Share this article with
My dear Gauleiter Sauckel, dear Minister-President Marschler! I thank you for your welcome. You know best how deeply I am moved by being able to dwell these few days within the walls of the old city.
It is a wonderful reunion for all of us, a reunion with our comrades in arms, with the majority of those who marched into Weimar back then. Some have passed away; others have grown gray in the meantime, and many are already white. Yet one thing has remained the same, the memory and the zealous resolve to preserve for all time to come the precepts and principles that guided us then! This resolve to dedicate ourselves to the old principles today, too, at a time when, through a miracle of fate, we have power in Germany, in order to assign them to those who will come after us. Ten years of history can be subject to different interpretations. The ten years we have left behind us are, I believe, truly worldshattering years. Only posterity will be in a position to fully gauge the extent of the foundations laid in the course of these years.
Back then, in the year 1926, we launched an offensive against this city, an offensive against this Land and thus an offensive against Germany. Today, barely ten years later, we have already scored the consummate victory. The faith which filled several hundreds of thousands at that time has today become the faith of the entire German Volk! We were not simply given this success; these ten years have been years of countless battles and countless sacrifices. What do they know, the ones who did not become aware of our Movement until after the victory; what do they know about the sacrifices and battles the preceding years cost us? How many troubles we were forced to bear; how much faith was required in order to ultimately turn this small Movement into the ruling power in Germany? What do they know about how much obedience had to be demanded-how much strict obedience, although this subservience all too frequently seemed to contradict every stirring of emotion, indeed even reason itself? How often was it necessary for us in these ten years to admonish our young fighters never to lose their nerve, never to act unwisely, but always-trusting in the future-to allow time to ripen on its own! May today’s youth learn a lesson from this sacrifice and this obedience for themselves and for the German future.
All of this was attainable only by virtue of the boundless loyalty and devotion of my fellow fighters. For this I would like to express to you my special thanks here and now: to you, my dear Gauleiter, who-I am certain- is one of my most loyal followers; to you, my Party comrades in the government; to all of you who have gathered here from elsewhere in Germany as leaders of the individual organizations; and not least to all of those countless lesser Party comrades, the known and the nameless, who remained steadfast in the years in which the seductive power of the other side was so great and the probability of victory so small. I would like to express my thanks to you for having stood by the Movement so loyally and decently throughout those years, that you did not turn your back on it as sometimes seemed the case, as though our mission might not be accomplished after all- but instead more zealously than ever vowed to support me and zealously stood up in my defense. Where would we have ended up had this devotion been demonstrated only in times of success? What has enabled our Movement to become so great has not been loyalty and devotion after victories and successes, but loyalty above all in the wake of our defeats. When we were faring badly, when good fortune seemed to have deserted us entirely, it was then more than ever that these hundreds of thousands of little people came to stand behind the Movement and, I may say, in front of me. Only thus were we able to wage this battle, so unique in German history, through to the end and prevail as victors.
And just as we have achieved our great goal of winning power in Germany and have been able to use this power to accomplish successful work for Germany for the past three-and-a-half years thanks to these virtues, in placing our allegiance in these same principles in the future as well, we will always find our way onwards.
May the German nation never forget that the firmness of a Volk is put to the test not when its leadership can demonstrate visible proof of progress, but in its hours of ostensible failure. As long as a leadership is blessed by good fortune, any weakling can declare his allegiance to it. Only in those hours in which good fortune seems to have vanished do the people who are truly valuable come through. Only then does loyalty count! May the German Volk maintain these virtues in future! With these old precepts, the principles of our Movement, it will march into a great future! Today, in addition to my thanks, I have but one request to the Almighty: that He may bless our Volk in our Movement. It is my most sacred conviction that, as long as the National Socialist Movement stands firm and strong in Germany, Germany will be strong and firm! If this Movement were ever to falter, Germany would falter along with it.
Ten years of struggle lie behind us. Providence has enabled us to score achievements for our Volk in the area of labor and above all to preserve the peace for it. I believe that today we can send no other wish to that same Providence than that this peace be granted our Volk in future as well. But let us always write the word “honor” before peace, and let us always understand this peace to mean liberty! Let us hold that, without this honor and without this liberty, there can be no peace. That is something our Volk knows, and something the world should know, too. I believe that this explicitness is best able to help eliminate false ideas, false hopes, and false opinions and thus promote the cause of genuine peace.
Therefore I may once again thank you, my dear Gauleiter and my dear Minister-President, for your welcome. It is my wish that these days may become for all the Party comrades who are taking part in them for the second time-and even for the first-days of contemplation, of contemplating the magnitude of the Fate we serve!