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HITLER SPEECH @ BERLIN, CONGRESS OF THE GERMAN WORK FRONT, May 10, 1933

". . . AMIDST all the crises under which we suffer and which do but present a single connected picture, perhaps that which the people feels most acutely is the economic crisis. The political crisis, the moral crisis, are only very rarely felt by the individual. The average man sees in the experiences of his day not that which affects the community as a whole but for the most part only that which strikes himself. Therefore the present has only very rarely any consciousness of political or moral collapse, so long as this collapse does not extend in one way or another into economic life. For when this happens it is no longer a question of some abstract problem that can perhaps be observed or studied in its effect on others, but one day the individual himself will be caught hold of by this question, and the more intimately such a crisis begins to influence his own life, the more clearly does he come to recognize that existing conditions cannot remain as they are. Then all of a sudden people talk of economic distress, of economic misery, and then, starting from this distress, one can awaken an understanding for that other distress which otherwise is wont to remain for a long time hidden from the individual man.

It is not enough to say that the German economic distress is a phenomenon resulting from a world crisis, from a general economic distress, since, of course, exactly in the same way every other people could plead the same excuse, could adduce the same reason. It is clear that even so this distress cannot have its roots all over the world, those roots must always be found within the life of peoples. And though only one thing is probably true - that these roots are perhaps the same in the case of many peoples - yet one cannot hope to master this distress by the mere statement that the presence of a certain distress is a feature of the age; rather it is clearly a necessity to disclose these roots in the internal life of a single people and to cure the distress there where one can really effect a cure.

Unfortunately it is precisely the German who is only too inclined at such times, instead of looking at his own internal life, to let his gaze range into the far distance. Our people has been so long falsely taught to think in international terms that even in such a distress as the present it tends to treat this problem, too, from international points of view. And the result is that many of us simply cannot believe that perhaps it might be possible to remedy such a misfortune in some other way than by international methods. And yet that is an error. It is natural that international infirmities which afflict all peoples in one way or another must be removed by the peoples who suffer from them, but that in no way alters the fact that every people must wage this battle on its own behalf, and above all that no single people can be liberated from this distress by international methods if it does not for its own part take the necessary measures. These measures can, of course, find their place within the framework of international measures, but one's own action must not be made dependent upon the action of others.

The crisis in German economics is not merely a crisis which is expressed by our economic statistics, but it is above all a crisis which can also be traced in the internal course of our economic life, in the character of its organization, etc. And here we can indeed speak of a crisis which has hit our people more severely than other peoples. It is the crisis which we see in the relations between capital, economics, and people. This crisis is particularly obvious in the relations between our workmen and the employers. Here the crisis has been more acute than in any other country in the world....

The first cause lies in the alteration in the form of business organization which determined the character of our economics. That cause may be traced throughout the world precisely as in Germany....

The gradual alienation of classes which we in Germany experienced led to the appearance on the one side of the special interests of the employers and on the other side the special interests of the employed. This was the beginning of our unhappy economic development. When one had once started on this road, of necessity the two sides became ever more widely separated. Here a law governs human affairs: when one has once chosen the wrong road this road always leads one further from reason.

On the contrary, the road led necessarily to further alienation and this tendency, as I said, was favored by the depersonalization of property. And I might almost say that this process was apparently still further encouraged and strengthened on scientific grounds. There gradually arose an ideology which believed that it could permanently support the conception of property even though those who derived any practical profit from the conception no longer represented more than a minimal percentage of the nation. And on the other hand there arose the view that, since there was now only so small a percentage of those who enjoyed property, the conception of private property as such should be abandoned....

When one has once started on this course, then logically the employers will in turn form their organization. And as a matter of course these two organizations will not pursue their own ends in mutual toleration, but they will maintain their apparently separate interests with those weapons which are given them: viz, lockouts and strikes. In this warfare sometimes one and sometimes the other side will conquer. But in either case it is the whole nation which will have to pay the cost of this warfare and suffer the damage. And the final result of this development is that these organizations as they build themselves up, considering the passion of the German for bureaucratization, will continuously become more unwieldy and their personnel will grow constantly larger. And at length the organization will no longer serve the interests of its creators, but these will be subservient to the organization, so that the warfare is continued in order that the existence of the organization may be justified, even though at times reason suddenly comes and says; 'The whole affair is madness; the gain when compared with the sacrifices is positively ludicrous. If you reckon up the sacrifices which we make for the organization they are far greater than any possible profit.' Then the organizations in their turn will have to prove how necessary they are by stirring up the parties to fight each other. And then it may even be that the two organizations come to an understanding, when once they have realized the situation.

The second reason is the rise of Marxism. Marxism, as a conception of the world with disintegration for its aim, saw with keen insight that the trade-union movement offered it the possibility in the future of conducting its attack against the State and against human society with an absolutely annihilating weapon. Not with any idea of helping the worker -what is the worker of any country to these apostles of internationalism? Nothing at all! They never see him! They themselves are no workers: they are alien litterateurs, an alien gang! . . .

One had to inoculate the trade union with the idea: You are an instrument of the class war and that war in the last resort can find its political leaders only in Marxism. What is then more comprehensible than that one should also pay one's tribute to the leadership? And the tribute was exacted in full measure. These gentlemen have not been content with a tithe: they demanded a considerably higher rate of interest.

This class war leads to the proclamation of the trade union as simply an instrument for the representation of the economic interests of the working classes and therewith for the purposes of the general strike. Thus the general strike appears for the first time as a means for exercising political power and shows what Marxism really hoped to gain from this weapon - not a means for the salvation of the worker, but on the contrary only an instrument of war for the destruction of the State which opposed Marxism. To prove to what lengths this whole madness could go we Germans have an unprecedented example, as frightful as it is instructive, in the War.

We can add only one remark: Had the German trade unions been in our hands during the War, if they had been in my hands and had they been trained with the same false end in view as was in fact the case, then we National Socialists would have placed the whole of this gigantic organization at the service of the Fatherland. We should have declared: We recognize, of course, the sacrifices entailed; we are ready ourselves to make those sacrifices; we do not wish to escape, we want to fight with you on the same terms; we give our destiny and our life into the hand of Almighty Providence just as the others must do. That we should have done as a matter of course. For, German workmen, we should have said, you must realize: It is not the fate of the German State which is now to be decided, not of the Empire as a constitutional form, not of the monarchy; it is not a question of capitalism or militarism; it is the existence of our people which is at stake and we German workmen make up seventy per cent of this people. It is our fate which is to be decided!

That is what should have been known then, and it could have been known. We should have known it....

It was a crime that this was not done. It was not done because it would have violated the inner meaning of Marxism, for Marxism wanted only the destruction of Germany. . . . For since the days of November, 1918, millions of Germans have held the view that it was the fault of the German workingman which caused the country's collapse. He who himself had made such unspeakable sacrifices, he who had filled our regiments with the millions of their riflemen - he as a class was suddenly made collectively liable for the act of the perjured, lying, degenerate destroyers of the Fatherland. That was the worst that could have happened, for at that moment for many millions in Germany the community of the people was shattered....

The third cause of this fatal development lay in the State itself. There might have been something which could perhaps have opposed these millions and that something would have been the State, had it not been that this State had sunk so low that it had become the plaything of groups of interested parties. It is no mere chance that this whole development runs parallel with the democratization of our public life. This democratization tended to bring the State directly into the hands of certain strata of society which identified themselves with property as such, with big business as such. The masses increasingly got the impression that the State itself was no objective institution standing above parties, that in particular it was no longer the incorporation of any objective authority, but that it was itself the mouthpiece of the economic will and of the economic interests of certain groups within the nation, and that even the leadership of the State justified such an assumption. The victory of the political bourgeoisie was nothing else than the victory of a stratum of society which had arisen as the result of economic laws....

While it is natural that amongst soldiers he only can be a leader who has been trained for that post, it was by no means a matter of course that only he should be a political leader who had been trained in that sphere and had besides proved his capacity; gradually the view gained ground that membership of a certain class which had arisen as the result of economic laws carried with it the capacity to govern a people. We have come to realize the consequences of this error. The stratum of society which claimed for itself the leadership has failed us in every hour of crisis and in the nation's hour of supreme difficulty it collapsed miserably.... Let no one say to me: 'No other course was possible.' It was only for these leaders that no other course was possible....

We must penetrate to the inner causes of the collapse with the resolution that these inner causes shall be removed. I believe that immediately we must begin at the point where in the last resort a beginning must today be made - we must begin with the State itself. A NEW AUTHORITY MUST BE SET UP, AND THIS AUTHORITY MUST BE INDEPENDENT OF MOMENTARY CURRENTS OF CONTEMPORARY OPINION, ESPECIALLY OF THOSE CURRENTS WHICH FLOW FROM A NARROW AND LIMITED ECONOMIC EGOISM. THERE MUST BE CONSTITUTED A LEADERSHIP OF THE STATE WHICH REPRESENTS A REAL AUTHORITY, an authority independent of any one stratum of society. A leadership must arise in which every citizen can have confidence, assured that its sole aim is the happiness, the welfare, of the German people, a leadership which can with justice say of itself that it is on every side completely independent. People have talked so much of the past Age of Absolutism, of the absolutism of Frederick the Great, and of the Age of Popular Democracy, our Parliamentary Epoch. Regarded from the standpoint of the people the earlier period was the more objective: it could really more objectively safeguard the interests of the nation, while the later period continuously descended more and more to the representation merely of the interests of individual classes.

