11 December 1941, Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
Deputies, Men of the German Reichstag! A year of events of historical significance is drawing to an end. A year of the greatest decisions lies ahead. In these serious times, I speak to you, Deputies of the German Reichstag, as to the representatives of the German nation. Beyond and above that, the whole German people should take note of this glance into the past, as well as of the coming decisions the present and future impose upon us.
After the renewed refusal of my peace offer in January 1940 by the then British Prime Minister and the clique which supported or else dominated him, it became clear that this war-against all reasons of common, sense and necessity-must be fought to its end. You know me, my old Party companions: you know I have always been an enemy of half measures or weak decisions. If the Providence has so willed that the German people cannot be spared this fight, then I can only be grateful that it entrusted me with the leadership in this historic struggle which, for the next 500 or 1,000 years, will be described as decisive, not only for the history of Germany, but for the whole of Europe and indeed the whole world. The German people and their soldiers are working and fighting today, not only for the present, but for the coming, nay the most distant, generations. A historical revision on a unique scale has been imposed on us by the Creator.
Shortly after the end of the campaign in Norway, the German Command was forced, first of all, to ensure the military security of the conquered areas. Since then the defences of the conquered countries have changed considerably. From Kirkenes to the Spanish Frontier there is a belt of great bases and fortifications; many airfields have been built, naval bases and protections for submarines which are practically invulnerable from sea or air. More than 1,500 new batteries have been planned and constructed. A network of roads and railways was constructed so that today communications from the Spanish Frontier to Petsamo are independent of the sea. These installations in no wise fall behind those of the Western Wall, and work continues incessantly on strengthening them. I am irrevocably determined to make the European Front unassailable by any enemy.
This defensive work was supplemented by offensive warfare. German surface and underwater naval Forces carried on their constant war of attrition against the British Merchant Navy and the ships in its service. The German Air Force supported these attacks by reconnaissance, by damaging enemy shipping, by numerous retaliatory raids which have given the English a better idea of the so charming war caused by their present Prime Minister.
In the middle of last year Germany was supported above all by Italy. For many months a great part of British power weighed on the shoulders of Italy. Only because of their tremendous superiority in heavy tanks could the English create a temporary crisis in North Africa. On 24th March a small community of German-Italian units under Rommel's command began the counter-attack. (Dates on which certain points fell.) The German Africa Corps performed outstanding achievements though they were completely unaccustomed to the climate of this theatre of war. Just as once in Spain, now in North Africa Germans and Italians have taken up arms against the same enemy.
While in these bold measures the North African Front was again secured by the blood of German and Italian soldiers, the shadow of a terrible danger threatening Europe gathered overhead. Only in obedience to bitter necessity did I decide in my heart in 1939, to make the attempt, at least, to create the pre-requisites for a lasting peace in Europe by eliminating the causes of German-Russian tension. This was psychologically difficult owing to the general attitude of the German people, and above all, of the Party, towards Bolshevism. It was not difficult from a purely material point of view-because Germany was only intent on her economic interests in all the territories which England declared to be threatened by us and which she attacked with her promises of aid-for you will allow me to remind you that England, throughout the spring and late summer of 1939, offered its aid to numerous countries, declaring that it was our intention to invade those countries and thus deprive them of their liberty. The German Reich and its Government were therefore able to affirm, with a clear conscience, that these allegations were false and had no bearing whatsoever on reality. Add to this the military realization that in case of war, which British diplomacy was to force on the German people a two front war would ensue and call for very great sacrifice.
When, on top of all this, the Baltic States and Rumania showed themselves prone to accept the British Pacts of assistance and thus let it be seen that they, too, believed in such a threat, it was not only the right of the Reich Government, but its duty to fix the limits of German interests. The countries in question, and above all, the Reich Government, could not but realize that the only factor which could be a buttress against the East was Germany. The moment they severed their connection with the German Reich, and entrusted their fate to the aid of that Power which, in its proverbial selfishness, has never rendered aid, but always requested it, they were lost. Yet the fate of these countries roused the sympathy of the German people. The winter struggle of the Finns forced on us a feeling mixed with bitterness and admiration. Admiration because we have a heart sensitive to sacrifice and heroism, being a nation of soldiers ourselves: bitterness, because with our eyes fixed on the menacing enemy in the West, and on the danger in the East, we were not in a position to render military assistance. As soon as it became evident that Soviet Russia deduced the right to wipe out the nations living outside the limits of the German sphere of interest, as a result of that limitation of interests our subsequent relations were merely governed by utilitarian considerations, while our reason and feelings were hostile.
With every month I became more convinced that the plans of the men in Kremlin aimed at domination and annihilating all Europe. I have had to submit to the nation the full extent of the Russian military preparations. At a time when Germany had only a few divisions in the provinces bordering on Russia it would have been evident to a blind man that a concentration of power of singular and world historic dimensions was taking place, and that not in order to defend something which was threatened, but merely in order to attack an object it did not seem possible to defend. The lightning conclusion of the Western campaign, however, robbed the Moscow overlords of their hope of an early flagging of German power. This did not alter their intentions-it merely led to a postponement of the date on which they intended to strike. In the summer of 1941 they thought the time was ripe. A new Mongolian storm was now to sweep Europe. At the same time, however, Mr. Churchill spoke on the English aspect of the struggle with Germany. He saw fit, in a cowardly manner, to deny that in the secret session of 1940 in the House of Commons that he pointed out that the entry of Russians into the war which was to come in 1941 at the very latest, was the most important factor which would make a successful conclusion of the war possible. This was also to enable England to take the offensive. In the spring of that year, Europe was to feel the full extent of the might of a world power which seemed to dispose of inexhaustible human material and resources. Dark clouds began to gather on the European sky. For, my Deputies, what is Europe? There is no fitting geographical definition of our Continent, but only a national and cultural one.
