakers it needs, timely posters and leaflets reach the most distant village. In turn, the political leaders of the Kreis, local groups and neighborhood groups inform the central office of their activities and plans. Close relations between the central offices and the subordinate units are thus maintained. And the GPL has found yet another way to maintain close contact. Kreis propaganda leaders spend ten to fourteen day periods working at the Gau propaganda office, giving them direct experience with its day-to-day work. This also establishes personal relationships between the Gau and Kreis, which can be extraordinarily valuable in that those at the political front lines come to know the Gau propaganda leader and his staff. They learn the working practices of the Gau office and can take what they learn back and apply it to their Kreis as it is appropriate.

In this article, I will present my own impressions of the Gau propaganda office. I was pleasantly surprised, as I began my work, to see how small the office is. The Gau propaganda office has only three rooms, and these rooms are simply and practically furnished.

In the reception room, which is also the workroom for the secretarial help, the visitor sees a large glass showcase. It includes awards and posters, but also displays in an eloquent way every manner of nationalKitsch. One can hardly believe what money-hungry fantasies have brought to the market. Thank God, such “citizens” are called to account by the watchful eyes of National Socialist propagandists. The display provides an educational display of which decorations and goods are worthy of the German people, and which are not.

The second room is occupied by the Department of Active Propaganda. It handles the meeting system, the assignment of speakers and the distribution of posters and pamphlets. It also receives plans and activity reports from the Kreis offices. In several suitable cabinets, one finds election statistics, election plans, and reports. Election posters and pamphlets from all national, provincial, and town elections from 1919 to 1933 are preserved. Other cabinets contain propaganda writings, brochures, and newspapers of the NSDAP and the Marxist parties from the period of struggle for power. There is a particularly interesting archive of pictures of each meeting and mass meeting of the years of struggle, as well as those since the seizure of power. To ease the organizational work of the department leader, carefully maintained files of the Gau and Kreisspeakers guarantee that he can at any time send the right man to the right place.

The critical decisions, the campaign plans for meeting actions and the documents for all significant propaganda activities are kept in the office of the Gau propaganda leader. He and his closest collaborators here direct the National Socialist press, film, and radio.

It is astonishing, indeed hardly credible to an outsider, that the huge, all encompassing propaganda activity for the entire Gau and its 64 Kreise are directed by this office with its staff of five.

Through happy accident, I was there at a time of intense activity. It was the week before the referendum of 19 August 1934, the day on which each German was to decide if he was willing to give his full confidence to the Führer. This referendum, of vast importance both domestically and internationally, demanded the full energy of the entire propaganda apparatus. That meant: the full efforts of everyone! Each Gau and Kreis speaker had to be in constant readiness, even if it meant giving up a longed for vacation on the Island of Sylt or a well-deserved visit to the Bavarian Alps. They all heeded the telephone call. As proclaimers and preachers of the National Socialist idea, they spoke day after day in mass meetings from place to place, from city to city.

The walls of the office for active propaganda were covered with two large tables showing the operating plan of a modern political battle, which were color-coded to show the 64 Kreis and 80 Gau speakers. At a glance one could tell when and where a particular Gau speaker had spoken. This clever plan of meetings and speakers, along with the news service of the propaganda office, worked flawlessly, even when a speaker was hindered by illness or other reasons.

Together with speaker assignments, the necessary posters, leaflets and other material had to be distributed. The entire enormous task was accomplished with the help of only a single additional worker.

The effort was crowned by success. Once again, the “ancient and magical force of the spoken word” had led to victory.

After days of intense effort, the final reports came into the Gau office. Some Kreis leaders could not resist bringing in their reports personally. With pride and satisfaction, the Gau propaganda leader was able to announce on the morning of 20 August: “Gau Württemberg was among the best in the Reich. Once again, the hard-headed Schwabians have done their duty.”

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Individualism, Collectivism, or Something Else?

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

The nationalization of the broad masses is propaganda’s mission. It requires the cultivated, single-minded, systematic, and unified use of all means of public opinion. The following pages are devoted to the methods of accomplishing this. It will be necessary to discuss propaganda’s basic aims as well as its methods. By itself propaganda technique is useless. It can be a cold routine good for inventing detergent advertisements or writing outwardly clever books and theories. In real life, however, such propaganda techniques are merely amusing. Any worker can easily toss them aside because they are entirely ineffective. We must clearly understand this fact:

A propaganda technique is only a means to an end. In this it resembles diplomacy.

A clear goal is a requirement. Without a clear, close to life goal that deals with every necessity there are no results, least of all in propaganda and public opinion, where the laws of life are stronger than in the abstract sciences.

The goal is not to be confused with the content or missions of propaganda. The content can change to meet the day’s tactical situations. The mission is the nationalization of the masses. The goal, however, cannot be designated with a general slogan or an arbitrary form. It should be concrete. It should not be a rather fixed and fanciful point in a program, but rather it should create a reality.

False, random, or fanciful goals contain an error that, despite the use of clever techniques, leads to exhaustion, discouragement, and hostility rather than agreement. All reactionary governments err here. They are always deceived as to the effectiveness of their well intentioned national programs, and have in propaganda taken only the first step in creative language.

Such well-meaning methods of nationalization led to the shipwreck of Imperial Germany and made our propaganda have effects opposite from those intended. Propaganda is more than using words. As we have already noted, the union of propaganda and power is organized power. We must be clear that it is more than method. Propaganda is a function of life, and life cannot be deceived. The more lively and successful propaganda is, the more certain one may be that it is realistic and healthy. The unified use of all public means, radio, the press, news agencies, cultural institutions, etc., is necessary if the nation is to survive. However, aimlessness or false goals will help the opposing nation-destroying forces to victory.

In which way shall our propaganda win the masses for the nation? Do we want to promise and grant everyone “golden freedom” (after the manner of liberalism) and appeal to enlightened self-interest to strengthen the nation, expecting and anticipating the voluntary use of property and lives for it? Or shall we elevate the masses as the highest gods after the fashion of the Russian apostles of Marxism? They entirely subordinate the individual or single personality, and despise, persecute, and root out every living element of personality to encourage the growth of collectivism that knows no personality. Do we have to be children of liberal individualism or prophets of Bolshevist collectivism, or is there perhaps another way?

 

The old Prussian state had a hundred thousand trained, zealous, and loyal officials. Was it individualistic? Or a formless collective?

 

Was the German army a spineless herd of slaves as the enemy maintained, driven into the enemy only by drunken officers and generals, unscrupulous individuals and powerful men? Or was it perhaps a Bolshevist commune in which everything belonged to everyone and in which each might command the other in a total triumph of the masses? If one considers the sharpness of the contrast he will realize that the Prussian official and the German soldier and officer were not individualistic, nor were they supporters or members of a collective. Rather they possessed their own hierarchical structure. They built a state for themselves that was an organized community of a certain type.

We see collectivism as an enormous arrogance on the part of the masses that pulls down everything higher than the level of the lowest and most common; and we see individualism as the reckless display of personality to the cost and hurt of the general populace.

Our type is incompatible with both.

Ours is the Führer model of a disciplined personality, consciously and racially based. (The administrative type is the Prussian official; the artistic case is the pre-Raphael painters; and the religious example is the Catholic priest.)

The type is not a mass of people having an effect through terror, as is a collective, rather it is a higher community. The community is indeed a part of the masses and remains bound to them. At the same time, however, our type sharply and clearly becomes the model and ideal of the masses by virtue of its superior and practical virtues and its self-confidence. The German soldier has been a model for the entire nation, as has the loyal Prussian official. His position seemed important to everyone despite its meager remuneration and rigorous training period. No one impeached his honor.

The experiences of a World War and a revolution did not disprove the value of our army as an arsenal of weapons and soldiers, rather they repudiated Prussian militarism, the guiding idea which the German soldiers and officers had created. Those events demonstrated more clearly against the dutiful Prussian officials who served the state but nothing else. Because Prussian militarism and Prussian officialdom were open to attack from both inside and outside, and because both forms of life lacked political leadership, both were destroyed.

Life, which allows no systematic repetition, will not allow us to re-establish the old forms. Neither the apolitical solider nor the apolitical official is the type which can preserve and protect our fatherland from the internal and external storms of the twentieth century.

Our life is politics.

Our task today is to create a new political type who, as soldier or politician, will be equal to the tasks of the present and the future, possessing unfailing political instinct.

If this political type is to preserve the existence of our people and our culture in the future, it is obvious that all other goals of public life must be subordinated to this one goal. Thus, the principle of creating this type becomes the guiding idea not only for the training of politicians, but also for the entire nation. We know that times of entirely individualistic expression in the arts, religion, philosophy, and science leave no traces. The creation of a type is the great accomplishment in every area.

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Berlin: A Huge Hedgehog by Hans-Ulrich Arntz

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The war has come within reach of Berlin. It is just two hours by car from Alexanderplatz to the front line. The city with its millions is in the shadow of the front, within range of the battle with the East. It is in the rear echelon of the front lines. It was at the front of the air war, and now is at the front of the land war as well. The largest city on the continent is in readiness.

As danger neared, Berlin took its own security in hand. After a moment of fear, the city acted in a disciplined and calm manner, without losing nerve or succumbing to panic. It was hardened in the oven of the bombing war, which trained it to improvise as needed and to develop rapid initiative, which always enabled it to find ways to overcome the war’s damage. The stream of refugees from the east did not handicap it, but rather spurred it on to do all that was humanly possible. As enemy accounts, supposedly based on eyewitnesses, spoke of so-called hysteria and chaos, of the growing thunder of cannons from the East, of “Berliners fleeing from Berlin,” the great city went into action. It did not organize an “exodus,” rather resistance, and not with its head, but with shovels in the sands of Mark Brandenburg. A defensive wall of barricades, barriers, and ditches developed.

A look at the map shows the great extent of these preparations, its strengths and weaknesses. The military divided the city and its surroundings into defensive districts under the command of experienced veterans of the Eastern Front. The defensive fortifications were built by a staff of experienced engineering officers familiar with the battlefields of both wars, using the latest techniques.

The districts have comprehensive defensive fortifications, using natural barriers like lakes, hills, rivers, canals, and swamps. In more open areas, there are anti-tank barriers and ditches, along with strong points, resistance positions, artillery positions, and foxholes. The rail and road network can be destroyed at critical points. A tank warning system similar to the air raid alert system has been established to provide prompt news of enemy reconnaissance efforts or movements. The system is deep, and is designed for surprise attacks, frontal attacks by large forces, flank attacks or concentrated assaults, as well as paratroop landings. An attack will not find Berlin a large area to be surrounded, but rather a huge hedgehog with its spines pointing in every direction. The military command thus has the basis for a long and determined defense.

The network of defensive measures from the hinterlands to the city’s borders is continually being strengthened, steadily increasing in its defensive capabilities. There are defensive rings of various strengths. The outer ring alone is several hundred kilometers long. Another ring is a similar to a front line with no gaps. Following the principle of attrition, the enemy will have to throw increasing forces to gain every meter, destroying its force and bleeding blood and matériel. Its armored columns will be directed into pathways in which they can be destroyed by group and individual anti-tank commandos. The network of public transportation allows the rapid shifting of forces, and as enemy forces move from the edge of the city with its open battlefields to street-by-street and building-by-building battles, its forces will be devoured. Here the defender has all the advantages of his own ground, whereas the enemy is lost in a labyrinth of an unfamiliar sea of buildings. And the air war has prepared Berlin for close combat.

All of these factors make the defender the equal of the enemy, even with his superiority in men and matériel. The defensive forces will come from troops in Berlin, from the great reservoir of the Volkssturm[military units consisting of those too young or too old for regular military service], and from the shortening of the front.

The enormous number of positions in Berlin is being daily added to by its citizens, according to the old military truism: “It’s better to sweat than to bleed.” Behind its ramparts. Berlin is a military training ground. Its citizens are learning to use the Panzerfaust [an anti-tank weapon rather like a bazooka] and the machine gun. Berlin and its citizens are like a large army in an encampment facing a strong enemy.

The process of defending Berlin deeply affects daily life, which nonetheless remains basically intact. From the ruins of their homes, destroyed by carpet bombing, the Berliners find the material to build their defenses.

Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels, the Gauleiter of Berlin, is the soul of the defense. His seal is on the strength of heart, spirit, and hands. The “Conqueror of Berlin” won the capital for the new Reich through stubborn and unceasing struggle for every building and every street. Now he is in perpetual motion to build its defense.

His closest aides are Assistant Gauleiter Gerhard Schach, Dr. Petzke, the president of Berlin, and Mayor Steeg. Every day they consider food supplies and transportation, first aid to deal with air terror, distributing contributions from the populace, spreading out the population of the city, caring for women and children — and if necessary, self sufficiency in food and armaments.

The military side of the defense of the Reich capital is in the hands of Lieutenant General Ritter von Hauenschild, commander of the Berlin district, directly subordinate to the Führer and possessed of all the duties and rights of the commander of a fortress. He has experience in defending fixed positions. He was involved in the attacks on the Moscow defensive ring, and he was the 129th soldier to receive the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves after being heavily wounded in the defense of Stalingrad. The general is an expert in tank warfare. Their best use is in bold attacks. The best defense against that is not to lose one’s nerve, but to stand firm. From his own experience as a tank commander, he knows both the strengths and weaknesses of armored warfare. His robustness at 48, despite being wounded eight times in two wars, shows itself in the energy with which he attacks “useless busy work and senseless orders,” and in the way he liquidated bureaucracy.

