Adolf Hitler - New Year’s Proclamation to the National Socialists
and Party Comrades
January 1, 1941
National Socialists! Party Comrades!
A momentous year in German history has come to an end. The enormous uniqueness of the events and their revolutionary significance for the future development of mankind will be fully acknowledged only by later generations.
We who live the history of this time cannot but help feel that the workings of Providence are stronger than the intentions and the will of individuals. The gods not only strike him with blindness whom they wish to destroy, but they also help him whom Providence calls upon to strive for goals far from his original desire.
When British propagandists try to make the situation look as though France needlessly stopped fighting, then all one can say to this claim is that the first units which stopped fighting were British divisions. From the moment we attacked in the west, the British army had just one thought: to evacuate the continent speedily and to assure the necessary cover by the Dutch, the Belgians, and the French. Just as they regarded the Norwegian army as a colonial force for their retreat a few weeks before, so now with their allies in France and Belgium. When the French government asked for peace, there were no more French troops, and, above all, there had not been English ones for a long time.
Thus, the war will be continued until the destruction of the responsible elements! The German Wehrmacht has proved that it is good enough. That it will be better yet in the coming months is our resolve. This resolve will be realized with zealous thoroughness and untiring diligence.
The year 1941 will see the German army, the German navy and Luftwaffe step up enormously reinforced and with improved equipment. The last of the war criminals will collapse under its blows, and thus the prerequisites for a true understanding among nations will be created.
National Socialists! You know the history of our struggle at home. Here, too, certain circles had to be destroyed first, before true cooperation among the people in our country could begin. Regrettably, it is no different abroad. The war profiteers must be eliminated, they who for decades have introduced restlessness into this world and have plunged nations into crisis after crisis.
It is our relentless decision (unerbittlicher Entschluss) to sit in judgment upon them, so that Europe can find its peace of mind again. Whatever may happen, Germany will take the necessary steps to reach this goal with bold determination. Any power which dines with these democrats will die of doing so. If Mr. Churchill and his international democratic comrades today declare that they are defending their world, and that their world cannot coexist with ours, then this is their own bad luck. The German world, as well as the Italian world, has overcome the age of the privileges of a few plutocratic capitalists and has replaced it with the age of the people. If Mr. Churchill and his appendage now declare that they cannot live in such a world, then they will not destroy the German world as a result, but instead, sooner or later, their own leaders will fall and thus give the people their freedom.
In the struggle of plutocratic privilege against the National Socialist people’s rights (Volksrechte), the latter will succeed! With this belief, we enter the year 1941.
Since early June of this [sic] year, Fascist Italy stands at our side. It is now as determined as we are to take up the struggle and to see it through, the struggle which an obtuse democratic upper class has taken care to explain, especially to the Italian people. Their struggle is our struggle, their hopes are ours. The belief of the warmongers that they can change the outcome of this struggle through individual action is childish. Mr. Churchill has already secured a great number of so-called victories which proved to be failures in the end.
After all, Mr. Churchill was the man who invented unrestricted air warfare as the great secret weapon of British victory.
For three-and-a-half months, this criminal had German cities bombed in nightly raids, had firebombs dropped on country villages, and-as the inhabitants of the capital of the Reich know-had singled out hospitals as targets. That the German Wehrmacht did not reply to this provocation reinforced the belief in the brain of this man that he had finally discovered a method in which Germany was inferior, and to which the Wehrmacht had nothing to give by way of answer. I watched this human cruelty, which militarily made no sense, for three months. However, I warned time and time again that one day there would be retribution.