Not the Urals form the frontier of our Continent, but the eternal line which divides the Eastern and Western conceptions of life. There was a time when Europe was that Greek Island into which Nordic tribes had penetrated in order to light a torch for the first time which from then onwards began slowly, but surely to brighten the world of man. When these Greeks repulsed the invasion of the Persian conquerors they did not only defend their homeland, which was Greece, but that idea which we call Europe today. And then Europe traveled from Hellas to Rome. With the Greek spirit and Greek culture, the Roman way of thinking and Roman statesmanship were joined. An Empire was created which, to this day has not been equaled in its significance and creative power, let alone outdone. When, however the Roman legions were defending Rome against the African onslaught of Carthage and at last gained a victory, again it was not Rome they were fighting for, but the Europe of that time, which consisted of the Greek-Roman world.
The next incursion against this homestead of European culture was carried out from the distant East. A terrible stream of barbarous, uncultured hordes sallied forth from the interior of Asia deep into the hearts of the European Continent, burning, looting, murdering-a true scourge of the Lord. In the battle of the Catalonian fields the (West?) was formed. On the ruins of Rome the West was built, and its defence was a task, not only of the Romans, but also above all of the Teutons (Germans). In centuries to come the West, enlightened by Greek culture, built the Roman Empire and then expanded by the colonization of the Teutons was able to call itself Europe. Whether it was the German Emperor who was repelling the attacks from the East on the Field of Lech or whether Africa was being pushed back from Spain in long fighting, it was also a struggle of Europe, coming into being, against a surrounding world alien in its very essence. Once Rome had been given its due for the creative defense of this continent, Teutons took over the defense and the protection of a family of nations which might still differentiate and differ in their political structure and objective, but which nevertheless represented a cultural unity with blood ties. And it was from this Europe that a spiritual and cultural abundance went out, of which everyone must be aware who is willing to seek truth instead of denying it.
Thus it was not England who brought culture to the Continent, but the offspring of Teutonic nationhood on the Continent who went as Anglo-Saxons and Normans to that Island made possible a development in a way surely unique. In just the same way, it was not America who discovered Europe, but the other way around. And everything which America has not drawn from Europe may well appear worthy of admiration to a juda-ised, mixed race; Europe, on the other hand, sees in it a sign of cultural decay.
Deputies and Men of the German Reichstag, I had to make this survey, for the fight which, in the first months of this year, gradually began to become clear, and of which the German Reich is this time called to be the leader also far exceeds the interests of our nation and country. Just as the Greeks once faced the Persians in war, and the Romans faced the Mongolians, the Spanish heroes defended not only Spain, but the whole of Europe against Africa, just so Germany is fighting today, not for herself, but for the entire Continent. And it is a fortunate symptom that this realization is today so deep in the subconscious of most European nations that, whether by taking up their position openly or whether by the stream of volunteers, they are sharing in this struggle.
When, on the 6th of April of this year, the German and Italian Armies took up their positions for the fight against Yugoslavia and Greece, it was the introduction of the great struggle in which we are still involved. The revolt in Belgrade which led to the overthrow of the former Regent and his Government was decisive for the further course of events in this part of Europe, for England was also a party to this putsch. But the chief role was played by Soviet Russia. What I refused to Mr. Molotov on his visit to Berlin, Stalin now thought he could achieve by a revolutionary movement, even against our will. Without consideration for the agreements which had been concluded, the intentions of the Bolsheviks in power grew still wider. The Pact of Friendship with the new revolutionary regime illuminated the closeness of the threatening danger like lightning.
The feats achieved by the German Armed Forces were given worthy recognition in the German Reichstag on the 4th of May. But what I was then unfortunately unable to express was the realization that we were progressing at tremendous speed toward a fight with a State which was not yet intervening because it was not yet fully prepared, and because it was impossible to use the aerodromes and landing grounds at that time of year on account of the melting snow.
My deputies, when in 1940 I realized from communication in the English House of Commons and the observation of the Russian troop movements on our frontiers that there was the possibility of danger arising in the East of the Reich, I immediately gave orders to set up numerous new armoured motorised infantry divisions. The conditions for this were available from the point of view both of material and personnel. I will give you, my Deputies, and indeed the whole German people, only one assurance: the more the democracies speak much about armaments, as is easily understandable, the more National Socialist Germany works. It was so in the past, it is not different today. Every year brings us increased, and above all, improved weapons, there where decisions will be made. In spite of my determination under no circumstances to allow our opponent to make the first stab in our heart-in spite of that my decision was a very difficult one. If democratic newspapers today declare that, had I known the strength of our Bolshevik opponent more accurately, I would have hesitated to attack, they understand the position just a little as they understand me. I sought no war. On the contrary I did everything to avoid it. But I would have been forgetful of my duty and responsibility if, in spite of realizing the inevitability of a fight by force of arms, I had failed to draw the only possible conclusions. In view of the mortal danger from Soviet Russia, not only to the German Reich, but to all Europe, I decided, if possible a few days before the outbreak of this more struggle, to give the signal to attack myself.
