Adolf Hitler's Speech on the 18th Anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch
Party Comrades! German Volksgenossen!
I have come here again for a few hours, true to the old custom, in order to speak with you, my first followers and comrades-in-arms, and to honor the men who at the time made the greatest sacrifice that they could possibly make for our movement and for Germany. When I stood before you the last time, behind us lay a glorious year of great events.
The insane drunkard (wahnsinniger Saufer) who has been controlling England for years now immediately regarded this as a new sign of my weakness.
At the time, I was portrayed as a man who sees a bleak future and, therefore, no longer dares to continue the struggle. But, I never imagined the future to be any different from what actually came to pass. And, besides all the glory, I anticipated the sacrifices, and I wanted to spare all sides these sacrifices.
First, I wanted to spare our own Volk the sacrifice. But, toward the rest of the world, I also felt that, as the victor, I could take responsibility for extending my hand for reconciliation. As I said before, this was not understood by those who never made a sacrifice in their own lives and had no close contact with the sacrifices of their own people.
So we had no other choice than to fasten on the helmet for good and to step out on that path which would free us for all time from the dangers threatening not only Germany, but all of Europe.
When I spoke to you here the last time, my old party comrades, I did so fully conscious of victory as hardly a mortal has been able to do before me. In spite of this, a concern weighed heavily on me. It was clear to me that, ultimately, behind this war was that incendiary who has always lived off the quarrels of nations: the international Jew. I would no longer have been a National Socialist had I ever distanced myself from this realization.
We followed his traces over many years. In this Reich, probably for the first time, we scientifically resolved this problem for all time, according to plan, and really understood the words of a great Jew who said that the racial question was the key to world history. Therefore, we knew quite well-above all, I knew-that the driving force behind these occurrences was the Jew. And that, as always in history, there were blockheads ready to stand up for him: partly spineless, paid characters, partly people who want to make deals and, at no time, flinch from having blood spilled for these deals. I have come to know these Jews as the incendiaries of the world.
After all, in the previous years, you saw how they slowly poisoned the people via the press, radio, film, and theater. You saw how this poisoning continued. You saw how their finances, their money transactions, had to work in this sense. And, in the first days of the war, certain Englishmen-all of them shareholders in the armament industry-said it openly: "The war must last three years at least. It will not and must not end before three years. "-That is what they said. That was only natural, since their capital was tied up and they could not hope to secure an amortization in less than three years. Certainly, my party comrades, for us National Socialists, this almost defies comprehension.
But that is how things are in the democratic world. You can be prime minister or minister of war and, at the same time, own portfolios of countless shares in the armament industry. Interests are explained that way.
We once came to know this danger as the driving force in our domestic struggle. We had this black-red-golden coalition in front of us; this mixture of hypocrisy and abuse of religion on the one hand, and financial interests on the other; and, finally, their truly Jewish- Marxist goals. We completely finished off this coalition at home in a hard struggle. Now, we stand facing this enemy abroad. He inspired this international coalition against the German Volk and the German Reich.
First, he used Poland as a dummy, and later pressed France, Belgium, Holland, and Norway to serve him. From the start, England was a driving force here. Understandably, the power which would one day confront us is most clearly ruled by this Jewish spirit: the Soviet Union. It happens to be the greatest servant of Jewry.
Time meanwhile has proved what we National Socialists maintained for many years: it is truly a state in which the whole national intelligentsia has been slaughtered, and where only spiritless, forcibly proletarianized subhumans remain. Above them, there is the gigantic organization of the Jewish commissars, that is, established slaveowners. Frequently people wondered whether, in the long run, nationalist tendencies would not be victorious there.
But they completely forgot that the bearers of a conscious nationalist view no longer existed. That, in the end, the man who temporarily became the ruler of this state, is nothing other than an instrument in the hands of this almighty Jewry. If Stalin is on stage and steps in front of the curtain, then Kaganovich and all those Jews stand behind him, Jews who, in ten- thousandfold ramifications, control this mighty empire.
When I spoke to you here last year, I was already weighed down by this insight into a development that could no longer be misinterpreted.
Finally, the moment came when the Russian concentration became evident in that-with the exception of a couple of divisions in Moscow, which were apparently held back as a lever against their own people, and a few divisions in the east-nothing was left that was not at the western front.