He embodies the synthesis between the political man and the soldier. He knows that the military tasks he has today can only be solved through political leadership, with which he works comfortably. He is one of “Hitler’s young generals,” whom the enemy is glad to underestimate, but who often teach him the error of his ways.

There is every reason to believe that the steadfastness of the front will keep the “Battle of Berlin” outside its gates. But if it must reach Berlin, it will be fought to the last man, to the last bullet, to the last bayonet thrust, as its general has ordered. This will be the spirit of the defense, which will be executed with fanaticism and creativity, with every method of warfare, on, above, and below the earth.

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Communists!

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Background: This is a two-sided Nazi election flyer from 1932, directed to communists. It was for the Prussian state elections of that year, and is a strong appeal for communists to leave their party and join Hitler. “List 8” refers to the Nazi position on the ballot. There were as many as 30 parties listed on the ballot. Each had a list number.

1932 Election Flyer
Communists!
We are hungry and on the dole, we lack food and jobs. We have bitter wives at home, and children whose every wish we must deny, or discontented parents, brothers and sisters.

It has been this way for months, years; how long can it go! One week follows another. Everything stays the same, conditions get worse, never better.

Things are the same for us as they are for you.Does it have to stay that way? No!

It really is not necessary. A condition that people have caused can be changed by them too.

You trust Russia. You have been fighting for your idea for years. What has happened? You have 3/4 of a million fewer votes than in September 1930. Despite the need, despite the misery! Do you really believe that your cause can lead us to better times, that your wavering, aimless leadership that has been wrong so often in the past can actually win? Do you believe that Russia will help?

Would it not be better to help ourselves!? For the German proletariat to help itself?

We Nazis help each other.He who has something to eat shares it with him who has nothing. He who has a spare bed gives it to him who has none. That is why we have become so strong. The election shows what we can do. Everyone helps! Everyone sacrifices! The unemployed give up their wedding rings. Everyone gives, even if it is but a penny. Many small gifts become a large one. Ten million 10 pfennig coins are a million marks. We don’t need any capitalists, the lie that you are always told. We do it ourselves, and are proud of it.

We all help and sacrifice, because we believe in our idea and our Führer.Without our party program, we would not have become so large and strong. We believe in our program because it says that our leaders have pledged to carry it out, even if it requires the sacrifice of their own lives.

Nazi Election Flyer Adolf Hitlerwrote the program, and we know that he will hold to it.Help build the people’s state! It doesn’t matter where you came from, we are interested only in what you can do, and in your character.

We want to fight. We oppose current conditions!

We want to escape this misery!

That is why we fight today’s system!

That is why we want to rule Prussia!

Help us! We can do it!

Enough! Things have to change!

Vote
National Socialist
(The Hitler Movement)
List 8!

 

 

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Nuremberg 1927: Torchlight Procession, Dedication of Banners, Mass March

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

1. The Torchlight Procession

As darkness fell on Nuremberg’s rooftops and walls on Saturday evening, the Brown Shirts vanished from the city’s streets. Huge masses of German citizens and party members from Nuremberg and from all parts of the German-speaking world filled the streets in expectation of the appearance of every last German freedom fighter who had come to Nuremberg. Above all they gathered before the Hotel Deutscher Hof, where Adolf Hitler awaited his fighters.

In the distance, march music and unceasing shouts of Heil announced the approach of the procession. Soon its head appeared at the corner. Within a few minutes, the Frauentor moat resembled a sea of fire. In astonishing order, the Brown Shirts marched past their Führer and greeted him with their eyes shining, the hand with the burning torch raised as in an oath. The enthusiasm of both the onlookers and the marchers hardly knew any limits.

First came the Bavarians, with their glorious banner from 1923, then the Brandenburgers, the Hanoverians, the Thuringians, and the Rhinelanders, the Saxons, the Hamburgers, the Holsteiners, the Hessians, the fighters from the Ruhr, the Austrians and Pommeranians, the Mecklenburgers, and those from Baden, our comrades from the Saar and Silesia, Württemburg and Franconia. The new Germany marched. With mine lamps that otherwise lit their way in the pits, National Socialist miners greeted their Führer Adolf Hitler.

It was a moving picture as those from Vienna, Kärnten, Tyrolia, Salzburg, and Lower Austria saw Adolf Hitler for the first time. A so-called Greater German Christian Socialist government had refused to allow them to come to Germany. They came in spite of great sacrifices to gain new strength, to hear their Führer speak, to see him in person.

The endless column of 15,000 to 20,000 men marched past, with ever new banners, new S.A. bands. And that was not all. A large number arrived only in the late evening of Saturday or Sunday morning. About 1,000 Hitler Youths followed the S.A., and the S.S. ended the one-and-a-half hour march of the fighters for the coming Third Reich.

2. The Dedication of Banners on the Luitpoldhain

A clear fall morning broke on Sunday, 21 August. Processions of S.A. men streamed toward the Luitpoldhain from every part of the city, some marching, some in trucks. The broad terraced field, surrounded by greenery, was the ideal place to hold the huge crowds. Special trains alone brought more than 40,000 people to Nuremberg. At least as many arrived on regular trains, trucks and busses. A group of Berlin S.A. from the “banned NSDAP” [The Berlin police had banned the party] even came to Nuremberg on foot. Their sacrifical deed was announced by a red banner with white lettering, here and also during the torchlight procession and the mass march.

The march of tens of thousands onto the Luitpoldhain was guided by markers right and left of the terraced steps and by blazing fires on fir-decked pylons. It was an organized military accomplishment of the first order. It was under the direction of the calm, sure leadership of the Supreme S.A. leader, Captain von Pfeffer and his staff. Its confidence and discipline proved that the National Socialist S.A. is even today a strong group that is far superior, casting all other such groups in Germany, whether to the left or the right, into the shadows, both in its unified political will and in its military values. Many hundreds of Swastika banners waved above the heads of the Brown Shirts who filled the broad expanse of the field, a remarkably striking picture that increased in intensity as in response to fanfares and drumbeats the storm columns of the new Germany raised their right arms and thundered out their Heils to greet their Führer, who appeared with his staff shortly after 9 a.m. The swastika banners had been brought to the Green Terrace, where now a forest of flags filled three levels in a half circle that surrounded the mighty ranks. To the fore stood the musicians and trumpeters, whose shining instruments bore a white-green cloth on one side, a Swastika on a red background on the other. An enormous crowd surrounded the field, watching this imposing and unforgettable ceremony. It was the dedication of twelve new standards for theGaue Bayreuth, Frankfurt a. M., Chemnitz, Ruhr (Hattingen), Potsdam, Zwickau, Essen, Bochum, Nordmark, Vienna, Hanover, Rhine. The standard bearers stood in a row before Adolf Hitler, whose booming voice went across the total silence of the enormous gathering. After the trumpet sounded, he made the following moving remarks:

In November 1918 the old flags of a thousand victorious battles were taken down, and with them, too, sank the honor of the Reich.

In 1919 this Republic gained its own symbol. Hundreds of thousands and millions of Germans fought this symbol, which was forced upon us. But also in 1919 a movement was founded in holy protest against the destruction of the nation’s honor, against the squandering of our national inheritance, and this movement created its own symbol in 1920. The first German flag was given in 1920 to a small group of people, and today you can see them here. In 1923 the first banner with the eagle was consecrated, in the wish and hope that it would become the victory symbol of Germany’s liberation. In 1924 the movement was dead. In 1926 we received new banners; today we have come together once again, the brown army of the swastika, and again we consecrate twelve banners that obligate us to hold them with the honor they deserve, for they are the flags that will fly over Germany’s future.

We ask the Lord who gives us strength to carry this symbol so that each German may look with pride at these banners and that they may fly over all of Germany; not the Germany of Versailles, but the Germany of our German language and tongue. We ask the Almighty to make us strong in the coming years in faith, in the will for freedom, and in the confidence that one may ban an organization, but never a movement. It will rise again, just as we believe that our people and Fatherland will rise again, stronger than ever before. We hope to God that it happens under the sign of these flags and banners!

Unending shouts of “Heil” joined with the music and the sounds of the fanfares and the beating of the drums. The sun then broke through the clouds, and no one present could take the brightening of the sky as anything but a happy symbol of burning enthusiasm for the great goal of freeing Germany. Adolf Hitler now stepped up to each standard-bearer, looked him in the eye, shook his hand firmly, and then in a strong soldierly voice gave the motto for each standard.

First he said:

Today as well we want to mark the first two standards of 1923, which experienced the bloody days, so that we can always distinguish them from those that came later in the history of the movement.

With these words he fastened symbols to the standards from Munich and Landshut. They he stopped at the banner from Bayreuth and said:

Hold your banner with the same honor as the flag of 9 November 1923, which became the first blood witness.

Hanover: Accept this banner, which I expect you to carry as you have carried the banners in the past.

Rhine: Carry your banner until the day which the German Rhine is one more German.

Vienna: Carry this banner as a symbol of the unity of our movement until the shameful treaties of Versailles and St. Germain are destroyed.

Bochum: Carry this banner as you have carried out the battle against the French assault.

Zwickau: You are receiving the second Saxon banner. Carry it as the first from Plauen has been carried.

Essen: I give you this banner as a symbol of the old weapon city of the German Reich.

Potsdam: Carry this banner until the day that the banned movement in Berlin exists once more.

Ruhr: The best local group in the Ruhr has the honor of carrying the banner of the Ruhr. As of today, GauRuhr has received three banners. Carry the third in a manner worthy of the other two.

Accompanied by the sounds of the fighting song of the unforgettable Dietrich Eckart, the newly consecrated banners returned to their units, and with fanfares and thundering shouts of “Heil,” the march of the brown columns concluded.

3. The March of the 30,000

When the consecration of the banners finished, waves of people streamed back into the center of the city. Huge throngs of onlookers lined the path of the coming S. A. march: the Wilhelm-Späth Street, Schwieger Street, Wölkern and Pillenreutcher Streets, the Celtis Tunnel, the Frauentor moat, the Pfärrer Joseph Square, Leder Alley, Kaiser Street, up to the platform at the Main Market. Baskets full of flowers were ready. Swastika banners hung from the buildings, along with the white-blue and black-white-red flags.

There was lively and colorful activity before the platform. Soon it was completely filled to the last row with party leaders and their staff, and supporters and friends of the movement. The old and distinguished buildings on the large square were also packed, every floor and every window, with onlookers. The police, polite and correct, did an exemplary job of keeping traffic and trams under control.

The cloudy, gloomy morning of a late summer day had been replaced by brilliant sunshine. The air was clear and warm, the sun even grew hot. The medical team had its work to do.

Meanwhile the leading men of the movement had gathered at the foot of the platform. There were the Reichstag representatives Frick and Feder, provincial parliament deputies von Mücke, Dr. Buttmann, Wagner, the Sudeten German delegates Jung and Krebs, the head of the party publishing firm Amann, the editor of the Völkischer Beobachter, and many city leaders.

The excitement rose as two bands in S.A. uniforms along with the dashing Postdam drum corps appeared to lively applause. Shortly after 11 a.m., the imposing march of the entire S.A. began at the Main Market.Loud music, thundering shouts of “Heil,” masses of flowers greeted the brown columns as they marched past in companies, battalions and regiments. Local group followed local group, Gaufollowed Gau. All raised their right hand in greeting, marching literally on a carpet of flowers. Each S.A. man, each banner carrier, was covered with flowers. The colorful splendor of late summer did not end; from windows and balconies whole buckets of asters turned the Führer’s car into a literal bed of flowers.

Unit after unit marched past. The storm battalions of an awakening, coming Germany, from Upper Silesia and the Nordmark, from the Pfalz, from occupied regions and old Bavaria, from Berlin and the mines of the Ruhr/ Austrians representing the Ostmark. and the proud sons of Franconia. Altogether, on foot, bikes, and trucks there were 26,000-30,000 men. Pride and enthusiasm beamed from each individual. Hardly a breath of wind moved the old banners and flags that had witnessed much blood, or the newly consecrated ones of that day.

The representatives of border areas were greeted with particular enthusiasm. The signs and slogans they had brought with always earned loud applause. There were frenetic outbursts and declarations of brotherhood between the huge crowds and the columns that marched past for two hours, culminating as the SS in their black caps marched past the platform. The German Anthem [Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles] rose powerfully to the heavens. Those who had seen the march in Weimar at the 1926 party rally knew that National Socialism’s march to victory could not be halted, but the march in Nuremberg surprised even the greatest optimists. The former spirit had returned in even stronger, more confident form, celebrating its resurrection. This 21st of August reestablished a connection with the famed “German Rally” of 1923 [A major right-wing gathering], without forgetting what had happened in between.