Today, we have overwhelming and authentic proof that Russia intended to attack; we are also quite clear about the date on which the attack was to take place. In view of the great danger, the proportions of which we realise perhaps only today to the fullest extent, I can only thank God that He enlightened me at the proper time and that He gave me the strength to do what had to be done!
To this, not only millions of German soldiers owe their lives, but Europe its very existence. This much I may state today: had this wave of over 20,000 tanks, hundreds of divisions, tens of thousands of guns, accompanied by more than 10,000 aircraft, suddenly moved against the Reich, Europe would have been lost. Fate has destined a number of nations to forestall this attack, to ward it off with the sacrifice of their blood. Had Finland not decided immediately to take up arms for the second time, the leisurely bourgeois life of the other Nordic countries would soon have come to an end.
Had the German Reich not faced the enemy with her soldiers and arms, a flood would have swept over Europe, which once and for all would have finished the ridiculous British idea of maintaining the European balance of power in all its senselessness and stupid tradition. Had Slovaks, Hungarians, Rumanians not taken over part of the protection of this European world, the Bolshevik hordes would have swept like Attila's Huns over the Danubian countries, and at the cost of the Ionic Sea, Tartars and Mongols would have enforced today the revision of the Montreux Agreement. Had Italy, Spain and Croatia not sent their divisions, the establishment of a European defense Front would have been impossible, from which emanated the idea of the New Europe as propaganda to all other nations.
Sensing and realising this, the volunteers have come from Northern and Western Europe, Norwegians, Danes, Dutchmen, Flemings, Belgians, even Frenchmen-volunteers who gave the struggle of the United Powers of the Axis the character of a European crusade-in the truest sense of the world.
The time has not yet come to talk about the planning and the conduct of this campaign, but I believe that I may sketch in a few sentences what has been achieved in this most gigantic of all struggles, in which memories of the various impressions might so easily fade because of the vastness of the space and the great number of important events.
The attack began on 22nd of June; with irresistible daring the frontier fortifications which were destined to secure the Russian advance against us were broken through and on the 23rd Grodno fell. On the 24th Vilna and Kovoo were taken after Brest-Litovsk had been occupied. On the 26th Duenaburg was in our hands and on 10th July, the first two great pincer battles of Bialystok and Minsk were concluded: 324,000 prisoners, 3,332 tanks and 1,809 guns fell to us. Already, on 13th July, the Stalin Line was broken through on all important points. On the 16th Smolensk fell after heavy fighting, and on the 19th German and Rumanian formations forced the crossing of the Dniester. On the 6th of August, the Battle of Smolensk was concluded in many pockets and again 310,000 Russians fell into German captivity, while 3,205 tanks and 3,120 guns were destroyed or captured. Only three days later the fate of another Russian Army group was sealed and on 9th August another 103,000 Russians were taken prisoner in the Battle of Ouman; 317 tanks and 1,100 guns destroyed or captured. On 17th August Nicolaeff was taken, on the 21st, Kherson. On the same day the Battle of Gomel was concluded with 84,000 prisoners taken and 124 tanks, as well as 808 guns captured or destroyed. On the 21st August, the Russian positions between Lakes Peipus and Ilmen were broken through and on the 26th the bridgehead at Dniepropetrovsk fell into our hands. On 28th August German troops marched into Reval and Boltisk Port after heavy fighting, while on the 30th the Finns took Viipuri. By conquering Schluesselburg on the 8th September, Leningrad was finally cut off, also from the South. On 6th September we succeeded in establishing bridgeheads on the Dnieper and on the 8th Poltava fell into our hands. On 9th September German formations stormed the citadel of Kiev and the occupation of Oesel was crowned by taking the Capital. Only now the greatest operations matured into the expected successes; on 27th September the Battle of Kiev was concluded; 665,000 prisoners began to move westwards, 884 tanks and 3,178 guns remained as booty in the pockets. As early as 2nd October the break-through battle on the Central Front began, while on 11th October the battle on the Sea of Azov was successfully concluded; again 107,000 prisoners, 212 tanks and 672 guns were counted. On 16th October, German and Rumanian troops marched into Odessa after hard fighting. On 8th October the break-through battle on the Central Front was concluded with a new success, unique in history, when 663,000 prisoners were only part of its results; 1,242 tanks and 5,452 guns were either destroyed or captured. On 31st October, the conquest of Dagoo was concluded.
On 24th October, the industrial centre of Kharkov was taken. On 28th October, the entrance of the Crimea was finally forced at great speed, and on 2nd November already the capital Sinferopol was taken by storm. On 6th November we had pierced through the Crimea up to Kerch.
On 1st December, the total number of Soviet prisoners amounted to 3,806,865; the number of tanks destroyed or captured was 21,391, that of guns, 32,541 and that of aeroplanes, 17,322. During the same period 2,191 British planes were shot-down. The Navy sank 4,170,611 g.r.t. of British shipping, the air force 2,346,080 g.r.t.; a total of 6,516,791 g.r.t. was thus destroyed. [Note: Figures checked, as they do not tally.]
My Deputies, my German people, those are sober facts or perhaps dry figures. Yet, may they never disappear from the history and, above all from the memory and the consciousness, of our own German people. For behind those figures are hidden the achievements, the sacrifices, the privations, the everlasting heroic courage and the readiness to die of millions of the best men of our own nation and of the States allied to us.
