Adolf Hitler - radio address to the German Folk
January 30, 1945
German Volksgenossen! National Socialists!
Twelve years ago, when, as the leader of the strongest party, I was entrusted by the deceased Reich President, [Field Marshal Paul] von Hindenburg, with the office of Chancellor, Germany found herself faced with the same situation internally as the one that today faces it externally. The forces of economic destruction and annihilation of the Versailles dictate led to a situation that had gradually become a permanent one-namely, the existence of almost 7,000,000 unemployed, 7,000,000 part-time workers, a destroyed farmers' class, a ruined industry and a commerce that had become correspondingly prostrate.
The German ports were nothing but ship cemeteries. The financial situation of the country threatened at any moment to lead to a collapse not only of the state but also of the provinces and of the communities. The decisive thing, however, was this: Behind this methodical destruction of Germany's economy, there stood the specter of Asiatic bolshevism. It was there then, just as much as it is there today.
In the years before our assumption of power the bourgeois world was incapable of opposing this development effectively on a small scale, just as it is incapable of doing so today on a large scale. Even after the collapse of 1918 this bourgeois world had failed to realize that an old world was vanishing and a new one being born and that there is no use in supporting and thus artificially maintaining what has been found to be decayed and rotten, but that something healthy must be substituted for it. A social structure that had become obsolete had cracked and every attempt to maintain it was bound to fail.
It was no different from today on a large scale, when the bourgeois states are doomed and when only clearly defined and ideologically consolidated national communities can survive the most difficult crisis Europe has seen in many centuries.
We were granted only six years of peace after Jan. 30, 1933. During these six years tremendous feats were achieved, and even greater ones were planned, so many and such huge ones that they caused envy among our democratic, impotent neighbors.
But this was decisive: That we succeeded during these six years, with superhuman exertions, to restore the German nation militarily-that is, to imbue it with the spirit of resistance and self-assertion rather than to equip it with a material war potential.
The horrid fate that is now taking shape in the east and that exterminates hundreds of thousands in the villages and market places, in the country and in the cities will be warded off in the end and mastered by us, with the utmost exertion and despite all setbacks and hard trials.
But if this is possible at all, it is only because a change has taken place in the German people since 1933. If Germany today were the Germany envisaged by the Versailles Treaty, Europe would long since have been swept away by the hurricane from Central Asia. It is hardly necessary to argue with those eternal blockheads who maintain that an unarmed Germany would, owing to its impotence, not have become the victim of this Jewish international world plot. Such reasoning would amount to a reversal of all laws of nature.
When was a helpless goose ever not eaten by the fox because she was constitutionally incapable of harboring aggressive designs? And when has a wolf ever reformed and become a pacifist because sheep do not wear armor? If there are still bourgeois states who earnestly believe this, that only proves how necessary it was to do away with an era that by its educational system managed to cultivate and maintain such notions, nay, even granted them political influence.
The fight against this Jewish Asiatic bolshevism had been raging long before National Socialism came into power. The only reason why it had not already overrun Europe during the years 1919-20 was that it was then itself too weak and too poorly armed.
Its attempt to eliminate Poland was not abandoned because of its compassion for the Poland of that time but only because of the lost battle before Warsaw. Its intention to annihilate Hungary was not discarded because they changed their minds, but because Bolshevist power could not be maintained militarily. Nor was the attempt to smash Germany given up because this achievement was not desired but because it proved impossible to overcome the natural resistance stamina of our people.
Thereupon Judaism began systematically to undermine our nation from within, and it found its best ally in those narrow-minded bourgeoisie who would not recognize that the era of a bourgeois world is ended and will never again return, that the epoch of unbridled economic liberalism has outlived itself and can only lead to its self-destruction and, above all, that the great tasks of our time can be mastered only under an authoritarian coordination of natural strength, based on the law of same rights for all and, thence, of same duties. On the other hand, the fulfillment of the same duties must necessarily entail an equality of rights.
Thus National Socialism, in the midst of gigantic economic, social and cultural reconstruction work, has also educationally given to the German people that armor without which no military values can be created.
The power of resistance of our nation has increased so tremendously since Jan. 30, 1933, that it cannot be compared any more with that of former times But the maintaining of this inner power of resistance is by the same token the safest guarantor of final victory. If Europe today finds itself stricken with a severe illness, the stricken countries will either overcome this illness by exerting their full and utmost power of resistance or they will succumb.
Yet the convalescent and survivor overcomes the climax of such an illness only in a crisis, a crisis that utterly weakens him, but in spite of all, it is all the more our immutable will not to shrink from anything in this battle for the salvation of our people from the most dreadful fate of all times and unflinchingly and faithfully to obey the law of the preservation of our nation.