Today, I can say so for the first time: there was something else which also cautioned us: In the year 1940, a number of so-called "secret sessions" of the British House of Commons took place in London. And during these secret sessions, the whisky-happy gentleman (whiskey seliger Herr), Churchill, revealed his thoughts, his hopes, and finally his conviction that Russia was on its way to England. Mr. Cripps had given him absolute proof that it would take one to one-and-a-half years at the most until Russia would appear. One would have to endure another one to one-and-a-half more years at the most. That was the reason behind the incomprehensible courage of this gentleman at the time. We knew about this all the time. I have now drawn the consequences. First, we freed our southeastern flank. After all we know today, I can only say that we owe gratitude to Mussolini for attacking this festering sore as early as the year 1940. Within a few weeks, we managed to solve this problem for good, with the help of the European states at our side. By taking Crete and closing off the Dardanelles, we victoriously concluded this undertaking.
I have often talked about the accomplishments of our Wehrmacht. It proved gloriously successful in this campaign as well, the army as well as the Luftwaffe.
After that, I watched every movement of our great enemy in the east. Since April and May, I was constantly, I would say, at the observation post. Without pause, I watched every occurrence, determined at any moment-once I realized that the enemy was about to attack-to strike twenty-four hours earlier if necessary. In mid-June, the signs became more threatening. By the second half of June, no doubt was left that it was just a question of weeks, perhaps only days. And so I gave orders that we should take the offensive on June 22.
Believe me, my old party comrades, this was the most difficult decision of my life up to then. It was a decision which I knew would embroil us in a very difficult struggle. However, I hoped that our chances to win it would be the greater the quicker we defeated the others.
What was the situation at the time? The west was basically secured. To come straight to the point: there are so-called ingenious politicians in the camps of our enemies who now claim that I knew that we would not be attacked in the west and, therefore, I had the courage to go for it in the east. I can only tell these geniuses: they fail to appreciate my caution. I am so prepared in the west that they can take the offensive at any time.
If the English gentlemen want to start an offensive, whether in Norway, against our German coast, in Holland, in Belgium, or in France, we can only tell them: fall in-you will fall out more quickly than you came! These coasts are in a different state today than they were one year ago. We have worked there with National Socialist thoroughness. The chief of the biggest part of this work-to name only one man-was our Todt.
Naturally, work there continues. You know me from our time in the party. I have never known rest. If there are ten batteries somewhere, then five will be added. If there are fifteen, then five more will be added, and more still- our enemy himself is delivering the guns ! We left sufficient forces everywhere in order to be ready at any time. The enemy did not come. Fine! I do not wish to spill blood. And even if they had come-as I said-they would be long gone by now. We were secure here.
We also cleaned up the Balkans. In North Africa, our mutual efforts made it possible to establish a stable order. Finland declared itself willing to join our side. The same with Romania. Bulgaria likewise understood the danger.
Hungary recognized the great historic hour and arrived at a heroic decision.
And so, on June 22, 1 believed that I could, in accordance with my conscience, confront this danger, even if with a lead of a few days only.
Now, this struggle, my old party comrades, really is a struggle not only for Germany, but also for all of Europe; a struggle of life and death! You know our allies, beginning in the north: the brave little heroic people of Finland, which has proved its worth so outstandingly again. They were joined by Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians, and, finally, allies from all over Europe: Italians, Spaniards, Croats, Dutch, Danish volunteers, even French and Belgian volunteers. I can truly say that, in the east, all of Europe is for the first time fighting in a common realization: just as against the Huns back then, we now fought against this Mongolian state of a second Genghis Khan. The goal of this struggle was the following: 1. the destruction of the enemy power, that is, the enemy's armed forces, and 2. the capture of the enemy's armament and food-production centers.
Questions of prestige do not play any role with us. If somebody says today: "You are on the defensive at Leningrad," then I come and say: we were on the offensive in front of Leningrad just as long as this was necessary in order to encircle Leningrad. Now, we are on the defensive, and the other side has to try to break out. But he will starve in Leningrad! I will surely not sacrifice one more man than is absolutely necessary.