All this had to be fought for by my staking health and life and by effort of which those at home can hardly have an idea. Marching for an endless distance, tormented by heat and thirst, often held up by the mud of bottomless roads which would drive them almost to despair, exposed, from the Black Sea to the Arctic Sea, to the inhospitability of a climate which from the blazing heat of the July and August days, dropped to the wintry storms of November and December, tortured by insects, suffering from dirt and vermin, freezing in snow and ice, they have fought-the Germans and the Finns, Italians, Slovaks, Hungarians and Rumanians, the Croats, the volunteers from the North and West European countries, all in all the soldiers of the Eastern Front.
The beginning of winter only will now check this movement; at the beginning of summer it will again no longer be possible to stop the movement. On this day I do not want to mention any individual section of the Armed Forces, I do not want to praise any particular command; they have all made a supreme effort. And yet, understanding and justice compel me to state one thing again and again; amongst our German soldiers the heaviest burden is born today, as in the past, by our matchless German infantry
From 22nd June to 1st December the German Army lost in this heroic fight 158,773 killed, 563,082 wounded and 31,191 missing. The Air Force lost 3,231 killed, 8,453 wounded and 2,028 missing. The Navy lost 210 killed, 232 wounded and 115 missing. The total losses of the armed forces are thus 162,314 killed, 571,767 wounded and 33,334 missing. [Note: The figures for soldiers killed do not tally.] That is to say, in killed and wounded slightly more than the field of death of the Somme Battle, in missing a little less than half those missing at that time. But all fathers and sons of our German people.
And now permit me to define my attitude to that other world, which has its representative in that man, who, while our soldiers are fighting in snow and ice, very tactfully likes to make his chats from the fireside, the man who is the main culprit of this-war. When in 1939 the conditions of our national interest in the then Polish State became more and more intolerable, I tried at first to eliminate those intolerable conditions by way of a peaceful settlement. For some time it seemed as though the Polish Government itself had seriously considered to agree to a sensible settlement. I may add that in German proposals nothing was demanded that had not been German property in former times. On the contrary, we renounced very much of what, before the World War, had been German property. You will recall the dramatic development of that time, in which the sufferings of German nationals increased continuously. You, my deputies, are in the best position to gauge the extent of the blood sacrifice, if you compare it to the casualties of the present war. The campaign in the East has so far cost the German armed forces about 160,000 killed; but in the midst of peace more than 62,000 Germans were killed during those months, some under the most cruel tortures. It could hardly be contested that the German Reich had had a right to object to such conditions on its Frontiers and to demand that they should cease to exist and that it was entitled to think of its own safety; this could hardly be contested at a time when other countries were seeking elements of their safety even in foreign continents. The problems which had to be overcome were of no territorial significance. Mainly they concerned Danzig and the union with the Reich of the torn-off province, East Prussia. More difficult were the cruel persecutions the Germans were exposed to, in Poland particularly. The other minorities, incidentally, had to suffer a fate hardly less bitter.
When in August the attitude of Poland-thanks to the carte blanche guarantee received from England-became still stiffer, the Government of the Reich found it necessary to submit, for the last time, a proposal on the basis of which we were willing to enter into negotiations with Poland-negotiations of which we fully and completely apprised the then British Ambassador. I may recall these proposals today: "Proposal for the settlement of the problem of the Danzig Corridor and of the question of the German-Polish minorities. The situation between the German Reich and Poland has become so strained that any further incident may lead to a clash between the Armed Forces assembled on both sides. Any peaceful settlement must be so arranged that the events mainly responsible for the existing situation cannot occur again-a situation which has caused a state of tension, not only in Eastern Europe, but also in other regions. The cause of this situation lies in the impossible Frontiers laid down by the Versailles dictate and the inhuman treatment of the German minorities in Poland. I am now going to read the proposals in question. [Hitler then proceeded to read the first 12 points of these proposals.] The same goes for the proposals for safeguarding the minorities. This is the offer of an agreement such as could not have been made in a more loyal and magnanimous form by any government other than the National Socialist Government of the German Reich.
The Polish Government at that period refused even as much as to consider this proposal. The question then arises: how could such an unimportant State dare simply to refuse an offer of this nature and furthermore, not only indulge in further atrocities to its German inhabitants who had given that country the whole of its culture, but even order mobilization? Perusal of documents of the Foreign Office in Warsaw has given us later some surprising explanations. There was one man who, with devilish lack of conscience, used all his influence to further the warlike intentions of Poland and to eliminate all possibilities of understanding. The reports which the then Polish Ambassador in Washington Count Potocki, sent to his Government are documents from which it may be seen with a terrifying clearness to what an extent one man alone and the forces driving him are responsible for the second World War. The question next arises, how could this man fall into such fanatical enmity toward a country which in the whole of its history has never done the least harm either to America or to him personally?
So far as Germany's attitude towards America is concerned, I have to state: (i) Germany is perhaps the only great power which has never had a colony either in North or South America, or otherwise displayed there any political activity, unless mention be made of the emigration of many millions of Germans and of their work, which, however, has only been to the benefit of the American Continent and of the U.S.A. (ii) In the whole history of the coming into being and of the existence of the U.S.A. the German Reich has never adopted a politically unfriendly, let alone hostile attitude, but, on the contrary with the blood of many of its sons, it helped to defend the U.S.A. The German Reich never took part in any war against the U.S.A. It itself had war imposed upon it by the U.S.A. in 1917, and then for reasons which have been thoroughly revealed by an investigation committee set up by President Roosevelt himself. There are no other differences between the German and the American people, either territorial or political, which could possibly touch the interests let alone the existence of the U.S.A. There was always a difference of constitution, but that cannot be a reason for hostilities so long as the one state does not try to interfere with the other. America is a Republic, a Democracy, and today is a Republic under strong authoritative leadership. The ocean lies between the two States. The divergences between Capitalist America and Bolshevik Russia, if such conceptions had any truth in them, would be much greater than between America led by a President and Germany led by a Führer.
