Ian Stuart Donaldson Skrewdriver

Posts Tagged ‘German’

Toward Allied Victory in World War II (1943-45)

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

In North Africa, British and American forces had defeated the Italians and Germans by 1943. An Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy followed, and Mussolini’s government fell in July 1943, though Allied fighting against the Germans in Italy would continue until 1945.

On World War II’s Eastern Front, a Soviet counteroffensive launched in November 1942 ended the bloody Battle of Stalingrad, which had seen some of the fiercest combat of the war. The approach of winter, along with dwindling food and medical supplies, spelled the end for German troops there, and the last of them surrendered on January 31, 1943.

On June 6, 1944–celebrated as “D-Day“–the Allied began a massive invasion of Europe, landing 156,000 British, Canadian and American soldiers on the beaches of Normandy, France. In response, Hitler poured all the remaining strength of his army into Western Europe, ensuring Germany’s defeat in the east. Soviet troops soon advanced into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania, while Hitler gathered his forces to drive the Americans and British back from Germany in the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944-January 1945), the last major German offensive of the war. An intensive aerial bombardment in February 1945 preceded the Allied land invasion of Germany, and by the time Germany formally surrendered on May 8, Soviet forces had occupied much of the country. Hitler was already dead, having committed suicide on April 30 in his Berlin bunker.

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The First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, 1914

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Conducted between 9-14 September 1914, the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes (of two, thesecond in February 1915) was the second victory of the war by the Germans over the Russian army, the first occurring at Tannenberg in late August.

Having successfully dealt with the Russian Second Army, commanded by Samsonov, at Tannenberg, Paul von Hindenburg’s Eighth Army – comprising 21 divisions, 18 of infantry, 3 of cavalry – turned their attention to the Russian First Army, commanded by Rennenkampf.  These two armies had been deployed as two arms of a pincer movement intended to snap up Hindenburg’s forces in East Prussia.  With one arm of the pincer broken, Hindenburg determined to neutralise the other in short order.

Hindenburg aimed to encircle Rennenkampf by breaking through a weak flank of the latter’s southern corps who had belatedly moved south to support the Second Army at Tannenberg and who had become somewhat separated from the main body in the west (who had remained passive during the earlier battle).

Rennenkampf’s army was presently moving through the Insterburg Gap between Konigsberg and the Masurian Lakes.  However, upon receiving news of the Second Army’s defeat, Rennenkampf ordered his forces to retreat to a firmer position extending from the Baltic south-east to Angerburg.

Paul von HindenburgA preliminary German attack began on 7 September, lasting two days, launched from either side of the southern lakes, its aim being to push the Russians up towards the coast.  Heavily outnumbered 3-to-1, the Russian forces dispersed, and the German advance continued northwards in pursuit of the main body of the Russian army.

Rennenkampf, who feared being outflanked, consequently authorised a further orderly withdrawal on 9 September, simultaneously ordering a counter-strike at the Germans by two divisions so as to hold up the German advance whilst his men pulled back.

In this Rennenkampf was successful, although with the retreat of his forces East Prussia had been cleared of all Russian troops by 13 September.  Furthermore, Russian casualties during the battle were high: 125,000 compared to the German figure of at most 40,000, although the Germans could ill-afford such high losses in the east.

Yakov Zhilinski, the army group commander responsible for the Russian plan of invasion, was dismissed as a consequence of the Russian army’s perceived poor performance.

The action had resulted in two defeats of the Russian army, and largely removed any threat to German forces stationed in East Prussia, although a Russian counter-attack from 25-28 September (the Battle of the Niemen) forced a German retreat back to the border and resulted in the Russian army retaking much of the ground lost in the First Masurian battle.

As a consequence of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes – although the former battle was a much clearer cut victory than the second – Hindenburg was hailed as a hero in Germany, subsequently succeeding Falkenhayn as Chief of the German Staff in late summer 1916.

Despite Hindenburg’s fame at home, his Chief of Staff, Erich Ludendorff, was the chief architect of these, and future, Hindenburg victories.  He followed Hindenburg to Berlin as his quartermaster general upon Hindenburg’s promotion to Army Chief of Staff.

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The First Battle of the Marne, 1914

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The First Battle of the Marne was conducted between 6-12 September 1914, with the outcome bringing to an end the war of movement that had dominated the First World War since the beginning of August.  Instead, with the German advance brought to a halt, stalemate and trench warfare ensued.

Having invaded Belgium and north-eastern France, the German army had reached within 30 miles of Paris.  Their progress had been rapid, having successfully beaten back Belgian, French and British forces in advancing deep into north-eastern France.  Their advance was in pursuance of the aims of the Schlieffen Plan, whose primary focus was the swift defeat of France in the west before turning attention the Russian forces in the east.

As the German armies neared Paris, the French capital prepared itself for a siege.  The defending French forces (Fifth and Sixth Armies) – and the British – were at the point of exhaustion, having retreated continuously for 10-12 days under repeated German attack until, directed by Joseph Joffre, the French Commander-in-Chief, they reached the south of the River Marne.

With victory seemingly near, Alexander von Kluck’s German First Army was instructed to encircle Paris from the east.  The French government, similarly expecting the fall of the capital, left Paris for Bordeaux.

Joseph Joffre, imperturbable in the face of crisis, resolved on 4 September to launch a counter-offensive strike, under the recommendation of the military governor of Paris, Gallieni, and aided by the British under Sir John French (the latter only after prompting by the British war minister,Lord Kitchener).

French medal commemorating the First Battle of the MarneJoffre authorised General Maunoury’s Sixth Army – comprising 150,000 men – to attack the right flank of the German First Army in an action beginning on the morning of 6 September.  In turning to meet the French attack a 30 mile wide gap appeared in the German lines between the First and Second Army, the latter commanded by the cautious General Karl von Bulow.

The Allies were prompt in exploiting the break in the German lines, despatching troops from the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to join the French Fifth Army in pouring through the gap between the two German armies, the right wing of Fifth Army simultaneously attacking the German Second Army.

Nevertheless, the German forces were close to achieving a breakthrough against Maunoury’s beleaguered forces between 6-8 September, and were only saved on 7 September by the aid of 6,000 French reserve infantry troops ferried from Paris in streams of taxi cabs, 600 in all.

The following night, on 8 September, the aggressive French commander General Franchet d’Esperey’s Fifth Army launched a surprise attack against the German Second Army, serving to further widen the gap between the German First and Second Armies.  D’Espery was a recent appointment, Joffre having given him command of Fifth Army in place of the dismissed General Lanrezac, who was deemed too cautious and wanting in ‘offensive spirit’.

French patrol on the Marne frontOn 9 September the German armies began a retreat ordered by the German Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke.  Moltke feared an Allied breakthrough, plagued by poor communication from his lines at the Marne.

The retreating armies were pursued by the French and British, although the pace of the Allied advance was slow – a mere 12 miles in one day.  The German armies ceased their withdrawal after 40 miles at a point north of the River Aisne, where the First and Second Armies dug in, preparing trenches that were to last for several years.

In a strategic triumph at the First Battle of the Marne, which ended on 10 September, the French forces – assisted by the British – had succeeded in throwing back the German offensive, recapturing lost ground in the process.  More importantly, the battle ended any hopes the Germans had of effectively bringing the war on the Western Front to an early close.

Casualties at the battle were heavy.  The French incurred 250,000 losses, and it is believed that the Germans suffered similar casualties (no official figures are available).  The British recorded 12,733 casualties among the BEF.

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The Raid on Zeebrugge, 1918

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Planned to neutralise the key Belgian ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend, both used by the German Navy as a base for submarines and light shipping, the Raid on Zeebrugge was launched early on the morning of 23 April 1918.

The raid was originally proposed by British First Sea Lord, Sir John Jellicoe, shortly before his abrupt dismissal at the close of 1917 (as a consequence of his ongoing reluctance to back First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Eric Geddes’ convoy policy).

Jellicoe gained acceptance of an attack in principle – actually formulated by Dover port commanderSir Roger Keyes – by stating to the cabinet his view that Britain’s continuing ability to wage war depended upon blocking the exits from both ports, and thus denying German submarines convenient bases.

Thus the Zeebrugge raid was planned in much secrecy and conducted (in part by a volunteer force) by 75 ships following its formal approval by the British Admiralty in February 1918.

The main force of the attack was to be at Zeebrugge, with a smaller offensive launched against Ostend.  In preparation for both however the elderly British cruiser Vindictive was used to land 200 troops at the entrance to the Bruges Canal (at the mile-long Zeebrugge mole), in order that they could destroy its formidable shore batteries.

Admiral Sir John JellicoeThe operation began badly however.  The prepared smokescreen to cover the Vindictive as it landed its troop contents proved ineffective in the face of unexpected winds.

Under crippling fire the old cruiser moored in the wrong location, its guns effectively out of action.  However an old submarine did destroy the mole connecting the bridge to the shore after it exploded containing explosives.

The loss of the Vindictive’s guns was significant: without their crucial support the shore batteries remained untaken.  In turn their sustained fire also disabled a further three ancient British cruisers – ThetisIphigenia andIntrepid – packed with concrete and which had moved into the inner harbour, preventing them from halting and scuttling themselves in their correct pre-assigned locations at the narrow entrance to the canal.

If the raid upon Zeebrugge produced initially unclear results, the smaller attack upon Ostend was an unequivocal failure however.  Two old cruisers, intended as blockships, failed to reach the harbour entrance.  A subsequent attempt made to cripple Ostend similarly failed on 9 May.

Represented at the time as a tremendous British victory by Allied propaganda (with the consequence that its devisor Sir Roger Keyes was ennobled), and by the Germans as a demonstration of their success in holding each port, the Zeebrugge raid did not in reality hinder German operations from either port for more than a few days.

Some 500 British casualties were incurred during the operation (of which approximately 200 were fatalities).  A total of eight Victoria Crosses were awarded for the night’s action.

War Memoirs: Zeebrugge by W. Wainwright; The Zeebrugge Affair by Captain Alfred Carpenter

Click here to read the official British Admiralty report on the raid; click here to read the Admiralty’s report upon the subsequent 9 May 1918 attempted upon Ostend.

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The Battle of Tanga, 1914

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Often referred to as ‘The Battle of the Bees‘, the Battle of Tanga, an amphibious attack launched by British and Indian forces, established the burgeoning reputation of Colonel (later General) Paul von Lettow-Vorbeckby the manner in which he successfully beat off the British-led attempt to capture German East Africa.

Some 80km from the border of British East Africa, Tanga was sited on a high plateau in German East Africa, and was its busiest sea port as well as being the site of the crucial Usambara railway.

Already the subject of gunboat diplomacy resulting from a British warship on 17 August, Tanga had been spared from bombardment by an agreement extracted from the town’s population to refrain from initiating local aggression.

However the British subsequently changed their minds and ordered General Aitken to capture the German colony via a landing at Tanga in November 1914; it was to be the first major action of the war in German East Africa.

Something of a fiasco from the start, Aitken’s force of 8,000 insufficiently trained Indian reserves (from Indian Expeditionary Force ‘B’) were preceded by the inopportune arrival, on 2 November, of a British cruise, Fox, announcing the termination of the August agreement.

Alerted by this and Aitken’s openness in his intentions – no attempt at concealment was considered – Lettow-Vorbeck was able to rapidly and substantially reinforce the town’s local defence contingent (initially a single company of men).

Believing (incorrectly) that the harbour had been mined, Aitken’s force gingerly landed approximately 3km south of Tanga harbour on 3 November, and without having performed standard reconnaissance of the area.

Next morning Aitken began to march upon the town, again without advance reconnaissance.  Arriving German forces quickly and effectively broke up the ill-formed advancing Indian parties; by early afternoon the fighting had taken upon the nature of jungle skirmishing, occasionally interrupted by swarms of angry bees prevalent in the East African bush (hence the action’s nick-name).  One British soldier commented afterwards, “what with a bunch of n…..s firing into our backs and bees stinging our backsides, things were a bit ‘ard…”.

Although numerically outgunned eight to one, Lettow-Vorbeck launched his own counter-attack on the evening of 4 November, backed by around 1,000 troops trained in the Prussian tradition.  Rapidly overrunning the hastily (and badly) prepared British positions, Lettow-Vorbeck’s forces obliged the British force to retreat back to their boats, an exercise that took much of the following day, 5 November.

A costly defeat, the attack at Tanga had cost the British 847 casualties (including 360 fatalities).  In turn the Germans had suffered 67 deaths (from a total of 148 casualties), but Lettow-Vorbeck gained much booty from the supplies left behind by the British in their hasty retreat, includingmachine gunsrifles and 600,000 rounds of ammunition.

The war in East Africa is often considered somewhat courtly and gentlemanly.  For example, after the battle the British met the Germans under a white flag and, over a bottle of brandy, compared notes and opinions of the battle, in addition to taking care of the wounded.

Lettow-Vorbeck’s reputation, already in the ascendant, continued to grow.  His war record was indeed remarkable; he never lost a battle and remained undefeated by the time he eventually ‘surrendered’ to the British on 25 November 1918, having belatedly heard of the Armistice from a captured British prisoner.  He returned to Germany a national hero, an East African Hindenburg.

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The Battle of Mughar Ridge, 1917

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Having demolished the Turkish lines at the Third Battle of Gaza in late October/early November 1917 newly-installed British Commander-in-Chief Sir Edmund Allenbycontinued his autumn offensive en route to Jerusalem (and under instructions by Lloyd George to ensure its fall by Christmas) by dealing with the danger to his inland flank posed by the Turkish Seventh Army while simultaneously capturing the village of El Mughar.

Led by Fevsi Pasha the Turkish Seventh Army had been dispatched across the desert by recently appointed Turkish regional commander Erich von Falkenhayn (the former German army Chief of Staff) in spite of advice to the contrary by his own staff officers.

Allenby’s response was to continue his assault on coastal positions defended by the Turkish Eighth Army under Kress von Kressenstein (the man who had earlier thrown back two earlier British assaults upon Gaza).  He meanwhile instructed the Australian Mounted Division to guard his force’s flank in what comprised a somewhat thin of defence.

Consequently British infantry divisions launched an attack upon a ridge northwest of Junction Station (where the railway joined the Haifa-Jerusalem line) on 13 November 1917.

Difficult terrain around El Mughar slowed the advance before a charge by 800 cavalry troops – assisted by artillery and machine gunnery – cleared El Mughar by evening.  Some 1,400 Turkish troops had been lost during the encounter, set against 616 British losses.

Next day British armoured cars entered Junction Station, succeeding in cutting off communication between the Turkish Seventh and Eighth Armies.  Kressenstein’s force was meanwhile pushed back beyond Jaffa.

While the attack at El Mughar was being conducted the Australian Mounted Division had managed to slow the advance of the Turkish Seventh Army.  Clearly seeking a breakthrough Fevsi’s force succeeded in pushing the Australians back several kilometres but the Allied line nevertheless held.

Fevsi finally determined to withdraw his army to cover the approaches to Jerusalem, which Allenby after a pause captured the following month.

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The Battle of Cantigny, 1918

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

The first sustained American offensive of the war, although a minor action in itself, the Battle of Cantigny was fought on 28 May 1918, the second day of the great German offensive comprising the Third Battle of the Aisne.

A regiment of the American 1st Division (some 4,000 troops), under Major-General Robert Lee Bullard, captured the village of Cantigny, held by the German Eighteenth Army commanded by von Hutier and the site of a German advance observation point, strongly fortified.

Aiding the attack, the French provided both air cover in addition to 368 heavy guns and trench mortars, plus flamethrower teams.  The advancing American infantry were preceded into the village by twelve French tanks following a two-hour advance artillery barrage.

In taking the village the Americans expanded their front by approximately a mile.  A minor success, its significance was entirely overshadowed by the battle underway along the Aisne, some fifty miles to the north-west.

In the face of seven fierce counter-attacks that day and the next the U.S. forces held their position with the loss of 1,067 casualties; they captured around 100 German prisoners.  The American success at Cantigny was followed by attacks at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood in the first half of June.

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The Third Battle of the Aisne, 1918

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Whilst the first two battles of the Aisne were conducted by Allied forces, predominantly French, against the German army in France, the Third Battle of Aisne, from 27 May-6 June 1918, comprised the final large-scale German attempt to win the war before the arrival of the U.S. Army in France, and followed the Lys Offensive in Flanders.

The focus of the offensive was the Chemin des Dames Ridge, held by the Germans upon their retreat from the Marne in September 1914 until their ejection, at huge cost to the French, during the Nivelle Offensive, also known as theSecond Battle of the Aisne, in April 1917.

Erich Ludendorff, although subservient to Paul von Hindenburg within the German Third Supreme Command, effectively dictated the planning and execution of the German war effort.  He determined to reclaim the Chemin des Dames Ridge from the French with the launch of a massed concentrated surprise attack.  In so doing he anticipated that the French would divert forces from Flanders to the Aisne, leaving him to renew his offensive further north, where he believed the war could be won.

At the time of the offensive the front line of the Chemin des Dames was held by four divisions of the British IX Corps, ironically sent from Flanders in early May in order to recuperate.  General Duchene, commander of the French Sixth Army, was responsible for the continued defence of the sector, and Lieutenant-General Sir Alexander Hamilton Gordon, commander of IX Corps, was required to place himself under Duchene’s direction.

Thus, when Duchene decided to send the British divisions to the front line, Hamilton Gordon, although reluctant to see his fatigued troops further exposed, was obliged to dispatch his men forward.  He however recommended to Duchene that a policy of defence in depth be adopted for the eventuality of an attack.  Duchene disagreed, preferring to mass troops in front-line trenches.

The attack was launched early on 27 May with a ferocious heavy artillery bombardment of 4,000 guns across a 40 km front, against four divisions of IX Corps.  Owing to the heavy concentration of primarily British troops in front-line trenches, casualties from the bombardment were severe; IX Corps itself was virtually wiped out.  The bombardment was accompanied by a gas attack, designed to disable defensive gun crews, after which 17 divisions of German infantry, underCrown Prince Wilhelm, began their advance through a 40 km gap in the Allied line.

Ruined bridge on the Vesle RiverWith the Allied forces entirely taken by surprise, the rapid progress of the German troops was reminiscent of the more fluid war of movement of the opening months of the war.

Between Soissons and Reims the Germans broke through a further eight Allied divisions, four British, four French, reaching the Aisne in under six hours.  By the end of the first day the Germans had gained 15 km of territory and had reached the River Vesle.  By 30 May the Germans had managed to capture 50,000 Allied soldiers and 800 guns, arriving within 90 km of Paris by 3 June.

Once again a German victory seemed probable.  However, as before, problems with supplies and reserves, and troop fatigue, in addition to prolonged Allied counter-attacks, halted the German advance at the Marne.  By 6 June the German advance had run out of steam.

French casualties were heavy, with 98,000 losses; their British allies suffered 29,000 casualties.  General Duchene was dismissed by Petain, amid an atmosphere of crisis in Paris.  Petain’s own position was placed under threat, with his role being made subservient to that of the recently promoted Allied Supreme Commander, Ferdinand Foch.