Nothing can prove that more clearly than the mere conception of a class war - the slogan that the rule of the bourgeoisie must be replaced by the rule of the proletariat. That means that the whole question becomes one of a change in a class dictatorship, while our aim is the dictatorship of the people, i.e., the dictatorship of the whole people, the community.

And further it is essential that one should sweep away all those forces which consciously abuse human weaknesses in order with their help to carry into execution their deadly schemes. When fourteen or fifteen years ago and over and over again since then I declared before the German nation that I saw my task before the bar of German history to lie in the destruction of Marxism, that was for me no empty phrase, that was a sacred oath which I will keep so long as I draw breath. This confession of faith, the confession of faith of an individual, through my effort has become the confession of faith of a mighty organization....

We must accordingly wage our battle without any compromise whatsoever against the force which has eaten at the heart of our German people during the last seventeen years, which has inflicted on us such fearful injuries and which, if it had not been conquered, would have destroyed Germany. Bismarck once declared that liberalism was the pacemaker for social democracy. And I do not need in this place to say that social democracy is the pacemaker for communism. But communism is the pacemaker for death - the death of a people - downfall. WE HAVE BEGUN THE FIGHT AGAINST COMMUNISM AND WE SHALL WAGE IT TO THE END. As so often in German history, it will once more be proved that the greater the distress, the greater is the power of the German people to find its way upwards and forwards. This time, too, it will find the way; indeed, I am convinced that it has already found it.

Thus the unification of the German Workmen's Movement has a great moral significance. When we complete the reconstruction of the State which must be the result of very great concessions on both sides, we want to have two parties to the contract facing each other who both are in their hearts on principle nationally minded, who both look only to their people, and who both on principle are ready to subordinate everything else in order to serve the common weal. Only if that is possible from the first can I believe in the success of our efforts. It is the spirit from which efforts spring that helps to decide the issue. There must be no conquerors and no conquered; our people must be the only conqueror - conqueror over classes and castes, and conqueror over the interests of these single groups in our people! And thereby we shall come naturally to a nobler conception of work.... But the Movement which I and my fellow-fighters represent will, nothing daunted, exalt the word 'Worker' till it becomes the great title of honor of the German nation....

Personally, I am against all honorary titles, and I do not think that anyone has much to accuse me of on this score. What is not absolutely necessary for me to do, that I do not do. I should never care to have visiting cards printed with the titles which in this earthly world of ours are given with such ceremony. I do not want anything on my gravestone but my name. All the same, owing to the peculiar circumstances of my life, I am perhaps more capable than anyone else of understanding and realizing the nature and the whole life of the various German castes. Not because I have been able to look down on this life from above but because I have participated in it, because I stood in the midst of this life, because fate in a moment of caprice or perhaps fulfilling the designs of Providence, cast me into the great mass of the people, amongst common folk. Because I myself was a laboring man for years in the building trade and had to earn my own bread. And because for a second time I took my place once again as an ordinary soldier amongst the masses and because then life raised me into other strata of our people so that I know these, too, better than countless others who were born in these strata. So fate has perhaps fitted me more than any other to be the broker - I think I may say - the honest broker for both sides alike. Here I am not personally interested; I am not dependent upon the State or on any public office; I am not dependent upon business or industry or any trade union. I am an independent man, and I have set before myself no other goal than to serve, to the best of my power and ability, the German people, and above all to serve the millions who, thanks to their simple trust and ignorance and thanks to the baseness of their former leaders, have perhaps suffered more than any other class.

I have always professed that there is nothing finer than to be the advocate of those who cannot easily defend themselves. I know the masses of my people, and there is only one thing which I should always wish to say to our intellectuals: Every Reich that is founded only on the classes which represent intellect and intelligence has weak foundations. I know this intellect, always so subtle, always inquiring, but also always uncertain, always hesitating, vacillating from side to side - never steadfast! He who would construct a Reich on these intellectual classes alone will find his building insecure. It is no chance that religions are more stable than constitutional forms. Generally they tend to sink their roots deeper into the soil; they would be unthinkable in the absence of the masses of the people. I know that the intellectual classes fall all too easily a victim to that arrogance which measures the people according to the standards of its knowledge and of its so-called intelligence; and yet there are things in the people which very often the intelligence of the 'intelligent' does not see because it cannot see them. The masses are certainly often dull, in many respects they are certainly backward, they are not so nimble, so witty, or intellectual; but they have something to their credit - they have loyalty, constancy, stability....

Because I know this people better than any other, and at the same time know the rest of the people, I am not only ready in this case to undertake the role of an honest broker but I am glad that destiny can cast me for the part. I shall never in my life have any greater reason for pride than when at the end of my days I can say: I have won the German workingman for the German Reich."

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