But it is a fact that the two conflicts between Germany and the U.S.A. were inspired by the same force and caused by two men in the U.S.A.-Wilson and Roosevelt. History has already passed its verdict on Wilson, his name stands for one of the basest breaches of the given word, that led to disruption not only among the so-called vanquished, but also among the victors. This breach of his word alone made possible the Dictate of Versailles. We know today that a group of interested financiers stood behind Wilson and made use of this paralytic professor because they hoped for increased business. The German people have had to pay for having believed this man with the collapse of their political and economic existence.
But why is there now another President of the U.S.A. who regards it as his only task to intensify anti-German feeling to the pitch of war? National-Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year as Roosevelt was elected President. I understand only too well that a world-wide distance separates Roosevelt's ideas and my ideas. Roosevelt comes from a rich family and belongs to the class whose path is smoothed in the Democracies. I am only the child of a small, poor family and had to fight my way by work and industry. When the Great War came, Roosevelt occupied a position where he got to know only its pleasant consequences, enjoyed by those who do business while others bleed. I was only one of those who carry out orders, as an ordinary soldier, and naturally returned from the war just as poor as I was in Autumn 1914. I shared the fate of millions, and Franklin Roosevelt only the fate of the so-called Upper Ten Thousand.
After the war Roosevelt tried his hand at financial speculation: he made profits out of the inflation, out of the misery of others, while I, together with many hundreds of thousands more, lay in hospital. When Roosevelt finally stepped on the political stage with all the advantages of his class, I was unknown and fought for the resurrection of my people. When Roosevelt took his place at the head of the U.S.A., he was the candidate of a Capitalist Party which made use of him: when I became Chancellor of the German Reich, I was the Führer of the popular movement I had created. The powers behind Roosevelt were those powers I had fought at home. The Brains Trust was composed of people such as we have fought against in Germany as parasites and removed from public life.
And yet there is something in common between us. Roosevelt took over a State in a very poor economic condition, and I took over a Reich faced with complete ruin, also thanks to Democracy. In the U.S.A. there were 13,000,000 unemployed, and in Germany 7,000,000 part-time workers. The finances of both States were in a bad way, and ordinary economic life could scarcely be maintained. A development then started in the U.S.A. and in the German Reich which will make it easy for posterity to pass a verdict on the correctness of the theories.
While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialist leadership within the space of a few years, President Roosevelt did not succeed in bringing about even the slightest improvements in his own country. And yet this work must have been much easier in the U.S.A. where there live scarcely 15 persons on a square kilometer, as against 140 in Germany. If such a country does not succeed in assuring economic prosperity, this must be a result either of the bad faith of its leaders in power, or of a total inefficiency on the part of the leading men. In scarcely five years, economic problems had been solved in Germany and unemployment had been overcome. During the same period, President Roosevelt had increased the State Debt of his country to an enormous extent, had decreased the value of the dollar, had brought about a further disintegration of economic life, without diminishing the unemployment figures. All this is not surprising if one bears in mind that the men he had called to support him, or rather, the men who had called him, belonged to the Jewish element, whose interests are all for disintegration and never for order. While speculation was being fought in National Socialist Germany, it thrived astoundingly under the Roosevelt regime.
Roosevelt's New Deal legislation was all wrong: it was actually the biggest failure ever experienced by one man. There can be no doubt that a continuation of this economic policy would have done this President in peace time, in spite of all his dialectical skill. In a European State he would surely have come eventually before a State Court on a charge of deliberate waste of the national wealth; and he would have scarcely escaped at the hands of a Civil Court, on a charge of criminal business methods.
This fact was realized and fully appreciated also by many Americans including some of high standing. A threatening opposition was gathering over the head of this man. He guessed that the only salvation for him lay in diverting public attention from home to foreign policy. It is interesting to study in this connection the reports of the Polish Envoy in Washington, Potocki. He repeatedly points out that Roosevelt was fully aware of the danger threatening the card castle of his economic system with collapse, and that he was therefore urgently in need of a diversion in foreign policy. He was strengthened in this resolve by the Jews around him. Their Old Testament thirst for revenge thought to see in the U.S.A. an instrument for preparing a second "Purim" for the European nations which were becoming increasingly anti-Semetic. The full diabolical meanness of Jewry rallied round this man, and he stretched out his hands.
Thus began the increasing efforts of the American President to create conflicts, to do everything to prevent conflicts from being peacefully solved. For years this man harboured one desire-that a conflict should break out somewhere in the world. The most convenient place would be in Europe, where American economy could be committed to the cause of one of the belligerents in such a way that a political interconnection of interests would arise calculated slowly to bring America nearer such a conflict. This would thereby divert public interest from bankrupt economic policy at home towards foreign problems.
His attitude to the German Reich in this spirit was particularly sharp. In 1937, Roosevelt made a number of speeches, including a particularly mean one pronounced in Chicago on 5th October, 1937. Systematically he began to incite American public opinion against Germany. He threatened to establish a kind of Quarantine against the so-called Authoritarian States. While making these increasingly spiteful and inflammatory speeches, President Roosevelt summoned the American Ambassadors to Washington to report to him. This event followed some further declarations of an insulting character; and ever since, the two countries have been connected with each other only through Chargés d'Affaires.