The last groups of S.A. disappeared as the mighty procession wound its way through Rathaus Square, the Lauser Alley and the Lauser Gate to the Marien Tunnel and then back to Wodan’s Square. Thousands of party members thronged forward toward the Führer stretching out their hands in an oath to the future. The jubilation and enthusiasm were indescribable.

The huge square emptied slowly, and the Führer’s car had to move slowly through the thick crowds. In the distance one could hear the marching of the columns, and the thundering, untiring, shining “Heils” of the S.A. regiments, joined by the voices of the many thousands who lined the streets.

4. The Conclusion of the Party Rally

As the delegates’ conference closed around 8 p.m., the hustle and bustle in the squares and on the streets signaled that the party rally was nearing its end. The Postdam drummer corps had entertained thousands at the Main Market all afternoon with its dashing music, putting them in a cheerful, excited, elevated mood. The Führer of the movement spoke for the last time at the mass meetings that evening with powerful, breath-taking words about our great cause to the enthusiastic members of the movement, both old and new. While the columns marched to the railroad station to return home on special trains, hundreds of other National Socialists gathered at the Castle, or the old Noris, looking over the rooftops of the city to the broad land of Franconia and into the growing evening, into the soul of the Reich, to that which they longed for, a free National Socialist Germany.

5. Participation in the Party Rally

Some had seen mass demonstrations, or had experienced the German Rally [of 1923], that exceeded in number the march of the National Socialist S.A. past their Führer. But that was not the important thing. More important is that a young movement daily said to be dead displayed an united, uniformed, and strictly disciplined organization of impressive strength. No other political movement in Germany today is anywhere near as able to bring forth such a large military group, a group showing such perfect political and military unity as the National Socialist S.A. There is no comparison to the somewhat similar Stahlhelm [a right-wing paramilitary organization mostly of combat veterans]. The Stahlhelm does not have a politically unified spirit. Even the Reichsbanner [affiliated with the Socialist Party] claims to be above party, and recruits its members from three or four parties.

Nuremberg proved that only the National Socialist movement has its own protective organization that is dedicated to nothing but the National Socialist idea and its supreme Führer. The great success of the Nuremberg rally is its proof that this organization even today can bring out 30,000 men any day.

By the way, the march of the S.A. at the party rally did not begin to include all National Socialists who attended the rally. To get a reasonably objective idea of the attendance at Nuremberg, coming form north and south, we can best use the official figures from the Nuremberg office of the railroad.

The Nuremberg railway office states:

“47 special trains arrived in or departed from Nuremberg on Saturday the 20th of August and Sunday the 21st. Regular trains also had much greater traffic. A total of 223,600 people arrived or departed.”

The usual Saturday and Sunday traffic at the main Nuremberg railway station seldom exceeds 60,000 people, so 160,000 is a reasonable estimate of the number of National Socialists. But this does not include the thousands who arrived in Nuremberg on Thursday and Friday and who only left on Monday or Tuesday. And there were many thousands who came on foot, on bicycle, and in countless trucks. If we add these people, we have a total of around 200,000 people who arrived or departed. The number of party rally participants can therefore be estimated at around 100,000.

Those who were in Nuremberg on these two days, by the way, will likely find this number too low rather than too high.

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The Facts Speak for Victory

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

The Sport Palace Speech by Reich Minister Speer

Fellow workers in the armaments industry!

Party comrades!

A year ago we held a ceremony honoring the accomplishments of the German armaments industry.

German armaments workers then were honored in a unique way. Some of them received the Knight’s Cross for War Service — the first Germans to receive the honor.

Pamphlet coverToday, a year later, we have particularly good grounds to hold such a ceremony again.

For me, and for my countless fellow workers gathered here, it is a particular joy to celebrate this day in this hallowed hall, together with old Berlin party comrades.

As an unknown party member, I sat among you often during the period of struggle to experience the Führer’s unique mass meetings, and to receive new courage from the passionate words of our Gauleiter, Dr. Goebbels.

Today, I speak to you to report the successes that our armaments industry has had in the past year.

The many millions who work in the armaments industry, the entire German people that to an increasing extent is working, directly or indirectly, to arm the Reich, and above all our soldiers at the front, have a right to know of the great advances in our armaments during the past year.

I cannot go into detail, since that would give the enemy information to aid his attacks on our industry, but the statistical information I will give the public today will give it the certainty that our armaments industry has accomplished great and remarkable things.

*

Long before the war began, our lack of raw materials forced us to tightly control our economy, and centrally direct it.

The Four Year Plan accomplished great things by building wholly new industries to manufacture such materials.

During the four years of war, enemy economic experts expected our production to sink year by year because of shortages of raw materials.

I can, to the contrary, report that German armaments production has increased each year, and achieved records in every area in May 1943. (The Minister’s statements were greeted with jubilant applause.)

Reich Marshall Hermann Göring’s historic achievement is to have laid the foundation for maintaining, and strengthening, the German armaments industry through the Four Year Plan.

*

Last spring, the Führer gave me precise orders to increase production of nearly all weapons, tanks, and munitions by a multiple of previous production. At first, the task seemed almost impossible to me and my colleagues.

Our armaments production had been centrally organized during the years of peace. It intensified once the war began, and was increased and improved as the war went on.

We calculated that to multiply production to such a degree would also require multiplying the workforce, manufacturing tens of thousands of machines, greatly increasing the availability of iron, copper, aluminum, and other metals that were in short supply, and further the building of new factories at a cost of several billion marks.

It was clear to all of us that, under these conditions, it was not possible.

A new way had to be found to increase armaments production.

*

During this period, many leading factories had already begin freely exchanging new methods that they had developed during the first years of the war.

The results were first systematically evaluated by the Luftwaffe, and then by the army.

The results were surprising.

Comparing firms with the same product, one saw that some firms used significantly fewer workers, or less material, or fewer factory machines to achieve the same production in the same period of time.

*

There were clearly leaders in industry who knew how to improve their operations such that they were far above average.

The task was now to make these men responsible for the larger issues of armaments production.

These thousands of capable factory heads, technicians, and leaders had to be released from their particular factories, and given dictatorial authority to organize and lead.

They could then apply what they knew to less effective factories.

That meant that they had to reveal the methods they had developed in their firms to others. Today, it is clear that they have done this with the genuine passion of the engineer and technician.

This thinking, stimulated by the Führer and Reich Marshall on 18 February 1942 resulted in an organization that today can demonstrate unique success.

These colleagues were given full authority that allowed them to do as they wished, to reorganize things, to change where production occurred, to clear up difficulties, or to close factories.

This powerful organization has been responsible for our industry for more than a year. It has since been extended to other industrial branches. Today, it includes 4,000 of the best engineers and technicians, who have all volunteered for the task and do their duty, fully conscious of the heavy responsibility that they bear.

*

At least a few of these largely anonymous men in the armaments industry should be introduced to the public. We will, therefore, ignore their desire to remain modestly behind the scenes.

The public has the right to know these men who have accomplished enormous things since since the beginning of the Four Year Plan.

Leading men of industry, such as Pfeiger, responsible for the entire coal industry, Krauch, who had built up the chemical industry important to the war effort, Röchling whose experience and energy have raised iron production to record levels, Rohland, who greatly increased tank production, Werner, who greatly increased the production of aircraft engines, Frytag and Heyne, who have multiplied the production of aircraft bodies and armaments, Geilenberg, who has dictatorial control of armaments production, Degenkolb, who had significantly increased production of locomotive engines. We also think of Porsche, responsible for the development of tanks, Müller, known as “Big Gun Müller,” responsible for our artillery and other weapons, and Wolff, who together with the branches of the military is responsible for the development of munitions. Then there are my closest colleagues Saur and Schieber, splendid industrialists. These are only the best of numerous other leaders, who coming from the best factories are using their knowledge to work closely with the military to build our enormous armaments industry. (The crowd interrupts the minister with approval and thanks.)

*

This organization, combined with the responsibility of industry, have resulted in new strength and new ideas, quickly resulting in a good chance of meeting the Führer’s major demands.

Confident in the experience of this group of responsible men, we promised the Führer that we would achieve what he ordered — although we were not at all sure how we would do it.

*

Today we can proudly report that we not only achieved the Führer’s orders, but in some areas significantly surpassed them. (Stormy applause).

Since spring 1942, we have increased several times over the monthly production of heavy tanks, of anti-tank guns, of light, medium, and heavy flak, of long range artillery, of every variety of munitions, including hand grenades and mines, and also of aircraft.

The Führer has given me permission to reveal to you today precise figures of the increases in this year.

*

It is necessary to stress something very clearly.

The achievements of the German worker have been unique. (Long lasting, lively applause.)

His idealism and willingness to work have made it possible to achieve the goals that we set.

The willingness to sacrifice, the unlimited willingness to work selflessly, which we have seem time and again, gives those in the leadership of armaments production the necessary strength to set ever new goals.

At times, workers voluntarily remained in their factories for weeks, sleeping for only a few hours in primitive camps together with their foremen, engineers, and directors, eating in the factory, in order to gain the time to meet important jobs within the necessary period.

And one can hardly thank them enough for the work they put into maintaining production in factories damaged by aerial attacks.

With stubborn determination, they worked to keep the lapses in production to the shortest possible time. In some factories, it was possible not only to meet production quotas by the end of the month, but even in some cases to exceed them.

These achievements were not possible through organizational methods. They were only the result of our factory teams who know what they owe to our fathers, brothers, and sons at the front.

Many quiet deeds were done, which the rest of us learned of only by accident.

Precise statistics will show that, despite aerial attacks in recent months, production has not fallen, but has instead steadily increased. (The minister’s statement is greeted with lively applause.)

*

The availability of the necessary raw materials and labor is the most important factor for high, steadily increasing, armaments production.

Thanks to Reich Marshall Hermann Göring’s Four Year Plan, begun before the war, the foundations of our armaments industry were built up to a degree sufficient for our needs.

And these resources have been strengthened year by year during the war, enabling even higher levels of armaments production.

The plants in the occupied territories and in the East have resulted in greatly increased production of coal and iron.

And during the past year, the monthly production of steel has been significantly increased by improved methods of production.

Ways of further increasing production have been worked out and implemented.

The production of specialty steels, central to armaments production, has significantly increased during 1942. Our production capacity in this area is about the same as America’s.

*

Our production of metals which are essential in armaments production has been significantly increased in Germany and the occupied territories. In this fourth year of war, we have sufficient supplies of copper, aluminum, magnesium, manganese, and other metals.

Over the past eighteen months to two years, numerous engineers have worked to find ways to economize in the use of metals. As a result, although we are producing many more weapons and pieces of equipment, the use of metals has fallen significantly.

We have found new methods that enable us to reduce our dependence on these metals. And since the occupied territories possess these metals in abundance, increasing supplies are guaranteed for the coming years.

*

Providing sufficient energy is a further requirement to increasing armaments production.

Our electrical production is rising from year to year. We expect that it will continue to meet the growing demand.

A large number of hydroelectric plans began operating this year, and even more will be available next year.

I can report that the temporary damage to two dams has not affected our energy supply. The decentralized nature of our electrical system allowed us to provide substitute sources of electricity to the armaments industry on the same day.

The enemy’s hopes that the water supply in the Ruhr would be disrupted for a long time have been hindered by a variety of temporary and longer-term measures.

Energy engineers have done particularly good work in every important factory. Their work and expertise have cut energy consumption significantly, up to half in some important areas.

The entire people has cut the use of electricity, gas, and water, and reduced the use of coal. All of this has allowed the armaments industry to further increase production since the beginning of this year.

Everyone should and must know that these measures, which must be continued and increased in the future, demand sacrifices that will directly benefit the front.

*

Transportation, which has a vital role in increasing armaments production, has made extraordinary progress since 1942.

All the transportation limitations present in spring 1942 have been eliminated, due to the Reichsbahn’s significantly increased daily performance.

The armaments industry has made a great contribution to improvements in the transportation industry, which is of decisive significance for supplying the front.

In 1942, the Reich Marshall ordered the armaments industry to do all it could to increase the production of locomotives, since large numbers of locomotives are necessary to master large territories.

We have increased average monthly production of locomotives by more than 300% between 1941 and May 1943.This will certainly increase in the course of this year.

Through numerous efficiencies and entirely new manufacturing methods, the labor cost of a locomotive has fallen by a third, the use of iron by 22%, and the use of copper by a fifth.

These figures sound simple, but it took an enormous amount of work to achieve them.

At the same time, the armaments industry received orders to take over the production of electric motors for trucks. The result:

Between 1 June 1942 and today, three and a half times as many trucks have been refitted with electric motors as in the previous three years together.

The successes this year have resulted in substantial savings in fuel, which corresponds to the continuing addition of many large hydroelectric plants, and allows more fuel to be sent to the front.

*

The provision of labor for the armaments industry deserves special thanks, for the labor supply is one of the fundamental problems, both for us and for our enemies.

Since party comrade Sauckel took on his difficult job, many new workers have been provided to the armaments industry and its suppliers.

Party comrade Sauckel not only succeeded in replacing the numerous men inducted by the military in 1942 and spring 1943; his contribution has been that since the beginning of his activity about a year ago, there has been an increase of 23% in the work force. Other areas of the war economy have also had a significant increase in the work force.

