Adolf Hitler – address the German youth
in the Olympic Stadium
Berlin, May 1, 1939
My German Youth!
In 1933 I was able to greet you for the first time, standing alongside the venerable Field Marshal von Hindenburg, in the Berlin Lustgarten. In greeting you then, my youth of Berlin, I greeted the youth of the Germany of that time! Six years have passed by since; years in which our Volk underwent a tremendous, historic transformation. The Germany then trod upon, an impotent empire, has become today’s Greater Germany. The nation then not worthy of respect has become a Volk greatly respected. A people without arms has become one of the best armed nations in the world. What was then at the mercy of its surroundings has become something secure today, secure thanks to our own force and to the friends we possess today.
That you, the youth of today,
should belong to a respected and strong Volk is exclusively the result
of the work we wrought domestically. When, twenty years ago, the
National Socialist Party was created, it already raised a new banner for
the new Germany to be born. After barely fifteen years of struggle this
symbol has become the official flag of the German state. Ever since, the
resurrection of Germany has been inexorably tied to this new symbol.
You German boys and girls will one day be called on to assume the protection of this flag. But you shall be able to carry it forth and protect it successfully with dignity only if you stand by this flag with the same unity as does the National Socialist Movement and, through it, the German Volk of today. And for you, it will be decidedly easier. We had to laboriously fight for this flag. It is yours already today; you have been raised beneath this flag. In your youth already, you bear this symbol on your sleeves, you march on its orders. I count on you! You shall never forget what has made Germany great. In your youth, you have witnessed the most profound and rare of historic transformations. Many of you cannot quite grasp this yet. Those among you who are more mature have experienced, and reflected on, its glowing essence. I know that your young hearts already beat strongly and sensitively when, in this year, I strode forth to fashion the Greater German Reich and to reassert its rights derived from a history one thousand years old.
You shall be called on, in light of the greatness of this time, to fulfill tasks as they confront you, and assuredly they will confront you above all. The German nation will one day in the future represent a power that has its point of departure in youth. We shall never be more than what we are essentially ourselves. And we shall never be more than what our youth is today.
And I expect of you that you shall become straightforward, tough German men and reliable German women. You shall be men who know from the start that nothing in life is free. You must struggle for everything in this world; you can keep only that for which you are willing, at all times, to stand up in defense, if necessary.
The deceptive slogans of an outside world shall not penetrate your hearts; it tries to poison an upright Volk and thereby to introduce divisions and to destroy it. In your youth, you must already attend to both body and spirit. You must be healthy. You must resist everything which might conceivably poison your body. For the future will assess the individual German in accordance with the works of his spirit and the strength of his health. Above all, we want to see in you a youth which crosses its arms and forms a solid, impenetrable communion.
Germany has witnessed many years of profound inner divisions and impotence. These days are over now thanks to the inner resurrection of our Volk. It shall find its ultimate embodiment in you. And thus it is of supreme importance that you should be aware of this in your youth.
We are surrounded by peoples who do not desire this realization on our part. They wish to deny our Volk the plain necessities of life, the right to life so accepted as a matter of course for so many other peoples. We and the other young peoples must laboriously seek to regain this right to life which our forefathers so thoughtlessly forfeited.
Perhaps one day we shall even need to stand up for it. And in this, too, I count on you primarily, my German boys! Above all, I expect that, should the hour come in which an outside world believes it can reach out for the freedom of Germany, a cry of millions will shatter the air. It will be a cry in unison and hence so forceful that all will have to acknowledge that the times of inner divisions in Germany are finally over.
The hard school of National Socialist education will then have successfully fashioned the German Volk.
And thereby we shall obey the commandment of the Almighty who has imparted to us a common blood and a common language. In the acknowledgment of this commandment within the past six years, Germany has once more become great and respected, albeit perhaps not very popular [!]. Alas, we Germans shall have to be content with the love of our Volksgenossen.
And I am content to know that you, my Volksgenossen and my German youth, above all, stand behind me. I know I am in your hearts just as you know my heart belongs to you without reservation! And should the outside world threaten us and thunder against us-they shall not succeed for the very reason they have never yet succeeded: German unity! That it will prevail in the future, for this you are the guarantors just as the great men of today guarantee this at present. Just as you have every right to look back to those who created Germany with great pride, so we wish to rest at ease looking to you in the future! The days in which our youth had to be ashamed of the generation then alive are over. You can truly be proud of the men who lead Germany today. And I am equally proud that you constitute the German youth of today.
In this spirit, we come together on this day which once marked Germany’s inner divisions. Today it is the day of the unity of the German Volksgemeinschaft. It is the day of our faithful avowal; our avowal of our Volk and of our thousand-year-old Greater German Reich.
To our Volk and to our Greater Germany:
Adolf Hitler - speech in the Lustgarten
Berlin, May 1, 1939
The foundations for the life of a people are not to be found in doctrines and theories, but in its Lebensraum, in what the earth affords it for sustenance.