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The First Battle of Albert, 1914

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Part of the so-called ‘race to the sea‘, the First Battle of Albert was fought between 25-29 September 1914 in the wake of the First Battle of the Marne and the First Battle of the Aisne.  As it became clear to both sides that a breakthrough was no longer possible – the French Plan XVII and German Schlieffen Plan having demonstrably failed – both sides attempted to outmanoeuvre each other in a northwards movement, begun by French Commander-in-ChiefJoseph Joffre, moving de Castelnau’s Second Army north-west across the Avre River so as to attack the exposed German right flank at Noyon.

De Castelnau launched a frontal attack against the German forces recently arrived from Reims on 25 September, meeting with immediate effective resistance, followed up with powerful counter-attacks.  Obliged to retire beyond the town, de Castelnau determined to hold off further German attacks pending dispatch of a new Tenth Army under Maud’huy further north in a renewal of the attack in the First Battle of Arras.

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The First Battle of the Aisne, 1914

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The First Battle of the Aisne was a follow-up offensive by the Allied forces against the right wing of the German First and Second armies (under von Kluck and von Bulow) in retreat after September 1914’s First Battle of the Marne.  The offensive began on the evening of 12 September in the aftermath of a rather belated pursuit of the Germans.

It has been argued that the Allies would have made far greater gains had their success at the Marne been promptly exploited in a rapid and continued attack upon the retreating German First and Second armies.  As it was, the progress of the Allied forces, British and French, was slow, owing to fatigue and to caution.  Nevertheless the Allies realised on 11 September that the Germans intended to halt their retreat at the Aisne.

Consequently the two German armies, joined by the new Seventh Army (under von Heeringen), were able to entrench themselves along the north bank of the River Aisne.  The Chemin des Dames Ridge provided a long and admirable defensive position from which to conduct their defence.

Sir John French, Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF)The French Fifth and Sixth Armies (under d’Esperey and Maunoury), aided by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF, under Sir John French), launched a frontal infantry assault upon the Germans’ defensive positions across the river at the Aisne upon their arrival on 13 September.

Having established a bridgehead north of the river on 14 September, the Allies continued to assault the Germans on the plateau above them; German counter-attacks were in place within hours however, forcing the Allies back.

Once again the German forces demonstrated the present superiority of defensive warfare over its offensive counterpart, deployingmachine gun fire and heavy artillery in the defence of their positions.  Small advances were achieved by the Allies, but these could not be consolidated.

Already scaled back by the Allies on 18 September, fighting was abandoned on 28 September once it finally became clear that neither side, in particular the Allies, would be able to mount frontal attacks upon the well-entrenched positions of the enemy.  Additionally, the French were finding themselves under increased pressure at Reims.

Instead, both forces attempted to manoeuvre past the other in a northwards movement, in the so-called ‘race to the sea‘, begun by French Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre, moving his forces north-west so as to attack the exposed German right flank at Noyon (the First Battle of Albert).

Two further battles took place at the Aisne, during April-May 1917 (the Second Battle of the Aisne), and May-June 1918 (the Third Battle of the Aisne).

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Speech by Chancellor Hitler to the Nazi Party in Munich (February 24, 1941)

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Delivered at Munich, Germany, February 24, 1941 [1]

FELLOW PARTY MEMBERS:

The 24th of February is always, and rightly so, a day of vivid memories for us. On this date and from this very hall began the Movement’s amazing march to victory, which bore it to the helm of the Reich, to leadership of the nation and its destiny. This day is a great day for me too. Surely, it is seldom that a political leader can stand before the same band of followers that hailed his first great public appearance twenty-one years before, and repeat the same program. Seldom can a man proclaim the same doctrines and put them into practice for twenty-one years without at any time having had to relinquish a single part of his original program. In 1920, when we met for the first time in this hall, many of you must have asked yourselves: “Dear me, a new party, another new party! Why do we want a new party? Don’t we have parties enough?”

If the new movement had been or had intended to be nothing but a continuation of the old parties or an addition to existing parties, such an objection would indeed have been justified. There were certainly more than enough parties in those days. But, after all, our movement was something quite different from all the existing and incipient parties of the time. It was a movement that declared for the first time and from the very outset that it had no intention of representing the definite, clearly outlined interests of individual classes. It did not stand for town or farm. It did not represent Catholic or Protestant interests; nor did it represent individual sections of the country. This was a movement which was definitely centered upon the concept of the German people. It was not a class party, sworn to uphold the right or the left, attempting to divide the nation, but one which from its very beginning had no thought for anything but the German people as a whole.

Thus began a heroic struggle, opposed at its inception by nearly all. Nevertheless, the essential objects of the movement embraced the decisive element. Its clear and unambiguous aim did not allow the movement to become the tool of definite and limited individual interests, but raised it above all special obligations to the particular obligation of serving the German nation in its entirety, of safeguarding its interests regardless of momentary dissensions or confused thoughts. Thus, today, after 21 years, I again stand before you.

In those days, we were in the middle of a great collapse; Versailles oppressed us all heavily. With heavy hearts individuals throughout the entire German Reich began to try to find a way out of this profound misery. There were many different views as to the reasons for the collapse. Political mistakes of the most serious kind had undoubtedly been made, not during the war years but many years before. It had been apparent that a storm was brewing. Certain warmongers throughout the world-the very ones who are doing the same thing today-were mobilizing the whole of Europe against Germany.

Although favorable opportunities of opposing these warmongers-and, moreover, of opposing them in good time-had presented themselves, the German government of that time proved a political failure. At the beginning of the Great War, too, the political leadership in both internal and external affairs was as clumsy as possible and, from the psychological point of view, utterly wrong.

However, in one particular sphere no reproach could be leveled against them: They had not wanted the war. On the contrary, had they wanted the war they would certainly have prepared for it differently, and they would have chosen a more favorable time for it. No, their greatest crime-if a mistake can be called thus-was that, although they knew that war was inevitable, they failed to act at the decisive hour and, consequently, at a more propitious time. Military mistakes were made too-many military mistakes. Yet despite all this, one fact remains: the German soldier, unconquered, defied his enemies for over four years.

A unique epic was enacted during these four years. Regardless of the greatness of our present victories or of our victories in the future, the German nation will always look back with deep emotion and inexpressible feelings to the great days of the World War when, alone and forsaken by the whole world, it fought a heroic struggle against an overwhelming superiority in numbers and an overpowering mass of armaments, yet never yielded one inch until the collapse occurred for which not the man at the front but disintegration at home was responsible.

This brings us to the really fundamental and decisive reason, to the actual cause of the collapse which took place at that time. The German nation had for several decades been exposed to gradual internal disintegration. It was divided into two worlds. We are only too conscious of them today, we old National Socialists, for we fought and struggled against them. We stood between these two worlds, and it was out of them that our movement gradually came into being.

You have not forgotten the political conditions of those days, my old party members-the conditions of our political life. You still remember the placards of the two great conflicting ideas-the bourgeoisie on the one side and the proletariat on the other; on the one side nationalism, on the other socialism. Between these two there yawned a gulf which, it was asserted, could never be bridged. The nationalist idea of the bourgeoisie was exclusively bourgeois, and the socialist ideal was exclusively Marxian. The bourgeois ideal was limited to a class; the Marxian ideal was unlimited internationally. But, fundamentally both movements were already sterile. When I first stood before you here, no sensible person believed that there would ever be any clear decision on this point. This, after all, was the decisive issue. This struggle was inevitable if our nation were not to disintegrate completely. One side would have to emerge from it as the decisive victor.

But even this was out of the question at the time, for the movements were already beginning to dissolve and to split up. They had lost their youthful élan. On the one side, the bourgeoisie was gradually dividing itself into countless parties, societies, groups, associations, bodies representing municipal and rural interests, house and land-owners, etc. On the other side were the Marxian movements, which were likewise disintegrating more and more rapidly. Majority Socialists, Independent Socialists, Communists, Radical Communists, the Communist Labor Party, Syndicalists, and so forth: Who can still remember the struggle of all these groups against one another?

Every placard was a declaration of war, not only against their opponents but often against their own world as well. The two camps that faced us then must finally have led to the complete dissolution of the German community, and naturally, therefore, to the waste and misuse of the German people’s entire strength.

Regardless of the decisions to be made, whether they related to internal matters or foreign policy, whether they were economic or purely internal questions, none of them could be successfully solved unless the whole nation stood solidly united for the purpose.

Versailles confronted us at that time. When I made my first appearance in this hall, my whole political conscience imposed upon me the duty of protesting against this subjection, the most ignominious of all times, and of calling upon the nation to take up arms against it. From the point of view of foreign policy, the dictate deprived the German nation of all its rights and rendered it defenseless. The foreign situation, moreover, also demanded a clear decision. The shameful dictate was intended to enslave the German nation forever. No limits had been set to this slavery. From the very outset they said: “We won’t state a definite sum for you to pay, because we ourselves do not know what you are able to pay. From time to time we will fix fresh sums; but you must pledge yourselves immediately to pay everything we determine.” And that is what the German governments of those days did.

The fulfillment of these obligations would have reduced Germany to complete ruin forever. And when a Frenchman said that the aim was really to annihilate 20 million Germans, that was by no means mere imagination. It was entirely possible to calculate the time when the German nation would actually number 20 or 3o million less. This enslavement-disastrous even from the purely economic point of view-was now opposed by the Germans, divided into two great camps. Their points of view were completely different; but both placed their hopes in international ideals. The more intellectually inclined camp said: “We believe in a world-conscience, in world justice. We believe in the League of Nations at Geneva.” The others were more proletarian and said: “We believe in international solidarity,” and things of that sort. But they all believed in something outside their own people-were ever ready to take refuge in the hope that others would come and help them.

The conception of the new Movement, whose fundamentals can be expressed in a single sentence: “The Lord helps those who help themselves,” opposed this. That is not only a very pious phrase, but a very just one. For one cannot assume that God exists to help people who are too cowardly and too lazy to help themselves and think that God exists only to make up for the weakness of mankind. He does not exist for that purpose. He has always, at all times, blessed only those who were prepared to fight their own battles. We have seen what can be expected from the help of others. An American President appeared and solemnly declared that if we laid down our arms we should receive this, that and the other thing. We laid down our arms, and the oath was broken and forgotten. When the gentlemen were reminded of it they became very unpleasant. It did not matter how much democratic Germany begged and prayed, she was granted not the slightest relief, not to mention equal justice. Democratic Germany was certainly treated justly: she was treated just as she deserved.

It was in this very town that I began my struggle, my political struggle against Versailles. You know this, you old members of my party. How often did I speak against Versailles! I probably studied this treaty more than any other man. To this day, I have not forgotten it. The Treaty could not be abolished by humility, by submission. It could only be abolished by reliance upon ourselves, by the strength of the German nation.

The days of bitter struggle necessarily led to a selection of leaders. When today I appear before the nation and look at the ranks that surround me, I look at a band of men, real men who stand for something. On the other hand when I regard the cabinets of my opponents, I can only say: “Quite incapable of being put in charge even of one of my smallest groups.” Hard times resulted in a selection of first class men who naturally caused us a little anxiety now and then. Everybody who is worth his salt is sometimes difficult to handle. In normal times it is not always easy to get divergent elements to work together instead of against one another. But as soon as danger threatens, they form the most resolute body of men. Just as selection is a natural consequence of war and brings real leaders to the fore among soldiers, so in the world of politics selection is the outcome of struggle. It was a result of this slow development, this eternal struggle against opposition, that we gradually acquired leaders with whose aid we can today achieve anything.

When, on the other hand, I look at the rest of the world, I am obliged to say: “They were simply asleep while this miracle was taking place. Even today they refuse to grasp it. They do not realize what we are, nor do they realize what they themselves are. They go on like a figure of “Justice”-with blindfolded eyes. They reject what does not suit them. They do not realize that two revolutions in Europe have created something new and tremendous. We are fully conscious of the fact that a second revolution, where the assumption of power occurred earlier than it did in our country, proceeded parallel with ours. The Fascist Revolution, too, yielded the same results. Complete identity exists between our two revolutions, not only as regards aims, but also as regards methods. Over and above this there is our friendship, which is more than cooperation with a purpose in view. Nor do our opponents realize yet, that once I regard a man as my friend, I shall stand by him and that in doing this, I have no eye for profit. I am not a democrat and consequently no mental contortionist. Nor am I a war profiteer, but a man who hopes that, at least after his death, common justice will concede that the struggle of his whole life served a single great ideal.

I wish to display no faltering in this matter. There cannot be the slightest doubt that the bond uniting the two revolutions, and especially the bond uniting their two leaders, is indissoluble, and that one will always support the other. Moreover, it is a common enemy whom we shall defeat.

There was a time when Italy, Fascist Italy, which is engaged in the same struggle as we are, which is shut in in the same way as we are, which is as over-populated as we are and, up until now, has been given no better chance of living than we, kept powerful enemies engaged on our behalf. Numerous British ships were engaged in the Mediterranean; numerous British airplanes were engaged in the African colonies. This was a very good thing for us, for, as I told you the other day, our warfare at sea is just, beginning. The reason for this is that we first wanted to train new crews for the new submarines which will now make their appearance on the scene. Let no one doubt that they are about to appear.

Just two hours ago I received a communiqué from the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy stating that the reports of the last two days from our ships and submarines on the high seas reveal that another 215,000 tons have been sunk; that of this total 190,000 tons were sunk by submarines alone, and that this figure includes a single convoy of 125,000 tons which was destroyed yesterday.

From March and April on, those gentlemen will have to be prepared for something very different. They will see whether we have been asleep during the winter, or whether we have made good use of our time. During the long months when we had so few submarines to fight our battles, Italy kept large forces engaged. It does not matter to us whether our Stukas attack British ships in the North Sea or in the Mediterranean; the result is always the same. One thing is certain: Wherever Britain touches the continent she will immediately have to reckon with us, and wherever British ships appear, our submarines will attack them until the hour of decision comes. Thus, except for Germany, only Italy has had a revolution which, in the long run, will lead, must lead and has led to the construction of a new national community.

We had to exercise patience for many a long year, and I can only say: My opponents may believe that they can terrify me with the threat of time, but I have learned to wait, and I have never been idle while waiting. We had to wait ten years after 1923 until we at last came into power. But you old members of the Party know that we accomplished much in those ten years. What did we not achieve; what did we not construct? The movement which came to power in 1933 was different from that of 1923. We had made good use of our time. It is for this reason that such threats do not frighten us. We were never in the habit of setting ourselves a limit and saying: This must be done on March 1, or June 15, or September 7.

It is only the journalists of our opponents who said that this was so. They always knew everything. They said: “If the National Socialists do not come to power by October 1928, they are lost.” We were not lost. Again they said: “If the National Socialists do not come into power after the September elections in 1930, National Socialism will be a thing of the past.” It was not a thing of the past, although we did not come into power. Then in 1932 they said: “National Socialism is dead. The Fuehrer has refused to enter the cabinet. He does not want any responsibility. He is too cowardly to accept it. We have always said so. We knew it. He shirks responsibility.”

These sharp-witted journalists who are now in England-they are no longer among us-knew all about it. Now they said: “August 13 is the turning point; National Socialism is done for.” August 13 came-and National Socialism was not done for. A few months later they had to fix a new date. Finally came January 30, 1933. Then they said: “Well, now they have made their mistake! They have gained power, and in six weeks they will be finished-three months at the most. Three months, and that will be the end of them.” The six weeks and the three months passed, and still we were not finished.

And so they kept on fixing new dates for our downfall, and now, in wartime, they are doing exactly the same thing. And why not? They are the same people, the same prophets, the same political diviners who prophesied the future so wonderfully when they were here. Now they are employed as assistants in the British Ministry of Information and the British Foreign Office. They always know exactly that on such and such a date the Germans will be finished. We have experienced that more than once. You all know what they said. I need only refer to the celebrated utterance of a great British statesman whom you in Munich know by sight-Mr. Chamberlain. A few days before April 9, of last year, he said: “Thank God, he has missed the bus.” I can remind you of another-the British Commander-in-Chief-who said: “A few months ago I was afraid, now I am afraid no longer. They have missed their opportunity. Besides, they only have young generals. That is their mistake and their misfortune; it is the same with all their leaders. They have lost their opportunity. It is all over.” A few weeks later this general had departed. Probably he too was too young.

Today they are doing exactly the same thing. They always fix final dates. In the autumn they said: “If they don’t land now, all is well. In the spring of 1941 Britain will transfer the offensive to the Continent.” I am still waiting for the British offensive. They have transferred the offensive elsewhere, and now, unfortunately, we must run after them wherever they happen to be. But we shall find them wherever they run. And we shall strike them where they are most vulnerable.

Thus, 21 years of a dauntless struggle for our Movement have passed. After 13 years we at last came to power. Then came years of preparation of our foreign policy, of gigantic work at home. You know that it is all an exact repetition of what happened in the party. We asked nothing of the world but equal rights, just as we asked for the same rights at home. At home we demanded the right to meet freely, the right which the others possessed. We demanded the right of free speech, the same right as a parliamentary party as the others held. We were refused and persecuted with terrorism. Nevertheless, we built up our organization and won the day.

In the same way, I appeared before the world and said: “I ask for no more than the others have. I am prepared to disarm to the limit.” I constantly made new proposals, but we were ridiculed and our demands were refused, exactly as they had been at home. I wanted to negotiate for everything. There can be no better way of achieving anything for a people than by negotiating. It costs less, and, above all, no blood is shed. Who would be so mad as to take by force anything that he could get by reason?

But there are things which must be left to Germany, because she must live. Others have no right to cut us off. It was monstrous for a nation that already possessed 15 million square miles to take another million square miles from another nation. It is intolerable for us to be the puppets of other nations and to have them prescribe for us, for example, what economic policy we are to pursue. We are carrying out the economic policy which is most advantageous to the German people. I am not persuading the others. If they want to sit on their money bags, let them do so. But when they say: “You do the same,” I shall take care not to buy dead gold with the productive power of German workmen.

I purchase the necessities of life with the productive power of German workmen. The results of our economic policy speak for us, not for the gold standard people. For we, the poor have abolished unemployment because we no longer pay homage to this madness, because we regard our entire economic existence as a production problem and no longer as a capitalistic problem. We placed the whole organized strength of the nation, the discipline of the entire nation, behind our economic policy. We explained to the nation that it was madness to wage internal economic wars between the various classes, in which they all perish together.

Of course, a fundamental social principle was necessary to achieve this. It is today no longer possible to build up a state on a capitalistic basis. The peoples eventually begin to stir. The awakening of the peoples cannot be prevented by wars. On the contrary, war will only hasten it. Such states will be ruined by financial catastrophes which will destroy the foundations of their own former financial policy.

The gold standard will not emerge victorious from this war. Rather, the national economic systems will conquer. And these will carry on among themselves the trade that is necessary for them. Whether this does or does not suit a few gold-standard bankers in the world is quite immaterial. And if some of these gold bankers declare: “We cannot tolerate your trading with this or that country,” it is none of their business. In future the peoples will decline to accept rules as to their trade policy laid down by a few bankers. They will follow the policy which is best adapted to their needs.

