German folk kamerads!
Seven years are a short time, the fraction of an individual human’s lifespan – hardly a second in the life of a folk. And yet, the seven years lying behind us seem to be longer than the many decades of the past. A great historical experience is concentrated in these years; the resurrection of a nation threatened with destruction. An infinitely fertile period, which often seems impossible to fathom in a single glance for us who have experienced it, and moreover, shaped it.
Today we often speak of democratic ideals; this means, not in Germany, rather in the other world where it is spoken of. For in Germany, after all, we have become truly well acquainted with this democratic ideal; so if today, the other world, again praises this ideal, then we can only reply that the German folk has had for at least 15 years the opportunity to become acquainted with this ideal in its pure form, and we ourselves, after all, have merely inherited the legacy of this democracy.
We are now presented with fantastic war goals, especially from the English side. England, after all, is experienced in the proclamation of war goals, since it has waged most of the world wars. They are fantastic war goals, which are today proclaimed to us. A new Europe should arise. This Europe should be filled with justice, and this general justice would then make arms superfluous, there would then be disarming. Through this disarmament, economic blossoming should then begin, trade and commerce should then set in, and indeed primarily trade, much trade, free trade! And under this trade, culture should then flourish, and not only culture, rather also religion should then thrive again. In a word: Now the Golden Age should come. Unfortunately, this Golden Age has already been presented to us before, in the same fashion, not just once but many times in previous generations and by the same people who outline it again today! A rather odd, worn out record now…And one can feel sorry for the gentlemen who have not come up with anything new by which they can bait a great folk, for, after all, they had already promised the same deal back in 1918; the war goal of the English back then was also a “New Europe”, the “new justice”, and this new justice was supposed to possess all the elements for the self-determination of folk….And again the talk was for disarmament…And that a blessed and congenial God era should come.
What then actually came, we experienced. They obliterated the old states without any consultation with the folks themselves! In not a single case did they ask the nations first, whether folks would be in agreement with the measures they had planned for them. They dissolved all the old bodies and their past traditions, not only state bodies, but also economic bodies, but they could not replace them with anything better – in no case could they put in something better….So without regard for self-determination they hacked up Europe, tore up all Europe, dissolved old states, disenfranchised nations and made them defenseless and made a clear distinction between the vanquished and the victors in this world… Then they no longer spoke of disarmament, but the very opposite, they continued to arm themselves! They did not begin to peacefully resolve conflicts, no, to the contrary, they armed themselves and waged war just as they had done before. Only this time, the disarmed were no longer able to defend themselves, or resist the violent acts of the armed. Parallel to this came their economic prosperity, on the contrary. it was an insane system of reparations that led to an economic impoverishment, not only of the vanquished, but of the victors themselves. No folk felt the consequences of this economic impoverishment more than the German. The general economic disorganization among us led to an unemployment which threatened our entire folk. Culture received no support from this either, rather, quite the opposite, it disintegrated…Religion vanished; in these 15 years, no Englishman remembered religion. The gentlemen did not take a stroll with Bible in hand, rather their Bible was the Treaty of Versailles! That was 448 paragraphs – a burden, an obligation, a condemnation and an extortion against Germany! And this Versailles was guaranteed by the new League of Nations – not a league of Free Nations at all, rather a League of Nations whose sole mandate was to guarantee the vilest dictates, that were never negotiated, rather simply imposed upon us, and forced us to fulfill.
That was the time of the democratic Germany!
And now how did they mistreat that Germany!
Who can still fully recall the history of those years; the misery of the collapse of the year 1918, the tragedy of the year 1919 and then all the years of domestic economic decay, of progressing enslavement, of the impoverishment of our folk and, above all, of the complete hopelessness! Even today, it is still shocking to remember that time, when a once great Nation, not only lost confidence in itself but in earthly justice. In this whole period democratic Germany hoped in vain, it begged just as futilely and it protested just a futilely. International finance remained brutally unscrupulous and exploited our folks as much as possible, and the statesmen of the Allied nations remained hard-hearted. They said back then, ice-cold, that we were 20 million Germans too many. They remained deaf to the misery of our unemployed, they did not concern themselves with the ruination of our agriculture or our industry, nor our trade. We remember this economic stagnation, which spread throughout Germany back then.
