For the second time, we celebrate in this room our folk’s Heroes Remembrance Day. Even more than a year ago, we have become aware how little words are able to express the worthy gratitude of a nation to its heroes.
In long, peaceful periods, the impressions of the terrible experiences of war gradually fade from memory, from which heroism and life-sacrifice elevate themselves. It then often goes so far that a generation no longer knows war at all and honors heroes without itself still being even the least worthy of them. Then the most difficult action of the man is celebrated with shallow slogans, yes, the danger exists that, from the memory of the heroic deeds of past times, the present believes it can draw freedom from the obligation for a similar bearing. But when the German folk honors its heroes in the year 1941, then this happens in a present and under circumstances which give us the right to remember with pride all had those who, in the battles of the more distant and most recent past, sacrificed their life for the nation.
When we remembered our heroes twelve months ago in this consecrated hall, there laid behind us the completely successful beginning of a war that Germany had not wanted, rather had been forced upon us by the same forces, which before history already bear the responsibility for the great war of folks 1914-1918. They were the elements who back then set themselves the goal to rob the German nation of the most primitive life right, who in the years of the Versailles dictate elevated the enslavement and economic impoverishment of Germany to the dogma of their new world order, and who then met our folk’s resurrection with the same hatred with which they once followed the Second Reich.
In a total misunderstanding of the facts, in a thereby conditioned miscalculation of their own and of German strength, but also in total ignorance of the new German leadership’s strength of will and decisiveness, they believed to have an easier game in the second subjugation of our folk than in the attempted first. When the American General Wood assures before the investigation committee of the American Senate that, already in the year 1936, Mr. Churchill declared to him Germany had already again become too powerful and therefore had to be destroyed in a new war, then this now historically verified fact shines light on the real responsibility for the present development. England and France wanted war, only it was less the folks, rather the thin political and financial leadership strata, behind them, as final driving force, standing international Jewry with its world conspiracies, democracy and Freemasonry.
The hope of these responsible war makers, however, was to not only find the outward reason for war through pushing forward Poland, rather to secure from the start the fragmentation of German forces that still seemed so useful to them from the World War. The eighteen-day campaign in Poland put these hopes to an abrupt end. With proud confidence, the German nation, under these circumstances, could enter the year 1941. Nonetheless, our folk did not live in self-deception about the difficulty of the coming year. The fight in the west, still alive today in the memory of every old German front soldier as path of suffering without end, had to be decided. In precise realization of our preparations and plans, in boundless confidence in the German soldier, in his equipment, his leadership, his ability and, above all, however, his bearing, I dared to announce on Heroes Remembrance Day 1940 the imminent fight as the most glorious victory in our history.
Eight weeks later, this fight began. Only, even before the Wehrmacht assembled in the west, the perhaps most important decision in this war had already fallen. On April 9th, with a few hours head start, England’s most dangerous attempt to strike German defensive strength from the north in the heart, was thwarted. When the morning of May 10th dawned, this, in the consequent effect perhaps worst threat against our military and economic position, as already successful repelled. The fight for the decision in the west could hence begin. It took the previously set course. What had not succeeded in four years of unspeakable sacrifice in the World War, was completed in a few weeks: The collapse of the British-French front. Without regard for the dull opinions of the present, guilt-ridden British Prime Minister, this year 1940 will go down into world history as one of the most decisive and in effect most significant. For in it, a shift of forces of genuinely historical significance set in. If Germany, even in 1918, had gained even a portion of these successes, the World War would have been won. Today the German Wehrmacht stands ready in a broad area, in terms of personnel and material most tremendously reinforced, determined and confident to complete what was begun in the historically epoch-making year of 1940.
But we now step, with an even stronger right than in the year 1940, before the German heroes of the past. We still all know what they had to endure and perform, especially in the World War. But we bow before their sacrifice no longer as unworthy ourselves. When the German divisions assembled for their advance in the west, the present-day Heroes Memory celebration had taken its venerable start; for at countless military cemeteries, the victorious sons stood at the graves of their heroic fathers with thankful emotion.
The German folk has paid back everything that it once, in insane blindness, surrendered and lost. So precisely today, we can again remember the life-sacrifice of the World War with elevated heart. Amidst all the glorious events of the present, we do not want in the process to overlook the immeasurable spiritual strength, which the German folk and its soldiers owe to the heroism of their ancestors. The solders of the World War as well did not fall in vain. Even if, back then, momentary success remained denied to the sacrifices, their heroic action, their fighting courage sublime beyond everything human, nonetheless left behind for the German folk a legacy, which not only every decent German generation will remember with reverence and deep emotion, rather has also remained for our opponents in paralyzing memory. Perhaps from this energetic awareness as well, the German folk now manages to do such infinitely great things. It feels itself as the executor of the will of its brave ancestors.
Next to the dead of the World War, the victims of the continuation of this struggle now form a row. And again, like back then, our folk’s sons lie in the expanse of space and of the seas, everywhere, as brave warriors of their Greater German homeland. It is the same German human being, who - be it in the World War or in the movement, at work at in the war today forced upon us - risks and gives up his life in order to finally secure peace for his folk overall and to force a peace, which leads to a better organization of human society than the one that the dictators of Versailles have broken.
But we also remember the Italian soldiers, who have today likewise had to sacrifice their life as allies in large parts of the world. Their ideals and war goals are the same as ours: The world does not exist for just a few folks, and an order that wants to base itself forever on only haves and have-nots, no longer exists, when the have-nots are determined to claim and represent their rightful share of God’s earth. The homeland as well must make heavier sacrifices in this war than previously. Its heroism as well contributes to shape the most decisive struggle in German history into a successful one. And here it is not only the man who proves himself in is strength of resistance, rather, above all, also the woman. The nation has today become a fighting unit. Not because it sought this fight, rather because it was forced upon it. Just as England and France declared war, so did England also begin the war against civilian life. To the blockade of the World War, to the war of hunger against women and children, it has this time added the air and arson war against peaceful villages and cities. Only England will fail in both. Churchill will not destroy Germany in the air war he started, rather Britain itself. And likewise, the blockade will not strike Germany, rather its initiators.
If now the onset of winter limits the combat actions on land, then the fighting in the air and at sea have continued. The heroism of our fliers adds itself to the heroism of our U-boat and ship crews.
We cannot conclude the Heroes Remembrance Day more worthily than through the renewal of our oath to transform the struggle for our annihilation incited by our international opponents into the final German victory. Behind us lies a winter rich in work. What was still to be improved in our training, was done. The German Wehrmacht has now risen to the militarily strongest instrument in our history. If in the months of the winter, above all, our ally had to endure the whole force of British attacks, then from now on the German Wehrmacht will assume its share of these burdens.
No power and no support in the world will change something in the outcome of this fight. England will fall! Eternal Providence does not let those triumph, who for the rule of their money are willing to forget the blood of human beings. Germany has demanded nothing from England and France. All its renunciations, its disarmament and peace proposals were in vain. The international finance plutocracy wants to wage this war to the end. The end of this war must and will hence be their destruction. May Providence then let us find the right path in order to lead the folks rid of its chains to a better order.
Cold and determined, we will hence assemble in the year 1941 in order to complete what was begun in the previous one. Quite regardless upon which earth or on which sea or in which air space German soldiers fight, they will know that this fight decides for always the fate, the freedom and the future of our folk!
But in that we victoriously end this fight, we thank most worthily all heroes of the past: for we save that for which they once also fell:
Greater German Reich!