In this respect we can look to the future with confidence. Germany is an immense factor in world economy, not only as a producer but also as a consumer. We certainly have a great market for our goods. But we are not only seeking markets; we are also the greatest buyers. The Western world wants, on the one hand, to live upon its empires and, on the other hand, to export from its empires as well. That is impossible because in the long run the nations cannot carry on one-sided trade. They not only have to buy, but also have to sell. They can sell nothing to these empires. The peoples will therefore trade with us in the future, regardless of whether this happens to suit certain bankers or not. Therefore we will not establish our economic policy to suit the conceptions or desires of bankers in New York or London.

Germany’s economic policy is conducted exclusively in accordance with the interests of the German people. In this respect I am a fanatical socialist, one who has ever in mind the interests of all his people. I am not the slave of a few international banking syndicates. I am under no obligation to any capitalist group. I sprang from the German people. My Movement, our Movement, is a German people’s Movement, and it is only to this German people that we are obligated.

Our economic policy, I repeat, is determined solely by the interests of the German people. From this principle we shall never depart. If the rest of the world says: “War,” I can only say: “Very well. I do not want war, but no one, however peaceable, can live in peace if his neighbor intends to force a quarrel.”

I am not one of those who sees such a war coming and starts whining about it. I have said and done all that I could; I have made proposal after proposal to Britain; likewise to France. These proposals were always ridiculed-rejected with scorn. However, when I saw that the other side intended to fight, I naturally did that which as a National Socialist of the early days, I did once before: I forged a powerful weapon of defense. And, just as of old, I proclaimed that we should be not merely strong enough to stand the blows of others but strong enough to deal blows in return. I built up the German armed forces as a military instrument of state policy, so that if war were inevitable, these forces could deliver crushing blows.

Only a few days ago, an American general declared before an investigating committee in the House of Representatives that in 1936 Churchill had personally assured him, “Germany is becoming too strong for us. She must be destroyed, and I will do everything in my power to bring about her destruction.”

A little later than 1936, I publicly issued a warning against this man and his activities for the first time. When I noticed that a certain British clique, incited by the Jews-who are of course, the fellows who kindle the flames everywhere-was intentionally provoking war, I immediately made all preparations on my part to arm the nation. And you, my old Party comrades, know that when I speak it is not a mere matter of words, for I act accordingly. We worked like Titans. The armaments we have manufactured in the past few years are really the proudest achievement that the world has ever seen. If the rest of the world tells us: “We are doing likewise now,” I can only reply: “By all means do so, for I have already done it. But above all, don’t tell me any of your tales. I am an expert, a specialist in rearmament. I know exactly what can be made from steel and what can be made of aluminum. I know what achievements can be expected of men and what cannot be expected. Your tales do not impress me in the least. I enlisted the strength of the whole German nation in good time to assist in our arming and, if necessary, I shall enlist that of half Europe. I am prepared for all impending conflicts and consequently face them calmly.” Let the others face them with equal calm.

I place my confidence in the best army in the world, in the best army which the German nation has ever possessed. It is numerically strong, it has the finest weapons and is better led than ever before. We have a body of young leaders who have not merely proved their worth in the present war but, I can well say, have covered themselves with glory. Wherever we look today, we see a bodyguard of chosen men to whom the German soldiers have been entrusted. They in their turn are the leaders of soldiers who are the best trained in the world, who are armed with the finest weapons on earth. Behind these soldiers and their leaders stands the German nation, the whole German people. In the midst of this people, forming its very core, is the National Socialist Movement which began its existence in this room 21 years ago,-this Movement the like of which does not exist in the democratic countries, this Movement whose only pendant is fascism. Nation and army, party and state are today one indivisible whole. No power in the world can loosen what is so firmly welded together. Only fools can imagine that the year 1918 can be repeated.

We encountered the same ideas among our plutocrats at home. They, too, always hoped for internal disruption, dissolution, civil war of German against German. Exactly the same ideas are encountered today. They say: “There will be a revolution in Germany in six weeks.” They do not know who is going to make the revolution. There are no revolutionaries among us. Thomas Mann and others like him went to England. Some have already left England for America, because England is too close to their revolution’s future field of operations. They are establishing their headquarters far from their future field of battle. Nevertheless, they assert that the revolution will come. Who will make it? I do not know. How it will be made, I do not know either. All I know is that in Germany there can be, at the most, only a few fools who might think of revolution, and that they are all behind iron bars.

Then they said: “Winter, General Winter is coming, and he will force Germany to her knees.” But, unfortunately, the German people are “winter-proof.” German history has passed through I do not know how many tens of thousands of winters. We will get through this one, too.

Then they say: “Starvation will come.” We are prepared against this, too. We know the humanitarian sentiments of our British opponents and so have made our preparations. I believe that starvation will reach them before it reaches us.

Then they said: “Time is on our side.” But time is only on the side of those who work. No one has been harder at world than we. Of that I can assure them. In fact, all these vague hopes which they are building up are absolutely childish and ridiculous.

In general, I should like to add one thing: The German people can look back upon many thousands of years of development. Its history goes back 2000 years. For 1000 years there has been a German Reich, a Reich which actually contained only Germans. During this time our people survived the most astounding blows of fate. It will also survive everything that the present or the future may bring. Indeed, it will do so even better, because it is my belief that there has always been a German people and, for more than 1000 years, a German Reich, but there has never before been German unity nor the compact organization of our people that we possess today, and there has not always been the leadership which the German people possesses today.

And so, in all due modesty, I have just one more thing to say to my opponents: I have taken up the challenge of many democratic adversaries and up to now I have always emerged the victor from the conflict. I do not believe that this struggle is being carried on under different conditions. That is to say, the relation of the forces involved is exactly the same as before. In any case I am grateful to Providence that this struggle, having become inevitable, broke out in my lifetime and at a time when I still feel young and vigorous. Just now I am feeling particularly vigorous. Spring is coming, the spring which we all welcome. The season is approaching in which one can measure forces. I know that, although they realize the terrible hardships of the struggle, millions of German soldiers are at this moment thinking exactly the same thing.

We now have a year of incredible successes behind us-also of severe sacrifices, not as a whole, but certainly individually. We know, however, that these successes have not been gained without effort. Countless German men staked their lives at the front with the greatest bravery and are still doing so unflinchingly. What so many of our men are achieving in our regiments, in our tanks, in our airplanes, in our submarines, on our ships and everywhere else in our formations is without parallel. Better and braver soldiers have never existed.

We old National Socialists are particularly proud of them, for we are nothing but a party of ex-soldiers-the ex-soldiers of the Great War. We returned from that war with our hearts burning with rage and fury, but, at the same time, heavy and sore, deeply conscious of the shame that had been inflicted upon our brave people. We who went through the whole struggle of the Great War can best realize what our soldiers are achieving today.

I can only say to our soldiers that our hearts, the hearts of all the old National Socialists, are with them. They are soldiers’ hearts. How many of us were riddled with bullets in the Great War! How many were wounded! How many fought in the ranks! With flaming hearts, all of them watched the campaigns of our armies in the past year. Every single battlefield meant so much to them. It was a tremendous satisfaction to them to see that that for which through long years of terrible misfortune they had once shed their blood, and yet had not been able to achieve, was at last an accomplished fact. How proud they are today of their sons, of the young soldiers of the Third Reich. No one is more fitted to tell them this than the old party members, those old soldiers, who, when they returned from the Great War, refused to endure the disgrace they found at home and immediately began a new struggle within the country, the struggle against the destroyers of our country and of our home. Thus, we; National Socialists are now facing a new year of struggle. We all know that it will bring great decisions.

We look to the future with unshakable confidence. We have passed through the hardest school known to men. We know that the untold sacrifices we have made cannot have been in vain, because we believe in supreme justice. What have we not done in past years? How we have toiled, how we have labored, always with but one end in view: Our nation! Millions have devoted their lives to it; hundreds and thousands have sacrificed them for it.

Providence has not led us along these amazing paths in vain. On the day that the party was founded I recalled that our nation once gained immense victories. Then it became ungrateful, disunited, sinned against itself. Thereupon it was punished by Providence. We deserved our defeat. If a nation forgets itself as completely as the German nation did at that time, if it thinks that it can shake off all honor and all good faith, Providence can do nothing but teach it a hard and bitter lesson. But even at that time we were convinced that once our nation found itself again, once it again became industrious and honorable, once each individual German stood up for his nation first and not for himself, once he placed the interests of the community above his own personal interests, once the whole nation again pursued a great ideal, once it was prepared to stake everything for this ideal, the hour would come when the Lord would declare our trials at an end.

If fate should once more call us to the battlefield, the blessing of Providence will be with those who have merited it by years of hard work. When I compare myself and my opponents in other countries in the light of history, I do not fear the verdict on our respective mentalities. Who are these egoists? Each one of them merely defends the interests of his class. Behind them all stands either the Jew or their own moneybags. They are all nothing but money-grubbers, living on the profits of this war. No blessing can come of that. I oppose these people merely as the 0 champion of my country. I am convinced that our struggle will in the future be blessed by Providence, as it has been blessed up to now.

When I first entered this hall twenty-one years ago, I was an unknown, nameless soldier. I had nothing behind me but my own conviction. During the twenty-one years since, a new world has been created. The road leading into the future will be easier than the road from February 24, 1920, to the present. I look to I the future with fanatical confidence. The whole nation has answered the call. I know that when the command is given: “Forward march!” Germany will march.

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Hitler’s Speech at the Berlin Sports Palace (January 30, 1941)

Monday, August 27th, 2012

My German countrymen, men and women, (long pause) Changes of Government have occurred frequently in history, and in the history of our people. It is certain, however, that never was a change of Government attended with such far-reaching results as that eight years ago. At that time the situation of the Reich was desperate. We were called upon to take over the leadership of the nation at a moment when it did not seem to develop towards a great rise. We were given power in circumstances of the greatest conceivable pressure, the pressure of the knowledge that, by itself, everything was lost, and that, in the eyes of the noblest minds, this represented a last attempt, while in the eyes of evil-wishers it should condemn the National-Socialist Movement to final failure. Unless the German nation could be saved, by a miracle, the situation was bound to end in disaster. For during a period of 15 years, events had moved downwards without respite. On the other hand, this situation was only the result of the World War: of the outcome of the World War, of our own internal, political, moral, and military collapse. For these reasons it is particularly important on a day like this to think back to the course of that entire national misfortune.

What was the cause of the World War? I do not want to explain it from the personal aspect, about which so many treatises have been written. Ordered by the present President Roosevelt, American scholars have investigated the cause of the World War and made sure that there could be no German guilt. In moments of so great importance in contemporary history, individuals can play a significant part only if they enter the scene as really outstanding personalities. This was not then the case. Neither on the German nor on the other side were there personalities cast in an unusual mould. The cause, therefore, could not be due to the failure or to the will of individuals. The reasons went deeper. The German form of government, certainly, could not have been the cause of that war, for Germany was a democracy already-and what a democracy! Strictly copied from the western countries, it was compromise between monarchy and parliamentary leadership. On account of its form of government then, this State could certainly not be the cause of the war waged by the democracies against the Reich as it was then. Germany, considered as a political factor in the world, was much more of a cause, for after centuries of disruption and ensuing weakness, the German tribes and states had at last combined into a new State which naturally introduced a new element into the so-called Balance of Power, an element which was regarded as an alien body by others. Even more potent, perhaps was dislike of the Reich as an economic factor. After Germany had tried for centuries to remedy her economic distress by letting people gradually starve or forcing them to emigrate, the increasing consolidation of the, political power of the Reich gave rise to a development of economic power. Germany began to export commodities rather than men, thereby securing the necessary markets in the world, a process, natural and just from our point of view, but others regarded it as encroachment into their most sacred domains.

Here we come to the State which regarded this encroachment as intolerable-England.

Three hundred years earlier England had gradually built her Empire, not perhaps through the free will or the unanimous demonstrations of those affected, but for 300 years this World Empire was welded together solely by force. War followed war. One nation after another was robbed of its freedom-one state after another was shattered so that the structure which calls itself the British Empire might arise. Democracy was nothing but a mask covering subjugation and the oppression of nations and individuals. This State cannot allow its members to vote if today, after they have been worked upon for centuries, they should freely choose to be members of this Commonwealth. On the contrary, Egyptian Nationalists, Indian Nationalists in their thousands are filling the prisons. Concentration camps were not invented in Germany; it is the English who were the ingenious inventors of this idea. By these means they contrived to break the backbone of other nations, to remove their resistance, to wear them down, and make them prepared at last to submit to this British yoke of democracy.

In this process, a formidable weapon was that of lying, that is, of propaganda. A proverb says that if the Englishman speaks of God he means cotton. And so it is today. Considering how pious and religious are the outward gestures of men who deliberately, and with a cold heart, drive nation after nation into a struggle serving only their material interests, one is compelled to state that rarely has human hypocrisy reached such a pitch as that of the English today. At any rate, at the end of the blood-stained path of British history over three centuries stands the fact that 46,000,000 Englishmen in the mother country are ruling about a quarter of the globe.

This means that there are 46,000,000 men for about 40,000,000 square kilometres. It is important, my countrymen, to shout this to the world again and again, for they are brazen democratic liars who assert that the so-called Authoritarian States are out to conquer the world, while in fact, the conquerors of the world are our old enemies. The British World Empire has left behind an icy stream of blood and tears in the path of its creation. It rules today, undoubtedly, a tremendous section of the globe. But this world government is affected not by the power of an idea, but essentially by force, and where force does not suffice, by the power of capitalist or economic interests.

Bearing in mind the history of the British Empire, we can understand the process itself only as a result of the complete absence of the European Continent as an entity in face of this development, particularly by the absence of the German Reich. For 300 years, Germany was practically non-existent. While the British talked of God without losing sight of their economic interests, the German nation, overstrained to the limit, raised religious problems to such importance that bloody wars, lasting for centuries, ensued. This was one of the conditions which made the formation of the British Empire possible, for in the same measure with which the German nation spent its strength internally, it was eliminated as a power internationally, and in the same measure England could, undisturbed, build her Empire through robbery.

Not only was Germany practically eliminated from competition on this globe during those three centuries; the same holds for Italy, where there were similar phenomena as in Germany, but of a political and dynastic rather than a religious nature. For other reasons again, another great nation in East Asia was eliminated, which also for nearly four centuries had gradually withdrawn from the rest of the world, and ceasing to regard its own living space as vital plunged into voluntary solitude.

In this way a system arose, particularly in Europe, which England called the Balance of Power, which means, in fact, disorganization of the European Continent in favour of the British Isles. For this reason it was for centuries the aim of British policy to maintain this disorganization, not under the name of “disorganization” of course, but with a better sounding name. Just as they do not speak of cotton, but say “God,” they do not speak of the disorganization of Europe but of the “Balance of Power.” And this so-called Balance of Power, that is the real internal importance of Europe, enabled England again and again to play one State against another, so keeping the forces of Europe involved in internal struggle. Thus England could thrust forward undisturbed into other areas offering comparatively little resistance.

And yet to speak today of England’s World Power or of England as the master of the world, is nothing but an illusion. To begin with her internal situation: England, in spite of her world conquests is perhaps socially the most backward State in Europe. Socially backward-that is, a State orientated entirely in the interests of a comparatively small and thin upper stratum and the Jewish clique with which it is allied. The interests of the broad masses are of no weight in determining the orientation of this State. Here again propaganda phrases must serve. One speaks about freedom, one speaks about democracy, one speaks about the achievements of a Liberal system meaning nothing but the stabilization of the regime of a section of society, which, thanks to its capital, is able to get hold of the Press, to organize and direct it, and to create public opinion. Thus, in a State commanding the riches of the world, having gigantic living space at its disposal, in a State with altogether hardly one inhabitant per square kilometre, in a State so blessed by nature, millions are excluded from these benefits, and live in greater poverty than the population of any of the over-populated central European States. The country which is a paradise for a few, is nothing but continuous misery for many, that is, for the masses. Misery in nourishment, misery in clothing, misery particularly in housing; misery in security of income, and in the entire social legislation. And if all of a sudden a British Labour Secretary, who, incidentally, as a member of the Opposition, is paid by the State, appears and says: “After this war, after victory, England will have to tackle social problems; we will have to care for the wide masses,” I can only reply, “We have done this long ago.”

It is only interesting to us as a confirmation of our thesis that England in reality is socially the most backward country in the world. Thus, considered internally, this gigantic external wealth is really barren as far as the masses as distinct from the few are concerned. But even externally this world domination is only a figment. New centres have been given to the world. Gigantic States have arisen which can be neither attacked nor even threatened by Great Britain. The whole British idea of world domination was based on getting others to proceed against the Continent. But outside this European Continent or far beyond it great States have come into existence which are completely unassailable by England. British diplomacy may only attempt to maintain its position there by clever manipulations and by trying to bring other forces into play, which means that it must now attempt to raise the so-called Balance of Power in Europe to a Balance of Power in the world. In other words, it has to play Great Powers against each other in order to maintain at least a semblance of a World Power.

In Europe, itself, however, the awakening of the nations has already done away with the theory of the so-called Balance of Power, that is, disorganization of the Continent.

The national development of Germany and the creation of the new German Empire pierced into this disorganized European Continent and to the south of us, Italy did the same. To this must be added new elements which make the Balance of Power appear an illusion. It exists no longer. Therein we really see the real reason for the World War. Since 1871, when German tribes began to organize themselves and, under the leadership of a statesman of genius, formed an Empire once more, and the national rebirth of the German nation found expression in a united state, Great Britain has been persecuting this new apparition. In 1871, even in 1870, immediately after the battle of Sedan, British newspapers began to point out that this new structure was more dangerous to Great Britain than France had been. It had been hoped even then that Prussia might succeed, perhaps, by a long war, in throwing back France, but there was no wish that from Prussia’s rise there should emerge a national German re-birth or, even more, a new German Empire.

Thus began the period from 1871 to 1914, in which Great Britain continually plotted for a war against Germany, in which she was hostile and aggressive to Germany at every opportunity, until finally the World War broke out, the work of quite a small group of international, unscrupulous rogues. And Great Britain received foreign help for this World War, which, again, she was only able to wage with foreign help.

It is interesting to visualize the development of the British policy of world domination during the last 400 years. First, there was Spain, with Dutch help; then the fight against the Dutch, with the help of other European States, France amongst them; then, finally, was against France, with the help of Europe and that part of the world at Great Britain’s disposal.

The World War which shook Europe from 1914 to 1918 was exclusively the longed-for result of British statesmanship. Although the whole world had at that time been mobilized against Germany, Germany was actually not defeated. We may safely state this today.

I should not like to be a critic of the past if I had not improved upon it. But today, as one of the historic men who have improved matters, I may critically examine and judge the past, and all I can say is that the result of the year 1918 is merely the consequence of a rare accumulation of personal inefficiency in the leadership of our nation, a unique accumulation which had never existed before in history, nor-let me tell these gentlemen-will it ever be repeated. In spite of all this, this country and the German soldier for four years withstood the attack of a hostile world, and the German nation still believed in the honor of the remaining democratic world and its statesmen.

