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The struggle in which the German nation finds itself this time for the first time in its history is a struggle in the deepest sense against the life assertion of our folk in itself.

The states, which since September of the previous year had declared war against us, have not had any objective reason that we could have given them. The reason is understandable to all of us: It is supposed to be prevented that the 85 million mass of our folk can achieve the life claim that is due our folk on the basis of its number, its significance, its industriousness, its work strength, but also its genius. The state that is the main driver in this war was the driving force in almost all European wars for almost three centuries. England tries to build its world dominance upon Europe’s ruins. It tries to prevent any consolidation of Europe. And this time, it is supported in the process by those forces for whom especially the German Reich in its present constitution is a thorn in the side. They see in the intellectual world that we represent a danger for the rule of their own purely capitalist oriented circles, of their so-called leading strata.

This struggle, it seemed to be possible to this other side and in its outcome certain through the hope in a few allies. The first ally in whom they believed they could trust was, in their eyes, a new German revolution. They were really of the opinion that they only needed to declare war, and then Germany would collapse in a few days as the result of an internal revolution. Whither they believed that and why they believed that, I do not want to examine that here. There are, unfortunately, isolated unscrupulous rascals who, active especially in foreign lands, have helped to spread this idiotic view. We do not need to waste any more words about this.

The next hope was the opinion that they would manage, like in the World War, to force us into the fight with two or three fronts at the same time in order to then gradually let us bleed to death.

After 18 days, their first ally has been defeated. Even though autumn’s bad weather did not make it possible to finish France still in autumn, a few months later this settling of accounts nonetheless took place. And even though bad weather again prevented us from dealing with the last opponent, his hour will strike as well. Militarily, this war is already today completely won. Whoever dominates Europe, whoever possesses this European position from the North Cape to the Spanish border and beyond, can no longer be defeated militarily. They also know that.

They then still had a few other hopes. A big hope was the winter in the previous year. We withstood it better than our opponents themselves. And then a really big hope still remained for them, ft is hunger. They basically built upon that. They reckoned that what they had not managed by force of arms, what they had not managed with betrayals, what they failed diplomatically, namely Germany’s encirclement, that they will, in the end, nonetheless still manage through the thumbscrews of hunger. Here, too, we have taken extensive precautions in many areas. Economically, industrially, the fate of the World War can no longer strike us at all. Perhaps many a person in the years before the outbreak of war cursed or grumbled or carped about the many substitute materials that I had imported already back then. I did that, because I was first of the conviction to most easily be able to eliminate the unemployed along the path of extensive new German raw material acquisition. That also succeeded. But I also did it, because I was of the opinion that it makes no sense to base a folk’s economy on raw materials which one does not have in an emergency, after all, rather that it is better, right from the start, to cut one’s coat according to ones cloth and to take what one has, even if, for all I care, at first glance, there are better materials. We simply cannot allow ourselves the luxury that we work in copper at a time when we just must import and can import copper, while we are in the position to produce light metals ourselves.

Furthermore, I was also of the conviction that the sooner we start with substitute materials, the better they get. For one can thoroughly prepare many things in peace. And we have today found so-called substitute materials in so many areas that are better than the earlier original materials. We will never again buy from others the earlier original materials at a high price. They have also noticed this, after all. This has also, in part, greatly angered them, because they felt that their blockage would be pointless in the future.

If we took many precautions in the economic, industrial area here, then we also tried to come to a healthy domestic production again in the area of agriculture. And you know: In all these years, we have known only one law: How do we protect German national labor in every area, in the area of industrial production exactly as in the area of agricultural production?

I have from the first moment represented the principle: If two products face us in competition, a German product and a foreign product, then the German must be taken under all circumstances. The foreign one takes second place. Only where German production does not suffice, there we can also resort to the foreign. The capitalist and liberal principle of earlier, simply for price reasons to take the foreign one, even at the risk of ruining whole businesses at home, we broke with that principle from the start. Quite the opposite, it is self-evident that many things that we manufactured ourselves were initially somewhat more expensive and perhaps must also forever be more expensive, because German labor is somewhat more expensive. But in the final result, as the product of our work, it is nonetheless cheaper; for we can produce it, we have the work force, and the whole German economic policy has been for us nothing else than the mobilization of the German work force, on the one hand, and of our natural resources and of the fertility of our soil, on the other hand. That was the problem that we faced.