Hence, Lebensraum cannot be regarded separately from the Lebenshohe (peak of life) of a Volk. And this Lebensraum is not enough by itself-and this also is a truly revolutionary realization-it must be complemented by a Volk’s diligence, its energy, and its ability to manage to get the most out of its Lebensraum. And a still greater insight: this necessitates a Volksgemeinschaft, even if blood alone is insufficient for this.My Volksgenossen! No leader can command greater strength than that accorded to him by his followers. What am I without you?! If you refuse me your unanimous solidarity, what am I to do?! I am only one man. I can possess the greatest good-will possible-my will is of no greater worth to you than your will is worth to me!
How petty are all other vain differences in our lives in view of this! How easily is the individual deceived by vanity and notions of his own supreme importance, my Volksgenossen! One man thinks a great deal of himself for one reason, another for another reason. One prides himself on being ten centimeters taller than the other, yet another is happy simply because he considers himself better looking than the first. Yet another man thinks he looks even better because his ancestors already looked better-nothing is proven, of course. Yet another man holds himself to have an advantage because momentarily his purse is fuller than that of another. I say “momentarily” for experience has shown this phenomenon to mostly be short-lived.
Another man yet says: “I have graduated from more classes than you have.
Do you have degrees like those I have?”-“No.”-“Therefore I am worth more than you. My degrees prove this conclusively.” So the story goes. So many men have extremely important degrees furnishing the basis for their own personal brand of arrogance.
How ludicrous is all this in view of the common fate we all share and which hangs so compellingly above all our heads! It is void of any significance before the one truth that all of us either unite in our struggle to survive or perish together. This applies just as much to the man with the so-called fatter purse as it does to the man with an older family name and his ancestors, and the man with the allegedly more thorough education. For better or for worse, we all depend on one another.
And to any man who fails to grasp this-I have no idea where he might be hiding out-the attitude of the outside world toward us should serve as ample proof. How do these people behave towards us? What can we expect of them? Are these not once again the very same advocates of a strategy of encirclement, the very same people who knew nothing but hatred in the year 1914? Yes, indeed, it is once more the same clique of warmongers which haunted us back then already. What can we expect of them, my Volksgenossen? I believe it is essential that all Germans throw overboard these ridiculous prejudices insofar as remnants of them exist yet today. It is imperative that we move closer together in the conviction that together and united we can face off any danger. United we stand, divided we fall.
Hence we wish to educate our Volk in this spirit. And if one of those stubborn old heads is driving me to despair, then all I need to do is look at his son to regain hope. Even if all hope is lost with some of these old troublemakers (alte Stankerer), the youth has already outgrown them-praise the Lord! This youth represents a new breed of man, the type we hope to introduce to the future.
We are doing everything that can be done in this educational undertaking.
True, at times, we do overlook the so-called freedom of the individual in the process. I can easily imagine one man or another saying: “It is beyond me why my son should have to serve with the labor service just now. He was born for something greater than that. Why should he now be running around with a spade in his hand? Would it not be better if he exercised the powers of his intellect instead?” For goodness sake, what is it precisely you understand as “intellect,” my dear friend?! If your boy spends six months in the West wielding his spade for the sake of Germany, it may well be that he is doing Germany a greater service than your “intellect” could in a lifetime. And, above all: he has contributed to the overcoming of the worst form of “intellectual” confusion possible, namely, the inner fractures within a Volk. Of course, we cannot simply say: “Oh, if he does not want to, he need not work.” Do you truly believe that work at a chemical factory in one of the democracies is something so infinitely more delightful? Do not come up to tell me: “Oh, truly, this is the magic of work which smells so enticingly.” Assuredly not! It stinks, my dear gentlemen! But a few hundred thousands of workers simply have to take this on themselves and take it on themselves they do. Therefore, another can assuredly take on himself to pick up the spade. And he will pick up this spade.
And this brings up the problematic topic of liberty. Liberty? Insofar as the interests of the Volksgemeinschaft permit the exercise of liberty by the individual, he shall be granted this liberty. The liberty of the individual ends where it starts to harm the interests of the collective. In this case the liberty of the Volk takes precedence over the liberty of the individual.
By the way, in no other state is intellectual work as highly esteemed as in ours. I believe this is evident already in its leadership. In Germany, we pride ourselves in having men head our state who can well withstand any type of “intellectual” comparison to the representatives of any other state. Above the liberty of the individual, however, there stands the liberty of our Volk. The liberty of the Reich takes precedence over both.
The commandment of the hour is the securing of German Lebensraum.
There is no need for me to stress that we love peace above all. I know that a certain international clique of journalists is spreading lies about us on a daily basis, placing us under suspicion and committing libel against us. This does not surprise me in the least. I know these creatures from back in the old days. They, too, are export articles for which the German nation has no use. In the American Union, a veritable campaign for boycotts against our German exports has been organized. It would have been more intelligent, so I believe, had they imported German goods instead of the most inferior German subjects.