If there were somebody there today to relieve Leningrad, I would give orders to storm it, and we would take it by storm. Someone who has marched from the East Prussian border up to ten kilometers outside of Leningrad can also march those ten kilometers from outside Leningrad into the city.
But this is not necessary. The city is encircled. Nobody will enter it anymore. It will fall into our hands. And when they say, "only as a heap of ruins"-I am not interested in any city Leningrad, instead only in the destruction of the industrial center Leningrad. If it pleases the Russians to blow up their cities, then perhaps they are saving us a bit of work. Questions of prestige-let me repeat this-do not play a role with us.
If, for example, someone asks: "Why aren't we marching now?"-Because, at the moment, it is raining or snowing, or perhaps we are not totally finished with the railroads! The speed of this advance is not determined by those wonderful British strategists who determine the speed of their retreats. Instead, it is exclusively determined by us.
And, secondly, there is the occupation of the enemy's armament and foodproduction centers. Here, too, we will proceed according to plan! Sometimes, it is enough to destroy one factory in order to bring many factories to a standstill.
If I wanted to sum up the success of this campaign until now, then the number of prisoners now stands at approximately three point six million, that is, three million six hundred thousand prisoners. And please don't tell me an English blockhead says that this has not been confirmed. If a German military office counts something, then it is correct! There is an essential difference between a German officer and a British stockbroker! It is totally correct, just as our numbers for French and English prisoners were correct! The English know this quite well themselves because they always want to take care of their prisoners. Now, if I look at three point six million prisoners on the one side and I go by World War standards, then this means a corresponding number of casualties. It would be a bad testimonial for Mr. Stalin if his people were fighting less bravely now than they did in the World War. On the contrary, they fight in part out of fear and in part with bestial, fanatical madness. And, if I now assume that in Russia, as here with us, there are three to four wounded for every fatal casualty, then the result is an absolute loss of at least eight to ten million, without considering those only slightly wounded, who might be cured and put back into action. My party comrades, no army in the world can recover from this, not even the Russian. Now that Stalin is suddenly saying that we lost four-and-a-half million men, while Russia was missing only three hundred seventy-eight thousand men in action-this would have to be the prisoners -three hundred fifty thousand dead and one million wounded, then I can only ask: Why did the Russians retreat one-and-a-half thousand kilometers if they only had half the losses we had, especially considering the gigantic masses of their troops? What this mighty man in the Kremlin says seems to me strikingly Jewish.
Besides, the prisoners are slowly moving in the direction of Europe. Here, we will integrate them usefully in the production process, and we will see that they are not three hundred seventy-eight thousand, but really three point six million men.
The materiel booty we took in this period is immense. Right now, we have over fifteen thousand planes, over twenty-two thousand tanks, over twentyseven thousand guns. It is truly an enormous amount of materiel. The entire industry of the world, including German industry, could only replace such amounts slowly. In any event, our democrats' industries will not replace it in the next few years! And now I will speak of territorial matters. Until now, we have occupied one million six hundred seventy thousand square kilometers. That is an area three to four times as big as France and about five times as big as England.
Sixty to seventy-five percent of all industries and all raw materials that Russia possesses are situated in this area. I hope that shortly we will be able to take a couple of further steps, slowly but surely, to cut them off cord after cord.
Now somebody says, "Yes, but you are wrong on the time. "-These people know exactly what a conception of time I have! We defeated France in around six weeks; the occupied area is only a fraction of what we conquered in the east.
Now somebody comes and says that we had expected this to be done in the east in a month-and-a-half. With all due respect to lightning warfare-you still have to march! And what our infantry has accomplished in terms of marching is truly unique in world history. Naturally, if you go from Dunkirk to Ostend and then retreat from Ostend to Dunkirk again, this is much easier. I will admit that. However, if you walk all the way from the German border to Rostov or the Crimea, or Leningrad, then we are talking real distances, especially considering the roads in the "paradise of workers and peasants." I have never used the word Blitzkrieg because it is a really stupid word. If it can be applied to any campaign at all, however, then to this one! Never before has a gigantic empire been shattered and defeated in a shorter time than the Soviet Union has been this time. This could occur and succeed only thanks to the unheard-of, unique bravery and willingness to sacrifice of our German Wehrmacht, which takes upon itself unimaginable strains.