This credulity of the German nation, which was at the time regretted by many, received a terrible reward. If today Englishmen come along and believe that it is only necessary to put on the gramophone the old propaganda records of the years 1917-18 in order to achieve a new result, I can only say they have not forgotten anything, but unfortunately for them, they have not learned by experience. In this respect they differ from the German people. The German nation has learned since then; nor has it forgotten anything.

We do not wish to be mean. Many times there have been broken pledges in the past. But what happened in the years following 1918 was not one broken pledge; broken pledges were mass-produced. Not a single pledge has been fulfilled. Never before has a great nation been deceived as the German nation was then deceived. It had received so many assurances, this credulous nation had been promised so much, and what did they do to our nation? It was plundered, it was exploited. A foreign statesman, an American, was employed to make the German people even more credulous. Perhaps this was really the reason why the German people were duped by this manoeuvre. But in this respect, too, they are immune against any similar attempts. The German people had opportunities, year after year, to ponder the sincerity of democratic promises and assurances and the honesty of democratic statesmen, to make comparison and to test them against their own experiences. It was in this period that the National Socialist movement originated.

If they now say: “But why did they pounce on a new ideology?” my answer is “Because the old one failed miserably.” Not only in the interior-Heavens! democracy was a pitiful thing with us! When 40 or 50 odd parties compete with their gigantic philosophical interests, ranging from that of property down to the level of cyclists’ clubs, estate owners and so on, that in itself is a very bad sight; but quite apart from that; if we only had been rewarded externally for this miserable internal democratic distortion of our lives, we could at least say: “Well that stuff has certainly failed at home, but at least you received decent treatment outside.” At home the whole thing was, of course, nothing but a joke, but foreign countries took you seriously-or at least they pretended that they wanted to take you seriously. If they had kept some of their promises because you were willing to be good democrats on the pattern of others. Oh, if at least this had been the case! But who was it they blackmailed? Who was it they sweated? Was it the National Socialist State? It was the German democracy!

When I came home in 1918 and lived through the winter of 1918 and 1919, I realized, like many other people, that we could not expect regeneration from the existing political world in Germany, and so I began to search-as did so many others-and this was how that conception originated which later conquered the German nation as National-Socialism. I started from the one insight: the German nation fell because it indulged in the luxury of spending its strength at home. This use of strength in the interior took away external strength according to an external law.

The German nation had hoped to gain, in turn, the goodwill of others but it met only the naked egotism of the cruelest and meanest vested interests, which began to loot everything there was to loot. One should not have expected anything else. But now the die was cast. One thing seemed obvious to me: any rise could not originate from outside. First, the German nation had to learn to understand its own political struggle, which enabled it to rally Germany’s entire strength above all its idealistic strength. And this idealistic strength was at the time only to be found in two camps; in the Socialist and in the Nationalist camps. But these were the camps between which there was the most mortal feud and strife. These two camps had to be fused into a new unit.

Today, my countrymen, when millions and millions are marching under the symbol of this unity, this appears to be obvious. But in the years 1918 and 19l9, this seemed to be the product of a diseased imagination. At best, people pitied me. Perhaps, my countrymen, it was lucky that it was so. If people had taken me seriously at that time, they would probably have destroyed me, and the movement at that time was much too small to be able to survive such a destruction. But it was perhaps destiny willed by nature or by God, that they laughed at us, mocked us, and that a certain type of propaganda only ridiculed us and regarded us as a joke. Thus we succeeded, gradually, in forming the first germ, and the first nucleus of a new national community-an almost incredible historical phenomenon started by unknown people and willing followers among the masses of the people itself.

There is only one other State in which this process may be regarded as having come to a successful conclusion: Italy; nowhere else in Europe. In many States we see, perhaps, a beginning and in all the democracies they fully realise the importance of such a process, and believe that they can achieve similar results by swindle. They forget one thing: such a rebirth of a nation is really a miraculous event, an event which pre-supposes faith rather than so-called abstract and super-clever knowledge.

The fact that in the years 1918 to 1921 the simple belief of the broad masses slowly came to us, was the beginning of our Movement. That made the little man from the factories and the mines, from the farms, from the offices, believe in his future, in the future of this idea and this Movement, and in the victory which was yet to come. At that time our point of view was that if the German nation were not to repair its prestige in the world, that is to say, did not again become a powerful factor, Germany would shortly have 20,000,000 people less. This was a matter of simple deduction.

Year after year unemployment increased and caused the confusion of national conceptions and of economic plans. The constant change of Governments prevented any wider vision. Projects could not even be made for two or three months ahead, because one could be sure that in three months the government would have changed. One would say-“Why should I clear up the mistakes made by others?” Another would say, “Why should I make improvements only for someone else to benefit?” There was no longer any reason to attempt any efficacious and real solution. But this state of affairs naturally increased national weakness, and the economic decline, and caused more unemployment. The burden became greater, the capacity to carry it less, and the end had to be a collapse, the result of which could not be foreseen.

It was well to be believed that the kind and humane prophecy of the great democrat Clemenceau that we had 20,000,000 people too many would become the truth. Thus the programme of unification of the German forces, of blind obedience to a goal was created to assure our right to live forever and ever.

By so doing we chose a path between two extremes. The one of these extremes was holding our people: It was the liberal-individualist extreme which made the individual not only the centre of interest but also the centre of all action. On the other hand, our people were tempted by the theory of universal humanity which alone was to guide the individual. Our ideals were between the two: we saw the people as a community of body and soul, formed and willed by Providence. We are put into this community and within it alone can we form our existence. We have consciously subordinated all considerations to this goal, have shaped all interests according to it, and all our actions. Thus the National-Socialist world of thought arose which has overcome individualism, but not by cutting down individual capacities or individual initiative, only by asserting that the common interest is superior to individual liberty and the initiative of the individual. This common interest regulates and orders, if necessary, curtails, but also commands.

Thus we started a struggle against everyone in those days, against the individualist as well as against the humanitarians. And in this struggle we slowly conquered the German nation during 14 years. The 1000 members which this Movement counted at the end of its first year of life, a number which was to increase steadily-these followers were but Germans who had come from other movements. Hundreds of thousands of my SA and SS had been fighters in other organizations, whom we had all convinced and conquered by winning their inner allegiance. That was perhaps the greatest battle of souls in our history. I could not force anybody to go with me, to enter my organization-they all had to be inwardly convinced and this conviction caused them to make great sacrifices. This struggle was to be really fought out in the spirit by word, form and writing. Only when an ill-willed opponent said: “I cannot defeat you in the spirit, but I am stronger than you,” only then did I, the former soldier, rightly answer violence with violence. Before I (apparently one or two words left out by Hitler) . . . the fighting movement which fought by the spirit as long as the opponent kept to spiritual weapons…. But I did not hesitate to appeal to violence when the other thought he would help the spirit by violence.

Our opponents at that time were those who have always fought us inside as well as outside the country: a conglomeration of people who feel, think and act according to international ideas. We know the coalitions of that time. In this battle of the spirit we have defeated them everywhere. For when at last I was called to power, I came in the legal way, under the Presidency of Reichs General Field Marshal von Hindenburg because I was backed by the strongest movement.

This means that the so-called National Socialist Revolution has defeated democracy, within democracy, by democracy. We acquired power legally and today, too, I am facing you here on a mandate given to me by the German nation, a mandate more comprehensive than that which any one of the so-called democratic statesmen possess today.

When we came to power in 1933 our road was clearly mapped out. It had been defined in a struggle of 15 years, which in a thousand demonstrations had put us under an obligation to the German people. And I would be dishonourable and deserve to be stoned if I had deviated but one step from this programme, or if I were to do so now. The social part of this programme meant unifying the German people, overcoming all class and race prejudices, educating the German for the community, and if necessary, breaking any opposition to this unity. Economically, it meant building a National German economy which appreciated the importance of private initiative, but subordinated the entire economic life to the common interest. Believe me, here, too, no other aim is thinkable. In times in which the sons are arrayed for defence in battle, and where no difference can be made between those who represent much, and those who represent little, economic advantages or privileged positions to the disadvantage of the total community cannot be maintained. As everywhere, I proceeded here by teaching, educating and slow adaptation, for it was my pride to carry out this revolution without one single window-pane being broken in Germany. A revolution which led to the greatest changes ever achieved on earth, but which destroyed nothing, only slowly reorganized everything, until at last the entire great community had found its new road,-that was my goal.

It was the same in foreign politics. My programme was to do away with Versailles. People all over the world should not pretend to be simpletons and act as if I had only discovered this programme in 1933, or 1935 or 1937. These gentlemen should only have read what I wrote about myself a thousand times instead of listening to stupid emigre trash. No human being can have stated and written down as often as I what he wanted, and I wrote it again and again: “Away with Versailles!”

And this was not a whim of ours, but the reason was that Versailles was the greatest injustice and the most abject ill-treatment of a great people ever known in history. Without the abolition of this instrument of force-meant to destroy the German people-it would have been impossible to keep this people alive. I came forward as a soldier with this programme, and spoke about it for the first time in 1919. And I have kept to this programme as to a solemn obligation during all the years of the struggle for power, and when I came to power I did not say like democratic politicians (follows a quotation from Schiller’s Fiesco meaning roughly: “The monster has carried out his work, now he can be dismissed.”) But at that moment I said to myself: “Thank God, for having brought me to a point where I can put my programme into action.”

But again I did not want to do this with violence. I talked as much as any human being can. My speeches in the Reichstag, which cannot be falsified by democratic statesmen, are evidence for history. What offers did I make them! How I begged them to be reasonable! I begged them to see reason and not to interfere with the existence of a great nation. I proved to them that they themselves would derive no benefit from it. I told them it was senseless, and that they would only do themselves harm. What have I not done in all these years to pave the way to an understanding? It would never have been possible to begin this armament race unless others had wanted it. I made proposals to them. However, every proposal, coming as it did from me, was sufficient to cause excitement among a certain Jewish-international-capitalist clique, just as it used to happen formerly in Germany when every reasonable proposal was rejected only because it was made by National Socialists.

My Reichstag speech on 17th May 1933, or for that matter, my later speeches, my innumerable announcements at public meetings, all the memoranda which I wrote in these days-they were all governed by the one idea: whatever happened it must be possible to find a method for a peaceful revision of this Versailles Treaty. That this Treaty was an infamous document, all its authors finally admitted. In fact, the possibility of a revision was to be left open. Only they made the League of Nations the agent for this purpose, and this institution was quite unsuited for its task. The League of Nations was established on the one hand to prevent a revision of the Treaty, and, on the other hand, was to have jurisdiction for such a revision.

At first we were not members of the League, and later German participation amounted in the last analysis to nothing but the payments of yearly installments. That was the only positive thing as far as Germany could see. Of course, Germany was then a Democracy and the Democrats of Berlin begged, on their knees. They went to Geneva before the International Tribunal. They begged: “Give us a revision.” Everything was in vain.

I, as a National Socialist, recognized after a few months that this Tribunal would not help us. Accordingly, I did what I could, but I say our adversaries always confused us with the people with whom they had dealt since November 1918. The German nation had nothing in common with those men. That was not Germany. They were miserable individuals kept by England and France, who had doped them. That was not the German nation, and to connect the nation with such people we regard as a defamation.

If the others believed they could apply the same methods to us they applied to the November men, they were greatly mistaken. In that event both sides were at cross purposes. They could not expect us to go to Geneva and continue begging, to receive kicks, and to beg again. If they expected that, they mistook the former German soldier for the traitor of 1918. Of course, those November men could not do anything but give in, for they were in fetters; they were caught in the fetters of that other world. We, however, have no reason to give in to that other world, or do the English perhaps believe that we have an inferiority complex when we compare ourselves with them. (Several words drowned in applause.)

Then they forced us down by a lie; a trick, but the British soldiers did not defeat us. Neither did it seem during the Western campaign that any change has taken place.

I, myself, and in fact, all of us, made up our minds that voluntary negotiation at Geneva would not yield any result. The only thing to do, therefore, was to leave Geneva.

Never in my life have I pushed myself. Those who do not want to talk to me need not do so. Now here are 85,000,000 Germans looking into the future with pride and confidence. They are heirs of a great history. We had a world empire when England was nothing but a small island, and for a longer time than for 300 years. Indeed, they forced us to take the road which we took. The League of Nations only ridiculed and derided us. We left it. At the Disarmament Conference, the same happened, and we left it. We started on the road which we were forced to choose, but all the time we strove for understanding and conciliation. In this connection I may point out that our striving in one case, in that of France, almost succeeded. When the Saar Plebescite took place and the Saar territory was returned to the Reich, I made up my mind, with difficulty, and declared on behalf of the German nation that I would waive any further revision in the West. The French accepted this as a matter of course, but I told the French Ambassador of the day: Look here, this is by no means a matter of course as you seem to imagine. What we are doing is making a sacrifice in the interest of peace. We make this sacrifice, but we, at least, want to have peace in exchange for it.

But the ruthlessness of the capitalist plutocrats in these countries always broke through in a short time, fostered by emigrants who presented a picture of the German situation which was naturally quite mad, but was believed because it seemed agreeable and then, of course, it was propagated by Jewish hatred. This collection of capitalist interests on the one hand, Jewish instincts of hatred and the emigrants’ lust for revenge, succeeded in increasingly beclouding the world, enveloping it in phrases, and in inciting it against the present German Reich, just as against the Reich which preceded us. At that time they opposed the Germany of the Kaiser, this time they opposed National-Socialist Germany. In fact, they opposed any Germany which might be in existence. But my decision was firm: in no circumstances to abandon one’s rights, for in doing so it would not be theories which were given up, but the lives of millions of the future. I do not sacrifice some point or other in a party programme, for in such a case one sacrifices the future, a race, and nobody is entitled to do that unless he stands before the people and says: “I can no longer represent your interests; someone else must take over.”

But we did not come to power having on our programme: “We are ready to abandon the interests of the German nation.” I came with the oath: “I abandon no interests.” For, my country, it was not as if the abandoning of interests would bring quiet for all time. We saw that from the old German Reich, which began with abandoning the Western Provinces of the Reich, and went on and on, and every decade demanded further sacrifices, until finally Germany was broken in pieces-then the century-long powerlessness came over the people. As against that, I am determined not to give way one step. Therefore when I saw that the old warmongers of the Great War were resuming their criminal activities in England, when Messrs. Churchill, Eden, Duff Cooper and Hore-Belisha and so on, and Vansittart, our great old friend, and then Chamberlain and Halifax-when these old men again began their warmongering then it was clear to me that these people were not concerned with reaching a just understanding with Germany, but that they believed they could again break Germany down, cheaply, and the quicker the easier.

You know what happened then, my countrymen. In those years, beginning in 1934, I armed. When in the Reichstag in September 1939, I outlined the extent of German armament, the rest of the world did not believe; for those who live by bluff think that others are only bluffing. But we have already experienced that internally. Here, too, my opponents never believed me. When it is said that the prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, I should like to extend it, and say that his prophecies are not esteemed. So it always was with me. And now it goes beyond our own country: we are having exactly the same experience as my National Socialist co-fighters had at home. Every one of our prophecies was laughed at, every statement was represented as ridiculous, every picture of the future described as a fantastic chimera. We were greeted only with mockery and laughter. Now I can only say to this world: “But I have armed and very much so.” The German people know it today. But it does not know nearly all.

But it is not at all necessary that everything should be told. What is decisive is that everything has been done.

We have demanded nothing from the others. When France entered this war, she had absolutely no reason. It was merely the desire to fight against Germany again. They said, “We want the Rhineland; naturally we now want to split up Germany; we want to tear away the Ostmark, we want to disintegrate Germany.” They actually wallowed in fantasies of the destruction of our Reich, which were completely unreal in the 20th Century, the century of the conception of nationality. It was simply childish.

And England? I held out my hand, again and again. It was actually my programme to reach an understanding with the English people. We had really no point of difference, absolutely none. There was a solitary point, the return of the German colonies, and on that I said, “We will negotiate that some time,-I do not fix any time.” For England those colonies are useless. They cover 40,000,000 square metres. What do they do with them? Absolutely nothing. That is only the avarice of old usurers, who possess something and will not give it up; perverted beings who see their neighbour has nothing to eat, while they themselves cannot use what they possess. The mere thought of giving away something makes them ill. Moreover, I have demanded nothing which belonged to the English, I have demanded only what they robbed and stole in the years 1918 and 19l9. In fact, robbed and stole against the solemn assurance of the American President. We have not asked them for anything, not demanded anything, again and again I offered my hand for negotiations.

Evermore clearly it became apparent that it is German unification itself, this very State, which they hate-irrespective of its aspect, no matter whether Imperial or National Socialist, whether Democratic or Authoritarian. Most of all they hate the social progress of the Reich, and here, clearly, external hatred has combined with the meanest internal egotism. For they say: “Never shall we be reconciled with this world-it is the world of awakening social conscience . . . (end of sentence drowned in applause). As far as this goes, I can only tell the gentlemen on both shores of the Atlantic: “In the present war that side will achieve victory in the end where the social conscience . . . (several inaudible words). They can wage wars for their capitalist interests, but in the end these wars will open the way for social risings within the nations; for in the long run it is impossible that hundreds of millions of human beings should be aligned according to the interests of a few individuals. In the long run the greater interest of mankind is bound to prevail over the interests of these little plutocratic profiteers.

Proof that in other countries, too, a crisis is already beginning to develop in this sphere, is that English Labour Leaders now suddenly come out with new social conceptions, so worn out and antiquated that I can only say: “Put them back into the chest. We have already divested ourselves of this sort of material, it is out of date. If you want to know how these things are being done, then you must not take up programmes which in our country would have been modern in the 80’s or 90’s. You must come to us and study here, then you will learn something, gentlemen.” But the mere fact that anything like that is suddenly put forward as an aim-for what then are these gentlemen actually waging war? First, they said it was to fight against National Socialism that the nations of the world had to be bled white, and now, suddenly they detect in their bottom drawers, points that were in the programmes of our predecessors. Why all this? They could have had all this cheaper. But this fact furnishes proof that there, too, the nations are showing signs of action, or if for instance a storm breaks out in England, because somebody-a colonel or a general, I believe-declares that in the England of such an advanced social standard, they cannot use officers taken from the lower section of the population, but only officers from the upper classes-the others are unfit-then I can only say, do you get exasperated because he has said this? You should not get exasperated because this is not the case, but not for the reason that somebody has at long last expressed it. It is interesting that no one gets exasperated over the fact that the reality is like this, that is to say, that in point of fact only representatives of the upper classes can attain a position there. This is what should exasperate you, and not the fact that by mere chance someone was, while this war is on, unwise enough to make that statement. In our country if you are interested to hear it, this was remedied long ago. Only a short time ago you pointed out to us that our officers and generals were incapable, because they are all too young and infested with National Socialist ideas. Meanwhile developments have shown which side has the better generals. If the war continues this will prove a great misfortune for England, and you will have ample opportunity to gain further experience. The English will make up their minds to send a commission which is to take over our soldiers. It is this social Germany which is hated most by this clique, a conglomeration of Jews, their financiers and profiteers. Our foreign policy, our policy in the interior and our economic policy have been clearly defined. We have set ourselves only one aim: the people. All paths upon which we set our feet will lead to this purpose. Furthermore, we recognize that unless one wants to destroy everything, one must start and proceed on this path with many compromises and many leniencies. But the movement is not the temporary appearance of one man. Many years ago, in Mein Kampf I said that National Socialism will put its stamp on the next thousand years of Germany history. You cannot conceive it without National Socialism. It will only then disappear when its programme has become a matter of course. But not before that time.