From November 1938 onwards, his systematic efforts were directed towards sabotaging any possibility of an appeasement policy in Europe. In public, he was hypocritically pretending to be for peace; but at the same time he was threatening any country ready to pursue a policy of peaceful understanding with the freezing of assets, with economic reprisals, with demands for the repayment of loans, etc. Staggering information to this effect can be derived from the reports of Polish Ambassadors in Washington, London, Paris and Brussels.
In January, 1939, this man began to strengthen his campaign of incitement and threatened to take all possible Congressional measures against the Authoritarian States, with the exception of war, while alleging that other countries were trying to interfere in American affairs and insisting on the maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine, he himself began from March 1939 onwards, to meddle in European affairs which were no concern at all of the President of the U.S.A., since he does not understand those problems, and even if he did understand them and the historic background behind them, he would have just as little right to worry about the central European area as the German Reich has to judge conditions in a U.S. State and to take an attitude towards them.
But Mr. Roosevelt went even farther. In contradiction to all the tenets of international law, he declared that he would not recognize certain Governments which did not suit him, would not accept readjustments, would maintain Legations of States dissolved long before or actually set them up as legal Governments. He even went so far as to conclude agreements with such Envoys, and thus to acquire a right simply to occupy foreign territories.
On 5th April, 1939, came Roosevelt's famous appeal to myself and the Duce. It was a clumsy combination of geographical and political ignorance and of the arrogance of the millionaire circles around him. It asked us to give undertakings to conclude non-aggression Pacts indiscriminately with any country, including mostly countries which were not even free, since Mr. Roosevelt's allies had annexed them or changed them into Protectorates. You will remember, my Deputies, that I then gave a polite and clear reply to this meddling gentleman. For some months at least, this stopped the flow of eloquence from this honest warmonger. But his place was taken by his honourable spouse. She-declined to live with her sons in a world such as the one we have worked out. And quite right, for this is a world of labour and not of cheating and trafficking.
After a little rest, the husband of that woman came back on the scene and on the 4th November, 1939, engineered the reversion of the Neutrality Law so as to suspend the ban on the export of arms, in favor of a one-sided delivery of arms to Germany's opponents. He then begins, somewhat as in Asia and in China, but the roundabout way of an economic infiltration to establish a community of interests destined to become operative sooner or later. In the same month, he recognizes, as a so-called Government in exile, a gang of Polish emigrants, whose only political foundation was a few million gold coins taken with them from Warsaw. On the 9th of April he goes on and he orders the blocking of Norwegian and Danish assets under the lying pretext of placing them beyond the German reach, although he knows perfectly well that the Danish Government in its financial administration is not in anyway being interfered with, let alone controlled, by Germany. To the various exiled Governments recognized by him, the Norwegian is now added. On the 15th May, 1940, he recognizes the Dutch and Belgian emigre Governments. This is followed by blocking Dutch and Belgian assets. His true mentality then comes clearly to light in a telegram of 15th June to the French Prime Minister, Reynaud. He advises him that the American government will double its help to France, provided that France continues the war against Germany. So as to give still greater expression to this, his wish for a continuation of the war, he issues a, declaration that the American Government will not recognize the results of the conquest of territories-i.e., the restoration to Germany of lands which had been stolen from her. I don't need to assure you, Members of the Reichstag, that it is a matter of complete indifference to every German Government whether the President of the U.S.A. recognizes the frontiers of Europe or no, and that this indifference will likewise continue, in the future. I merely quote this to illustrate the methodical incitement which has come from this man who speaks hypocritically of peace, but always urges to war.
But now he is seized with fear that if peace is brought about in Europe, his squandering of billions of money or armaments will be looked upon (as plain fraud), since nobody will attack America-and he then himself must provoke this attack upon his country. On the 17th July, 1940, the American President orders the blocking of French assets with a view, as he puts it, to placing them beyond German reach, but really in order to transfer the French gold from Casablanca to America with the assistance of an American cruiser. In July 1940 he tries by enlisting American citizens in the British Air Force and by training British airmen in the U.S.A. to pave ever better the way to war. In August 1940, a military programme is jointly drawn up between the U.S.A. and Canada. To make the establishment of a Canadian-U.S. Defence Committee plausible-plausible at least to the biggest fools-he invents from time to time crises, by means of which he pretends that America is being threatened with aggression.
This he wishes to impress upon the American people by suddenly returning on the 3rd April to Washington with all speed on account of the alleged danger of the situation. In September 1940 he draws still nearer to the war. He turns over to the British Fleet 50 destroyers of the American Navy in return for which, to be sure, he takes over several British bases in North and South America.