What all the German arms have accomplished here cannot be expressed by words. We can only bow deeply before our heroes.
I already said in Berlin that it does not matter whom we take: our panzer gunners, our engineers, our artillery, our reconnaissance troops, our pilots, our dive-bombers, our fighter or reconnaissance planes, or our navy-in the end, the result is always the same: The crown belongs to the German infantryman, the German front-line soldier! He marches across endless expanses on rough trails, through morass, through swamps. He marches in the heat of the sun across the endless fields of the Ukraine, or in the rain, in snow and frost, and he defeats bunker after bunker. With his storm engineers, he tears up front after front. It is truly a heroic song that he is singing for himself. Behind this front, there is a second front. It is the German homeland. And behind this German homeland, there is a third front. Its name is Europe. And when I am told, as so often lately, that the democrats are now arming, then I must say that I have also repeatedly mentioned that we are not doing nothing.
I did not stop German armament in the years 1939-1940 and 1941. What we have achieved in this sphere up to now is something. And we continue to arm.
I have merely concentrated armament in a few special spheres. When the gentlemen keep talking of figures-I do not speak of figures, but I will say one thing: They will be surprised with what we will line up one day.
My old party comrades, we have already experienced this at home. Every year we heard what the democrats were doing, what the Social Democrats were doing, what the Center or the Bavarian People's Party was doing, what-for all I care-the bourgeois or other groups were doing, even what the Communists were doing. But, we were also doing something. And, in the end, it was more than this entire coalition together: we knocked them to the ground! They tell me: "Yes, but there is America with a hundred twenty-five million people. "-The Reich territory together with the Reich protectorate and the General-Government also has a hundred twenty-five million people ! The area that works directly for us today contains far more than two hundred fifty million people. The area in Europe that works indirectly for this struggle now already contains over three hundred fifty million! Insofar as the area in question is German, areas which we occupy, and areas in which we have taken over the administration- let no one doubt that we will manage to recruit these areas completely for this task. They can believe us! It is not the German Volk of the World War that is doing the fighting today. It is a completely different German Volk! And it is the misfortune of our enemies that they have not understood this and that they run after these Jewish blockheads who declare time and again, "You just have to do exactly the same thing that you did once."-I do not think this even of our enemies, although I do not consider them too intelligent. I myself never do the same thing twice; instead, I always do something different. They should finally give up for good placing their hopes on the old thing! Now, for instance, they say, "At this stage, a revolt will break out." Perhaps, listening to English broadcast, some fool might suddenly react. But not for long! We can deal with such matters! You should not delude yourselves; such attempts quickly collapse. Today, you are not confronting a bourgeois Germany with kid gloves, but a National Socialist one, and it has strong fists! We are very polite and decent toward the civilian population wherever we occupy areas. Sometimes, perhaps, we are too decent, too obliging. We do not rape anyone over there, for many reasons. Nor are there any break-ins by German soldiers in order to steal and pillage. Something like that is punished more severely there than at home. We protect this population.
But if somebody believes he can resist the occupation, or upset it by a treacherous assassination, then we will strike as we did at home in the years when our enemies believed that they could terrorize us. In the end, we dealt with their terror. We created the organizations necessary for it. We will also deal with the terror of our present enemies! And then comes the most stupid hope: namely, that an uprising, a revolution, will break out in Germany. The people who could start a revolution here are no longer here. They have been in England, in America, in Canada, and so on, for a long time already. However, the people who perhaps would want to start a revolution are so few and so unimportant that it is ridiculous to hope for their assistance. Should somebody seriously hope to disturb our front here-irrespective of where he is coming from, from which camp he is-then you know my method: I will watch him for a certain time.