Well, at least, we can rejoice in having rid ourselves of these. How the people there will handle them, that is truly their problem. We shall see to it that these subjects do not pose an actual threat to us. I have taken the necessary precautions. I still recall vividly my political “friends” from the days before our rise to power. These fellows always insisted they knew no Fatherland. And, indeed, this is true as they are Jews and have nothing to do with us. These fellows now are reaffirming their attitudes and their pledges of old: they have launched a campaign of hatred against Germany which they pursue with all their might.
And I? I arm with all my might! I love peace; my work perhaps best attests to this. And in this I differ from these warmongers. What is it I have wrought and what is it these elements are undertaking? There is a great Volk here for which I bear responsibility. I am attempting to make this Volk both great and happy. Enormous projects are being undertaken here: new industries are being born; enormous buildings are undergoing construction. They are to serve the uplifting of the Volk and to bear witness to our culture-not only here in Berlin, but also in a multitude of other German cities. The things we have created in the course of these years! The countless projects we have begun in these years! And so many of them will take ten to twenty years to be completed! Therefore, I have cause aplenty to desire peace. Yet, these warmongers need no peace. They neither advance peace nor do they labor for it.
There is no need for me to name names in this context. They are unknown international scribblers. They are ever so clever! They are truly omniscient.
There is only one thing that they failed to foresee, namely, my rise to power.
Even in January 1933, they could simply not believe it. They also failed to foresee that I was going to remain in power. Even in February 1934, they could simply not believe it. They failed to foresee that I was going to liberate Germany. Even in 1935 and 1936, they could simply not believe it. They failed to foresee that I was going to liberate our German Volksgenossen and to return them home. Even in 1937 and 1938, they could simply not believe it. They failed to foresee that I was determined to liberate and return home the rest of them, too. Even in February of this year, they could simply not believe it. They failed to foresee that I was going to eliminate the unemployment afflicting seven million. Even two, three years ago, they could simply not believe it. They failed to foresee that I was going to implement the Four-Year Plan in Germany with success. This they simply could not believe either. They foresaw nothing! And they know nothing even today! These people have always been parasites. Lately I do not know, but I have the feeling sometimes that they are a kind of cerebral parasite. They know only too well what is happening in my brain, for instance. Whatever I say today, as I stand before you, they knew of it yesterday already. And even if I myself did not know of it yesterday-they did, these most excellent receptacles of wisdom! Actually, these creatures know everything. And, even if facts prove their pronouncements blatant lies, they have the nerve to come up with new pronouncements immediately. This is an old Jewish trick. It keeps the people from having time for reflection. Should people truly reflect on all these various prophecies, compare them to reality, then these scribblers would not get a penny for their false reports. Therefore their tactic and trick is, once one prophecy has been disproved, to come up with three new ones in its stead. And so they keep on lying, according to a type of snowball-tactics, from today until tomorrow, from tomorrow until the next day.
The current version of this is the claim that 20,000 Germans have failed to land in Morocco, although their imminent arrival had been reported earlier.
Instead of landing in Morocco, they have landed in Liberia. Considering the initial report’s assertion that these landings were supposed to be carried out by the Luftwaffe, it seems as though these planes have been floating about in midair ever since and have now unwittingly gone down over Liberia. Should no German be found in all of Liberia eight days hence, they will no doubt maintain: “It was not Liberia, after all, but Madagascar where they were heading.” And if this turns out to be wrong also-well, then it must have been another place-I already have enumerated all the locations allegedly threatened by us before the Reichstag.
The warmongers who do not do anything and, in any event, cannot step before the world to say: “I have created this or that!”-they are the men who are attempting to plunge the rest of the world into disaster once again. And you will understand, that I cannot possibly rely on assertions or declarations by people who themselves are paid servants of these warmongers. No, indeed, I rely exclusively on my German Volk-on you! Better safe than sorry. A declaration by the League of Nations is all very well, but I prefer our freedom to be guaranteed by the far more reliable fortifications protecting Germany in the West. And this, too, is the product of the diligent work wrought by Germans just as the inner attitude of our Volk is the product of the diligence and work of millions of its most active members. There is the German peasant who, loyally and bravely, assures bread for us by plowing his acres diligently and honestly. There is the German worker who, loyally and bravely, goes to work at the factory to assure other consumer goods for us earnestly and honestly. This is the basis of our existence.
As we reflect on the immense work done within these past six years, then I do believe we have a right to appoint a day once a year on which we shall join together to celebrate what we call the German Volksgemeinschaft. For this conveys the meaning of the First of May: a day to celebrate the work of Germans in the cities and in the countryside; a day to celebrate the creative man; a day to celebrate our Volksgemeinschaft. My Movement vouches for the proper education of our Volk! The German Wehrmacht vouches for its brave defense! And, all of you whom I greet at this moment, you millions of Germans in the cities and in the countryside, you who constitute the German Volksgemeinschaft, you are the guarantors that it shall never again fall apart internally! To our Greater German Reich and to our Volk, in East and West, and in North and South: