My German countrymen and countrywomen!
It is now a year since I was last able to speak to you and to the German people from this place. In retrospect, it is in many ways to be regretted, first because I myself very much regret not being able to stand oftener before the nation, and second because I am naturally afraid that my speeches thereby are becoming worse rather than better, for in this regard practice is necessary. My time is unfortunately much more limited than the time of my worthy adversaries. Naturally he who can travel around the world for weeks at a time, with a broad sombrero on his head, wearing a white silk shirt here, and some other outfit there, can naturally occupy himself much more with speeches.
All this time I have really had to be busy managing and doing rather than speaking. Besides, I cannot of course speak every week or every month. For what am I to say? What has to be said will be said by our soldiers….
Naturally it is very simple to concoct an Atlantic Charter. This nonsense will of course be valid for only a few, very few years. It will simply be cast aside by hard facts. For other reasons also it is somewhat easier for our opponents to talk, for now they have suddenly discovered our party program after many years of vain effort. And we now see with astonishment that they promise the world for the future just about what we have already given our German people and for which we, in the final analysis, were involved in a war by the others. It is very witty, when, for example, a President says: "We wish in the future that everyone should have the right not to suffer from want," or something similar. To this one can only say: It probably would have been much more simple, if this President, instead of plunging into a war, had used the whole working strength of his country to build up useful production and to care for his own people, so that want and misery might not reign and 13,000,000 people might not be unemployed in a region which has only 10 people per square kilometer to support. These men could have accomplished all these things….
He who believes… that even Dunkirk was quite the greatest victory in the history of the world, or who believes (it is all the same to me) that any expedition that lasts 9 hours is an astonishing and encouraging sign of a victorious nation-with such a one we, with our modest successes, cannot of course be compared. For what are our accomplishments as compared with these? If we push forward a thousand kilometers, that is really nothing-an absolute failure! If we, for example, in the last two months-it is really only for two months that war can be carried on sensibly in that country-have pushed to the Don, down the Don, finally reached the Volga, attacked Stalingrad-and we shall take it, too, you can depend on that-that is nothing at all. If we push on to the Caucasus, then that also is nothing. If we occupy the Ukraine, if we get the Donetz coal into our possession, all that is nothing. If we are getting 65 or 70 percent of Russian iron, that is nothing at all, absolutely nothing. If we actually open up to the German people, and thereby to Europe, the largest grain area of the world, nothing. If we secure for ourselves the sources of oil there, that is also nothing. All that is nothing.
But when Canadian vanguards with a small English tail as appendage come to Dieppe and manage to hang on there-one may say painfully-for nine hours-to be destroyed in the end-that is an encouraging, an astonishing sign of the inexhaustible, victorious power which is the British Empire's own!…
In my eyes, the year 1942 already has behind it the most fateful trial of our people. That was the winter of '41 to '42. I may be permitted to say that in that winter the German people, and in particular its Wehrmacht, were weighed in the balance by Providence. Nothing worse can or will happen. That we conquered that winter, that "General Winter," that at last the German fronts stood, and that this spring, that is, early this summer, we were able to proceed again, that, I believe, is the proof that Providence was content with the German people….
[W]e set ourselves some goals…. The first goal was the safeguarding of our dominating position on the Black Sea by the final mopping-up of the Crimean Peninsula…. After we brought that into order, it appeared necessary to us that a bubble which existed at Volkhov be removed. It was pinched off and the enemy destroyed or taken prisoner. Then came the next task, preparation for the break-through to the Don…. The goal was: First, to take from the enemy his last big wheat regions. Second, to take from him the last remaining coal which can be made into coke. Third, to move up to his sources of oil, to take them, or at least to isolate them. Fifth the attack was to be carried on to cut off his very last and greatest communication artery, namely the Volga. And here the goal set was the region between the bend of the Don and the Volga, and the locale set was that of Stalingrad, not because this locality bears the name of Stalin-that is altogether a matter of indifference to us-but exclusively because this is a strategically important point…. This is cut off and has been cut off now for some time. The occupation of Stalingrad, which will also be carried through, will deepen this gigantic victory and strengthen it, and you can be sure that no human being will drive us out of this place later on….
All the German racial stocks carry their share. Otherwise the founding of the Greater German Reich would have been only an act of constitutional law. As it is, it is an eternal document signed with the blood of all… a document which no one can destroy now, against which all the talk and babble of our enemies will be completely ineffectual, but above all a document which gives this State not only its form of authority, but its inner substance. You will also note, if you read the Knight's Cross citations, the simple man, the corporal or the non-commissioned officer, along with the sergeant-major, with the lieutenant and with the general, and, if you see the promotions of our young officers, the National Socialist community of the people here begins to make its appearance to its full extent. There are no longer any birth certificates.
There is no former station in life, there is no conception of capital, there is no origin, there is also no more of our so-called education of former times. There is only one standard of value, that is the standard of the upright, courageous, faithful man; the capable man, the determined and daring man who is fit to be the leader of his people. In reality an old world has been torn down. From this war arises, established by blood, the community of the people, the hope of the old National Socialists after the last war, who were able to transmit our creed to the nation.
And that perhaps is the greatest blessing for our people in the future, that we will come out of this war improved in our community and absolved in our community and absolved of so many prejudices, that after this war it really will be proved how right the party program of our movement was and how correct, moreover, our entire National Socialist approach was, because one thing is certain: No bourgeois state will survive this war. In this case everyone sooner or later will have to declare where he stands.
Only the one who is able to weld his people to a unit, not only politically but also socially will come out of this war as the victor. That we National Socialists laid this foundation, we owe, I personally owe, to the experience of the first World War. But, because the Greater German Reich has to fight this second war through, to that it will, one-day, be able to attribute a reinforcement and a deepening of this program….
Let our adversaries conduct this war as long as they are able to do so. What we can do in order to beat them, we certainly will do. That they ever will beat us is impossible and out of the question." Nationalist Socialist Germany and the states which are allied with her will come out of this war with a glorious victory as young nations, as real peoples' states.