But even in war, the possibility of an understanding still existed. At once, after the war with Poland, I held out my hand. I did not ask anything from either France or England. It was in vain. After the collapse in the west, I again held out my hand to England. I was received with derision. They practically spat at me. They were indignant. All right. Everything is in vain. The financial interests of this Democracy are victorious over the true National interests. Once more, the nations’ blood must be at the service of the money of this small group of interested people. Thus the war started and thus it will go on. But, looking back, I may point out one thing: the year behind us and the last part of the previous year have practically decided this war. The opponent which they first mobilized against us in the East was overthrown in a few weeks. The attempt to cut us off from Norway and the iron ore bases, and to gain a base for attack against Northeast Germany was dealt with in the same way, within a few weeks. The attempt to reach the border of the Ruhr and the Ruhr zones via Holland and Belgium collapsed after a few days. France went the same way. England was chased from the Continent.

I sometimes read now of a British intention to begin a great offensive somewhere. I have only one wish: that they should inform me of it in advance; then I would have this European territory cleared beforehand. I should like to save them the difficulties of landing and we should then introduce ourselves and discuss matters once more. And in the language which is the only one they understand they now have hopes. For they must have hopes. What are they expecting now?

We are now standing on this Continent and from where we stand nobody will be able to remove us again. We have created certain bases, and when the time comes we shall deal the decisive blows, and that we have made good use of our time will be historically impressed on the gentlemen during this year.

What are they waiting for? For the help of others? I can only say one thing: we have from the beginning allowed for any eventuality. That the German nation has no quarrel with the Americans is evident to everybody who does not consciously wish to falsify truth. At no time has Germany had interests on the American Continent except perhaps that she helped that Continent in its struggle for liberty. If States on this continent now attempt to interfere in the European conflict, then the aim will only be changed more quickly. Europe will then defend herself. And do not let people deceive themselves. Those who believe they can help England must take note of one thing: every ship, whether with or without convoy which appears before our torpedo tubes is going to be torpedoed.

We are involved in a war which we did not want. Otherwise one could not stretch out one’s hand to the other side. However, if those financial hyenas want war, if they want to exterminate Germany, they will get the surprise of their lives. This time they are not up against a weakened Germany, as they were during the World War. This time, they have joined battle with a Germany which is mobilized to the limit of her power, able and resolved to fight. However, should the other side entertain hopes to the contrary, then I can only say, “I cannot understand you.”

They speak of Italy’s coming defection. Let those gentlemen not invent revolution in Milan, let them rather see that unrest does not break out in their own countries.

Those countries view the relationship between Germany and Italy as they do their own. If in democracies one gives aid to the other, he asks a quid pro quo-bases or something of the sort. These he then owns. When, therefore, the Italians sent aircraft formations to the Atlantic coast the English newspapers wrote that the Italians were putting their oar in the conduct of the war, and that they would in future demand an Atlantic base by way of compensation. On the other hand, now that German aircraft formations are in Sicily, they say that presumably Germany will confiscate that island. These gentlemen can be quite certain that no German or Italian is moved by such fine stories. Such tales show only the pathetic lack of spirit of those people who in England retail such anecdotes.

We can deduce from those writings that the people over there have not yet understood the meaning of the present war, but we have understood it very well. Wherever we can meet England we will meet her. However, if they regard the present setbacks of our partner as evidence of their victory, then I really cannot understand Englishmen. Whenever they have setbacks of their own they regard them as big victories. The gentlemen over there may be convinced our calculation is quite accurate, and the reckoning will be made after the war, foot by foot, square kilometre by square kilometre. Another thing these people must understand, the Duce and myself are not Jews nor out for bargains. If we shake hands, that is the handshake of men of honour. I hope that in the course of the year the gentlemen will acquire a more accurate understanding of this.

Perhaps they pin their hopes on the Balkans. If I were they, I would not give much for that. One thing is certain. Whenever England puts in an appearance we shall attack her, and we are sufficiently strong to do so.

Perhaps they pin their hopes on other countries which they can involve in this war. I don’t know. But my Party comrades, men and women, you have known me for so many years as a careful man with foresight; I can assure you that every possible contingency has been weighed and calculated. We shall win final victory.

Perhaps, though probably not to the same extent, they expect famine. We have organized our lives. We know at the beginning that there would not be too much of anything in war time. However, the German nation will never starve, never, rather will the English nation, those gentlemen can be sure of that.

Raw material shortage! That too, we have foreseen, and have for that reason made our Four Year’s Plan. Maybe this has already dawned on some Englishmen.

There might be one other point. Perhaps they really believe that once again they will be able to dope the German nation with their lies, their propaganda and their empty words. To this I can only say that they should not have slept for so long. It would be better for them to look into the development of the German nation somewhat more carefully. In the same way, they were idiotic enough to try to estrange the Italian nation and the Duce. One British lord rises and appeals to the Italian nation no longer to follow the Duce, but his lordship. That is too idiotic. Such an ass (next words drowned). Then another lord rises and admonishes the German nation to follow his lordship, and to turn away from me. I can only tell these people: “Others in Germany have tried that game.” Those people have no conception of the German nation, of the National-Socialist State, of our community, the army of our marching masses, of our people. Those people have no conception of our propaganda. Perhaps, because they themselves were not quite convinced of the effectiveness of their ideas, which they borrowed from some people in Germany. However, these people are those who so miserably failed here, the emigrants who had to leave. Such are their advisors, and we can see it by the pamphlets. We know for certain that this one was written by this fellow, that one by that fellow. Just as idiotic as (following drowned) in the time of the “system.” Only at that time this stuff was labelled Vossische Zeitung and is now labelled Times or something, and those people imagine that these old, old stories, which were a failure in the Vossische Zeitung will now be successful because they are published by The Times or the Daily Telegraph.

A real softening of the brain has broken out in these Democracies. They can rest assured, the German people will do everything necessary for its interest. It will follow its leadership. It knows that its leadership has no other goal. It knows that today the man at the head of the Reich is not one with a packet of shares in his pocket and with ulterior motives. This German people, I know it and I am proud of it, is pledged to me and will go with me through thick and thin. An ancient spirit has come to life again in this people-a spirit which was with us once before, a fanatic readiness to accept any burden. We will repay every blow with compound interest. The blow will only harden us, and whatever they mobilize against us, and if the world were full of devils, we will succeed all the same (quote from Luther’s hymn, “A mighty fortress is our God”). But when they end up by saying: “But think of all the mistakes they made!” God, who doesn’t make mistakes! This morning I read that an Englishman, I don’t know how, has calculated that I made seven mistakes last year. The man is mistaken. I have checked it. I did not make seven mistakes but 724. But I continued to calculate and found that my opponents had made 4,385,000. That is right. I have checked it carefully. We will manage to get on in spite of our mistakes. We will make as many mistakes this year as last year, and if I make as many mistakes as in 1940, then I must thank God on my knees at the end of the year for letting me make only seven mistakes. And if the enemies do as many clever things as last year, I shall be satisfied.

We go into the new year with a fighting force armed as never before in our German history. The number of our divisions on land has been enormously increased. Pay has been increased, the gigantic unique experience of war among the leaders and the file has been put to use. The equipment has been improved-our enemies will see how it has been improved (applause and commotion). In the spring our U-boat war will begin at sea, and they will notice that we have not been sleeping (shouts and cheers). And the Air Force will play its part and the entire armed forces will force the decision by hook or by crook. Our production has increased enormously in all spheres. What others are planning we have achieved. The German people follows its leadership with determination, confident in its armed forces and ready to bear what fate demands. The year 1941 will be, I am convinced, the historical year of a great European New Order. The programme could not be anything else than the opening up of the world for all, the breaking down of individual privileges, the breaking of the tyranny of certain peoples, and better still, of their financial autocrats.

Finally this year will help to assure the basis for understanding between the peoples, and thereby, for their reconciliation. I do not want to miss pointing out what I pointed out on 3rd of September [1940] in the German Reichstag, that if Jewry were to plunge the world into war, the role of Jewry would be finished in Europe. They may laugh about it today, as they laughed before about my prophecies. The coming months and years will prove that I prophesied rightly in this case too. But we can see already how our racial peoples which are today still hostile to us will one day recognise the greater inner enemy, and that they too will then enter with us into a great common front. The front of Aryan mankind against Jewish-International exploitation and destruction of nations.

The year which lies behind us has been a year of great successes, but also, it is true, one of many sacrifices. Even if the total number of dead and wounded is small in comparison with former wars the sacrifices for each individual family concerned weigh heavy. Our whole sympathy, our love and care belongs to those who had to make these sacrifices. They have suffered what generations before us also had to suffer. Each individual German had to make other sacrifices. The nation worked in all spheres. German women worked to replace men. It is a wonderful idea of community which dominates our people. That this ideal, that our whole strength should be preserved in the coming year-this should be our wish today. That we will work for this community-let that be our vow. That we conquer in devotion to this community-that is our faith, one in which we are confident, and that the Lord should not abandon us in this struggle of the coming year-let that be our prayer. Deutschland! Sieg Heil!

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Court lifts ban on domestic military ops

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The strict ban on German military operations within the country was adopted following World War II, in reaction to the Nazi regime having used the army and paramilitary forces for its domestic agenda.

On Friday, the Federal Constitutional Court said the Bundeswehr armed forces could deploy under strict conditions in case of an assault in Germany with the potential for scores of casualties.

The deployment of troops in Germany was only acceptable in “states of emergency of catastrophic proportions,” the judges ruled, but never “in reaction to the threat posed by demonstrating crowds”.

The use of combat weapons was only acceptable “as a last resort” and must be approved by the federal government, not simply delegated to the defence minister.

Shooting down a hijacked passenger plane with civilians on board remained illegal after the ruling – but fighter jets could attempt to force such an aircraft to land with warning shots.

The ruling marked a reversal of a decision by the same court in 2006 and was a response to complaints from two of Germany’s 16 federal states.

The German government had attempted to allow more flexibility in its military response to a possible terror attack in the wake of the September 11, 2001 suicide hijackings in the United States.

But it ran into resistance from the court, which cited strict restrictions on the deployment of the military in Germany set down in the post-war constitution.

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Hitler’s Speech at Saarbruecken SPEECH OF OCTOBER 9, 1938

Monday, August 13th, 2012

German Folk!

If in the midst of these great days and their occurrences I have come into your district, then it was done in the conviction that nobody can evince greater appreciation of these last weeks and days than yourself.

You may, men and women of Saarland, you have experienced for yourselves what it means to be separated from the Reich and you yourselves have gone through the joy of being reunited. You, too, suffered all this woe for two decades, and you, too, were supremely happy when the hour of reunion struck and you could return to the common Reich. Exactly that same thing was experienced and participated in by millions of Germans. The same joy seized them that once stirred you. At the beginning of this year, the twentieth after our collapse, I made a decision to lead back into the Reich 10,000,000 Germans who still stood outside.

It was perfectly clear to me that this return could be compelled only by our own strength. The rest of the world, for the largest part, had no understanding. It neither saw nor wanted to see that here, 10,000,000 humans, in violation of the so-called right of self-determination of peoples, had been separated from the German people and the Reich and had been maltreated. But it has not understood that these human beings had but one great yearning, namely, to return to the Reich. These international world citizens have compassion indeed, for every scoundrel who is called to account in Germany, but they are deaf to the sufferings of millions. That world is still filled with the spirit of Versailles. It did not free itself from it. No, Germany has liberated herself from it.

Even today it still is a mixture of terrible inconsiderateness and appalling ignorance for these countries to overlook justice and give lasting effect to injustice. And so these world democracies remained deaf for twenty years to all the sufferings and demands of 10,000,000 Germans. Accordingly, a hard decision had to be made. Among us, too, there were weak characters who did not understand this. It is self-evident, however, that statesmen conscious of their responsibility made it a point of honor to take responsibility.

The following were the preconditions for bringing about and carrying through solutions:

First, internal unity of the nation. I am convinced I am Leader of a manly people. I know what probably many in the rest of the world and even isolated ones in Germany do not seem as yet to know – namely, that the people of the year 1938 are not the people of 1918. Only those who were blind concerning National Socialism could overlook the tremendous work of education that the good philosophy of life has accomplished. There has been created today a community of spirit throughout our people of power and strength such as Germany never before has known. This was the first precondition for the undertaking, and for the success of this task.

Second was national rearmament, which I sponsored fanatically for six years. I am of the opinion that it is cheaper to prepare one’s self before events than to lie prostrate unprepared for events and then pay the foreign country.

The third thing was rendering secure the Reich, and here you yourselves are witnesses to the tremendous work that is being accomplished in your very neighborhood. I need tell you no details about it. I will give expression, however, to but one conviction: NO POWER IN THE WORLD WILL BE ABLE TO PUSH THROUGH THIS WALL.

Fourth, we have gained foreign friends. That axis that people in other countries so often think they can ridicule has, during the last two and a half years, not only proved durable but has proved that even in the worst hours it con- tinues to function. Nevertheless, we are especially happy that this task of the year 1938 of again joining 10,000,000 Germans and about 110,000 square kilometers [42,470 square miles] to the Reich could be accomplished in peace.

We are all so happy no blood was shed over this despite the hopes of so many international agitators and profiteers. If I mention the help of the rest of the world in bringing about this peaceful solution, I must again and again place at the head of it our only real friend whom we possess today – Benito Mussolini.

I know, and I know that you know what we owe this man. I should like also to mention two other statesmen who tried hard to find a way to peace and who, together with the great Italian and us have concluded an agreement that secured justice for 10,000,000 Germans and peace for the world. I am happy these millions of Germans are free, that they belong to us and that peace has been secured.

Nevertheless, the experiences, especially of the last eight months, must strengthen our resolve to be careful and never to leave anything undone that must be done for the protection of the Reich. Opposite us are statesmen who – that, we must believe of them – also want peace. HOWEVER, THEY GOVERN IN COUNTRIES WHOSE INTERNAL CONSTRUCTION MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM AT ANY TIME TO BE SUPPLANTED BY OTHERS WHO DO NOT AIM AT PEACE. THESE OTHERS ARE THERE. IN ENGLAND, IT MERELY IS NECESSARY THAT INSTEAD OF CHAMBERLAIN, A DUFF COOPER OR AN EDEN OR A CHURCHILL COME INTO POWER. WE KNOW THAT THE AIM OF THESE MEN WOULD BE TO START WAR. They do not attempt to hide it. That obligates us to be on the watch to think of the protection of the Reich.

We know further that now, as before, there is lurking threateningly that Jewish-international world enemy who has found a living expression in bolshevism. We also know the power of the international press that lives solely on lies and calumniation. In view of this peculiarity of the world about us and of these forces we must be careful about the future. We must at all times have a will for peace but be ready for defense.

I have, therefore, decided to continue construction of our fortifications in the west with increased energy as already indicated in my Nuremberg speech. Also, I shall include large districts that hitherto lay before our fortifications namely the Aachen region and Saarbruecken region, in this belt of fortifications. That will be done for the protection of the Reich.

As for the rest, I am happy now to be able within the next few days to rescind those measures that we have projected or been compelled to introduce during critical months and weeks. I am happy hundreds of thousands of men can go home and reservists can be discharged. I am happy to be able to thank them for doing their duty. I am particularly happy to be able to thank the German people for having conducted itself in so wonderfully manly a manner. Especially do I thank a hundred thousand German workers, engineers and others of whom 10,000 are standing in your midst – men who helped build fortifications. You have helped, my comrades, to secure peace for Germany, and so, as a strong State, we are ready at all times to embark upon a policy of understanding with the world about us. We can do that. We want nothing from others. We have no wishes or demands. We want peace.

There is only one thing – THIS REFERS TO OUR RELATIONS TO ENGLAND: IT WOULD BE GOOD IF IN ENGLAND CERTAIN MANNERISMS HELD OVER FROM THE VERSAILLES PERIOD WERE DISCARDED. WE JUST CANNOT STAND FOR A GOVERNESS-LIKE GUARDIANSHIP OF GERMANY.

Inquiries by British statesmen or Parliamentarians concerning the fate of the Reich’s subjects inside Germany are out of order. We do not bother about similar things in England. The rest of the world would sometimes have had reason enough to bother about international happenings – happenings in Palestine. We leave this to those who feel themselves pre-ordained by God to solve these problems. And we observe with amazement how they do solve them. We must, however, give these gentlemen advice to attend even more to the solution of their own problems and to leave us in peace.

It also is part of the task of securing world peace that responsible statesmen and politicians look after their own affairs and refrain from constantly meddling talk with the problems of other countries and peoples. By such mutual considerateness, preconditions are really created for durable peace, of which no one is more earnestly desirous than the German people.

We have great tasks facing us, great cultural tasks. Economic problems must be solved. No people can make better use of peace than we. However, no people knows better than we what it means to be weak and be at the mercy of others for better or for worse.

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Hitler’s speech in Sportpalast, Berlin SPEECH OF OCTOBER 5, 1938

Monday, August 13th, 2012

WHEN six years ago I took over the leadership of the Reich one of our so-called ‘statesmen’ of that day said: ‘Now this man has taken the decisive step. Up to now he has been popular, because he has been in opposition. Now he must govern and we shall see in six or eight weeks how his popularity will look’! Six years – not six weeks only – have passed and I believe that they have been the most decisive years for German history. The most characteristic feature of this period is the close unity of the German people. What I have achieved in these six years was possible only because I had standing behind me the whole German people. The problems which faced us no single man could solve unaided: only when he could speak and, if necessary, also act in the name of the whole German people could he master these questions….

During the last few months and weeks I have had in my foreign policy a great helper and previously, in my last speech in this hall [the Sportpalast], I expressed my thanks to the man who took his stand in support of Germany as a true, great friend, Benito Mussolini. He has thrown into the scale of a just solution the entire force not only of his own genius but of the power which stands behind him. I must also thank the two other great statesmen who at the last minute recognized the historical hour, declared themselves ready to give their support to the solution of one of Europe‘s most burning problems and who thereby made it possible for me, too, to offer the hand towards an understanding. But above all my thanks fly to the German people which in these long months has never deserted me. . . .. I am proud of my German people! I hope that in a few days the problem of the Sudeten Germans will be finally solved. By October 10 we shall have occupied all the areas which belong to us. Thus one of Europe’s most serious crises will be ended, and all of us, not only in Germany but those far beyond our frontiers, will then in this year for the first time really rejoice at the Christmas festival. It should for us all be a true Festival of Peace….