The democratic arsonists had only their familiar laughter left for these warnings. They spoke of a “lovely war,” which made one “cheerful,” and on which one “could only be congratulated.” In detail, they described the effect of their bombs on the German population, on the German economy, and so forth. Now, the only effect of these attacks was the increasing embitterment of the German Volk; the hope that one day there would be retribution; the decision of the leadership to break with this unilateral conduct of the war. In the month of May, England started its attacks on the city of Freiburg. In the months since, British warmongers have scoffed at Germany’s inability to do something similar. Since mid-September, [however,] they have probably realized that it was on humanitarian grounds that we refrained for so long from replying to this crime a` la Churchill (Churchillschen Verbrechen). Now, however, this war will be pursued to the bitter end: that is, until the criminals responsible for it have been eliminated.
And this is not just empty talk-we are deadly serious when we say that for every bomb ten or, if necessary, a hundred will be dropped in return. Today, temporarily, they may still talk of “a reversal in the fortunes of war” for reasons of propaganda, as they have done so many times before. However, they should not forget one thing: fortune will not win the battle in this war; ultimately, justice will win.
And justice is on the side of those nations that fight for their threatened existence. And this struggle for existence will spur these nations on to the most tremendous accomplishments in world history. If profit is the driving force for production in the democracies-a profit that industrialists, bankers, and corrupt politicians pocket-then the driving force in National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy is the realization by millions of laborers that, in this war, it is they who are being fought against. They realize that the democracies, if they should ever win, would rage with the full capitalist cruelty, that cruelty of which only those are capable whose only god is gold, who know no human sentiments other than their obsession with profit, and who are ready to sacrifice all noble thought to this profit instinct without hesitation.
National Socialist Germany, Fascist Italy, and allied Japan know that what is at stake in this war is not a form of government. It is not a question of some type of international structure for the future, but it is a question of whether this world belongs only to certain people and not also to others.
An American politician coined the clever saying that, basically, this struggle is nothing other than an attempt by the have-nots to obtain something.
That’s all right with us. While the outside world is setting about to steal from the have-nots the little that they possess, we confront the world of ownership with the decision to fight for the human rights of the have-nots and to secure for them that share in life to which these rights entitle them.
This struggle is not an attack on the rights of other nations, but on the arrogance and avarice of a narrow capitalist upper class, one which refuses to acknowledge that the days are over when gold ruled the world, and that, by contrast, a future is dawning when the people will be the determining force in the life of a nation.
It was this realization that lent wings to the National Socialist armies last year. And it will also help them triumph in the coming year. By fighting for the happiness of all people, we believe we most deserve the blessings of Providence. Until now, the Lord God has approved our struggle. If we perform our duties loyally and bravely, then He will not forsake us in the future either!
Adolf Hitler – address to the Wehrmacht:
January 1, 1941
In the war year 1940, the National Socialist Wehrmacht of the Greater German Reich has secured glorious victories of unique greatness. With unprecedented daring, it has defeated the enemy on land, at sea, and in the air.
All tasks which I was forced to place before you, you fulfilled with your heroism and your soldierly expertise. The power of your arms secured the victory over the fighting forces of our enemy. Your proud attitude and exemplary discipline demoralized the occupied territories excellently.
And so, thanks to your soldiership, after a few months of struggle with an impact of world-historic importance, success was bestowed retrospectively on the futile heroic struggle of the German Wehrmacht in the World War, and, finally, the shame of defeat back then in the forest of Compiegne has been eliminated.
As your supreme commander, I thank you, soldiers of the army, navy, and Luftwaffe, for your unrivaled accomplishments.
I also thank you in the name of the entire German Volk.
We honor our comrades who had to give their lives in this struggle for the future of our Volk. We likewise honor the valiant soldiers of our ally, Fascist Italy.
It is the will of the democratic warmongers and their Jewish-capitalist masterminds that this war should go on. The representatives of a crumbling world believe they can achieve in the year 1941 what they failed to obtain in the past. We are ready. Armed as never before, we stand on the threshold of the new year. I know every single one of you will do his duty.
The Lord God will not abandon those who, with a valiant heart, are determined to help themselves in view of the threats of the whole world.
Soldiers of the National Socialist Wehrmacht of the Greater German Reich! The year 1941 will bring about the completion of the greatest victory in our history.