*

All of the great exertions I have mentioned so far are necessary to provide the necessary foundation for increasing armaments production.

Coal, iron, metals, transportation, electricity, gas, water, machines, and labor, all these must be coordinated in a complicated process to ensure supplies and parts for the armaments industry that enable the manufacture of weapons and equipment.

The best experts work to eliminate all problems, to ensure that the rapid flow of materials reaches the right place at the right time. Most importantly, they ensure that quality steadily improves, and that new weapons and new developments are introduced without disturbing the smooth functioning of the armaments industry.

*

In his proclamation at the beginning of 1943, the Führer said:

“The millions working in our industries have not only provided the armies with what they needed, but also have created the foundation for planned major increases in our armaments. Our talkative enemy warmongers have often told us what America plans to do. What it really can do and has done is unknown to us. But our opponents will learn in the coming year what Germany and Europe are able to do.”

Here I provide the first interim report on what our armaments industry has achieved between 1941 and today, thanks to the abilities and energy of out workers, thanks to the work of our engineers and technicians, thanks to the untiring and able work of the officers and engineers of the weapons offices, and thanks to the high sense of duty of German factory heads.

For understandable reasons, I can provide only percentages, not actual levels of production.

In recent months, figures have also been released by America that claim percentage increases in armaments production that are incredible to laymen: increases of ten-, twenty-, or even fifty-fold.

When we transformed our armaments production from peace to war conditions, there were also cases in which production increased ten- or twenty-fold over a short period. Once our armaments production reached a war level in 1941, using our full economic resources, significant increases were not easy to achieve. The fact that we were able to increase them by multiples requires entirely different standards of evaluation.

*

In summary, we have achieved the something like the following results:

First: Munitions.

In the month of May alone, we produced 6.3 times the tonnage of the average month of 1941. That means we produced a greater tonnage of munitions in May than we did in half of all the year 1941.

We achieved this result with 50% more workers, 132% more steel, 57% less copper, and only 2% more aluminum.

No clearer proof of the untiring work of our industry to save material and labor could be given.

How we did it — well, that will remain our secret.

Some details. The monthly production of anti-tank munitions 5 cm. and larger has increased by 1000% since 1941. Nearly all of that was the new medium and heavy anti-tank munitions, which were still not available in 1941.

Ammunition for light howitzers increased by 1300%, of heavy caliber 400%.

The monthly production of hand grenades increased in the same period from 100% to 410%, the production of mines by 1900%.

(The audience follows the minister’s remarks with growing interest and excitement, repeatedly interrupting him with strong applause.)

The manufacture of munitions across Europe requires the storage of large amounts of munitions. The Führer foresaw this, and made the necessary preparations.

The difficulties of supplying widely separated fronts means that our troops must be economical in using munitions, even though our production is significantly above consumption.

*

Second: The weapons.

The production of all guns of 3.7 cm and higher in May was 400% of the monthly average for 1941.

The number of workers has increased by 43% since 1941 and the use of steel by 78%, while the use of copper has decreased by half, and the use of aluminum has fallen to nearly a tenth of the previous figure.

Nonetheless, there has been a steady conversion to larger, better, but also heavier guns that demand more material.

Despite that, each gun requires about one third the labor, half the steel, one eighth the copper, and one fortieth the aluminum.

Some individual examples from this area of the armaments industry. The production of carbines has increased by half during the last four months.

We have had particular success in rapidly producing large numbers of the new fast-firing MG 42 machine guns. Despite the difficulties, monthly production of all types of machine guns in May was 70% higher than in 1941.

The production of light field howitzers increased by a multiple since 1941. The monthly figure has doubled since the total war effort began in February.

The production of medium and heavy flak guns has increased 315% since 1941.

Our heavy anti-tank guns are clearly superior to the enemy’s. We developed a new model in 1942, and have increased production since February 1943 by 220%, more than doubling it.

Together with the medium 5 cm. anti-tank gun, the monthly production of anti-tank guns has increased by 600% since 1941.

This is also true of all other forms of weaponry: light and heavy mine throwers, light flack, medium and heavy artillery, and also the manufacture of new gun barrels is significantly higher than in 1941.

This, too, is the result of the collective efforts of everyone in the armaments industry.

Third: Tanks.

The armaments industry has had particular success in tank manufacturing.

Our industry had put particular energy and devotion into catching up with and exceeding our opponents’ temporary advantage in production. Here, too, it is unnecessary to supplement the available statistical data with a lot of words. The numbers speak for themselves!

The total production of all tanks, both light and heavy, increased by a multiple.

The increase in light tank production, the former Panzer I, II, and II, is only 20% higher than the monthly average for the year 1942.

For understandable reasons, the emphasis has been on increasing production of heavy tanks, armored guns, the Panzer IV, and the Tiger. In recent months, production has been far higher than we in the armaments industry could have hoped for.

Since February of this year, the monthly production of heavy tanks has increased by 200% This increase was only possible because of the enormous achievements of our armaments workers.

The significance of this achievement becomes clear when we realize that deliveries to the troops in May increased by 1250% over 1941. (Renewed long-lasting applause from the audience, expressing their joy and thanks for the details provided by the Minister, who is repeatedly interrupted by stormy applause.)

In May alone, we manufactured more heavy tanks than in all of 1941.

Here, too, new production methods resulted in great savings in labor and material.

*

This is a particular achievement when one realizes that since 1941, tanks have become heavier, better armed, and better equipped.

The Luftwaffe’s weaponry, energetically directed by Reich Marshall Hermann Göring himself, has not lagged behind.

Numerous new models have been developed in the past year, and are already in production.

The number of aircraft increased by a multiple of the average for 1941.

Since providing statistics would give the enemy insight into our new methods and great advances in this area, I cannot give details at the moment of our great successes.

*

The German people today has been given powerful, incontrovertible information on the homeland’s achievements, achievements only possible because of the will of each individual in the great community of the homeland.

They all want to give their full effort to help the German soldier, ensuring that he has enough weapons of the highest quality.

This information also reaches the great community of workers, engineers, and leaders in the German armaments industry, letting them know the great successes their tireless work has had.

To recognize this work, the Führer has provided a unique honor. Nine workers and leaders of the German armaments industry are receiving the Knight’s Cross for War Service. (Lively approval and long-lasting applause.) These meals, which are an extraordinary honor for the entire German armaments industry are being awarded here today.

The Führer has authorized me to express his thanks for the sacrificial work and enormous achievements that you have so far accomplished.

He also expresses the thanks of the front to you, and to the millions of other workers in the armaments industry, who have contributed to this unique success.

*

As I make these proud accomplishments known, I want especially to thank the Reich Marshall, whose work with the whole German economy laid the foundation that enabled and ensured these achievements.

These achievements were made possible by the collegial and selfless efforts of Reich Minister and party comrade Funk, Field Marshall Milch, party comrade Dr. Ley, party comrade Sauckel, and our party comradeGauleiter Dr. Goebbels.

I also remember our unforgettable Reich Minister and party comrade Dr. Todt, whose ideas laid the foundation for what we are accomplishing today.

He was not blessed to see the results of the work he began, the extraordinary efforts of our capable industry.

*

The statistics I have provided give you an impression of the Reich’s enormous armaments production. You could see that production has increased significantly in many areas.

But there is one thing even more important than the production of aircraft, weapons, tanks, or munitions:

That is the application of our war experience to improve existing weapons, and to discover entirely new weapons.

In the present war, so tightly connected to technology, opposing masses cannot only be balanced by better quality, but also defeated by it.

I cannot do more here than assure you that German inventiveness, known throughout the world, is seeking and finding, and has already found, new ways.

When our new inventions are revealed to the public, it is only when those abroad learn about them through their effective use. That happens at a time when these weapons have already been surpassed by better ones.

It would be too cautious to withhold the impact of the Tiger from the German people, even after the sensation-seeking foreign press has carried major reports about this new weapon.

You may be sure, however, that we prefer to be too slow rather than too quick in announcing new weapons.

The rumors circulating in wide circles of the people are more unsettling.

It is unavoidable that tens of thousands of engineers and workers are involved in developing new weapons. However, they should avoid speaking about them, and it would be good if all people’s comrades conscious of their duty would keep silent in the German manner.

*

We have not only the possibility to develop new weapons given our tradition of manufacturing weapons and our well-trained engineers and inventors, but also, and in contrast to our opponent, we have the favorable structure of our economy and the ability to mass produce new weapons in the shortest period of time!

America and Russia have an indisputable advantage in mass producing items. However, this method of production restricts the ability to quickly change over to the production of new weapons. It often takes a year to retool for new production, and achieve superiority.

There is probably no country on earth that has so many well-trained workers with long experience in producing quality products that require the work of specialists.

*

Our widely distributed industry, with its countless large, medium, small, and even tiny factories, has one other advantage besides the ability to rapidly change over to the production of new weapons:

We are relatively safe from aerial attacks on our industry.

We have distributed manufacturing widely in individual factories, as the structure of our industry requires.

The difficulty that that once provided for mass production is today a decisive advantage.

For those areas in which mass production will remain essential for the long term, we have built enormous new factories that are far superior in size and production to those of our opponent.

*

Today, as part of the total war effort by the homeland, we are closing countless factories that make no decisive contribution to the war effort. This creates new opportunities to distribute important manufacturing.

Since closing these factories also frees energy, there is the possibility to further distribute industrial production.

And finally, we have productive resources in the occupied territories — also for raw materials — which we are putting to use.

*

Up to the beginning of this year, there were enough foreign workers present or available to meet the necessary production increases.

Today it is necessary, step by step and without any haste, to use additional labor in the homeland for the armaments industry and related important areas of the war effort.

*

Our goal for the remainder of 1943 is not only to maintain the production of May 1943, but also to significantly increase it by the spring of next year. (Stormy, long-lasting applause.)

Here, too, we have extensive and well worked out plans for new increases.

Achieving these goals, however, depends on the ever increasing readiness of the German people to continue their support of the German war economy.

The Führer expects that the homeland will spare no sacrifice when it come to supplying the soldiers at the front with new weapons.

*

Hard months of work are before us if we are to meet the Führer’s new goals in armaments production.

We vow to our soldiers at the front not only to continue to do our duty, but do do everything in our power to constantly increase our production from month to month.

And should my courage and that of my colleagues to meet new challenges ever weaken, we need only visit workers in the factories to receive new energy from their example of vitality and energy.

*

The accomplishments of the homeland that I have revealed today are enormous.

They fill us all with pride.

Despite that, we must and will always see our achievements as modest when compared with the deeds that occur at the front day after day.

If the homeland works with the same spirit with which soldiers out there fulfill their duty, then the manufacture of the necessary weapons will make a decisive contribution to the achievement of final victory.

We will provide the front with new weapons, new tanks, aircraft, and U-boats, and in sufficient numbers so as to enable our soldiers, with their unsurpassable superiority as fighters, not only to survive the battle, but to triumph in the end.

The front expects that of us, and we will fulfill this heavy burden.

We vow that to those who had to lose their lives in this battle.

(Long-lasting, lively applause follow the conclusion of Reich Minister Speer’s speech, as well as thanks and appreciation for that which has been accomplished, and for the oath to support the front to the fullest.)

The Sport Palace Speech by Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels

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Labor

Friday, May 4th, 2012

When German blood and the German nature triumphed, another view naturally had to fall, one that the Jews and their allies had suggested for decades, namely that labor was the curse of God in this world. The German never saw labor as a regrettable burden, but rather always as a blessing. To eat the bread of the sweat of his brow was to him no punishment, but rather something self-evident. He had contempt for the lazy and indolent man who believed that he could live at the cost of others. It was therefore relatively easy to restore the German viewpoint in this regard. It was made even easier by the experiences of the German people before the takeover of power. It saw how nothing was fought more bitterly than the concept of labor. It was not only degraded to being a commodity, but was seen as an evil that had to be eliminated. The ideal condition was to work as little as possible, or not at all. This was achieved by the failings of the government at the time: Unemployment came to Germany. The army of the unemployed grew from day to day, millions and millions of them.

The individual who was unemployed felt how meaningless life without work is. The whole German people, however, saw that beyond the misery of the individual, a man without work loses his foundations and becomes over time a danger to the community. For these reasons, the Führer’s first task was to eliminate unemployment and once again give the German purpose and meaning for life through his labor.

The Führer was not satisfied when he achieved this goal. He wanted to free labor from the chains resulting from a shortage of raw materials. For years the Führer attempted to negotiate with England and other countries to purchase the raw materials they possessed in abundance at a reasonable price. This attempt was in vain. The hostile attitude of international high finance in London, New York, and the other power centers of the Jewish bankers, rose at times to boycotts.

After such rejection, the Führer introduced the necessary measures in the Four Year Plan to guarantee the freedom of German labor. Although this was entirely a matter of domestic German policy, plutocrats throughout the world protested. The Führer ignored them, and went his way to win the freedom of our labor.

Plutocracy has the revolution of labor not only in this area, but it was distressed to see that the Führer wanted to overturn the social order they thought self-evident.

Until the takeover of power, the manual laborer was seen as a second class citizen in Germany as well as in the rest of the world.

In National Socialist Germany, the manual laborer has become a fully equal people’s comrade.

The concept “worker,” which was earlier a sign of inferiority, is today the most honorable title of the German people! As an eternal, living monument, the Führer created the Reich Labor Service, which constantly reminds the German that honest labor is never a disgrace, but rather is always an honor. On 1 May, the whole German people comes together to honor a fundamental concept of the National Socialist world view: “Labor.”

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The Professor

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

His propaganda methods too had a personal touch.

Franz Schmitt was his name. The terror of all relaxation-seeking people of the area, summer guests, and strollers.

He carried a bundle of newspapers, the “Völkischer Beobachter” and the “Stürmer,” in his coat pocket. He’d sit on the promenade. He’d grab hold of friends and strangers and accompany them for hours with stubborn determination. He didn’t let his victims escape without admitting that the Jew was our misfortune. Attempts to escape? Fruitless. He’d run ahead and get in the way of those who didn’t know him, or grab them by the collar.

He followed suspected Hitler supporters into the café. Over a cup of Hag [a brand of German decaffeinated coffee] — his heart couldn’t take any more, and his pension was very, very small — he would argue every objection into the ground with an angel’s patience.

He was stubborn in representing this idea, and impatient with all enemies of the movement, faithful and true to the Führer — one in a hundred thousand.

Those who still march will never forget you, Professor!

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Socialism

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Socialism means: “The common good before the individual good.”
Socialism means: “Think not of yourself, but of the whole, of the people and the state.”
Socialism means: “Not the same for everyone, but to each his own.”

These sentences make clear what we call “German socialism.” No one is a socialist who does not live according to them. §A new order grows from these sentences. The sentence “To each his own” has killed the “mass,” the slogan of Marxism, and replaced it with the “community.” Every community grows around a leader. He is the center of its order, which forms around him. A number of these leaders form a larger community, and stand around their leader as a living order. It all grows from below—the number growing ever smaller—like a pyramid, and finds its epitome in the Führer of the Reich. All are bound by the community. Each community is a living order. The whole, the great living order, is the people’s community. It binds inextricably person to person, leader to leader. It does not give the same to everyone, but to each his own. It creates the socialist people in a socialist state§Each has his task in the community, given to him according to his gifts. Never do all have the same task, but rather each his own. His task gives him a place in the community, If he fulfills it completely, he wins the esteem of the others. He is happy, even if his task is not large in the overall scheme of things. §Such communities grow in the field, in assault troops, in artillery battalions, in submarines, in S.A. units. Strong, bound forever together, wordlessly understanding each other, together until the end, sworn to a common goal. Strength grows from such communities, and from them grows the state. §We want community in Germany so that we can stand unshaken in the face of whatever may come. The mass is conquered by the community. It gives to each his own, to each his goal and his task, and everyone together one goal: the people’s community in the new state.

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State

Friday, April 20th, 2012

A people gives itself its form through the state. There is only one natural form for each people, only one state.§In the natural process of growth, each people finds its form and its state, and finds them again when it has lost them, if only it wants to. §National Socialism has broken foreign compulsion and eliminated the unnatural. Germany once again grows into its own state and is once more itself. §The best rules, the Führer, and he carries the responsibility because he is best able to bear it. The parliament has ceased to exist. This form of Western democracy has been abolished. The German states established by the grace of counts or by Napoleon disappear. The Reich becomes one. The new state rises:

“The day is coming when a single tent will cover all the German land.”


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Pictures from the 1936 Nuremberg Rally

Saturday, April 14th, 2012
Cover of the Book

The book’s cover. Each party rally was given a name. 1936 was “The Party Rally of Honor.”

Inspecting the troops Hitler arrives in Nuremberg and is greeted by his personal guard, the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.
Acknowledging the crowd  Hitler’s standard hotel in Nuremberg was the Hotel Deutscher Hof. Here he greets members of the Hitler Youth.
Addressing the people Rudolf Hess opens the Party rally. The slogan at the back of the hall says: “A strong Reich is the bullwark of peace.”
Spotlights in the sky This shows the evening rally of about 100,000 party officials under the “Cathedral of Light” designed by Albert Speer.
Rows of troops Caption: “The high point of the rally. The SS, SA and NSKK march before the Führer.”
Der Fuhrer Hitler finishing an observance in honor of the dead.
Party banners Hitler consecrated 35 new standards for the NSKK, the party’s motorized auxiliary.
Saluting an officer Hitler dedicates new S.A. banners.

 

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Europe is Winning by Fritz Sauckel

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

A bitter struggle is being waged by the Axis powers for the future of our continent. Just as necessity has brought us together militarily, so too millions of foreign and German workers stand alongside each other in factories, on farm machines, or on newly cultivated lands. They battle the common enemy by using the language of labor. From the practical standpoint, the use of foreign workers has until recently been a difficult problem. The use of workers from the occupied areas had been particularly challenging. But the successes so far have exceed our expectations. Gauleiter Sauckel has succeeded in persuading the enormous number of foreign workers to become willing workers with us. The German war economy has thus had no difficulties, but rather has shown steadily rising production. The incorporation of millions of foreign workers has not led to an imbalance between the Führer’s goals and the biological possibilities, as enemy propaganda maintains. Rather, it demonstrates the enormous dynamics, directed by Germany, that determine the fate of all European nations.

According to Article 10 of the plenipotentiary for labor’s directives, we have above all used the available labor in the occupied regions to meet Germany’s war production needs. We have not neglected, however, to use the labor remaining in the occupied regions efficiently and in an organized way. The same productivity is demanded of them as is of those in Germany, using piece rates and bonuses. The freeing up of workers is a further goal.

Total mobilization has reached all of Europe. Each nation carries its part of the burdens of the war and contributes its labor to ensure that the military units of the Axis and its allies never lack military material. The more we work everywhere, the more powerful will be our war machine. And we will never lose a war because we produced too many weapons.

It is obvious that the plenipotentiary for labor will deal with future problems of the labor force with the same positive results that are already evident across all the fronts where we are fighting. At home and at the front, a granite-hard faith in Germany’s leadership is a certainty for all: Europe is winning!

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Fate — I believe! by Robert Ley

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

We have accomplished enormous things in the over three years that we have been in power. I do not believe this evening would be long enough to list all the great successes that we have had. Two facts stand out: The German today has become an entirely different person! Whether worker, craftsman, farmer or member of the middle class, we are all entirely new people! There are a few holdovers from past times, there always have to be museum pieces, after all. They will gradually die out. The broad, large and great mass of our people has changed thoroughly. They have been transformed.

Look at the workers! Look with me into Germany’s factories. I might remind some in this room what they thought three years ago, not only about their party or the government, but of their whole view of life, their views of labor, the fatherland, their people, their community, or about socialism — all these things that have always concerned humanity. They will have to agree that they are of entirely different opinions today.

Germany has been born anew. The Führer said at the last party rally, as he always says, that for him the greatest miracle of the age is how people have changed. Once there was hopelessness, today there is joy and affirmation, once there was general desperation, today there is resurrection and reawakening. Once each was the enemy of his neighbor. Envy, mistrust, and hatred were everywhere; today, everyone tries to do something good for the next person, even if sometimes with too much energy and enthusiasm. Each wants to be a good comrade, loyal, friendly.

I have said this in other speeches, too: It is not that we have no more worries, that everyone is happy, and that people have no more troubles or problems. No, we still face enormous problems, and will continue to face them. The sacrifices demanded of some may be even greater than before. The work required of some is certainly greater than it was before.

We are not living in a paradise where no one has any problems or anything to do any longer, where there are no hurdles, weariness or burdens. The opposite is true. Those things are even greater than before, yet people once again take pleasure in life, in their community, and in what a people can accomplish.

Germans today sacrifice gladly, and rejoice in it. We have only now understood the meaning of struggle, and therefore of life. This people has become a different people. That fills us with joy. It gives us an attitude toward life, and a joy in life.

My fellow Germans! The second miracle: This people have received leadership! You may not understand me, you may ask: Did not the people always have leadership? Certainly there have always been states and forms of government, and types of societies and types of economies. However, a true people’s leadership is wholly new. Our people lacked it in the past two thousand years. Our people did establish governments, and had Kaisers, kings, counts, republics, and other forms of government. Our people had every sort of economic system. Occupations, classes and such came and went. But a popular leadership, the feeling of the individual that someone cares for me, is personally concerned about me, that is unique. The feeling of the individual, whether high or low, that other people are responsible for them, that their problems are the problems of the leadership, this is unique.

That is why we love Adolf Hitler so much. The German worker has the feeling that this man, our Führer, works on his problems day and night! This type of popular leadership is unique. We demand such leadership. We will not surrender it, we will not share it with anyone.

The German nation and its soul belong to Adolf Hitler and his party.

When one makes a total claim on the soul of a nation, it is not enough to preach. One must also understand organization. It is important to build an organization that includes everyone. A sure instinct on the part of the leadership is necessary. That is why these millions of men, the block leaders and block wardens, the cell leaders and cell wardens, the local group leaders and all the others in the local groups, come from the broadest range of the population. Instinct is most important. The men must be able to sense what the people want, what moves their souls. They must feel the resonance, they must find the right words to reach the soul of the nation. The relationship is reciprocal, and it is not to be found through reason, only through instinct. Earlier leaders did not understand this at all. Once people laughed at us and said: “What do these Nazis want? They speak of instinct, of racial instinct. These are outdated ideas. The understanding is the important thing. Knowledge is all, one must study at the universities.” No, my friend, one can’t study it! It is a question of race, of blood, of inheritance. Either you feel your people, or you do not. Either fate was kind enough to give you this instinct, or not. All the learning in the world cannot replace instinct. If you do not have it, you are lost to our people. The most important thing for the leadership is not to lose that instinct. Earlier leaderships believed they could replace instinct with brainwashing! No, my friend, if one wants to lead a people and has the honor to do so, one must always be careful to follow one’s instincts. It is necessary to constantly return to the people. There is only one place to sharpen instinct: the people. A leader who loses his connection to his people soon loses the ability to lead them.

When fate has given someone sound instincts, it usually gives the necessary understanding to combine in a way that leads to good sense. The combination of instinct and understanding is good sense. If I have good sense and act reasonably, the people will love me, it will look to you and me. If you add to that strength and manliness and assurance, then you are prepared for any crisis. Let us not deceive ourselves! Fate will not lead us through a rose garden. There will be hard times. Our upward path is steep and hard. The past has made us hard. That is why the people love us.

The people understand our language. It may be new, but they understand it. It came from the heart, from the understanding. It was true. It was no lie, but the truth. It was the language the people themselves speak. Thus we can speak with powerful assurance that makes the people secure.

We are a young people. We have all the weaknesses of a child. A child wants a father to hold it. When there is thunder and lightning, the child is afraid and hurries to its father, for it wants to be safe. That is like the leadership of a people. You, block leaders, block wardens, cell leaders, cell wardens, must be that if there are storms again in Germany, you must be a refuge for the people, if sacrifices are again demanded. You must say: “Citizens, stay calm! The Führer is always right!” They may ask: “How do you know that?” You will answer: “I believe it.” “And who tells you that?” “The Führer is always right. I sense it. I can prove it from the successes of the past, the things this man has done. He rose from a lowly worker and soldier to the Führer of Germany.” If you persuade the people of this, that the Führer is always right, then our people’s sacrifices will never be fatal, but will only make it harder, stronger and greater. If cowardice and unreasonableness have been defeated, if the people are confident, and if true popular leadership is present, the Führer will be able to do whatever he wants with the nation. He will be able to make important political decisions. The people will obey him blindly and follow him blindly. The Führer is always right. Every last citizen must say this.

The order of life will be the same. We have dissolved the unions and employers’ associations. We have fought everything that divides the nation. Unfortunately, we have not been able to eliminate everything. Religious class hatred is still present. But I am convinced that this nation’s desire for unity will succeed in ending this split in the nation as well, though it has existed for centuries. I am convinced of it.

A firm is a unit that we will not touch. This is holy to us. The firm must remain unified. Firm leaders and workers should organize things themselves as much as possible, They should work things out and be comrades together. We have given people’s fate into their own hands. We have said: “We do not want to control your fate. No one can do that for you. We can only teach you how to master it. We can give you the weapons you need for your struggle. But no one else can wage your battle for you.”

No one can stand aside from the struggle, pouting or playing the coward. Whether you are a worker or a manager, merchant or doorman or errand boy, whether you are young or old, man or woman, all who are members of a firm share a common fate. Your fate is dependent on the success of this firm.

When the firm operates well and earns money, everyone earns, and when the firm goes poorly, it does not go poorly for just one person, but for everyone. It is a living community of fate. It is so simple, so straightforward, so clear. But one has to preach the simple things over and over again. If someone tells me I say the same thing in every speech, I answer: “Yes, my friend, but the Church has preached the same thing for two thousand years. Why should not I do the same?”

People forget what is simple and reasonable and chase after phantoms. One has to tear these people away from confusion and lies, and preach to them the simple truths. If someone says to leave him in peace, I reply: “No, my friend, I will not leave you in peace. I won’t even think about it. There is rot under such silence, and decay, and Marxism. As long as I have the honor to stand here and preach, I will not leave you in peace.”

I always say that workers and managers belong together, and we will not leave you along whether you want us to or not, whether you like it or not. If the manager says: “It is ridiculous that I always have to participate in employee meetings, I won’t do it,” we reply “You must do it! Ten thousand workers are marching. The best German blood! It should be an honor for you to march at their head. If you do not want to do that, we will have to put you back in the ranks where the man behind you can tread on your heels until you do it properly. We will teach you, believe me. We will not give up.” Some people say that is Marxism. My God, that has nothing to do with Marxism.

What I am preaching here is genuine German military virtue. If that is Marxism, then our army was Marxist for centuries. But it was not. No, it was the most German thing we had. I want firms to be like the army. A camaraderie forged together. That is life. It is no dead construction that is pleasant to look at, but that on closer examination is dead. No, one always takes pleasure in what is alive.

I was pleased to hear manager Bolhm speak of this joy, a joy he shares. I know that the larger part of our managers think the same way. It is a pleasure today to be a manager and to go through the factory. We are proud of it! We are proud of the German worker, but also proud of the German owner. We are proud of every German person who cheerfully joins our community.

I must also dispel the myth that it is unpleasant for a National Socialist to be an owner. People speak of materialism, of owners as materialists! Well, my friend, without material I can’t live, and neither can you. We do not hold material things in contempt. There were once prophets who preached a separation between body, soul and spirit.

One cannot separate these three things. If you remove the body, nothing is left of the soul and spirit. If you remove the soul, you have a lifeless, cold being, and if you remove the spirit, you are left with a tragic idiot. These three things belong together. We do not despise materialism, but want to struggle each day with ourselves so that materialism does not dominate us. God gave us understanding and creative souls to form and use material, to invent, to make new things and discover new things. That is wonderful. To realize these new things, however, we need material resources. To found a firm and create wealth is not contemptible. I must make that clear. What good would all our socialist desires do if there were not people to figure things out, to organize, to build a firm?

One sometimes finds those in business who tell us that business and idealism are in conflict. That is not right. The opposite. I say that a true idealist who does something truly good for humanity must have both feet on the ground, else he is a dreamer and a romantic. All his idealism has no meaning and no value. I do no one any good with it, it is false. I say that in the long run, a sound businessman can found a firm and lead it to success only when he is a true idealist. Everything else is illusion.

No, businessmen and idealists are not enemies, but in the end one and the same. No true idealist lacks good business sense, and no sound company can survive without idealism.

My friends, it is all a matter of education, of education toward community. Socialism is not given to us. Socialism is not a matter of dead points in a program, but rather socialism is justice. One may demand it because it is right, and it is right because it is good for the nation. That is right. What is good for Germany is right, and everything that harms Germany is wrong. In the last analysis socialism is not a consolation or refuge for the individual, but rather socialism asks this question: “What is good for Germany? What benefits this nation?”

As we began our fight with the Führer, we all shared one firm belief. A remarkable faith filled us all. Our hearers sensed it too. The people sensed it. We believed what we said. My German friends, the same must be true today.

Understanding sometimes is not enough to explain something. Only faith is sufficient. The Führer in Nuremberg said: “Woe to him who does not believe!” He who does not believe has no soul. He is empty. He has no ideals. He has nothing to live for. He has no sunshine, no light, no joy in life. He is a poor, poor man. What is wealth? What are possessions? What does it all mean? Problems come despite them, only faith is left. Woe to him who does not believe!

I urge you, my German people, to share this faith. The Führer has given us a new task for the next four years, a big task that will demand enormous sacrifices. We know that the Four Year Plan before us now will not be the last such plan. Things will not get easier, no, there will always be new tasks, new sacrifices to make. I believe that the size of these new sacrifices and new tasks will increase as the strength of the nation increases. We may not hope that the struggle will cease. It will continue. All the new factories will increase our strength. Each new construction project advances our nation’s development. That is true socialism. Build new wealth to improve your life. That is German socialism, that is our struggle!

My friend, we walk hand and hand toward the future of our nation, toward eternity. We look back into the dim past. Generation has followed generation. We can look back on one thousand years, two, three, five, ten thousand years of our people’s culture. We have Germanic structures that must be at least ten thousand years old. We suspect they might be twenty thousand years old! Generation after generation has come and gone, passing its inheritance to the next generation. The next generation in turn has fought and struggled to pass it on again. The chain of generations was nearly broken in our day. The people nearly perished. Catastrophe was only narrowly averted. It was all due to the faith of one man! Yes, you who called us godless, we found our faith in Adolf Hitler, and through him found God once again. That is the greatness of our day, that is our good fortune!

Now our people’s chain of fate continues. We are becoming a link stronger than those before us. We are forging a link that includes many generations. We are laying a foundation that the next generation and the one after that will not be able to eliminate, even if they wanted to. So strong is that that we are building! Isn’t that splendid? Isn’t that wonderful? You, block leader and block warden, you cell leader and cell warden, you may say: “I, too, was there! I too helped.” You, citizen from the firm, you can say: “I, too, lived during that time, I, too, believed in Adolf Hitler.” And you, and you, and every one of you! Isn’t that wonderful? That is the eternity of our nation, that is our faith, that is our socialism!

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Our Hitler Goebbels’ 1939 Speech on Hitler’s 50th Birthday

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

In an unsettled and confused world, Germany tomorrow celebrates a national holiday in the truest sense of the word. It is a holiday for the entire nation. The German people celebrate the day entirely as a matter of the heart, not of the understanding.

Tomorrow the Führer finishes his fiftieth year. The entire German nation takes pride in this day, a pride in which those peoples who are friendly with us also take deep and hearty part. Even those who are neutral or oppose us cannot ignore the strong impact of the events. Adolf Hitler’s name is a political program for the entire world. He is almost a legend. His name is a dividing line. No one on earth can remain indifferent to his name. For some, he represents hope, faith, and the future, for others he is an exemplar of confused hatred, base lies, and cowardly slander.

The highest that a person can achieve is to give his name to an historical era, to stamp his personality indelibly on his age. Certainly the Führer has done that. One cannot imagine today’s world without him.

Treitschke once said that men make history. If this is true, when more so than in our era? He has shown his simplicity and depth in the most wonderful way. Adolf Hitler has influenced not only the historical development of his country, but one can say without fear of exaggeration that he has given all of European history a new direction, that he is the towering guarantee of a new order for Europe.

Our part of the world looks vastly different today that it would without him, not to mention his impact on our own people and nation. He has given the German nation an entirely new face through revolutionary internal transformations.

Someone who saw Germany for the last time in 1918 would scarcely recognize it today. The people and nation are entirely different. What seemed like a miracle only a short while ago is self-evident today.

About a year ago, the Führer solved the problem of joining Austria to the Reich. The whole people celebrated his 49th birthday then. 7 1/2 million Germans had returned to the Reich. A Central European problem one almost believed to be unsolvable was miraculously solved.

On the eve of his 50th birthday, we can happily see that once again the map of Europe has changed in the Reich’s favor, and — unique in world history — this change has occurred without bloodshed. It came as the result of a clear desire to establish peace in an area of Europe in which the contradictions were so severe that there was danger that they sooner or later would cause a general European conflagration.

This new peace in the threatened areas is not a peace of tired, moralistic theories that are endangered as often as the false bourgeois democrats praise them. It is much more a peace that is built on practical realities

Such a peace could be built only on the foundations of a higher, instinctive understanding growing from the knowledge that only strength gives a people the opportunity to finally resolve problems.

Successful policies require both imagination and reality. Imagination as such is constructive. It alone provides the strength for powerful, flexible historical conceptions. Realism on the other hands brings the ideas of political fantasy in agreement with hard reality.

The Führer possesses both characteristics in a unique harmony seldom seen in history. Imagination and reality join in him to determine the goals and methods of political policy. His contemporaries are constantly astonished and amazed by seeing how he brilliantly brings goals and methods together to influence history. He has no stubborn ideas, no tired tactical doctrines, to dim his vision and reduce his political imagination. His inflexible principles are joined with changing and flexible political methods that have lead to the greatest and most unexpected successes for Germany.

That is nothing new for us old National Socialists. We learned to admire the Führer’s political abilities in the earliest phases of our party’s hard struggle for power in the Reich. They were demonstrated in many small and apparently unimportant ways at the time, though they were then for us and the movement as important as the goals and problems of today.

Then too there were doubters who failed to see the greatness and brilliance of the Führer’s decisions during the struggle for power. They favored the false wisdom that Clausewitz discussed: they wanted nothing but to escape danger. We are therefore not surprised or anxious to see the same or similar happenings in internal German politics that we earlier saw in the National Socialist movement.

The only thing that has changed over the years is the scale of the Führer’s actions; his methods and goals have remained the same. Back then we saw in him the political instincts of a truly historic genius, able to understand problems and find the simplest and clearest solution to them from his own greatness and certainty. That is why we were then his most loyal and obedient servants of this man and his work, entirely aside from the human element.

So what we see today is nothing new for us old National Socialists. We therefore have no doubt of the outcome of Germany’s current battle for its national existence. Our whole people has the same instinctive feelings, which are the cause of the blind and unshakable confidence it places in the Führer.

The man in the street is usually not in a position to understand the entire political situation. He lacks the practice, the experience and above all the background necessary to form a clear and certain judgment. It is therefore entirely understandable why he dislikes theories and programs, and prefers to place his firm and confident faith in a personality.

A nation inclines to doctrines only when it is poor in personalities. But when a man of historic greatness stands at its head, one who not only wants to lead but is able to do so, the people will follow him with its whole heart, giving him its willing and obedient allegiance. Even more, it will put all of its love and their blind confidence behind him and his work.

A nation is willing to sacrifice when it knows what it is sacrificing for and why it is necessary. That is true in Germany today. None of the numerous slogans that the broad masses of our people heard in the years after 1918 has had such powerful effect on the entire nation as the phrase “One People, one Reich, one Führer!”

The first two phrases were heard for the first time in 1937 at a singing festival in Breslau. The Führer stood high on the platform against the gathering darkness. Hundreds of thousands of people had gathered from every corner of the nation and from everywhere in Europe where Germans dwell to hear him speak. Suddenly, from the corner of this army of hundreds of thousands where the Austrians stood came the call “One people, one Reich.” It gripped and fascinated the whole crowd, and for the first time gave concise but clear expression to a program.

A year later we saw the Führer on a hot Sunday afternoon standing on the platform at the Schloßplatz in Breslau once again. German gymnasts performed before him. As the racial comrades from the Sudetenland passed before him, without command or order, they suddenly formed a wall before him. These people who had come from the Sudetenland to Breslau only to see his face, refused to move. Weeping women seized his hand. One could not understand what they were trying to say, since tears drowned their voices.

Once again, it was only a few months before the problem they had brought to the Führer was solved.

The Greater German Reich, in the truest sense of the word, has now become a reality. Even more, the Führer has given his peace to Central Europe. It is clear that this is not to the pleasure of those democratic enviers of the National Socialist Reich. Through the Treaty of Versailles they had build a ring of trouble spots around Germany that they could use to keep the Reich in constant difficulties.

A man has come from the broad masses of the German people who removed these trouble spots with the firmest measures. Democracy sees its hopes vanishing. That explains their rage and moralistic disappointments. Their hypocritical prayers came too late. The enemies of the Reich are at the end of their rope. They look ridiculous, and cannot understand why.

We greet their hysterical cries with sovereign contempt, a sovereign contempt shared by the entire German people. The German people know that the Führer has restored it to its rightful position in the world. The Reich stands in the shadow of the German sword. Germany’s economy, culture and popular life are blooming under a security guaranteed by the army. The nation, once sunk into impotence, has risen to new greatness.

We remember all of this as we begin to celebrate the 50th birthday of the man whom we thank for our nation’s might and our people’s greatness. No German at home or anywhere else in the world can fail to take the deepest and heartiest pleasure in participation. It is a holiday of the nation, and we want to celebrate it as such.

A people fighting for its fate must now and again stop in the midst of the tumult of events to remind itself of its situation, methods and goals. Today is such a time. The nation puts on its best clothing and stands before its Führer united in loyalty and brotherhood, to bring him their heartiest best wishes on his 50th birthday. These are the wishes of all Germans in the Reich, as well as those in every other nation and continent. Germans throughout the world join with us who have the good fortune to live in the Reich in these warm and thankful wishes. To this choir of a hundred million are joined the voices of all those peoples want true peace and order in Europe, who love its history and its culture.

As we begin to celebrate the Führer’s 50th birthday in this festive hour as a great national community, we join in a fervent prayer to Almighty God that he graciously preserve in the future his life and work. May he grant the German people’s deepest wish and keep the Führer in health and strength for many more years and decades. Then we will not need to fear for the future of the Reich. The fate of the German nation rests in a strong and sure hand.

We, the Führer’s oldest followers and fellow fighters join together at this festive hour with the hearty wish that we have always had on the birthday of this man: May he remain for us what he is and always was:

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A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler His Life and Legend Hitler As He Believes Himself To Be

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

At the time of the reoccupation of the RhinelandHitler made use of an extraordinary figure of speech in describing his own conduct. He said,

“I follow my course with the precision and security of a sleepwalker.”

