Adolf Hitler - speech to the Reichstag
September 15, 1935
On behalf of the German Reich Government, I have requested Reichstag President Pg. Goring to convene for today a session of the German Reichstag in Nuremberg. The place was chosen because, by virtue of the National Socialist Movement, it is closely connected with the laws which will be presented to you today for passage; the time was chosen because the great majority of the deputies are still in Nuremberg in the capacity of Party comrades. I would like to make a few general remarks on these bills which are being introduced on a notice of motion.
The first part of the Reich Party Congress in Nuremberg has come to an end. The Wehrmacht Day will mark its final conclusion tomorrow. The picture presented by this celebration of the Movement echoes even more strongly last year’s impression. The German Volk has found the way to a unity and discipline such as has never before existed in history. This expression of the stability of the Movement is simultaneously the expression of the strength of the current regime. What the German nation longed for in vain for centuries has now been given unto it: a united Volk of brothers, free of respective biases and the scruples of past epochs. This inner strength will be reflected by the picture the Wehrmacht will present to us tomorrow. It shall not be a mass demonstration, but an exposition of the inner value of our new Army.
The German Volk can consider itself lucky at the knowledge of having regained this strength after having suffered so terribly and been impotent for so long. And that particularly at a time which seems to be afflicted by formidable crises. Germany has regained its health. Its facilities are back in working order, both inside and out.
All the more greater is the responsibility of the leadership of the Reich in such grave times. There can be but one guiding principle for the whole of our actions: our great and unshakeable love of peace. It appears to me that such a statement is necessary at this time, for a certain international press will unfortunately persist in its attempts to draw Germany into the circle of its calculating designs.
Before we know it, there will be reports that Germany plans to take action against France; there will be speculation that it is turning against Austria; or the suspicion that it will attack Russia-don’t ask me where. These threats are then usually presented as an argument for the necessity of forming various coalitions, depending on the needs of the moment.
In no less generous terms does this press give German friendship away and treat it as something given free for the having to any statesman inclined to reach out his hand to take it.
I hardly need assure you, my deputies and men of the Reichstag, that the German Government does not base its decisions upon any kind of negative attitude towards anyone, but solely on the consciousness of its own responsibility to Germany. The purpose of our work is not, however, to squander what it has achieved in some thoughtless and hence lunatic gamble.
The purpose of building up the German Army was not to threaten the freedom of any European people, much less deprive them of it, but solely to preserve the freedom of the German Volk. This viewpoint is the fundamental principle upon which the foreign policy of the German Reich Government rests. Therefore we refuse to comment on incidents which do not affect Germany, and do not wish to be dragged into such incidents. It is with all the more concern, however, that the German Volk is following the incidents in Lithuania.210 In the midst of peacetime, the Memel territory was stolen from Germany years after the peace treaty. This theft was legalized by the League of Nations and coupled only with the condition that the contractually-stipulated autonomy awarded to the Memel Germans be preserved. For years now, the German element in this area has been abused and tortured in violation of law and the treaty. A great nation is forced to look on while, contrary to law and the stipulations of the treaty, its blood relations who were attacked in the midst of peacetime and torn away from the Reich are being subjected to a treatment worse than that to which criminals are subjected in normal states.
Yet their only crime is that they are Germans and wish to remain Germans.
Proposals of those responsible in Kaunas have, to date, not progressed beyond mere worthless formalities with no consequences within the country.
The German Reich Government views this development with interest and with bitterness. It would be a laudable undertaking were the League of Nations to turn its attention to the respect due to the autonomy of the Memel territory and see to it that it is put into practice, before here, too, the events begin to take on forms which could one day but be regretted by all those involved. The preparations for the election which are now taking place there constitute a mockery of both law and obligation! Germany is by no means lodging unreasonable claims in demanding that suitable measures be taken to coerce Lithuania to comply with the existing treaties. A nation of sixty-five million ought surely to have the right to demand that it at least receive no less consideration than the whims of a country of two million.
Unfortunately, we are witnessing how, although the understanding between peoples is more needed than ever, the Bolshevist International of Moscow has resumed its open and methodical revolutionizing, which means whipping up animosity among the peoples. The farce of the Comintern Congress in Moscow is a telling illustration of the sincerity of the “non-intervention” policy this same power demands.