That is his period of probation. But the time will come when I will strike like lightning to remove all that quickly. And then no disguise will be of any use, not even the disguise of religion. But, as I said, that will not be necessary with us, because, above all, this entire German Volk is today organized in one movement. Our enemies have simply not understood that it is a movement which reaches into every house, and which jealously watches so that November 1918 will never happen again. I have been a prophet so often in my life, and they always laughed at me, but I was always right in the end. I want to be one again: Never will November 1918 be repeated in Germany! It cannot repeat itself! Everything is conceivable but only one thing is not: that Germany will ever capitulate! If our enemies say, "Well, then the war will last until the year 1942!"— The war can last as long as it wants-but the last battalion on the field will be a German one! It is useless to try to intimidate me! You know that I can remain silent on certain matters for months, even years. This does not mean that I am not considering it, that I am not aware of it. If today ever new threats against Germany are made, especially in America, then I have taken them into account in good time. I declared one year ago: Whatever ship brings war materiel, materiel to kill people, will be torpedoed! If the American President Roosevelt-who was responsible for Poland's entry into the war and who, as today we can support by documentary evidence, determined that France should enter the war-if he believes he can weary me by an order to fire, then I can make only one reply to this gentleman: Mr. President Roosevelt has ordered his ships to fire if they sight a German ship.
And I have ordered German ships, if they sight American ones, not to fire, but to defend themselves if they are attacked. A German officer who does not defend himself will be court- martialed by me.
If, on the President's order, an American ship fires, then it does this at its own risk. The German ship will defend itself, and our torpedoes will not miss.
I do not feel like wasting much time on these ridiculous falsifications, for example, that I had German experts manufacture a map. I can only tell Mr. Roosevelt: I have no experts at all. For me, my head is good enough! I do not need a brain trust to assist me. If there truly needs to be a change somewhere, then it first has to take place in my brain and not in the brains of others, not even in the brains of experts. I am not a high-school student who draws maps on his school atlas. For all I care, South America is as far away as the moon.
These are really stupid claims.
Or let us take the second falsification-that we wished to eliminate all the world's religions. I am fifty-two years old now, and I have something better to do than to deal with this child's play and stupidity. Besides that, it does not interest me how many kinds of religion there are in the world and how the people adhere to these religions. This interests only the American President Roosevelt. In the German Reich, according to our view, each may live after his own fashion! I have read that in the United States a preacher is not allowed to speak against the state and that soldiers are not allowed to attend such sermons. It is the same here with us. But there is a difference: namely, that the denominations in the German Reich receive nearly 900 million Reichsmark annually from the state, and not a penny in America! No priest has ever been persecuted in the German Reich because of his doctrine of faith unless, because of his doctrine of faith, he interfered with the doctrine of state. But this only a very few did. The great majority stands behind the German state in this struggle. It knows quite well that if this struggle is lost for the German Reich, religion would fare far worse in a Stalinist protectorate than it does in ours.
All attempts to influence the German Volk from abroad are childish and ridiculous. The German Volk has known the National Socialist regime for twenty years now as a party, for eight years as the leader of the state. And I believe that there has never been an era in German history in which such gigantic things have been achieved as within the eight years the German Reich has been led by the National Socialist movement. The best witnesses for the work of our movement will be the men who return from the front and who have been able to compare the effects of twenty-three years of Communist rule to ours.
They can judge what National Socialism has accomplished and what Europe would face if this other world won. They understand our great ambition: that in this struggle we finally want to free Europe of the danger posed by the east, and that, at the same time, we prevent the east, with its immeasurable fertility, its immeasurable riches in raw materials and ores, from being mobilized against Europe, and instead place it in the service of Europe.
This is truly a gigantic goal, which reaches far beyond the frontiers of our German Reich-gigantic not only in terms of accomplishments, but also gigantic in its consequences. The situation as it is now is madness-this Europe where in some areas nearly two hundred sixty people live on one square kilometer-and that is just the west! I see all these things from a higher point of view, if I may say so. I differentiate between the French and their Jews, between the Belgians and their Jews, between the Dutch and their Jews. I know that countless people live there who are also the victims of this crazy European construction, according to which the genuinely richest part of Europe is constantly mobilized against that part of Europe where the people living there possess not even the most primitive standard of living. Our soldiers saw this: in a country where the soil is virtually brimming with fertility; in a country, where a fraction of the work could result in as many times the profit as it makes here; there people have barely enough to call a pot their own; they dwell in miserable huts, neglected, full of lice, and dirty.