Above us all stands the motto: ‘no one in the world will help us if we do not help ourselves.’ This programme of self-help is a proud and manly programme. It is a different programme from that of my predecessors who continually ran round through the world, going a-begging now in Versailles, then in Geneva, now in Lausanne or at some conference or other elsewhere. It is a prouder thing that to-day we Germans are determined to solve our own problems and to help ourselves. . . .

We have been witnesses of a great turning-point in history. At this moment we must bethink ourselves, too, of those who through twenty years in an apparently hopeless state still nursed a fanatical faith in Germany and never surrendered their *Deutschtum*-their life as Germans. It is so easy here in the heart of the Empire to profess one’s belief in Germany. But it is inexpressibly difficult, in the face of an unceasing persecution, not to allow oneself to be drawn away from this faith – to remain fanatically true to it, as though redemption were coming the next day. But now the hour of redemption has come. I have just had my first sight of these areas and what moved me so profoundly was two impressions. First: I have often known the jubilation and the enthusiasm of joy, but here for the first time I have seen hundreds of thousands shedding tears of joy. And secondly I saw appalling distress. When in England a Duff Cooper or a Mr. Eden say that injustice has been done to the Czechs, then these men should just for once see what in reality has happened there. How can one so pervert the truth! I have seen here whole villages undernourished, whole towns reduced to ruin. My fellow-countrymen, you have a great debt of honor to pay! . . . I expect of you that the Winter Help Contribution of 1938-39 shall correspond with the historical greatness of this year.

In the history of our people the year 1938 will be a great, incomparable, proud year…. Later historians will show that the German nation found its way back again to the position of an honourable great nation – that our history has once more become a worthy history

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Minutes of the Conference

Monday, August 6th, 2012

At the beginning of the discussion Chief of the Security Police and of the SD, SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich, reported that the Reich Marshal had appointed him delegate for the preparations for the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe and pointed out that this discussion had been called for the purpose of clarifying fundamental questions. The wish of the Reich Marshal to have a draft sent to him concerning organizational, factual and material interests in relation to the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe makes necessary an initial common action of all central offices immediately concerned with these questions in order to bring their general activities into line.

The Reichsführer-SS and the Chief of the German Police (Chief of the Security Police and the SD) was entrusted with the official central handling of the final solution of the Jewish question without regard to geographic borders.

The Chief of the Security Police and the SD then gave a short report of the struggle which has been carried on thus far against this enemy, the essential points being the following:

a) the expulsion of the Jews from every sphere of life of the German people,
b) the expulsion of the Jews from the living space of the German people.

In carrying out these efforts, an increased and planned acceleration of the emigration of the Jews from Reich territory was started, as the only possible present solution.

By order of the Reich Marshal, a Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration was set up in January 1939 and the Chief of the Security Police and SD was entrusted with the management. Its most important tasks were

a) to make all necessary arrangements for the preparation for an increased emigration of the Jews,
b) to direct the flow of emigration,
c) to speed the procedure of emigration in each individual case.

The aim of all this was to cleanse German living space of Jews in a legal manner.

All the offices realized the drawbacks of such enforced accelerated emigration. For the time being they had, however, tolerated it on account of the lack of other possible solutions of the problem.

The work concerned with emigration was, later on, not only a German problem, but also a problem with which the authorities of the countries to which the flow of emigrants was being directed would have to deal. Financial difficulties, such as the demand by various foreign governments for increasing sums of money to be presented at the time of the landing, the lack of shipping space, increasing restriction of entry permits, or the cancelling of such, increased extraordinarily the difficulties of emigration. In spite of these difficulties, 537,000 Jews were sent out of the country between the takeover of power and the deadline of 31 October 1941. Of these

  • approximately 360,000 were in Germany proper on 30 January 1933
  • approximately 147,000 were in Austria (Ostmark) on 15 March 1939
  • approximately 30,000 were in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on 15 March 1939.

The Jews themselves, or their Jewish political organizations, financed the emigration. In order to avoid impoverished Jews’ remaining behind, the principle was followed that wealthy Jews have to finance the emigration of poor Jews; this was arranged by imposing a suitable tax, i.e., an emigration tax, which was used for financial arrangements in connection with the emigration of poor Jews and was imposed according to income.

Apart from the necessary Reichsmark exchange, foreign currency had to presented at the time of landing. In order to save foreign exchange held by Germany, the foreign Jewish financial organizations were – with the help of Jewish organizations in Germany – made responsible for arranging an adequate amount of foreign currency. Up to 30 October 1941, these foreign Jews donated a total of around 9,500,000 dollars.

In the meantime the Reichsführer-SS and Chief of the German Police had prohibited emigration of Jews due to the dangers of an emigration in wartime and due to the possibilities of the East.

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The Hossbach Memorandum

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

On November 5, 1937, Adolf Hitler held a secret conference in the Reich Chancellery during which he revealed his plans for the acquisition of Lebensraum, or living space, for the German people at the expense of other nations in Europe.

Present at this conference were; German War Minister, Werner von Blomberg, Commander in Chief of the Army, Werner von Fritsch, Commander in Chief of the Navy, Erich Raeder, Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, Foreign Minister, Constantin von Neurath, and Colonel Friedrich Hossbach who took the minutes of the conference. The meeting has thus come to be known as the Hossbach Conference or Hossbach Memorandum.

Hitler began by swearing the men to secrecy, then told them that in the event of his death the following exposition should be regarded as his last will and testament.

He proceeded to explain that Germany had “a tightly packed racial core” and was entitled to acquire “greater living space than in the case of other peoples…”

“The history of all ages – the Roman Empire and the British Empire – had proved that expansion could only be carried out by breaking down resistance and taking risks…there had never been spaces without a master…the attacker always comes up against a possessor,” Hitler said. “The question for Germany ran: where could she achieve the greatest gain at the lowest cost?”

He pointed out two big problems, “…two hate inspired antagonists, Britain and France, to whom a German colossus in the center of Europe was a thorn in the flesh…”

“Germany’s problem could only be solved by means of force,” but “there remain still to be answered the questions ‘when’ and ‘how’…”

Hitler said military action was to be taken by 1943-1945 at the latest, to guard against military obsolescence, the aging of the Nazi movement, and “it was while the rest of the world was still preparing its defenses that we were obliged to take the offensive.”

The primary objective would be to seize Czechoslovakia and Austria to protect Germany’s eastern and southern flanks. Hitler went through three different strategies (shown below as cases 1-3) designed to capitalize on the present and future military and political problems of France and England.

Hitler’s casual acceptance of the immense risks of starting a war in Europe shocked his colleagues, especially Blomberg and Fritsch who “repeatedly emphasized the necessity that Britain and France must not appear in the roles of our enemies.”

Following the conference, an overwhelmed Neurath suffered several heart attacks and asked to be relieved from his post.

Some historians have suggested Hitler’s blunt talk was simply intended to prod Blomberg and Fritsch into accelerating re-armament. However, their continuing opposition to Hitler’s war plans resulted in their removals via trumped up scandals within three months. With the removal of the top echelon of the Army, Hitler himself assumed supreme command, with Wilhelm Keitel as chief of the high command.

Following the war, the Hossbach Memorandum was used in the Nuremberg war crimes trials as evidence of conspiracy to wage war, specifically targeting Göring. The memorandum also served to expose the ruthless cynicism of Hitler who repeatedly proclaimed a desire for peace in public, all the while laying out plans for war in Europe.

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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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The Radio Corporation

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Today Germany has about a thousand local and amateur radio organizations. About 75% are united in about three dozen large organizations, some of which cover the entire nation. Altogether about one million German radio listeners are organized; that is, about 22% of all known radio owners. A comparison with political parties, which have barely 10% of the voters as members, shows how high this figure is. Regardless of what is said in theoretical discussions, this figure persuasively shows that there is a living need for organization among listeners. We need only consider the development or foundation of some important listener organizations.

The Workers Radio Association of Germany [Arbeiter-Radiobund Deutschlands, the Arabu], founded in spring 1924, sees its task to be in the technical area as well as in assisting its pooer members and in expressing its Marxist tendencies in the cultural and political aspects of radio.

Segall says this about its goals: “Two requirements are the total conversion of the radio to a government monopoly and the remodeling of cultural advisory boards which should affirm the ideas of leading politicians.”

The association was composed of 246 local groups in 1929, of which 227 engaged in radio assistance and 174 in technical aid. The first magazine, Workers’ Radio [Arbeiterfunk], appeared sometime after its foundation in August 1924. Today it appears as People’s Radio [Volksfunk].

The association is a member of the Workers Radio Internationale [Arbeiter-Radio-Internationale].

As the politics of the KPD [Communist Party of Germany] and the SPD [Socialist Party of Germany]diverged more and more, a communist opposition group developed in June of 1929 within the association. It succeeded, and established a new organization, the entirely communist Free Radio Association of Germany [Freien Radiobund Deutschlands]. This association published the Workers Station [Arbeitersender] as soon as it had sufficient members and a secure financial base.

The German Radio Technical Federation [Deutsche Funktechnische Verband e.V.], which is closely related to the Workers Radio Association, was founded in 1925 as the successor to the German radio cartel. It includes over 500 societies scattered about the Reich. Furthermore, the Radio Amateur Association [Bastlerbund Sendung} was founded on 20 February 1927 by about 3,000 people in Berlin’s Great Theater. It has about 100 local groups in Germany.

On the national level, the Federation of German Radio Participants [Reichsverband Deutscher Rundfunkteilnehmer] was founded on 12 August 1930 with the leadership and participation of the National Socialists, the German Nationalists, and the military federations like the Stahlhelm and others. After several months, it established its own magazine for the entire country, the weekly German Broadcaster [Der Deutsche Sender].

Its program demanded “the financial independence of radio from the Postal Ministry, the exemption and reduction of radio fees for the unemployed and underpaid, the elimination of shallow intellectual programming from the radio, and the exclusive employment of German artists and intellectuals.” It also demanded “laws regarding the total structure and improvement of radio.”

The Federation of German Radio Participants may further be the first radio federation that openly came out against nonpolitical radio, and clearly said: “We demand the immediate and unlimited politicization of the radio in the service of the German freedom movement.”

About a year after its establishment, the National Socialists undertook a drive within the federation and established about 3,000 radio listening rooms around the entire nation which were united under the leadership of radio wardens in the National Socialist Federation [Verbandsgruppe Nationalsozialisten].

The listening rooms developed lively political and propaganda activity in most areas. They were especially interested in technical service [Technische Dienst], technical aid [Funkhilfe], interference locating [Störsuche], and short wave communication, either independently or in cooperation with other local organizations.

This organization succeeded in gaining dominant influence in the Federation between June and December of 1931, and on 19 December 1931, it overthrew the German Nationalist board during a stormy membership meeting at the Hotel Prinz Albrecht in Berlin. Again, the superiority or organization to the press was clearly demonstrated. The official radio magazine of the Federation was completely under German Nationalist control. Not once was it allowed to mention the existence of the National Socialist Federation, founded six months previously, to its readers. But by October the National Socialists had become so strong that they published a monthly propaganda magazine for their members (Let the Radio be German [Deutsch der Rundfunk]).

When on 19 March 1932 a second membership meeting of the Federation finally expelled the boar members of the German Nationalists and the Stahlhelm, they established two competing organizations, the Association of Nationalist Radio Listeners [Bund Nationaler Rundfunkhörer] and the Union of Stahlhelm Radio Listeners [Vereinung der Stahlhelmfunkhörer], along with the magazines National Radio [Nationalfunk] and The Stahlhelm Broadcaster[Der Stahlhelmsender]. The total effect was minimal. The German Nationalists had little organizational strength, and unlike the Federation of German Radio Participants that published a weekly and a monthly, the two magazines appeared to be similar and competing.

One might also consider the insistent evangelical or Catholic radio listening groups as well as the politically or culturally neutral federations and federations of German expatriates. These are widespread.

The Evangelical Union for Radio [Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Rundfunk] under Hinderer’s leadership works in this manner: “In the same way as the radio transmitter reached the entire country by establishing provincial transmitters, the greater part of the evangelical press federations were established in individual provinces. During the first year of their existence, the novel problem of radio came to the foreground. The organizational consolidation of these offices was intentionally delayed until the foundation for a truly fruitful work could be laid. This consolidation occurred in 1927. The Evangelical Union for Radio is controlled by the Evangelical Press Federation of Germany. At present the tightly unified society is composed of 23 state and provincial offices. It gathers biannually for meetings, publishes monthly magazines, and engages in correspondence.”

The Evangelical Union for Radio (whose magazine is The Radio Listener [Der Rundfunkhörer] became a member of the International Evangelical Union for Radio [Internationalen Evangelischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Rundfunk] in 1928. That organization is located in Berlin.

The Radio Union of German Catholics [Rundfunkgemeinarbeitsgemeinschaft der deutschen Katholiken] is a part of the Central Office for German Catholic Federations [Zentralbildungsausschuss der katholischen Verbände Deutschlands] under Marschall’s leadership. It sees its tasks as the transmission “by radio of our movement and work, and the provision of qualified persons from our circle for the various programs. We are ready to cooperate…”

The society also became associated with the Bureau catholique internationale de la radiophone at the 1928 Catholic exposition in Pressa.

Furthermore, nearly all the German states have local federations.

There are also a goodly number of federations which can only be spoken of as fraudulent.

A Cologne federation came in conflict with the National Socialist radio wardens at the beginning of 1932, was broken up, and declared bankruptcy.

The Marxist federations and the National Socialist Federation of German Radio Participants have absorbed or driven into dissolution countless small clubs and groups. Today, the apolitical, purely economic or technical federations are especially beginning to seek union. The German Radio Technical Federation [Deutsche Funktechnische Verband] and the Amateur Radio Federation [Bastlerbund der Sendung] merged with the Workers Radio Association (Social Democratic), the Federation of German Engineers [Verband Deutscher Radioingenieure] with the Federation of German Radio Participants.

All this clearly shows that listener organizations must take political instincts and vital questions as a basis, just as the mass struggle movements must. What appears to happen is that the number of listener federations gradually decreases, leaving room for large and essentially political groups. This is the same phenomenon we have witnessed in the history of German political parties. In 1919, forty-eight parties appeared on the ballot. By the Reichstag election in 1933, forty-four had either disappeared or sunk into insignificance. As is well known, only the National Socialists, Social Democrats, Centrists, and German Nationalists had factions, that is, more than fifteen seats.

If one wants to understand the psychological reasons behind the spontaneous growth of listener organizations to at least some extent, he must consider the practical experiences and lessons of a few of the successful and active people in this area. As long as the technical element in radio was primary and the programming secondary, the technicians and amateurs organized to exchange their experiences. There were about 9,900 radio listeners in 1924. The German radio industry has often gratefully acknowledged that many fruitful suggestions and many successful developments came from the amateur radio movement. As the initial difficulties were overcome and the transmissions gradually attained a certain artistic quality, the true radio listener appeared. By 1925, there were 789,000 of them. The fee was reduced from sixty marks per year to two marks per month, and radio became the property of the entire nation during a decade of stormy growth. The radio listeners now began to organize as the technicians had previously done. In place, however, of a society consisting of a limited elite of a few hundred men who understood radio techniques, they began to build rapidly a genuine mass organization from the listenership.

The technical and legal ignorance of the listeners regarding the unfamiliar apparatus was naturally one of the reasons that made unification seem advisable. The listener associations developed as interest groups. Nearly all the prospectuses and by-laws of the associations made references to technical and legal aid for the membership — assistance in locating interference, technical assistance, and radio protection. Technical assistance is especially likely to remain important and valuable to the listener for a long time to come because of the imperfections in the new discovery and the ever present disturbances that are difficult to eliminate under today’s radio conditions. As long as the state fails to establish radio protection laws to protect the whole and to protect this important means of communication, the radio federations will have the task of attempting to resolve these problems by their own means and influences in public and private.

Another very important problem is at the center of the discussions and demands of the federations. It often results in the most remarkable distortions. Pompous words are spoken about German, cosmopolitan, Nationalist, Marxist, Socialist, Democratic, and Aryan “culture,” which the radio supposedly has to care for, of the influence of the listenership on programming, of the subordination of the radio to the wishes of the hearer, etc. The central problem seems to be this: the listener instinctively understands that he has no control over the transmissions that come to him through the aether. He does not know their source, their bias, their truth or falsity. He seeks to exert a control that the radio itself cannot give him, that he cannot get in answer to his letter to the radio company, that no newspaper and no magazine can convincingly provide.

As long as he is politically, culturally, or artistically informed through a newspaper or through the printed page and picture, he can check the truth in other newspapers. Each man has a higher drive the yearning for absolute truth. If he learns that his newspaper lies to him, that newspaper loses him and he moves to another paper. It is different with the radio. He has no choice with the German radio, no really satisfying control. That which his radio, newspaper, or magazine tells him either before or after the program lacks the topicality, timeliness, and urgency of the radio program. It comes either too early — for what the listener actually experiences — or too late.

Suddenly, then, what counts the most is not what one has carried home in black and white, but rather the spoken words that come with all their suggestive urgency from the radio speaker. The hearer seeks therefore to control and protect himself from this one-sided influence not by printed brochures and radio newspapers, but rather by something living. He does not want to believe the printed words of a newspaper critic, but rather, in this generation of mass movements, he wants to join a mass of those who sound the same, feel the same, and think the same. They desire for unity, for identity with a large community, triumphs over individualism. Thus the listener organizations develop. The listener feels that he as a member of a great unity which is not tossed this way and that by assorted and numerous opinions, but is rather firmly and steadfastly centered. That center is the community of certain views, interests, and feelings. In it, he feels sheltered from lies and deceptions, defended from all attacks on his mental stability. He feels as if he is attacking opposing views and doctrines.

For these reasons, the large ideologically-based organizations are today in the midst of most difficult political-ideological struggles as to their essential shape and form. At the same time, the old technically based organizations with decreasing memberships seek merger, or fall apart.

When genuine and active mass movements spring up from all sides, the foremost task of national politics is to incorporate them wisely into the unified life of the nation.

At a time in which the slogan of anti-parliamentarianism has become the rage and in which the glorious past is though to tower over all present organizational forms of the state and human society, the existence of federations, interest groups, and ideological associations and parties is, in an obvious misunderstanding, labeled as “parliamentarian” by those who are always limping behind events and developments. He who possesses no feeling for living growth sees in the current state of each only the contradictions and contrasts that everything living has.

A writer investigating such current developments can easily become an unfruitful critic. He who is able to describe and portray historical events brilliantly is at times helpless before current developments. Or, he may be so filled with hate and hostility because of his own unfruitful dogmas that he is unable to perceive the living force and the triumphant desire for freedom and form of new ideas, much less to properly evaluate them.

What, they ask, is the meaning of organization, federation, association? Why they become superfluous in the course of the development of political power. Party? The party is absorbed by the state! They are all parliamentary fossils. Whoever has power handles all these questions “from the top down.”