Even at that time it struck the world as an unusual statement for the undisputed leader of 67,000,000 people to make at the time of an international crisis. Hitler meant it to be a form of’ reassurance for his more wary followers who questioned the wisdom of his course. It seems, however, that it was a true confession and had his wary followers only realized its significance and implications they would have had grounds for far greater concern that aroused by his proposal to reoccupy the Rhineland. For the course of this sleep-walker has carried him over many untravelled roads which finally led him unerringly to a pinnacle of success and power never reached before. And still it lured him on until today he stands on the brink of disaster. He will go down in history as the most worshipped and the most despised man the world has ever known.

Many people have stopped and asked themselves: “Is this man sincere in his undertakings or is he a fraud?” Certainly even a fragmentary knowledge of his past life warrants such a question, particularly since our correspondents have presented us with many conflicting views. At times, it seemed almost inconceivable that a man could be sincere and do what Hitler has done in the course of his career. And yet all of his former associates whom we have been able to contact, as well as many of our most capable foreign correspondents, are firmly convinced that Hitler actually does believe in his own greatness. Fuchs reported that Hitler said to Schuschnigg during the Berchtesgaden [sic] interviews:

“Do you realize that you are in the presence of the greatest German of all time?”

It makes little difference for our purpose whether he actually spoke these words or not at this particular time as alleged. In this sentence he has summed up in a very few words an attitude which he has expressed to some of our informants in person. To Rauschning, for example, he once said:

“Aber ich brauche sie nicht, um mir von ihnen meine geschichtiche Groesse bestaltigen zu lassen.” (717)

And to Strasser, who once took the liberty of saying that we was afraid Hitler was mistaken, he said:

“I cannot be mistaken. What I do and say is historical.” (378)

many other such personal statements could be given. Oechaner has summed up his attitude in this respect very well in the following words:

“He feels that no one in German history is equipped as he is to bring the Germans to the position of supremacy which all German statesman have felt they deserved but were unable to achieve.” (669)

This attitude is not confined to himself as a statesman. he also believes himself to be the greatest war lord as, for example, when he says to Raischning:

“Ich spiele nicht Krieg. Ich lasse mich nicht von `Feldherrn’ kommandieren. Den Krieg fushre ich. Den engentlichen Zeitpunkt zum Angriff bestimme ich. Es gibt nur eine guenstigen. Ich warde auf ihm warten. Mit eisernor Entschlossenheit. Unc ich warde ihn nicht verpassen…” (701)

And it seems to be true that he has made a number of contributions to German offensive and defensive tactics and strategy. He believes himself to be an outstanding judge in legal matters and does not blush when he stands before the Reichstag, while speaking to the whole world, and says,

“For the last twenty-four hours I was the supreme court of the German people.” (255)

Then, too, he believes himself to be the greatest of all German architects and spends a great deal of his time in sketching new buildings and planning the remodeling of entire cities. In spite of the fact that he failed to pass the examinations for admission to the Art School he believes himself to be the only competent judge in all matters of art. A few years ago he appointed a committee of three to act as final judges on all matters of art, but when their verdicts did not please him he dismissed them and assumed their duties himself. It makes little difference whether the field be economics, education, foreign affairs, propaganda, movies, music or women’s dress. In each and every field he believes himself to be an unquestioned authority.

He also prides himself on his hardness and brutality.

“I am one of the hardest men Germany has had for decades, perhaps for centuries, equipped with the greatest authority of any German leader… but above all, I believe in my success. I believe in it unconditionally.” (M.N.O. 871)

That belief in his own power actually borders on a feeling of omnipotence which he is not reluctant to display.

“Since the events of last year, his faith in his own genius, in his instinct, or as one might say, in his star, is boundless. Those who surround him are the first to admit that he now thinks himself infallible and invincible. That explains why he can no longer bear either criticism or contradiction. To contradict him is in his eyes a crime of ‘lese majeste’; opposition to his plans, from whatever side it may come, is a definite sacrilege, to which the only reply is an immediate and striking display of his omnipotence.” (French Yellow Book, 945)

Another diplomat reports a similar impression:

“When I first met him, his logic and sense of reality had impressed me, but as time went on he appeared to me to become more and more unreasonable and more and more convinced of his own infallibility and greatness …” (Henderson, 129)

There seems, therefore, to be little room for doubt concerning Hitler’s firm belief in his own greatness. We must now inquire into the sources of this belief. Almost all writers have attributed Hitler’s confidence to the fact that he is a great believer in astrology and that he is constantly in touch with astrologers who advise him concerning his course of action. This is almost certainly untrue. All of our informants who have known Hitler rather intimately discard the idea as absurd. They all agree that nothing is more foreign to Hitler’s personality than to seek help from outside sources of this type. The informant of the Dutch Legation holds a similar view. He says:

“Not only has the Fuehrer never had his horoscope cast, but he is in principle against horoscopes because he feels he might be unconsciously influenced by them.” (655)

It is also indicative that Hitler, some time before the war, forbade the practice of fortune-telling and star-reading in Germany.

It is true that from the outside it looks as though Hitler might be acting under some guidance of this sort which gives him the feeling of conviction in his infalibility. These stories probably originated in the very early days of the Party. According to Strasser, during the early 1920’s Hitler took regular lessons in speaking and in mass psychology from a man named Hamissen who was also a practicing astrologer and fortune-teller. He was an extremely clever individual who taught Hitler a great deal concerning the importance of staging meetings to obtain the greatest dramatic effect. As far as can be learned, he never had any particular interest in the movement or any say on what course it should follow. It is possible that Hanussen had some contact with a group of astrologers, referred-to by one von Wiegand, who were very active in Munich at this time. Through Hanussen Hitler too may have come in contact with this group, for von Wiegand writes:

“When I first knew Adolph Hitler in Munich, in 1921 and 1922, he was in touch with a circle that believed firmly in the portents of the stars. There was much whispering of the coming of another Charlemagne and a new Reich. How far Hitler believed in these astrological forecasts and prophesies in those days I never could get out of Der Fuhrer. He neither denied nor affirmed belief. He was not averse, however, to making use of the forecasts to advance popular faith in himself and his then young and struggling movement.”

It is quite possible that from these beginnings the myth of his associations with astrologers has grown.

Although Hitler has done considerable reading in a variety of fields of study, he does not in any way attribute his infallibility or omniscience to any intellectual endeavor on his part. On the contrary, he frowns on such sources when it comes to guiding the destiny of nations. His opinion of the intellect is, in fact, extremely low, for in various places he makes such statements as the following:

“Of secondary importance is the training of mental abilities.”

“Over-educated people, stuffed with knowledge and intellect, but bare of any sound instincts.”

“These impudent rascals (intellectuals) who always know everything better than anybody else…”

“The intellect has grown autocratic, and has become a disease of life.”

Hitler’s guide is something different entirely. It seems certain that Hitler believes that he has been sent Germany by Providence and that he has a particular mission to perform. He is probably not clear on the scope of this mission beyond the fact that he has been chosen to redeem the German people and reshape Europe. Just how this is to be accomplished is also rather vague in his mind, but this does not concern him greatly because an “inner voice” communicates to him the steps he is to take. This is the guide which leads him on his course with the precision and security of a sleep-walker.

“I carry out the commands that Providence has laid upon me.” (490)

“No power on earth can shake the German Reich now, Divine Providence has willed it that I carry through the fulfillment of the Germanic task.” (413)

“But if the voice speaks, then I know the time has come to act.” (714)

It is this firm conviction that he has a mission and is under the guidance and protection of Providence which is responsible in large part for the contagious effect he has had on the German people.

Many people believe that this feeling of Destiny and mission have come to Hitler through his successes. This is probably false. Later in our study (Part V) we will try to show that Hitler has had this feeling for a great many years although it may not have become a conscious conviction until much later. In any case it was forcing its way into consciousness during the war and has played a dominant role in his actions ever since. Mend (one of his comrades), for example, reports:

“An eine eigenartige Propheseiung errinere ich mich noch in diesem Zusammenhag: Kurs vor Weihnachten (1915) auesserte er sich, dass wir noch vieles von ihm hoeren werden. Wir sollen nur abwarten, bis seine Zeit gekommen ist.” (208)

Then, too, Hitler has reported several incidents during the war which proved to him that he was under Divine protection. The most startling of these is the following:

“I was eating my dinner in a trench with several comrades. Suddenly a voice seemed to be saying to me, ‘Get up and go over there.’ It was so clear and insistent that I obeyed automatically, as if it had been a military order. I rose at once to my feet and walked twenty yards along the trench carrying my dinner in its tin can with me. Then I sat down to go on eating, my mind being once more at rest. Hardly had I done so when a flash and deafening report came from the part of the trench I had just left. A stray shell had burst over the group in which I had been sitting, and every member of it was killed.” (Price, 241)

Then, also, there was the vision he had while in hospital at Pasewalk suffering from blindness allegedly caused by gas:

“Als ich im Bett lag kam mir der Gedanke, dass ich Deutschland befreien wuerde, dass ich es gross machen wuerde, und ich habe sofort gewusst, dass das verwirklicht werden wuerde.” (429)

These experiences must later have fit in beautifully with the views of the Munich astrologers and it is possible that underneath Hitler felt that if there was any truth in their predictions they probably referred to him. But in those days he did not mention any connection between them or dwell on the Divine guidance he believed he possessed. Perhaps he felt that such claims at the beginning of the movement might hinder rather than help it. However, as von Wiegand has pointed out, he was not averse to making use of the forecasts to advance his own ends. At that time he was content with the role of a “drummer” who was heralding the coming of the real savior. Even then, however, the role of drummer was not as innocent or as insignificant in Hitler’s mind as might be supposed. This was brought out in his testimony during the trial following the unsuccessful Beerhall Putsch of 1923. At that time he said:

“Nehmem Sie die Ueberzeugung hin, dass ich die Erringung eines Ministerpostens nicht als erstrebenswert ansehe. Ich halte es eine grossen Mannes nicht fuer wuerdigeseinen Namen der Geschichte nur dadurch ueberliefern zu wollen, dasser Minister wird. Was mir vor Augen stand, das war vom ersten Tage tausendmal mehr: ich wollte der Zerbrecher der Marxismus werden. Ich werde die Ausfgabe loesen, und wenn ich sie loese, dann waere der Titel eines Ministers fuer mich eine Laecherlichkeit. Als ihh zum ersten Mal vor Richard Wagners Grab stand, da quoll mir des Herz ueber vor Stolz, dass hier ein Mann ruht, der es sich verbeten hat, hinaufzuschreiben: Hier ruht Geheimrat Musikdirektor Excellenz Baron Richard von Wagner. Ich war stolz darauf, dass dieser Mann und so viele Maenner der deutschen Geschichte sich damit begnuegten, ihren Namen der Nachwelt zu ueberliefern, nicht ihren Titel. Nicht aus Bescheidenheit wollte ich ‘Trommler’ sein. Das ist des Hoechste, das andere ist eine Kleinigkett.”

After his stay in Landsberg Hitler no longer referred to himself as the “drummer.” Occasionally, he would describe himself in the words of St. Matthew, “as a voice crying in the wilderness”, or as St. John the Baptist whose duty was to hew a path for him who was to come and lead the nation to power and glory. More frequently, however, he referred to himself as “the Fuehrer”, a name chosen by Hess during their imprisonment. (901)

As time went on, it became clearer that he. was thinking of himself as the Messiah and that it was he who was destined to lead Germany to glory. His references to the Bible became more frequent and the movement began to take on a religious atmosphere. Comparisons between Christ and himself became more numerous and found their way into his conversation and speeches. For example, he would say:

“When I came to Berlin a few weeks ago and looked at the traffic in the Kurfuerstendamm, the luxury, the perversion, the iniquity, the wanton display, and the Jewish materialism disgusted me so thoroughly, that I was almost beside myself. I nearly imagined myself to be Jesus Christ when He came to His Father’s temple and found it taken by the money-changers. I can well imagine how He felt when He seized a whip and scourged them out.” (905)

During his speech, according to Hanfstangl, he swung his whip around violently as though to drive out the Jews and the forces of darkness, the enemies of Germany and German honor. Dietrich Eckart, who discovered Hitler as a possible leader and had witnessed this performance, said later, “When a man gets to the point of identifying himself with Jesus Christ, then he is ripe for an insane asylum.” The identification in all this was not with Jesus Christ, the Crucified, but with Jesus Christ, the furious, lashing the crowds.

As a matter of fact, Hitler has very little admiration for Christ, the Crucified. Although he was brought up a Catholic, and received Communion, during the war, he severed his connection with the Church directly afterwards. This kind of Christ he considers soft and weak and unsuitable as a German Messiah.

The latter must be hard and brutal if he is to save Germany and lead it to its destiny.

“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by only a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned me to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love, as a Christian and as a man, I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord rose at last in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was the fight for the world against the Jewish poison.” (M.N.O. 26)

And to Rauschning he once referred to “the Jewish Christ-creed with its effeminate, pity-ethics”.