The war has proven this preparatory work correct. In no area has it become possible for the opponent to somehow put us in a situation, say, in a similar situation to the year 1915, 1916, 1917 or 1918. That we restrict ourselves in the process, that is not tied to it at all, that we do not have something or have too little, rather that is tied to my caution. I feel myself responsible that the misfortune of the year 1918 does not happen to the German folk a second time. And because I feel myself responsible for it, I prefer to save in time. I would have been able to hand out many things. But I took the standpoint: We will ration for as long as we cannot exactly estimate time and things. It is always better to have the awareness of being equipped for three or four years, if necessary, than have the feeling that in six months things cannot go on. For it I know that, then the enemy also knows it in the end. And then one cannot count on a peace at all. The opponent must know that it is all the same how long it still lasts, in the end, he will succumb. That is the sole possibility to move this stubborn and impertinent enemy to a peace.

I have offered them my hand so often, and it was usually just spat upon as reply. Just a few weeks ago, I again declared to the English, I could imagine that we would immediately come to a peace. There are no problems at all that were not to be solved. I made as good as no demands. You have heard the reply, after all. However, under these circumstances, I am now also determined to vanquish this state. For there must then be a peace not for 5 or 8 or 10 or 20 years, rather a peace must come that enables us for generations to ourselves consume the fruit of our work. We have demanded nothing from the others.

These preparations have succeeded industrially and, thanks to the cooperation, above all, of our rural populace, they have also succeeded in the most important sector of our independence, of our conduct of war and thus of our future and the preservation of our future. This is a real miracle. And I also know quite precisely how difficult that was, when so many men are drafted, serve in the military, if actually only the old people, the youth and the women can be at home; for it is very difficult to manage what a nation needs in foodstuffs alone. I know how difficult the work of especially the German woman was. Nonetheless, this demand had to be made. We had no other choice, after all. And this demand has also been fulfilled, and indeed to a superabundant degree. We can again reckon that we will definitely last this year. And we have meanwhile, through new living space and through the securing of an ever-growing European economic region, created possibilities, after all, which we hope to be able to make full use of already in the next years. This difficult struggle, it finds understanding everywhere. And I can only assure you that as soon as I see the possibility somewhere, leaves will immediately take place. If I see somewhere that it is possible, without endangering the Reich’s security, or perhaps give rise for any lurking party to believe that he could now find a weak spot among us, as soon as I see that these dangers do not exist, I immediately grant leaves. I must, on the one hand, ensure the highest striking force of the Wehrmacht, on the other hand, I do not want to make anybody stroll around the barrack-square longer than is definitely necessary. Then I prefer to immediately send him home so that he can be active and can work, can support his family.

These are principles that are often difficult to reconcile with each other. But the realization must remain guiding: In this struggle, the German folk fights for existence or non-existence. They already almost totally ruined us in the year 1918. Back then, the miracle set in that I managed, over the course of fifteen years, to build up a movement that made Germany free again and could hence again win for us the general internal and external life prerequisites. If they would triumph this time - we must be clear about this -, they would tear apart and atomize our folk.

I want to not just thank you for myself and through you thank all the millions of German peasants and agricultural workers and those who possess the responsibility for their leadership, rather I also want to pass along to you my conviction and my fanatical faith, when you leave here, that this struggle will be won one way or another. When, in the autumn of the previous war, the war against Poland began, there were many, especially former soldiers as well, who perhaps faced this conflict with fears, for they knew, after all, how difficult that was, and they looked back at the World War, and they had to tell themselves how slowly we advanced back then. I was a soldier myself in this war. I believe they were all not only surprised, rather they were downright thunderstruck that it became possible to crush the opponent in 18 days. And when they heard for the first time that the attack in the west had begun, when they heard on this May 10th, especially my old comrades from the war, that, in the west, we launched the attack, I know exactly that most of them felt a fearful worry and that they said to themselves: We know what the war in the west means. We have all experienced that. That is a terrible task. We often advanced not even three or four kilometers in months of fighting or tediously defended kilometers.

I was of the conviction that, with our present-day training, with our weapons and with the masses of our munitions, which I had manufactured and stockpiled, we would manage to smash this opponent in a few weeks. And you have seen that my prediction or my prophecy has come true. Yes, in the World War, Germany had the second strongest navy and still did not manage to escape the confines of the North Sea. I was convinced that even with our smaller navy, given correct leadership and given an absolutely courageous action, we will solve a problem like Norway. We solved it. If in the World War we had gotten the positions for our U-boat war that we possess today, on the one hand, from Norway, on the other, from the French coast, then nobody would have doubted that the war will be won. In barely six weeks, we have achieved this goal in the west. After six weeks, there was no longer any France. For me, that was not, say, a prophecy from insight of a miracle, rather I prepared everything most carefully in advance. Here, too, we saved and saved. Perhaps many people could not understand earlier why we did so much in this area. I have always feared that they would not allow our ascent, even if I declare a thousand times: I want nothing from you. They want something from us! They do not want the big economic competitor. They do not want that. And hence I had preparations made here as well for years, through preparations, in great contrast to the time before the World War. I took the standpoint that one should spare human beings, but must be able to lavish material. One can replace material. Not human beings.