What nonsense! As if there has ever been word of a command transmitted into action that did not have an organization supporting its realization! Organizations become superfluous in the course of the development political power — that means no more nor less than anarchy and chaos, it means powerlessness! Organization is hierarchy, that is, order and subordination, the perfection of strength.

Today twenty million, and perhaps in the future forty million, radio listeners of differing political views have united their most vigorous elements in mass movements, in listener federations. The duty of a strong government cannot be to smash the controlling organs that spring from a living need of the masses. As is well known, one cannot in life simply abolish opposition, not to mention a totality. We cannot do it in ourselves, even less if we want to try the experiment with the masses. Psychology tells us that emotional forces cannot simply be eliminated, but rather they can only be suppressed.

This knowledge is also based on the methods of struggle used by all successful ideological movements. In Facism as well as in Bolshevism and National Socialism, intelligent leadership has realized from the beginning that it would not be sufficient to be critical of the existing order. One must also give the masses something to believe in.

Radio, the most advanced technical form of influence and education, must make use of these laws and experiences.

The listener organizations have developed out of necessity. Depending on their political outlook and their internal situation, they may be in strong opposition to or in general agreement with the governmental radio leadership. Likewise, the listener federation can be an organization of agreement as well as criticism. Should the state allow the free play of forces in the liberal sense to run wild and watch while its strongest weapon in the struggle for control of the populace becomes, in the long run, a football in demagogic hands? Or should one act in accordance with the comfortable and short-sighted views of the former Interior Minister von Gayl and build and lead the radio “without regard to the wishes of the organizations!?” Should the government apply the principle of lazisse faire, lassier alleras it does with the press and allow the strongest instrument of public opinion to fall into enemy hands, only to add grist to their mill by subsequent prohibitions? People did not worry about the mass parties on the left until they took over the state. In recognition of the technical and psychological marvel of the radio, a much bolder design must replace halfway and unfruitful methods — the radio corporation.

The concept originates with the Fascist corporate state, and suggests the professional organization planned by Hitler or the guilds of our Gothic past.

It much resembles Mussolini’s comprehensive newspaper policies, which firmly incorporated all of Italian journalism into the Fascist national state despite all the individual escapades, or the Theater Corporation established by the Fascists. The radio corporation, however, is broader in its aims and scope. It includes within its boundaries not only intellectual leaders and the economically concerned, but the listeners as well. The radio as an instrument and as an intellectual tool has become progressively more important in comparison with the transitory technical developments during the years 1928-1933. In those years, as it is well known, people attempted to meet the growing difficulties in all states through the construction of large transmitters. The large transmitter enabled centralized leadership and control, and was therefore considered superior to newspapers, which are not centrally led. We cannot forsee future developments with certainty. Present experience shows, however, that radio centralization by no means precludes strong opposition movements among the listeners as well as among the artistic elements. The new task begins here.

The radio corporation should bring together the creative artists and the participating listeners. Between them stand industry, commerce, management, and technology.

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The Political Type as a Goal

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

The question is no longer one of where the essential nature of the radio must lead, but rather it can be replaced by asking to what ends it should lead.

The opposing individualistic and collectivistic types are, as it were, vertexes of an equilateral triangle. Each is incompatible and irreconcilable with the other. Only the most innocent liberal could believe that this could be smoothed over by compromise. That is impossible. One can only make a definite choice.

No one can defend general individualization or collectivization. Both leave men and masses rootless and without dignity, and rob them of the strength as well as the capacity for action. Neither the rootless intellect nor the apathetic masses can ensure the continued existence of the nation and the life of the community; that requires the construction of an army of model leaders and subordinates, that is, a political type that will penetrate and lead the entire nation.

Public life,” according to Wolf Zeller, “was formerly founded on personal leadership and local groups. This has been atomized and destroyed by modern developments. It can be restored again to all regions and peoples by the radio. The creative personalities must of course be typical, must be identical with the hearer, with the times and with that on which the community agrees. They must not teach or persuade, but must rather act as a belief or a worldview acts. They must embody and personify this impressively in their bearing, and that requires a worldview.”

The radio, which is supported by all and which is politically and culturally connected with everything, should serve the tasks of the entire nation. It is not an instrument to arouse collective mass psychosis, nor is it to be used for intellectual acrobatics. It should not be a substitute for other means of information to be used by specialists, sectarians, and outcasts. The esoteric thrives in the quiet seclusion of a like-minded circle, and is thus unsuited to the radio.

The radio can work like a newspaper, but with more immediacy, versatility, depth, and impressiveness as a result of the aesthetic element inherent in it. Newspapers and radio speak the language of the people. Our times have already seized and transformed the type of the German people through powerful storms of life as well as movements. The confusing picture of four thousand German newspapers is, for example, only a Fata Morgana of the old individualistic freedom and splendor. In reality, the power of a few large concerns with clearly fixed aims is behind this appearance — the middle class nationalist or middle class democratic newspaper readers, the National Socialist and Marxist leaders, etc. The German man however has yet to emerge from the gap that separates these types.

For the first time in history, radio gives us the chance to reach millions of people with daily and hourly influences. The old and young, workers, farmers, soldiers, and officers, men and women, sit before the apparatus, listening. Gathered quietly during a leisure hour are those from the clean farmhouses of Schleswig-Hollstein, in mountain villages of Bavaria and the Austrian Alps, in fishing huts along the coast from Friesland to Memmel, in German villages along the Volga and in Swabian households in Chicago. The loudspeaker resounds over sports fields, squares, streets, and public places in large cities, and in factories and barracks.

An entire people listens.

What statesman would want a liberal individualism that endangers the unity of national thought and desire, things more precious than gold? Freedom of choice ends here not for reasons inherent in radio, but for reasons of responsibility to the nation and community. Their life is more important than the freedom of the individual.

Radio shall serve this life. Its mission is the formation of national will. Its means are entirely determined from now on. Its mission can only be by the conscious construction of a political type which will personify and safeguard the unity and strength of the nation.

These certainly are tasks which have not until now troubled public opinion and radio criticism. Aesthetics stood in the foreground. Problems of style, program format, and effect were talked of and discussed. No one, however, knew how to set a goal. They paid no attention to the instinct of the masses. On the radio, they were without the intellectual basis necessary to understand mass movements, unification, and the creation of a type. Types do not spring up from a desk, but rather they grow out of the masses. The masses built up listener organizations, powerful factors that soon united men of certain views, of a certain political type. The strongest binding force was that feeling of identity that they wanted to express over the radio or with which they wanted to defend themselves against foreign influences on the radio.

The intellectual opponents of radio organizations have not generally understood the real significance of these proceedings. They mostly raised questions of taste, or intellectual arguments. Some see the same unfruitfulness in listener organizations as, for example, in parliament. The most trivial matters are discussed, the most important shouted to death. It moreover appears that the intellectual circle stays away from such gatherings and that only the shouters and know-it-alls supporting the shallowest programs ask to speak. Thus, the listener organizations can only disturb the task of program directing. The radio magazines (it is said) must carefully weigh the listener interests with radio’s tasks and capacities. This is the proper manner in which listener organizations, in cooperation with radio magazines, should operate.

Truth and falsehood are mixed in these views. One can certainly have views on questions of programming and taste. The agreement of listeners on such things is naturally impossible; people will always disagree on matters of taste.

The question, however, is not one of taste, but rather something more important, namely the unity of spirit and nation. The task of listener organizations is not to be a parliament of programming or taste. No one today behaves that way. The belief that radio magazines are a substitute for listener organizations rests as much on a typical journalistic overestimation of the newspaper as on an ignorance of modern organizational methods.

It would be quite ridiculous to vote at a general meeting whether there should be more or less music in radio programs, more or less seriousness, more or less cheerfulness, more or less dance music, jazz, Wagnerian operas, military marches, or popular music. The members would be unable to agree on any of these motions and would probably agree in the end to disband their organization out of frustration with their own chatter. At first no one made such an attempt, thus proving that with large organizations, the only ones having a right to exist, practice is always sounder than theory.

Instead of such parliamentarianism, programming boards or several gifted individuals enjoying the confidence of the listeners work at the top of the larger organizations. In so far as they have political instinct, they have long since outgrown mere questions of taste. If today the so-called intellectual circle is a long way from the top, especially on the national level, it is certainly not the fault of the listener organizations. The native intellectual class of our fatherland has already failed in the propaganda, execution, and conclusion of the World War. They forgot not only the old saying of Luther, that one should walk firmly and keep talking, but also the wisdom of the Olympian Goethe whom they themselves admired. They enclosed themselves in their own little glass world which then, like the Homunculus’s vial of light, was shattered in the storms our nation underwent.

All of these honest, sincere, and entirely isolated intellectuals had in the end was the paper millions of inflation. Hopefully, the German mind has learned for all time that intellect is unthinkable without strength. It may be that the masses need the intellect as leader and illuminator, but it is equally certain that the spirit of the masses cannot be lacking as the echo and initial source of its strength. It is incorrect to understand Nietzsche’s “will to power” in this way?

The intellectual class has to lead the nation (and itself) to a desire for duty in order to guarantee that nothing worse usurps leadership. Certainly, he who wants to be a leader in Germanic northern Europe must not want to enthrone himself as a satrap over the people.

Oriental aloofness is in general unsuited to our race. It is especially bad when found in intellectuals. If the intellectuals are too refined to lead the masses, the masses will not be stupid enough to follow those aloof minds. The result is starvation of the intellectual, and sometimes the destruction of the masses to the profit of foreign exploiters.

One is entirely wrong if he thinks that the masses can be led by purely intellectual means, through radio speeches delivered from a desk, or through newspaper articles and the like. An instrument like the radio which has a huge circle of listeners and whose performers have no direct contact with their audience during their performance, absolutely requires the establishment of communication between those who want to have an effect and those who are to be affected. If radio magazines are suggested as a means of doing this, the answer is that they establish no more direct contact than does the radio. Both are in the same position with respect to the masses. They have only an indirect effect. One should not overestimate the effect of the press in these matters. It in general decreases as the influence of living organizations increases. Proof of this is in the victory of Mussolini and the Fascist organization and party over the unorganized Italian liberalism which controlled the entire and extensive press, or in the victory of Lenin over Kerensky, who controlled the entire Russian press with Entente money. And in Germany, the National Socialist movement under Hitler’s leadership won its battle against the entire press.

The newspaper concerns were unable to stem or break the powerfully rising movement. The opposition of four thousand German newspapers, having the entire nation as their readership, was indeed a powerful stimulus for the Hitler movement to establish its own press and to take up the battle against general ostricization by means of the press. In the fourteen years of growth, the hundred National Socialist newspapers and magazines that emerged certainly contributed to the success of the movement, but not decisively so.

The success came as a result of living propaganda and organization. The printed page is unable to excite or control mass impulses. If one calls the press a great power, as does the liberal slogan has it, one must realize that its star is fading. More correctly, perhaps, one should realize that it does not generally depend on its own power but it is rather a means and tool of a power, namely financial and industrial liberalism, that has secretly controlled public opinion for one hundred and fifty years in this comfortable way.

What happens when the effect of these tools ceases is shown in the political developments in Italy, Russia, and Germany, as well as in the erroneous conceptions the general press has had in the face of these proceedings. The press breaks down when it has to fight the power of a living organization. It is therefore only a weapon of limited tactical value in the struggle with such an organization.

It is no different with radio magazines and organizations of listeners. It should be added to this account of the development of radio organizations that they have most often established their own radio magazines to support their work. That smart newspaper publishers have attempted to go the opposite direction by establishing dummy organizations as fronts for their magazines is but further proof of the primary importance of organizations, not the opposite. These publishers have attempted to make the most of the organizational need of radio listeners for their businesses. We will later consider the psychological foundations for the establishment of radio organizations, and will end this section with the comment that radio needs magazines as well as listener organizations.

The radio magazines are necessary for news and technical information (programming).

The organizations establish contact between the radio and the masses.

Without organization, there is only irregular contact, as for example the thousands of enthusiastic or indignant letters from listeners that can never be taken as a guide to the actual state of public opinion. Once organized contact eliminates the danger of individual selfishness or collective stupidity, radio can being creating a type.

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Originality of the Radio?

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Every means that is available today to influence public opinion has already served varied goals. The French Revolution preached and created absolute individualism through the press and leaflets as well as through schools and educational institutions. Bolshevist Russia set about the opposite with the means of public opinion, and consequently bred collectivism. No one seriously disputes the fact that words, leaflets, newspapers and brochures, books, pictures, and music are able to serve any aim.

The radio today has no tradition or history, no comfortable model of past experience. Only there do theoretician and expert contend to the possibilities and limits of its use, maintaining that the technical characteristics of radio places certain narrow limits on it, limits which are not present with other means of public opinion. Strangely enough, they come to quite opposing conclusions, depending on which side they write for.

We have a four hundred year press tradition, but no one thinks it necessary to bring newspaper readers together in groups or associations. The readers would have little interest in that. But there are probably a large number of reading circles, discussion and promotional evenings, etc.. The clever Ullstein, Mosse, and Scherl publishing companies, for example, organized regular discussion and promotional evenings in large German cities, to which readers who subscribed were admitted.

They resembled the cultural and technical evenings organized by the radio corporations. The level and intentions of these evenings becomes sufficiently clear through the Ullstein slogan “Brigette buy Ullstein patterns,” or through the advertising slogan “Become a radio listener.” Such advertising events have nothing at all to do with the development of groups that result from the needs of the broad masses.

Such a need does apparently exist among radio listeners. When the radio was first officially licensed in the fall of 1923, the listeners were all amateurs. They joined together in organizations, clubs, and groups. In the first years one could explain that as a result of the need for exchange of technical information. The time of the amateur, however, is long past. Today we have 100,000 amateur or short wave operators, but about 22 million radio listeners. In spite of that, the formation of radio associations and clubs, a development of the earliest period, has not ceased but is rather stronger than ever before. The largest and most important organizations have been founded within the past five years.

Their appearance has complicated the entire radio scene. While some saw an unfortunate indication that free individualistic development was being hampered, others found confirmation of their theory that the radio must inevitably lead to collectivism.

Today radio is a child of ten. It is understandable that the judgments of outsiders as well as of experts should be uncertain, indeed contradictory, regarding such a recent phenomenon. Everything in radio, except the technical aspects, has been learned the hard way by men who originally came from the theater, the stage, the concert hall and lecture room, from literature, the press, and administration. The present nature of radio developed under their leadership, as did its accompanying organization. Valiant attempts have led to at least some partial successes, but often to failures as well. In general the leadership of this new and still unfamiliar weapons has been fumbling, and here and there all too slick. New attempts have to be made. The problem must perhaps be tackled in an entirely different way. The struggles of a generation, through argument and counterargument, will establish the style and form of classical radio.

If someone with a year or two of experience in radio wants to call himself an “expert,” one should not refuse him because there are no educated people in the field at a level consistent with the idea of Germanic thoroughness. Otherwise, could anyone be called an “expert” in radio?

We do not want to operate with concepts which are generally accepted and used to judge dramatic directing or a theater play, concepts which are not applicable to the radio. Lessing’s Laokoon and his theory of the unity of place, time, and action do not always apply to the radio. One must start from scratch, without previous assumptions, and be guided only by the force of new realities. They must be understood. One must see the whole, not merely a special area, and be on guard against rash theories. Theories are weak as everyone knows. They risk being half-baked, especially when made hastily.

In the works published in cooperation with the Reich Radio Company, general theoretical principles are explained. Because of the fact that we have only sound broadcasting today, some think that radio is unrealistic. Such observations equate the real with the visual, a rather strange piece of dialectics. Certainly an electric bullet that flies through our head or a cannon shot thate strikes our ears is as real as a picture that we can perceive only with our eyes. The idea that radio eliminates realism leads to the dangerous fallacy that radio has to operate on a somewhat abstract plane.

Some also believe that crude sensationalism must be avoided. If we would accept that as a guiding principle in radio programming, we would rob the radio of its most important and vigorous element. One has only to think of the deep effect of an infectious mass meeting with all its noise, tumult, and excitement, and of what the foregoing principle would set in their place! The identification of the real with the visual is merely theoretical; the denial of real effect from nonvisual events is untenable.

The real effect of a word or sound carried by radio is much deeper than that, say of a newspaper or other piece of writing that must be interpreted before it is understood. Radio broadcasting works directly, without that bridge of thought, and has, therefore, greater effectiveness than the printed page. This is common knowledge. Everyone knows that our most important sense, after vision, is hearing. (“I’m all ears.”)

One should not engage in theoretical battles as to the real effectiveness of radio if he does not wish to close his eyes to its plain effect for the sake of aesthetic principles. One must still, however, consider the question as to whether the use of this means of public opinion is in some sense limited.

Some believe, for example, that a strong individualistic effect must be attributed to the radio. They think that the word of the speaker arouses ideas and therefore mental currents in the hearer. These supposedly depend on the intellectual ideas of the hearer. The general effect of radio is a result of that. The radio probably has a superficial effect on the masses and it may well satisfy a mass need, but it still stands apart from the masses. This school concludes that radio’s effect is individualistic in the deepest sense; that is, radio leads to individual rather than community experience.

This erroneous contrast between a superficial mass effect and a deep individual effect leads one to suspect that, if one observes the real effect of radio, he will reach a quite different conclusion.

If one thinks that radio must lead to individual experience because its effect depends on the individual ideas of the hearer, he has made his first mistake. The radio transmits sound and word. Both are decided upon by a creative artist, not the hearer. The musical form is no doubt one that allows the listener great freedom of experience, especially when no other distractions divert his attention from the loudspeaker or headphone. After loosening the intellectual and rational bonds and restraints, music leads the listener to a realm of free fantasy and rhythmic elation. The individual feelings of the hearer are however directed and limited by the art form itself. One does not experience Negro jazz in the same way as a Beethoven symphony. The subconscious potentialities of race and blood are deeply influenced by music. A musical work includes or hastens the awakening, development, or deterioration of these potentialities, but it can never lead to unrestrained individual feelings, even when transmitted by the radio.

The spoken word allows the listener much less freedom of thought. The word itself probably changes its meaning and conceptual force continually. Like a dew drop, it takes on all colors, even improbable ones. Taken out of context by an enemy, it may have an opposite meaning. One thinks of the gulf separating the meanings which, for example, the word “property” has depending on whether it is spoken by a businessman or a worker, or of words like “rent,” “capital,” and “religion.” From these examples, one can understand how the moral and intellectual power of words varies and changes with each new form, with each new context. The last named factors also, show, however, that narrow limits exist for this variety and change. The proper construction of a sentence or speech requires presuppositions that must necessarily lead to fixed conclusions (logic).

We have therefore proven that both musical and spoken programs on the radio neither can nor must lead to arbitrary and entirely individualistic ideas in the listener. The opposite is true. The radio itself does not determine the effect, but rather what is transmitted.

Thus the claim that radio has an inevitable collectivistic effect is also rejected. It always depends on the artistic and creative way in which the form is used. Those who want individualism can encourage it through the radio. Those who want collectivism. or who think some other task necessary, also have the freedom of the form and means.

