Adolf Hitler - speech at the Platterhof
July 4, 1944
Gentlemen! In this case, the war provides advanced financing for later accomplishments, later work, later basis for nutrition, and at the same time a tremendous training for the accomplishing of those tasks, with which we would have been confronted in the future anyway.
It leads by necessity to a clear separation between, on the one side, the purely military orderer, and, on the other side, the technical designer in connection with the production engineer-that is, whoever is charged with mass production will be the one to furnish the best designs. Weapons are only of use wherever they appear in masses.
It is a matter of course that there must be constant intervention right now so that we do not miss out on any innovations on the one hand and do not lose our footing in production on the other so that-should peace break out tomorrow-we will not have oriented and organized our entire economy with just one goal in mind and therefore not be in a position to take up peace products like that.
Gentlemen! I do not care about peace today, I only care about victory! If we win this war, the German economy will receive such gigantic orders that it will be able to continue mass production in any event.
The steel that will be needed in peacetime for construction alone cannot be provided solely by our present steelworks! If we lose the war, gentlemen, no readjustment will be necessary. It will only be necessary that everybody thinks about his own readjustment from this life into the next, whether he wants to do it himself, whether he wants to let himself be hanged, whether he wants to get a shot through the base of the skull, whether he wants to starve or go work in Siberia. Those are the only choices which the individual will then have to make.
I am not considering any bad compromise! Once our victory has decided this war, private initiative in the German economy will enter its greatest epoch.
My efforts must always be directed to choose and select the most competent heads. I keep sniffing around all the time, and I have “agents” who always watch out: is there talent here, is there a genius here?
I told the big financier: You know, the German Volk has lived for, let us say, hundreds of thousands of years. … The German Volk survived the Romans, it survived the invasions by the Huns, countless wars, the Thirty Years’ War, the Seven Years’ War, the War of the Spanish Succession, the World War. It will survive this, too.
Difficulties are there to be overcome!
We will survive this time. It often seems to me as though we have to go through all the trials of the Devil, Satan, and Hell, until we finally gain the final victory. This is not the first time this has happened in German history.
Whoever does not have a hard time in life cannot really rejoice in what he has accomplished. The birth certificate of a new empire is always best written in blood, in blood and misery. We know from experience that this is the most sturdy, the most durable. We will manage all this.
The German soldier is the best! The restoration of a complete technological balance will create the conditions for swinging around the wheel of the war.
At the time, when Italy, in spite of its obligations, did not enter the war, we faced a great crisis! But all of us had the courage at the time not to retreat.
I was fifty years old at the time. I know what tremendous strain on the nerves such decisions represent. I do not know whether, in the next ten or twenty years, a man stronger than I am will succeed me!
The war can therefore not be measured in terms of current events. In such a mighty struggle of impact on world history, somebody can tell me: “Yes, you have now lost the tip of Cherbourg.” I can only say [in reply]: they [the Allies] stood at the Rhine once!” They say, they [the Allies] will conquer all of France, and I say, we forced them back there! Let us wait and see whether they will conquer France. Yes, only get the surprise of their lives! Our spirit of invention will help us shortly to issue those weapons that are necessary to restore the technological balance.
We have over a hundred thirty million people within the territory of the Reich. All of Europe, which must work for us today, amounts to over two hundred fifty million. And we shall not accomplish anything with that? That’s ridiculous! The American engineers are mostly of German origin. It is Swabian- Alemannian blood that these people have. And I have the same crowd of Alemanni. They work for us. It would be sad if we couldn’t do anything with that. Superiority of the enemy? You can tell how little they are superior to us!
The tasks which I set are tremendous. But always think of the old saying: the gods love him who demands the impossible of them. If we accomplish the impossible, then we will surely receive the approval of Providence.
Perhaps I am not what they call a sanctimonious hypocrite or pious. I am not that. But deep in my heart, I am a religious man; that is, I believe that the man who, in accordance with the natural laws created by God, bravely fights and never capitulates in this world-that this man will not be abandoned by the Lawgiver. Instead, he will in the end receive the blessings of Providence.