And we have now waged this war, and it has cost us in the west, with France’s total annihilation, 50% of the dead that the war of 1870/71 cost. But only because we produced munitions and more munitions, and because we produced the most modern weapons. And in the process, we could then spare human beings and save up human beings.

And if perhaps the one or the other will now present the question: Oh, why didn’t he attack, already in autumn grab England by the throat? - Because I want to spare human beings here as well and do not want to take a step, if I am not of the conviction that everything is so thoroughly secured that success must come under all circumstances, and indeed not with huge blood sacrifices. I want to spare human beings, do not want to achieve what I experienced in the World War with my own eyes. Today the whole Wehrmacht has gone over to this: The principle not to make any prestige matters, not to make any prestige attacks, such as was unfortunately all too often the case previously, rather to annihilate the opponent with material. Once he also annihilated us only with material. And I can assure you, there is a saying in the land out there: Where there is much, much comes. - And oddly, whoever has much, does not need much at all. If I today look at our munitions supply, then it is now roughly twice, in part, three to five times as full as it was in the autumn of the previous year. There will perhaps be many who say: Yes, why are you still manufacturing? - I do not know, but carefulness is the mother of wisdom. If somebody should come up with the idea to tangle with us, then he will knocked hard on the head before he can wipe his eyes.

And I am responsible for it. I prefer to be excessively careful and produce too much. If I will have won the war and the nation then wants to indict me and says: There is too much ammunition lying around - then I will say: Fine, lock me up. Better that the ammunition is there and we have won, than one would say: It has all been cleared away very nicely, but unfortunately, at the last moment, it no longer sufficed.

And I can now assure you: With us, it will more than suffice! I was so careful, I have had so many weapons and I have had so much ammunition in all areas produced that every German can rest assured. When it comes to the final decision, then we will hit them over the head with so much that they will lose desire.

And tonight you experienced a little air raid alarm here in Berlin. In one regard, it is perhaps very good that you see how difficult it is for our workers here as well, or especially in the west, where they must stand at the machine by day and cannot sleep at night and, to make things worse, must also make sacrifices, even if they are moderate. But it is still not even 3%, not 2% of what I throw on the heads on the English gentlemen.

I did not want that, here as well, I warned them. I looked on for three months, did nothing at all. Then I warned them, they should stop with this war, this idiotic war of destruction. They did not want to. Now I will teach them, who destroys. We will not win this struggle, we have won it, under one condition, that the German folk, united in full insight, grasps the hour of its historical test and challenge, and that each, on the spot he stands, performs the maximum, the peasant on his field, the worker in his factory and the soldier at the front.

And if I further reinforce this hoping with the conviction that, furthermore, this time Germany is somewhat better led, politically and otherwise, than in the year 1914, then I see no possibility at all that we can lose the war. In addition to this comes my deep faith, which tells me that the Lord always helps the one who helps himself, who is industrious and brave, who himself takes up the struggle with fate, he then also receives the blessing of Providence. The Lord never lets the one fall, who also does not let himself fall. Only if one believes than he can count on Providence, that he himself can be lazy, then he achieves nothing, or if he believes that he can count on Providence and may himself be cowardly, then nobody will also still be able to save him. That is my conviction.

And so, from this conviction, I wish to thank especially you, as representatives - who today stand before me - of the German rural populace for all the work and for the great industriousness and for the devotion. I just want to assure you than from all this will one day emerge a German Reich - this is our sacred decision - a German Reich in which precisely the peasant should form the corner-stone. What we now, for example, do on the largest scale, a settlement policy such as, after all, has never yet in German history been the case, happens, after all, from this realization of the strengthening of the ultimate and securest foundation of our whole nationality, of the German peasantry. In that the German peasant today works under perhaps the most difficult conditions, he also eases his lot for the future, and indeed, as we believe, then definitively for centuries. For from this war another one will not come again in ten years, rather the war will decide whether the German nation lives or whether it simply does not live. And it will live!

Heil!

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