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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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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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Does Hitler Have Enough Trained People to Fill All the Important Positions?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Hitler does not intend to fill all positions with members of his own party. He has often said — and to parties and organizations that want to make their “claims” — that he will use all leading experts, men who really understand their fields,regardless of the party to which they belong. Men who have proved themselves will stay in their positions.

Hitler does not want to subject the German people to further experiments. We have had enough of the experiments of the Hindenburg parties, which brought us inflation, poverty, and economic collapse!


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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 System in Conflict with its Own Constitution

Monday, May 14th, 2012

I believe that we National Socialists have a better understanding of the spirit of the present constitution than the exponents of the present System. For a constitution is not merely letters on a page; there is also a constitution of the spirit. Do you believe, Mr. Reich Chancellor, that it corresponds to the principles of democracy and thereby the deepest meaning of the Weimar Constitution when a government remains a government although it knows that the source of its power, the people, has long since ceased to support it? Do you believe, Mr. Reich Chancellor, that the writers of the Weimar Constitution confused the democratic opinions and beliefs of the nation as the ultimate basis of authority with the fears of parliamentary parties who together form a cabinet?

Democracy is unsuitable for Germany because it denies its own essence. England provides us with an excellent example. When the former MacDonald government concluded that there had been a major shift in the opinions of the British people, it dissolved parliament and appealed to the British people. That gave clear expression to the whole world of the drive for national preservation. That was not only fair, it was logical within the framework of democracy.

But what happened with us? For months, each new election has demonstrated the huge shift within our people. A look at the growth of our party, Mr. Reich Chancellor, which is available to you at any time, proves this tendency. But what has happened with us? The pettiest war against the National Socialist movement began, hoping that through laws and chicaneries in the spirit of Metternich, half outrageous and half ludicrous, the System could be defended against democracy. Yes, against democracy andagainst the constitution, Mr. Reich Chancellor! How else, for example, could one understand a situation in which a state court rules the election law of a provincial parliament as unconstitutional, yet the provincial parliament itself does not dare to subject itself to the judgment of the people because of nervous parties intent on self preservation. Those parties include the Bavarian People’s Party and the Social Democrats — both of which support you. You will not find a single expert in constitutional law with any real democratic convictions who will not find this action by the Bavarian Parliament to be unconstitutional. From my point of view, there is more than enough reason to be concerned in Germany today about unconstitutional acts. If you turn your valued attention to this closest danger rather than being diverted by political astigmatism, you should be worried about your illegal takeover of power, not by supposed illegal activities by my movement. Mr. Reich Chancellor! We National Socialists respect the constitution as we fight for political power, and hope that it will be possible for us to give the German people a new and healthier constitution. I promise you even now, however, that we will be more loyal to the present constitution than the current Weimar System is!

I cannot accept your doubts about the present and future legality of my party, Mr. Reich Chancellor, simply because you are a “statesman.” Mr. Reich Chancellor, you today are a statesman because of your office, but certainly not because you have the majority required by your constitution. I am a man of the people, and will leave it to the future and to the German people as to whether they wish to give me the often misused title of statesman.

Mr. Reich Chancellor, your doubts about the legality of my party are no justification for the necessity of the current government, nor are your fears about the supposed unreality of our program reasonable.

You said in your speech:

“No one knows more than I the hard fate our people are suffering today. Broad circles of our people have sought refuge from the difficulties in wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking, however, is not a political program. Rescuing Germany will only be possible when the government’s policies are not based on illusions, but rather when love of the people and fatherland is guided by the available means.

If the German people gives into the temptation of dealing with the troubles of the present by holding to unclear desires and by setting unreachable goals, Germany will collapse. Anyone who in desperation succumbs to such goals will have a terrible awakening. A government conscious of its responsibility for the people and fatherland may not give in to such currents. It may not and will not hold back from facing the threatening collapse of the people’s strength with firm energy. It tolerates no other power than authorized by the constitution. The Reich President and the Reich government along control state power. They will use them with pitiless strength if necessary, including

the imposition of martial law

against all who attempt to resist constitutional authorities in the hour of the greatest test of nerves.”

Mr. Reich Chancellor! The charge of illusions does not apply to the national opposition, least of all the National Socialist party or me, but above all the present System.

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The besieged Germans

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The entire German 6th army was now trapped in and near Stalingrad. To prevent the Germans from breaking the encirclement, the Russians expanded the corridor which separated the 6th army from the rest of the German military to a width of over 100 miles, and quickly moved 60 divisions and 1000 tanks there. But instead of breaking out of the encirclement, General von Paulus, the 6th army’s commander, was immediately ordered by Hitler to remain in his position and hold it at all cost.

Hermann Goering, Hitler’s deputy and head of the Luftwaffe, promised Hitler that his Luftwaffe will supply the 6th army, promising to fly 500 tons of supplies per day. Goering did not consult Luftwaffe headquarters about this and it was far beyond its ability, but it was what Hitler wanted to hear.

 

The air supply operation continued until the 6th army’s surrender, but it flew less than 100 tons per day, much less than needed, and the Luftwaffe lost 488 cargo aircraft in it. The 6th army quickly ran out of fuel, ammunition, and food, and the German soldiers starved severely.

 

Only three weeks later, Field Marshal von Manstein‘s army group finally attacked the Russian barrier on December 12, 1942, but it could not reach the encircled 6th army. The Germans advanced just 60 kilometers in the direction of Stalingrad, before they were pushed back by a Russian counter attack.

 

Despite their isolation and starvation, the German 6th army kept fighting, and fortified its positions as much as its could. Hitler demanded that they’ll keep on even after it was clear that they will remain isolated after von Manstein’s rescue attempt failed.

 

When the 6th army rejected an ultimatum to surrender, the Russians started the final attack to crush it. They estimated the number of besieged Germans at 80,000 while there were over 250,000 encircled Germans.

 

On January 10, 1943, 47 Russian divisions attacked the 6th army from all directions. Knowing that captivity in Russia will be very cruel, the Germans kept fighting a hopeless battle.

 

A week later, the large German pocket was shrunk by half, pushed towards Stalingrad, and only one runway remained in German hands, and it was under fire. On January 22, 1943, the starved, frozen, and exhausted 6th army began to collapse. A week later Hitler promoted von Paulus to Field Marshal, and reminded him that no German Field Marshal was ever captured alive, but von Paulus was captured the next day in a cellar in Stalingrad.


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The Russian counter attack

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The Germans again underestimated the Russian resources. The continued weakening of the German flanks behind Stalingrad, as more and more German units were pushed to the city, was the anticipated opportunity for which General Zhukov prepared since the battle of Stalingrad began.

Also, like in the battle of Moscow a year before, the harsh Russian winter returned, sharply reducing the German army’s mobility and observation capabilities.

 

General Zhukov planned and prepared a massive Russian counter attack, code named operation Uranus, that would attack the German flanks at their two weakest points, 100 miles West of Stalingrad, and 100 miles South of it. The two Russian forces will meet far Southwest of Stalingrad and encircle the entire German 6th army near Stalingrad and cut its supply lines. It was a classic large scale Blitzkrieg plan, except that this time the Russians will do it to the Germans. Zhukov’s goal was to win not just battle of Stalingrad but the entire campaign in South Russia.

 

The Russian preparations covered every operational and logistical aspect. In maximum secrecy, over a million Russian soldiers were gathered, now greatly outnumbering the Germans, and 14,000 heavy artillery guns, 1000 T-34 tanks, and 1350 aircraft. Zhukov prepared a giant surprise attack, and when the Russian concentrations were finally noticed by the Germans at the end of October, it was almost too late to do anything, but the disbelief at the German side, and Hitler’s obsession, prevented them from significantly responding. When the German chief of staff suggested to abandon Stalingrad to shorten the German lines, Hitler shouted “I will not abandon the Volga!”.

 

The Russian counter attack began on November 19, 1942, three months after the battle of Stalingrad began. It was the first fully prepared Russian attack in World War 2, and it was a great success. The Russians attacked the sectors of the German flanks held by the 3rd and 4th Romanian armies. The Russians knew, from interrogating kidnapped POWs, that the Romanian forces had the lowest morale and least supplies.

 

Under the sudden pressure of the massive Russian artillery and advancing tank columns, the Romanian lines collapsed within hours, and after two days the Romanians surrendered. German units moved to face the advancing Russians, but it was too late, and in four days the two spearheads of the Russian pincer movement met each other about 100km West of Stalingrad.


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And You Really Want to Vote for Me? by Joseph Goebbels

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

A citizen second class, with four convictions and eight pending cases? What a dreamer!

In an essay I wrote that each National Socialist should obey the states attorney “when there isn’t any way around it,” regardless of whether it was right or wrong. For that a court in Elberfeld fined me a hundred marks for inciting resistance against the states attorney.

When Hans Hustert, in jail for trying to kill Scheidemann [Chancellor in 1922], had his teeth ruined by lousy prison food, I started a collection so that this fiend could get his teeth fixed. A court in Munich fined me 50 marks for an illegal collection.

As one of my wounded comrades was going to be trephined by the Jewish doctor Levi, I organized a collection to bring this poor worker to a German doctor. A court in Munich fined me 150 marks, once again for an illegal collection.

At a mass meeting of the NSDAP, I suggested keeping an editor of Der Tag under close watch, since he had called a Hitler meeting a monkey house. The filthy fink Carlotto Graetz, who slandered the front soldier Adolf Hitler in the worst ways and tried to connect him with pimps and prostitutes, I called a Jewish pig, in order to force him to bring suit. He didn’t sue, but I got six weeks in prison anyway because of “incitement to violence without result.”

A case is pending against me because I am supposed to have called police chief Dr. Weiss “Isidor,” though his name is Bernhard.

A second case is pending because I caricatured the above named Bernhard Weiss as Nero in Der Angriff, with the caption “Bernhard only plays thankless roles.”

Then there is a third case, because the Angriff printed a cartoon of Bernhard Weiss behind the mask of a donkey, “clearly recognizable,” with the text that “In the state of emergency, any ass can govern.”

A fourth case is pending to force me to say who Orje is [Orje was the star of an Angriff satirical column].

A fifth pending case alleges that I drove over the leg of a poor worker. Now that was a year ago. I’ve never driven a car in my life, and on the day in question wasn’t even in Berlin. But the state’s attorney thinks that the car had the number I A 2637, and I’m just the type to do something like that. My reply that I don’t know how to drive and have never had a license only made the charge more serious.

I informed a red bigwig, who by irrelevant heckling was trying to break up a meeting, that he was at a NSDAP meeting, and that if he didn’t shut up we would forgive the S.A. if, under the law, they threw him out. That led to a sixth pending case, for “incitement to violence.”

Then I am supposed to have said that the [Weimar] Republic is only a junk shop, in which the bidders, auctioneers, and politicians bitched. That led to the seventh case, for “endangering the Republic.”

The eighth case resulted because I said the day would come when the goal-conscious, decisive minority would march against this state of cowardly majorities, to put an end by force to usury and exploitation. This one was for “attempted treason.” (! !)

As I learn from reliable sources, four new cases are in the works. What they concern I don’t yet know. But that doesn’t make much difference. I only need to open my mouth or use my pen to give a state’s attorney of the Republic a month’s work.

I have never gotten a golden toothpick from Barmat [a Jew involved in a major financial scandal].

I don’t wear a silk bathrobe from him.

During the great inflation I didn’t get any guilders or dollars from him.

I have never trampled on the German people or their honor. But I have always fought those cowards who left our common fatherland in need.

The subway system will not give me a villa costing 120,000 marks in the foreseeable future.

No one has my signed photograph on his desk.

Under the conditions existing since 1918, I therefore have no chance of getting anything done.

And you really want to vote for me?

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Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito (Moskito)

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito

The Focke-wulf Aircraft Design Firm conceptualized The Ta 154 Moskito (“Mosquito”) and delivered its prototypes to the German Air Ministry around August 1942. Because of some production issues, the Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito got derailed. Only 10 aircrafts were produced and proved to have less impressive performance than the prototypes. Its design was amongst the first aircrafts which were classified as the night fighters. The reason Ta154 was developed was the invulnerability of the Night Bombers and their terror which had reigned for a long time.

The airframe was made of plywood bonded with special glue called Tego-Film, a quite unusual feature for a German frontline aircraft. This kind of glue usually caused some damage to nearby wood. Metal was used mainly in the pressurized cockpit only. The twin-engine fielded with Junkers Jumo 211F 12-cylinder inverted-Vee liquid-cooled engines were mounted in nacelles on the wing leading edges. They drove three-blade constant-speed propellers. The fuselage consists of a single rudder element in the tail section. The landing gear assembly used retractable tricycle landing gear. A pilot and a radio-operator to his rear were the only crew; the aircraft was capable of carrying. With twin 30mm MK108 cannons and twin 20mm MG151 cannons mounted on either side of the fuselage, made the armament not only impressive but the addition of a single 30mm cannon in the upper part of the fuselage of the MK108 variety made it tough to beat.

There was just one production plant for suitable glue, which was destroyed by a bombing raid. This was the main reason which hindered further production. The production was cancelled after 8 prototypes and 7 pre-serial planes. The bow-wheel landing gear, which caused crashes which was another reason.

At least two German air groups operated this aircraft albeit in a severely limited capacity. Mosquito could have been historic had Germany been victorious which didn’t prove to be.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

 

 

Allied Codename: Mosquito
Engine(s): Two 1.500 PS Junkers Jumo 211R 12-cylinder inverted Vee, liquid-cooled engines with direct fuel injection
Wingspan: 16m
Length: 12.6m
Height: 3.67m
Maximum Speed: 632km/h (with radar antenna)
Max weight: 9,950 kg (21,900 lb) (Takeoff)
Service Ceiling: 10.920m
Normal Range: 1.370km
Rate of climb: 15 m/s (2,800 ft/min)
Armament: Two 3cm Mk108 on the sides of the fuselage,
Two 2cm MG 151/20 on the sides of the fuselage,
Two 2cm MG151/20 as “Schrage Musik”, firing ca. 60° upwards


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Our Life Style Need Not Become Primitive

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

One occasionally sees an isolated, overeager, 150% people’s comrade taking offense at any better dressed woman he meets, who considers a well cared for appearance out of keeping with the time, and who insults or even abuses such people.

This behavior must be energetically opposed by our speakers by every means of oral propaganda. The measures for total war in no way call for a primitive life style. A German woman, whatever important war work that she does, is not to be condemned if during her free hours she takes care of herself and dresses well. The measures to intensify our war effort are not intended to reduce our whole people to the absolute basics of life. It is therefore right and proper to encourage our women to take care in their appearance, demonstrating that even in these hard times they have not given up an appropriate life style.

“Letting oneself go,” looking unkempt in outward appearance, is ultimately sloppiness that is unworthy of a German woman. Promoting such a level or tolerating it comes close to Bolshevist class struggle that wants to make everyone the same. That we want to oppose by every means.

Our speakers should address the meetings and factory gatherings of our people’s comrades in this spirit. thus helping to combat a false cult of simplicity, preventing a split in the community that could result from envious and critical sentiments. They could destroy the solidarity of the German working people’s comrades and therefore cause production difficulties that would above all harm the front. All productive Germans are working for victory in a cheerful, voluntary, and conscientious way. Outward appearances should separate us. He who spreads such ideas does not want a hard-working community, but rather wants to spread bitter views of class conflict, and thereby bring about a fragmentation and weakening that will stand in the way of Germany’s victory.

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Enemies of Public Health

Friday, May 11th, 2012

At present, the political agitators are making the most noise about the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Ill Offspring, and there enough cases known in which the faithful have publicly urged the violation of this law. They urge disobeying the law, even if the result is unhindered births of the physically, mentally, or psychologically ill, resulting in thousands and tens of thousands of cripples running about, vegetating to the honor of political Catholicism, half human, half animal! These obscurantists know the dismal statistics as well as we do, which have forced the National Socialist state to take action against such decay. As Albert Friehe writes in his book What must the National Socialist Know about Genetics:

“According to Judge Ebermayer, a single criminal family stemming from a drunken mother in 1810 had no less than 894 descendents by 1893, among whom were 181 prostitutes, 142 beggars, 76 serious criminals, 7 murderers, 40 residents of poor houses. Together, they cost the state about 5 million marks. A criminal family in America, begun by a bordello owner and drunkard, has been carefully studied. There were 800 descendents, of whom 700 were imprisoned at least once. 43% were alcoholics, 16% prostitutes. Legal costs devoured the enormous sum of 13.5 million marks.

The American criminal family of the “Jukes” is notorious. “Juke” was the nickname of a tramp born in New York in 1720, whose two illegitimate sons married five degenerate sisters. In 1877, of the 1200 descendents, 440 were feeble-minded, 310 were beggars who together had spent 3200 years in the poorhouse, 130 were criminals, including 60 thieves and 7 murderers. Over half of the women fell into prostitution. Only 20 learned a trade, 10 of them while in prison. By 1915 there were 2820 descendents, of whom half were alive. 600 of them were feeble-minded and epileptic, but only three of them were in an institution. The costs to the community were 11 million marks.”

These facts are further demonstrated in issue 1 of the series National Socialist Science, in an article titled “Racial Twilight and its Mastery through Mind and Action as a Fateful Question of the White Peoples” (by President Prof. Dr. Karl Astel):

“The so-called serious genetic burdens within the German people will astound those who have not previously studied the matter.

According to Lenz, whose figures are by no means exaggerated — even higher figures are sometimes given — among the 66 million people in Germany are:

Feeble-minded about 1.5%
1,000,000
Idiots about 0.25%
160,000
Mentally ill about 1.5%
1,000,000
Epileptics about 0.15%
100,000
Psychopaths about 7%
4,500,000
Blind
about 0.015%
10,000
Serious visual impairment about 0.075%
50,000
Deaf about 0.025%
16,000
Hard of hearing about 0.075%
50,000
Physically weak or infirm about 10%
6,600,000

According to the Reich Physicians’ Leader at the Reich Party Rally in Nuremberg in 1934. the financial cost for only the most serious cases of genetic illness is 1,200,000,000 marks annually.

The expenditures are spread across the categories of genetic illness as follows:

Genetic Cripples
30 million
Genetically deaf
15 million
Genetically blind
5 million
230,000 mentally ill
160 million
Training of caretakers
71 million
250,000 feeble minded
200,000 drunkards
400,000 psychopaths
200 million
Labor losses due to genetic illnesses
300 million
Legal and police costs
250 million

A genetically ill person 60 years of age has cost the Reich 50,000 marks.

What does all this mean? What does it mean when, for example, a German city pays 7.50 marks daily to a drunkard’s family, but only 3.50 marks to an unemployed engineer with a wife and nine children, so the man must first become a drinker to improve his circumstances? When as much must be spent for an idiot child as would be needed for 4-5 healthy German children? According to the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, these people are more important than all scientific knowledge, so they cry bloody murder about the National Socialist state whose wise genetic policies and careful, justified elimination of incurable defectives are working to make the German people once again into a healthy, strong, youthful people.

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