It is not clear from the evidence whether the new State religion was part of Hitler’s plan or whether developments were such that it became feasible. It is true that Rosenberg had long advocated such a move, but there is no evidence that Hitler was inclined to take such a drastic step until after he had come to power. It is possible that he felt he needed the power before he could initiate such a change, or it may be that his series of successes were so startling that the people spontaneously adopted a religious attitude towards him which made the move more or less obvious. In any case, he has accepted this God-like role without any hesitation or embarrassment.

White tells us that now when he is addressed with the salutation, “Heil Hitler, our Savior”, he bows slightly at the compliment in the phrase – and believes it. (664) As time goes on, it becomes more and more certain that Hitler believes that he is really the “Chosen One” and that in his thinking he conceives of himself as a second Christ who has been sent to institute in the world a new system of values based on brutality and violence. He has fallen in love with the image of himself in this role and has surrounded himself with his own portraits.

His mission seems to lure him to still greater heights. Not content with the role of transitory savior it pushes him to higher goals – he must set the pattern for generations to come. Von Wiegand says:

“In vital matters Hitler is far from unmindful of the name and record of success and failure he will leave to posterity.” (493)

Nor is he content to allow these patterns to evolve in a natural way. In order to guarantee the future he feels that he alone can bind it to these principles. He believes, therefore, that he must become an immortal to the German people. Everything must be huge and befitting as a monument to the honor of Hitler. His idea of a permanent building is one which will endure at least a thousand years. His highways must be known as “Hitler Highways”, and they must endure for longer periods of time than the Napoleonic roads. He must always be doing the impossible and leaving his mark on the country. This is one of the ways in which he hopes to stay alive in the minds of the German people for generations to come.

It is alleged by many writers, among them Haffner (418), Huss (410) and Wagner (489) that he has already drawn extensive plans for his own mausoleum. Our informants, who left Germany some time ago, are not in a position to verify these reports. They consider them well within the realm of possibility, however. This mausoleum is to be the mecca of Germany after his death. It is to be a tremendous monument about 700 feet high, with all the details worked out so that the greatest psychologicaI effect might be attained. It is also alleged that his first errand in Paris after the conquest in 1940 was a visit to the Dome des Invalides to study the monument to Napoleon. He found this lacking in many respects. For example, they had put him down in a hole which forced people to look down rather than high up.

“I shall never make such a mistake,” Hitler said suddenly. “I know how to keep my hold on people after I have passed on. I shall be the Fuehrer they look up at and go home to talk of and remember. My life shall not end in the mere form of death. It will, on the contrary, begin then.” (410)

It was believed for a time that the Kehlstein had been originally built as an eternal mausoleum by Hitler. It seems, however, that if that was his original intention he has abandoned it in favor of something even more grandiose. Perhaps the Kehlstein was too inaccessible to enable large numbers of people to come and touch his tomb in order to become inspired. In any case, it seems that far more extravagant plans have been developed. His plan, if it is to be successful, needs constant emotional play on hysteric mass minds, and the more he can arrange the ways and means of achieving this, after he dies, the more assured he is of attaining his final goal.

“He is firmly convinced that the furious pace and the epochal age in which he lived and moved (he really is convinced that he is the motivating force and the moulder of that age) will terminate soon after his death, swinging the world by nature and inclination into a long span of digestive process marked by a sort of quiet inactivity. People in his `1000 year Reich’ will build monuments to him and go around to touch and look at the things he has built, he thought. He said as much on that glorified visit of his to Rome in 1938, adding that a thousand years hence the greatness and not the ruins of his own time must intrigue the people of those far-away days. For, believe it or not, that is how the mind of this man Hitler projects itself without a blush over the centuries.” (410)

There was also a time a few years ago when he spoke a good deal about retiring when his work was done. It was assumed that he would then take up his residence in Berchtesgaden and sit as God who guides the destinies of the Reich until he dies. In July, 1933, while visiting the Wagner family, he talked at length about getting old and complained bitterly that ten years of valuable time had been lost between the Beerhall Putsch in 1923 and his accession to power. This was all very regrettable since he predicted that it would take twenty-two years to get things in adequate shape so that he could turn them over to his successor. (936) It is supposed by some writers that during this period of retirement he would also write a book which would stand for eternity as a great bible of National Socialism. (3) This is all rather interesting in view of Roehm’s statement made many years ago:

“Am liebsten taet er Heute schon in den Bergen sitzen und den lieben Gott spielen.” (715)

A survey of all the evidence forces us to conclude that Hitler believes himself destined to become an Immortal Hitler, chosen by God to be the New Deliverer of Germany and the Founder of a new social order for the world. He firmly believes this and is certain that in spite of all the trials and tribulations through which he must pass he will finally attain that goal. The one condition is that he follow the dictates of the inner voice which have guided and protected him in the past. This conviction is not rooted in the truth of the ideas he imparts but is based on the conviction of his own personal greatness. (146) Howard K. Smith makes an interesting observation:

“I was convinced that of all the millions on whom the Hitler Myth had fastened itself, the most carried away was Adolph Hitler, himself.” (290)

We will have occasion in Part V to examine the origins of this conviction and the role it plays in Hitler’ s psychological economy.

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Hitler Explains Importance of the Nuremburg Laws to Party Leaders

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

At this meeting the Fuehrer expressed his gratitude to the responsible heads of the Reich Party organization for their work, made use of the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the new Laws, and to point out that National-Socialist legislation offered the only possibility of achieving a tolerable relationship with the Jews living in Germany. The Fuehrer emphasized especially that in accordance with these Laws the Jews in Germany were offered opportunities of living their own national ( voelkisch ) life in all areas, as they had never been able to do in any other country. With a view to this the Fuehrer reiterated his order to the Party to avoid all individual actions against Jews, as before.

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Our Hitler: A Radio Speech to the German People in Honor of the Führer’s Birthday by Joseph Goebbels

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Fellow citizens! Two years ago on 20 April 1933, only three months after Adolf Hitler came to power, I spoke to the German people on the occasion of the Führer’s birthday. It was not my goal then, nor is it now, to read out loud a passionate newspaper article. That I shall leave to better stylists. Nor will I praise Adolf Hitler’s historic work. I intend today, on the Führer’s birthday, the very opposite. I believe it is time to portray to the entire nation the man Hitler, with all the magic of his personality, all the mysterious genius and irresistible power of his personality. There is probably no one left on the planet who does not know him as a statesman and as a remarkable popular leader. Only a few, however, have the pleasure of seeing him as a man each day from close up, to experience him, and as I might add, to come as a result to a deeper understanding and love for him. These few wonder how it is possible that a man who only three years ago was opposed by half of the nation stands today above any doubt and every criticism. Germany has found a unity which will never be shaken. Adolf Hitler is the man of fate, who has the calling to save the nation from terrible internal conflict and shameful foreign disgrace, to lead it to longed-for freedom.

That one man has captured the hearts of the whole nation, despite the sometimes difficult and unpopular decisions he had to make, is perhaps the deepest, most amazing secret of our age. It cannot be explained only by his accomplishments, for it is just those who have had to make the heaviest sacrifices for him and for national reconstruction, indeed who must still bring them, who have sensed his mission in the deepest and most joyful way. They are the ones who have the most honest and passionate love for him as Führer and as a man. That is the result of the magic of his personality and the deep mystery of his pure and honest humanity,

It is of this humanity, which those who are nearest to him see most clearly, of which I speak today.

All genuine humanity is characterized by simplicity and clarity in being and in action. It displays itself in the smallest as well as the greatest matters. The simple clarity that is evident in his political nature is also the dominating principle of his entire life. One cannot imagine him putting on a front. His people would not recognize him were he to do so. His daily meals are the simplest, most modest, imaginable. He dines no differently, whether it is with a small group of friends or at a state banquet. At a recent reception for officials of the Winter Relief program and old party member asked him if he could have an autographed copy of the menu as a souvenir. He paused for a moment and then laughed: “That’s fine. The menu stays the same here; anyone is welcome to look it over.”

Hitler walking down stairs

Adolf Hitler is one of the few state leaders who avoids medals and decorations. He wears only a single high medal that he earned as a simple personal solider displaying the greatest personal bravery. That is proof of modesty, but also of pride. There is no one worthy to decorate him, other then he himself. Any form of ostentation is foreign to him, but when he represents the state and his people, he does so with impressive and appropriate grace. Behind all that he is and does are the words of the great soldier Schlieffen, who wrote: “Be more than you seem!” His industry and determination in reaching his goal far exceed normal human strength. Several days ago I returned to Berlin at 1 a.m. after several hard days and was ready for sleep, but he wanted a report from me. At 2 a.m. he was still alert, still at work all alone in his home. For two hours he listened to a report on the construction of the national highways, a theme that would seem distant from the great international problems with which he had been occupied the entire day from early in the morning to late at night. Before the last Nuremberg rally, I was his guest for a week in Obersalzburg. The light shone from his window each night until 6 or 7 a.m. He was dictating the great speeches he would give a few days later at the rally. His cabinet approves no law that he has not studied to the smallest detail. His military knowledge is comprehensive; he knows the details of each weapon, each machine gun as well as any specialist. When he gives a speech he knows each detail. His working method is entirely clear. Nothing is further from him than nervousness or hysterical tension. He knows better than anyone else that there are a hundred problems to be solved. He chooses the two or three he finds most central and works on them, undistracted by the remaining ones, for he know that if he solves the great problems, the problems of second or third magnitude will solve themselves.

Troops stand at attention

His approach to problems shows both the determination necessary to deal with essentials and the flexibility essential in the choice of methods. He has principles and beliefs, but he knows how to reach them by careful selection of methods and approaches. He has never changed his basic goals. He does today what he determined to do in 1919. But he has always been flexible in the methods he used to realize his goals. When he was offered the vice chancellorship in August 1932, he rejected the offer. He had the feeling that the time was not yet ripe and that the ground offered to him was too small to stand on. But when he was offered a wider door to power on 30 January 1933, he walked courageously through it. It was not the full responsibility he wanted, but he knew that the ground he know stood upon was sufficient to begin the fight for full power. The know-it-alls understood neither decision. Today they must reluctantly grant that he was superior not only in his tactics, but also in the strategic use of the principles in ways they short-sightedly failed to see.

Two pictures last summer vividly showed the Führer in all his aloneness. The first showed him greeting the Wehrmacht just after he was forced to bloodily put down the treason and mutiny of 30 June. His face showed the bitterness of the difficult hours he had experienced. The second photograph was of him leaving the house of the dying marshall and Reich president in Neudeck. His expression shows the shadow of pain and sorrow in the face of pitiless death that in a few hours would tear from him his fatherly friend. With almost prophetic foresight to told us in his innermost circle on New Year’s Eve that 1934 would be a dangerous year, one which would likely see the death of Hindenburg. Now the inevitable had happened. One thing was plain in his granite face: the pain of an entire nation, a pain that would not descend to mere complaining.

The entirely nation not only honors him, it loves him deeply and fervently, for it has the feeling that he belongs to them. He is flesh of its flesh and spirit of its spirit. That shows itself in the smallest aspects of everyday life. It is plain in the camaraderie in the Reich Chancellery between the least SS man and the Führer. When he travels, he sleeps in the same hotel and under the same conditions as everyone else. Is it any wonder that the least of those around him are the most loyal?! They have the instinctive feeling that his is no facade, but rather the result of his inner and obvious spiritual nature.

Several weeks ago, 50 young German girls from abroad, who had completed a year of schooling and were now about to return to their suffering home countries, visited the chancellor, hoping to see him for a moment. He invited them all to dinner. For hours they had to tell him of their modest lives. As they were leaving, they suddenly sang the song “If All Become Untrue,” and tears flowed from their eyes. In the midst of them stood the man who has become the incarnation of eternal Germany, giving them friendly and good-hearted consolation to encourage them on their difficult journey.

He came from the people and remains a part of them. He who negotiated for two 15-hour days at a conference with diplomats of mighty England, who mastered arguments and facts on the great questions of Europe, can speak with complete ease to ordinary people, and can with a comradely “Du” restore the confidence of a fellow war veteran who greets him with a nervous heart after perhaps days of wondering how to greet him and what to say. The weakest approach him with confidence, for they sense that he is their friend and protector. The entire nation loves him, because it feels as safe in his arms as a child in the arms of its mother.

This man is a fanatic in his cause. He has sacrificed his personal happiness and private life. He knows nothing other than the work that he does as the truest servant of the Reich.

An artist becomes a statesman, and his historic work reveals his remarkable abilities. He needs no external honors; his greatest honor is the enduring permanence of his labors. But we who have the good fortune to be near him each day receive light from his light and want only to be obedient followers behind his flag. Many times he has told the circle of his oldest fellow fighters and closest friends: “It will be terrible when the first of us dies and there is an empty place here that can no longer be filled.” May a gracious fate ordain that he live the longest, that for many decades the nation will continue under his leadership along the path to new freedom, greatness and power. That is the honest and passionate wish that the entire German nation lays in thankfulness at his feet. Not only we who stand near him, but the last man in the most distant village, join in saying:

“He is now what he always was, and always will be: Our Hitler!”

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