In that time when all hoping was in vain, when all requesting remained futile and when all protesting led to nothing, there emerged the National Socialist movement, and indeed proceeding from a realisation – namely the realisation that, in this world, one may not hope and should not request and should not lower oneself to protesting, rather, in this world, one must, above all, help oneself!
The hoping was in vain. We have now replaced this hoping with another hoping, namely the hoping in the only hope that exists in this world, help through our own strength. The hoping was replaced with faith in our German folk, in the action of its eternal inner values. Back then limited means stood at our disposal. What we viewed as the cornerstones of the new Reich were, aside from our will, above all, our folk’s work strength, second our folk’s intelligence, and third, what our own land could could offer us – our own soil. So we began to work and experience this inner German rise. This inner German rise did not threaten the world at all, it was purely internal German reform work, nevertheless it immediately summoned up hatred by the others. We experienced this most tragically when we proclaimed the Four Year Plan – an idea that should have enthused the other world: a folk wants to help itself, it does not appeal to help from others, it appeals to its own creative abilities, to its industriousness, to its energy, to its intelligence. But nonetheless the other world went into uproar, the English statesmen screamed: What are you thinking, this Four Year Plan, it does not fit in with our world economy! As if they would have allowed us to participate in this world economy at all. No, they sensed the resurrection of the German folk – and that is why, because we foresaw that and because we noticed it, we immediately undertook the mobilization of German strength parallel to this resurrection.
No, England and France, in their leading positions, were determined at the moment they saw the resurrection of the Reich to start a new war! They wanted it so!
England has for 300 years pursued the goal of preventing Europe’s economic consolidation, just as France sought for many centuries to prevent Germany’s consolidation.
If today a Mr Chamberlain appears as preacher and proclaims his pious war aims to the surrounding world, then I can only say: Your own history contradicts you, Mr Chamberlain. For 300 years, your statesmen have at the outbreak of war all talked like you. They have always only fought for God and religion. They never had a material goal. But precisely because Englishmen never fight for a material goal, the dear Lord has then so richly rewarded them materially. That England also presents only as a fighter for truth, for justice, the champion of all virtues, God has not forgotten that of the English. For that they have been richly blessed. They have in 300 years subjugated 40 million square kilometers of the earth, not out of egoism, no, not out of earthly desire for dominance, no, not out of desire for wealth, nor for pleasure, no quite the opposite, they did it all as a mission of God, for the sake of good and dear religion. Admittedly, England did not even want to be God’s sole fighter, rather it always invited others to participate in this noble conflict. It did not strive to bear the chief burden, rather, for works so pleasing to God, they always sought fellow fighters for their cause.
They do this today also. And, as I said, this has been richly rewarding for England. 40 million square kilometers, and English history is a single succession of rapes, extortion, of tyrannical mistreatment, of suppression, of looting. They waged war for everything. They waged war in order to expand their trade. They waged war in order to cause others to smoke opium. They also waged war to gain gold mines, to gain diamond mines – they always had material goals! But they naturally embellished as noble and ideal…The last war, of course, was only waged for ideal goals. But they pocketed German colonies nonetheless, God wanted it so again. They took away our fleet, they cashed in our foreign assets, these are just a few manifestations of this noble conflict for sacred religion.
If Mr Chamberlain today walks around with Bible and preaches his war aims, then this seems to me as if the devil approaches a poor soul with a prayer book. And this is not original, anymore. This is worn out, nobody believes him anymore, even he himself does not believe in himself!
There I praise Mr Churchill. He only says openly what old Mr Chamberlain thinks and hopes only in silence. He says it: Our goal is the dissolution of Germany. Our goal is Germany’s destruction. Our goal is the extermination, if possible, of the German folk. We want to crush Germany!
— This abridged transcript was translated by Hermitage Helm Corpus.