God the Almighty has made our nation. By defending its existence we are defending His work. The fact that this defense is fraught with incalculable misery, suffering and hardships makes us even more attached to this nation But it also gives us that hard will needed to fulfill our duty even in the most critical struggle; that is, not only to fulfill our duty toward the decent, noble Germans, but also our duty toward those few infamous ones who turn their backs on their people.
In this fateful battle there is therefore for us but one command: He who fights honorably can thus save his own life and the lives of his loved ones. But he who, because of cowardice or lack of character, turns his back on the nation shall inexorably die an ignominious death.
That National Socialism succeeded in awakening and strengthening this spirit in our German people is a great achievement. Only when this mighty world drama will have died away and the bells of peace are ringing will realization come of what the German people owes to this spiritual renaissance: No less than its existence in this world.
Only a few months and weeks ago Allied statesmen openly outlined the German fate. Thereupon they were warned by some newspapers to be more intelligent and rather to promise something, even though nobody intended to keep this promise later.
As an inexorable National Socialist and a fighter for my people, I now wish to assure these statesmen once and for all that every attempt at influencing National Socialist Germany through slogans, lies and distortions presupposes a simple-mindedness unknown to the Germany of today. The fact that political activities and lies are inextricably linked in a democracy is of no consequence. Decisive is that every promise given by these statesmen to a people is today quite meaningless, because they are not in a position ever to fulfill any such promise. This is as if one sheep promised another sheep to protect it against a tiger.
I herewith repeat my prophecy: England will not only not be in a position to control bolshevism but her development will unavoidably evolve more and more toward the symptoms of this destructive disease.
The democracies are unable to rid themselves now of the forces they summoned from the steppes of Asia.
All the small European nations ,who capitulated, confident of Allied assurances, are facing complete annihilation. It is entirely uninteresting whether this fate will befall them a little earlier or later; what counts is its implacability. The Kremlin Jews are motivated only by tactical considerations; whether in one case they act with immediate brutality or, in another case, with some reticence, the result will always be the same.
Germany, however, shall never suffer this fate. The guarantor thereof is the victory achieved twelve years ago within our country. Whatever our enemies may plot, whatever sufferings they may inflict on our German cities, on German landscapes and, above all, on our people, all that cannot bear any comparison with the irreparable misery, the tragedy that would befall us if the plutocratic-Bolshevistic conspiracy were victorious.
Therefore, it is all the more necessary on this twelfth anniversary of the rise to power to strengthen the heart more than ever before and to steel ourselves in the holy determination to wield the sword, no-matter where and under what circumstances, until final victory crowns our efforts.
On this day I do not want to leave any doubt about something else. Against an entire hostile world I once chose my road, according to my inner call, and strode it, as an unknown and nameless man, to final success; often they reported I was dead and always they wished I were, but in the end I remained victor in spite of all. My life today is with an equal exclusiveness determined by the duties incumbent on me.
Combined, they are but one: To work for my people and to fight for it. Only He can relieve me of this duty Who called me to it. It was in the hand of Providence to snuff me out by the bomb that exploded only one and a half meters from me on July 20, and thus to terminate my life's work. That the Almighty protected me on that day I consider a renewed affirmation of the task entrusted to me.
In the years to come I shall continue on this road, uncompromisingly safeguarding my people's interests, oblivious to all misery and danger, and filled with the holy conviction that God the Almighty will not abandon him who, during all his life, had no desire but to save his people from a fate it had never deserved, neither by virtue of its number nor by way of its importance.
Therefore I now appeal to the entire German people and, above all, to my old fellow-fighters and to all the soldiers to gird themselves with a yet greater, harder spirit of resistance, until we can again-as we did before-put on the graves of the dead of this enormous struggle a wreath inscribed with the words: "And yet you were victorious."
Therefore I expect every German to do his duty to the last and that he be willing to take upon himself every sacrifice he will be asked to make; I expect every able-bodied German to fight with the complete disregard for his personal safety; I expect the sick and the weak or those otherwise unavailable for military duty to work with their last strength; I expect city dwellers to forge the weapons for this struggle and I expect the farmer to supply the bread for the soldiers and workers of this struggle by imposing restrictions upon himself; I expect all women and girls to continue supporting this struggle with utmost fanaticism.
In this appeal I particularly address myself to German youth. In vowing ourselves to one another, we are entitled to stand before the Almighty and ask Him for His grace and His blessing. No people can do more than that everybody who can fight, fights, and that everybody who can work, works, and that they all sacrifice in common, filled with but one thought: to safeguard freedom and national honor and thus the future of life.
However grave the crisis may be at the moment, it will, despite everything, finally be mastered by our unalterable will, by our readiness for sacrifice and by our abilities. We shall overcome this calamity, too, and this fight, too, will not be won by central Asia but by Europe; and at its head will be the nation that has represented Europe against the East for 1,500 years and shall represent it for all times: our Greater German Reich, the German nation.