From all these actions, it may be clearly seen how, with all his hatred for Socialist Germany, he forms the resolution of taking over, as safely and securely as possible, the British Empire in the moment of its downfall. Since England is no longer in the position to pay cash for all the American deliveries, he imposes the Lease-Lend Law on the American people. He thus receives powers to lend or lease support to countries, the defence of which may appear to him as vital in America's interests. Then in (indistinct) 1941, as Germany cannot be made to react to any of his gestures, he takes yet a further step. As far back as the 9th December 1939, American (?cruisers) in the security zone handed over the German ship Columbus to the British ships. In the circumstances she had to be sunk (note: i.e. scuttled). On the same day, U.S. forces co-operated to prevent the attempted escape of the German steamer Arauca. On the 27th January, 1940, the U.S. cruiser (named, but indistinct) in contravention of International Law advised enemy naval forces of the movements of the German steamers, Arauca, La Plata and Mangoni. On the 27th June, 1940, he ordered, in complete contravention of International Law, a restriction of the freedom of movements of foreign ships in U.S. harbours. In November, 1940, he ordered the German ships (?Reugeu), Niederwald and Rhein to be shadowed by American ships until these steamers were compelled to scuttle themselves so as not to fall into enemy hands. On 30th April, 1941, followed the opening up of the Red Sea to U.S. ships, so that they could carry supplies to the British armies in the Near East. Meanwhile, in March, all German ships were requisitioned by the American authorities. In the course of this German nationals were treated in a most inhuman manner, and in contravention of all notions of international law certain places of residence were assigned them, travelling restrictions imposed upon them, and so on. Two German officers who had escaped from Canadian captivity, were-again contrary to all the dictates of international law-handcuffed and handed over to the Canadian authorities. 24th March the same President who stands against every aggression, acclaimed Simovitch [Chief of Aviation, Yugoslavia] and his companions who (?gained their positions) by aggression and by removing the lawful government of the country. Roosevelt some months before sent Colonel Donavan, a completely unworthy creature, to the Balkans, to Sofia and Belgrade, to engineer a rising against Germany and Italy.
In April, he promised help to Yugoslavia and Greece under the Lend-Lease Act. At the end of April, this man recognized the Yugoslav and Greek emigre governments, and once more against international law, blocked the Yugoslav and Greek assets. From the middle of April onwards, American watch over the Western Atlantic by U.S.A. patrols was extended, and reports were made to the British. On the 26th April, Roosevelt transferred to the British 20 motor-torpedo-boats and at the same time, British warships were being repaired in U.S. ports. On 5th May, the illegal arming and repairing of Norwegian ships for England took place. On 4th June American troop transports arrived in Greenland, to build airdromes. On 9th June, came the first British report that, on Roosevelt's orders, a U.S. warship had attacked a German U-boat with depth charges near Greenland. On 4th June, German assets in the U.S.A. were illegally blocked. On the 7th June Roosevelt demanded under mendacious pretexts, that German consuls should be withdrawn and German consulates closed. He also demanded the closing of the German Press Agency, Trans ocean, the German Information Library and the German Reichs bank Central Office. On 6th and 7th July, Iceland, which is within the German fighting zone, was occupied by American Forces or the orders of Roosevelt. He intended, first of all, to force Germany to make war and to make the German U-boat warfare as ineffective as it was in 1915-16. At the same time, he promised American help to the Soviet Union. On 10th June, the Navy Minister, Knox, suddenly announced an American order to shoot at Axis warships. On 4th September, the U.S. destroyer Greer obeying orders, operated with British aircraft against German U-boats in the Atlantic. Five days later, a German U-boat noticed the U.S. destroyer acting as escort in a British convoy. On 11th September Roosevelt finally made a speech in which he confirmed and repeated his order to fire on all Axis ships. On 29th September, U.S. escort-vessels attacked a German U-boat with depth charges east of Greenland. On 7th October, the U.S. destroyer Kearney acting as an escort vessel for Britain, again attacked German U-boat with depth-charges. Finally, on 6th November U.S. forces illegally seized the German steamer, Odenwald, and took it to an American port where the crew were taken prisoner.
I will pass over the insulting attacks made by this so-called President against me. That he calls me a gangster is uninteresting. After all, this expression was not coined in Europe but in America, no doubt because such gangsters are lacking here. Apart from this, I cannot be insulted by Roosevelt for I consider him mad just as Wilson was. I don't need to mention what this man has done for years in the same way against Japan. First he incites war then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war, not without calling God to witness the honesty of his attack-in the approved manner of an old Freemason. I think you have all found it a relief that now, at last, one State has been the first to take the step of protest against his historically unique and shame less ill-treatment of truth, and of right-which protest this man has desired and about which he cannot complain. The fact that the Japanese Government, which has been negotiating for year with this man, has at last become tired of being mocked by him in such an unworthy way, fills us all, the German people, and think, all other decent people in the world, with deep satisfaction.
We have seen what the Jews have done in Soviet Russia. We have made the acquaintance of the Jewish Paradise on earth. Millions of German soldiers have been able to see this country where the international Jews have destroyed people and property. The President of the U.S.A. ought finally to understand-I say this only because of his limited intellect-that we know that the aim of this struggle is to destroy one State after another. But the present German Reich has nothing more in common with the old Germany. And we, for our part, will now do what this provocateur has been trying to do so much for years. Not only because we are the ally of Japan, but also because Germany and Italy have enough insight and strength to comprehend that, in these historic times, the existence or non-existence of the nations, is being decided perhaps for ever. We clearly see the intention of the rest of the world towards us. They reduced Democratic Germany to hunger. They would exterminate our social things of today. When Churchill and Roosevelt state that they want to build up a new social order, later on, it is like a hairdresser with a bald head recommending an unfortunate hair-restorer. These men, who live in the most socially backward states, have misery and distress enough in their own countries to occupy themselves with the distribution of foodstuffs.
As for the German nation, it needs charity neither from Mr. Churchill nor from Mr. Roosevelt, let alone from Mr. Eden. It wants only its rights! It will secure for itself this right to life even if thousands of Churchills and Roosevelts conspire against it.