A few days ago, I read that lice had been found on a German prisoner of war in the east. Mr. Stalin is circulating this. I assume that he wants to make believe that this prisoner of war brought the lice all the way from Munich or Berlin to Russia. In the Soviet paradise, the most miserable type of slavery exists that the world has ever seen: millions of frightened, oppressed, neglected people, half-starved! Above them, there is the regime of commissars, ninety percent of whom are of Jewish descent, who control this whole slave state.
It will be a great relief for Europe not only if this danger disappears, but also if the fertility of this soil benefits all of Europe.
This is a gigantic task posed to us. However, I am so much a materialist that I regard it as far more important than worrying about what religions are predominant in what countries.
We have a goal. It spans this continent. Primarily, there is our Fatherland, then come all those who live in the same misery as we do. And I am convinced that this continent will not be second in the world, but that it will remain the first.
And if Mr. Willkie, this man of honor, declares that there are only two possibilities: either Berlin will become the capital of the world or Washington, then I can only say: Berlin does not want to be the capital of the world, and Washington will never be the capital of the world. I believe that, in Europe at least, hundreds of medium- sized towns would protest against such a burdening of human civilization.
Basically, our great goal in the east is the final part of our program. In accordance with this sober program, we once began to place man's work and, thereby, man himself at the center of our actions, aspirations, and performance.
Against the terms "gold" and "capital," we set the terms "man, Volksgenosse," and "work." Today, too, we set man and his work against these terms. With this, we embrace all those who are allied with us today and who suffer hardships as great as Germany does, and even greater in part: Italy. The Duce- I know he feels no differently about this struggle than we do: his country also is poor, overpopulated, always disadvantaged, and it does not know from where it will take its daily bread. He has sworn himself to me, and this union cannot be dissolved by any power on earth! There are two revolutions which started out at different times, in different forms, but with the same goals. Together, they will reach these goals. A number of other European states have joined us. We can say that almost all of southeastern Europe is in our camp today. And the greater part of the remainder of Europe also stands at our front in sentiment, even if not in public.
So, today, we do not fight alone as National Socialists, but together with a gigantic European front. And at the end of this year, we can say that the gravest danger has already been parried by this European front.
When I spoke in Berlin the other day, we were just about to land one last gigantic blow. It succeeded beyond all measure. About seventy-five divisions were eliminated and destroyed in one blow.
And the leaders and executors of this struggle will not tire and will not slacken. The heroism of this front is immortal. As men who believe in Providence, we can assume that for such an immortal feat, there will be undying recompense! We may not doubt that this period will determine the fate of Europe for the next thousand years. We can all be happy that we initiated this period.
You, my friends from the old days, you can be proud that you followed me, whom Providence has predestined to stride forth on this path, at the time when I set out on my path in this city, as an unknown man.
We may step up to the graves of our old comrades with even greater pride in this year. In the past year, we felt somewhat burdened before them. We no longer fought against the Red front because fate had forced us to make a truce with it. I honestly upheld this truce. The other side relieved me of this duty.
This year, I look with something almost like relief at the graves of our party comrades because I know that they once had the same goal: the struggle against this Marxist enemy of the world and his allies. At the time, they fell victim to the bullets of this front which stretches all the way from a stupid reaction to the zealous insanity of Bolshevism.
Especially in this year, we think of the fallen with particular emotion and particular grief. You will understand my feelings.
It is only for a few hours that I am in this city again from which I once set out. But I am so happy to see you here again, my old companions, my old comrades in arms. And you may believe me when I say that this year a great weight was taken from my heart. I do feel the sacrifice that we had to make: all our young and old friends, they who again had to pay with their own blood for Germany's salvation and perhaps will still have to pay.
Alas, it is the old, eternal argument and the old, eternal fight. It just did not end in the year 1918. We were swindled out of the victory at the time. We sacrificed two million dead at the time, we had seven-and-a-half million wounded, and, in spite of this, the insanity of an internal revolution cheated us out of the victory.
But it was only the beginning, the first part of this drama. The second part and the end are now being written. This time, we will take what we were swindled out of. Point for point, position for position, we will put it on the bill and cash it in.
The hour will come when we can step up to the graves of the fallen of the Great War and we can say: Comrades, you did not die in vain! What we once said in front of the Feldherrnhalle we will be able to pronounce with a thousand fold greater right in front of the graves of our World War soldiers: Comrades, you won after all!