Adolf Hitler - speech in Breslau (Jahrhunderthalle)
March 22, 1936
We - and all other peoples - have the feeling we are at the turning point of an age. New concepts, new ideas and new realities are in the air. Not only we, the vanquished of yore, but the victors, too, are of the inner conviction that something was awry, that reason in particular seemed to have deserted mankind, that in place of reason had come the insanity of hatred, jealousy, and envy, and this in turn had evoked feelings of fear and apprehension.
The peoples are sensing it everywhere: a new order must come, above all on this continent, on which the peoples are pressed so closely together. The peoples must find a new way to deal with each other. A new construction must be built which allows all of them to live, which is based upon the conviction that the diverse peoples are realities in a historical sense; while one can perhaps wish they did not exist, they cannot be done away with. The new order to be established must, however, be headed by the words, “Reason and Logic, Understanding, and Mutual Consideration”! Those who believe that the word “Versailles” might stand at the entrance to this new order are mistaken. That would not be the cornerstone of a new order, but its gravestone. Germany is striving for this new order. Not for an order which takes anything away from the other peoples, but for one which establishes equal rights as the basis for gladly assuming equal obligations. Today the German Volk lives these views, it lives them to such an extent that it is impossible to remove them from the world of its ideas. [-] The claim that this restoration of the Reich’s sovereignty over its own Reich territory is intolerable for others is intolerable for us! What kind of an order is that, what kind of understanding between nations, if it is possible to threaten another people only because it claims sovereignty over its own territory? We will not capitulate before such views! Let the world take note of that! lt is of no consequence to us what other peoples do within their borders; in fact, we hold just that to be a prerequisite for the formation of a true order of the peoples, a true community of nations. We believe that one of the most basic principles for a true understanding between the peoples is that the people of each nation allow the people of another nation their space to live as they wish to live.
Germany makes no demands upon other peoples. But it is also not willing to recognize claims and demands of other statesmen pertaining to the inner organization of the Reich and its sovereign rights! And these men are mistaken If they believe that is only the opinion of a man named Adolf Hitler! No! That is the opinion of a population of sixty-seven million! We do not want gestures, we want twenty-five years of peace for Europe! And the peoples? They, too, do not want statesmen to demand gestures and make only gestures to one another; they want them to make peace and keep the peace! Other statesmen can ask their people for once, too, whether they share this view. Whether they want Europe to be entangled in a score of military alliances. Whether they want one people or another to be deprived of part of their sovereign rights-or fully denied them-on their own territory.
Whether they want fresh bitterness and fresh hate to ensue, or whether they do not wish that this insane and foolish war of all against all might finally be put to an end! In any case, I have asked this question. And directed it to the one body which is decisive for me and which alone has the power to pass judgment for or against me. This body is the German Volk! I have turned to the nation and presented to it this question: do you share my view? I have surrendered myself to the judgment of the German Volk, and not only in respect to this question. It shall testify whether it believes that my co-fighters and I have done our duty. Whether it believes that we-to the extent to which weak, mortal man [!] is capable-have turned what we once promised into reality.