In the whole history of the German nation, of nearly 2,000 years, it has never been so united as today and, thanks to National Socialism it will remain united in the future. Probably it has never seen so clearly, and rarely been so conscious of its honour. I have therefore arranged for his passports to be handed to the American Chargé d'Affaires today, and the following ... [drowned in applause].
As a consequence of the further extension of President Roosevelt's policy, which is aimed at unrestricted world domination and dictatorship the U.S.A. together with England have not hesitated from using any means to dispute the rights of the German, Italian and Japanese nations to the basis of their natural existence. The Governments of the U.S.A. and of England have therefore resisted, not only now but also for all time, every just understanding meant to bring about a better New Order in the world. Since the beginning of the war the American President, Roosevelt, has been guilty of a series of the worst crimes against international law; illegal seizure of ships and other property of German and Italian nationals were coupled with the threat to, and looting of, those who were deprived of their liberty by being interned. Roosevelt's ever increasing attacks finally went so far that he ordered the American Navy to attack everywhere ships under the German and Italian flags, and to sink them-this in gross violation of international law. American ministers boasted of having destroyed German submarines in this criminal way. German and Italian merchantships were attacked by American cruisers, captured and their crews imprisoned. With no attempt at an official denial there has now been revealed in America President Roosevelt's plan by which, at the latest in 1943, Germany and Italy were to be attacked in Europe by military means. In this way the sincere efforts of Germany and Italy to prevent an extension of the war and to maintain relations with the U.S.A. in spite of the unbearable provocations which have been carried on for years by President Roosevelt, have been frustrated. Germany and Italy have been finally compelled, in view of this, and in loyalty to the Tri-Partite act, to carry on the struggle against the U.S.A. and England jointly and side by side with Japan for the defense and thus for the maintenance of the liberty and independence of their nations and empires.
The Three Powers have therefore concluded the following Agreement, which was signed in Berlin today:
"In their unshakable determination not to lay down arms until the joint war against the U.S.A. and England reaches a successful conclusion, the German, Italian, and Japanese Governments have agreed on the following points:
Article I. Germany, Italy and Japan will wage the common war forced upon them by the U.S.A. and England with all the means of power at their disposal, to a victorious conclusion.
Article II. Germany, Italy and Japan undertake not to conclude an armistice or peace with the U.S.A. or with England without complete mutual understanding.
Article III. Germany, Italy and Japan will continue the closest cooperation even after the victorious conclusion of the war in order to bring about a just new order in the sense of the Tri-Partite Pact concluded by them on the 27th September 1940.
Article IV. This Agreement comes into force immediately after signature and remains in force as long as the Tri-Partite Pact of 27th September 1940. The Signatory Powers will confer in time before this period ends about the future form of the co-operation provided for in Article III of this Agreement."
Deputies, Members of the German Reichstag:
Ever since my last peace proposal of July 1940 was rejected, we have realized that this struggle has to be fought out to its last implications. That the Anglo-Saxon-Jewish-Capitalist World finds itself now in one and the same Front with Bolshevism does not surprise us National Socialists: we have always found them in company. We have concluded the struggle successfully inside Germany and have destroyed our adversaries after 16 years struggle for power. When, 23 years ago, I decided to enter political life and to lift this nation out of its decline, I was a nameless, unknown soldier. Many among you know how difficult were the first few years of this struggle. From the time when the Movement I consisted of seven men, until we took over power in January 1933, the path was so miraculous that only Providence itself with its blessing could have made this possible.
Today I am at the head of the strongest Army in the world, the most gigantic Air Force and of a proud Navy. Behind and around me stands the Party with which I became great and which has become great through me. The enemies I see before me are the same enemies as 20 years ago, but the path along which I look forward cannot be compared with that on which I look back. The German people recognizes the decisive hour of its existence millions of soldiers do their duty, millions of German peasants and workers, women and girls, produce bread for the home country and arms for the Front. We are allied with strong peoples, who in the same need are faced with the same enemies. The American President and his Plutocratic clique have mocked us as the Have-nots-that is true, but the Have-nots will see to it that they are not robbed of the little they have.
You, my fellow party members, know my unalterable determination to carry a fight once begun to its successful conclusion. You know my determination in such a struggle to be deterred by nothing, to break every resistance which must be broken. In September 1939 I assured you that neither force nor arms nor time would overcome Germany. I will assure my enemies that neither force of arms nor time nor any internal doubts, can make us waver in the performance of our duty. When we think of the sacrifices of our soldiers, any sacrifice made by the Home Front is completely unimportant. When we think of those who in past centuries have fallen for the Reich, then we realize the greatness of our duty. But anybody who tries to evade this duty has no claim to be regarded in our midst as a fellow German. Just as we were unmercifully hard in our struggle for power we shall be unmercifully hard in the struggle to maintain our nation.
At a time when thousands of our best men are dying nobody must expect to live who tries to depreciate the sacrifices made at the Front. Immaterial under what camouflage he tries to disturb this German Front, to undermine the resistance of our people, to weaken the authority of the regime, to sabotage the achievements of the Home Front, he shall die for it! But with the difference that this sacrifice brings the highest honour to the soldier at the Front, whereas the other dies dishonoured and disgraced.
Our enemies must not deceive themselves. In the 2,000 years of German history known to us, our people have never been more united than today. The Lord of the Universe has treated us so well in the past years that we bow in gratitude to a providence which has allowed us to be members of such a great nation. We thank Him that we also can be entered with honour into the ever-lasting book of German history!