Since we expect nothing to come of protests and remonstrances in Moscow and have learned through our own experience and, as far as we can ascertain, from the experiences of other states as well, we are resolved to combat the Bolshevist revolutionary agitation in Germany with the effective weapons of National Socialist enlightenment.
The Party Congress has certainly left no room for doubt that National Socialism-if an attempt is made by Moscow-Bolshevism to establish a foothold in Germany or to drive Germany into a revolution-will most definitely put a stop to this plan and such attempts.
We are further compelled to note that here, as everywhere, it is almost exclusively Jewish elements which are at work as instigators of this campaign to spread animosity and confusion among the peoples. The insult to the German flag-which was settled most loyally by a statement of the American Government-is both an illustration of the attitude of Jews, even in civil service status, towards Germany and revealing proof of the pertinence of our National Socialist legislation which is designed as a precautionary measure to prevent from the very onset that similar incidents take place in our German administration and in our courts, and to prohibit them at any cost. However, should the pertinence of our view require yet further underscoring, this is provided in abundance in the renewed boycott campaign which the Jewish element has just launched against Germany.
This international unrest in the world unfortunately appears to have given rise to the opinion among Jews in Germany that now perhaps the time has come to set Jewish interests up in clear opposition to the German national interests in the Reich. Loud complaints of provocative actions of individual members of this race are coming in from all sides, and the striking frequency of these reports and the similarity of their content appear to indicate a certain method behind the deeds themselves. These actions have escalated to demonstrations in a Berlin cinema directed against a basically harmless foreign film which Jewish circles fancied was offensive to them.
To prevent this behavior from leading to quite determined defensive action on the part of the outraged population, the extent of which cannot be foreseen, the only alternative would be a legislative solution to the problem. The German Reich Government is guided by the hope of possibly being able to bring about, by means of a single secular measure, a framework within which the German Volk would be in a position to establish tolerable relations with the Jewish people. However, should this hope prove false and intra-German and international Jewish agitation proceed on its course, a new evaluation of the situation would have to take place.
I now propose that the Reichstag adopt the bills which the Reichstag President, Party comrade Goring, will read aloud to you. The first and second laws repay a debt of gratitude to the Movement, under whose symbol Germany regained its freedom,211 in that they fulfill a significant item on the program of the National Socialist Party.
The third is an attempt at a legislative solution to a problem which, should it yet again prove insoluble, would have to be assigned to the National Socialist Party for a final solution by law. Behind all three laws stands the National Socialist Party, and with it and behind it stands the nation.
I may request that you adopt the laws for passage.
Adolf Hitler – speech before the SA and the SS
Nürnberg, September 15, 1934
Men of the SA and SS!
Today you present a different picture. I see how much has been learned within a year’s time and what has changed in favor of the Movement. However, even though this external picture has altered, it nonetheless constitutes proof that the spirit of the old-and by that I mean our best-times has remained, times in which the SA man and SS man never asked where the march was headed but stood ever by the flag.
And it is good that your exterior also makes manifest the changing times we are so lucky to witness. For Germany has once again undergone a great historic transition in these past years, and you yourselves, my men of the SA, will notice it visibly and clearly in but a few months. For the first time, many thousands shall report to you for duty: the discharged soldiers of the first round of conscripts in the new German Army.
And just as we once came here, now year after year the German Volk, drilled in protecting the nation, will flock to us and the men will be given the best German home in your ranks.
What was once a two-year temporary schooling of the nation which was afterward lost in the course of life and in the political doings of the parties-that is now being given in trust and held in custody for the German Volk. Only then will the cycle of our Volk’s education be complete. The boys-they will become members of the Jungvolk, and the Pimpfs will join the Hitler Youth, and the young men of the Hitler Youth will then report for duty in the SA, the SS, and the other associations; and the SA men and the SS men will one day report for duty at the Labor Service and from there proceed to the Army; and the soldier of the Volk will return once more to the organization of the Movement, of the Party, to the SA and the SS, and never again shall our Volk degenerate as it once regrettably did!