German folk! National Socialists! Distressed by heavy cares, condemned to months of silence, the hour has now come in which I can finally speak openly.
When the German Reich received the English declaration of war on September 3, 1939, the British attempt repeated itself again to thwart the beginning of a consolidation and hence ascent of Europe through the fight against the continent’s presently strongest power.
So did England once ruin Spain in many wars.
So did it wage its wars against Holland.
So did it later, with the help of all of Europe, combat France.
And so began, around the turn of the century, the encirclement of Germany back then and in the year 1914 the World War.
Only due to its internal disunity did Germany succumb in the year 1918. The consequences were terrible. After one first hypocritically declared to have fought solely against the Kaiser and his regime, one began with the disarming of the German army and with the systematic destruction of the German Reich. While the prophecies of a French statesman that there were 20 million people too many in Germany, this means, had to be eliminated through hunger, illnesses and emigration, apparently fulfilled themselves literally, the National Socialist movement began to initiate its unification work of the German folk and thus the Reich’s resurrection.
This new rise by our folk out of distress, misery and shameful disrespect stood under the sign of a purely internal rebirth. Especially England was not touched or even threatened by it.
Nonetheless, the new, hate-filled encirclement policy against Germany momentarily set in again. Internally and externally, it came to that plot, known to us, between Jews and democrats, Bolsheviks and reactionaries, with the sole goals to prevent the erection of a new folk state, to plunge the Reich anew into impotence and misery.
Aside from us, the hatred of this international world conspiracy struck those folks, which, likewise overlooked by good fortune, were forced to earn their daily bread in the most difficult struggle for existence. Above all, Italy and Japan were contested, yes, literally forbidden their share in the goods of this world. The union of these nations was hence just an act of selfdefense against the egotistic world coalition of wealth and power threatening them.
Just that already in 1936, Churchill, according to the testimony of the American General Wood before a committee of the American House of Representatives, declared that Germany was again becoming too powerful and hence had to be destroyed.
In the summer of 1939, the time seemed to England to have come to be able to begin anew the intended destruction with the repetition of an extensive encirclement policy against Germany. The system of the campaign of lies initiated for this purpose consisted of declaring other folks threatened, first ensnaring them with English guarantees and assistance promises and then, like before the World War, having them march against Germany.
So England managed, from May to August 1939, to fling into the world the claim that Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Fin-land, Bessarabia as well as the Ukraine were directly threatened by Germany. A portion of these states let themselves to be thereby misguided to accept with these claims the offered guarantee promises and hence joined the new encirclement front against Germany.
Under these circumstances, I believed I could take responsibility before my conscience and before the history of the German folk to assure not only these lands and their government of the untruthfulness of the presented British claims, rather, beyond that, to calm the strongest power in the east, especially through solemn declarations, about the limits of our interests.
You probably all once felt how this step was a bitter and difficult one for me. The German folk have never harbored hostile feelings toward Russia’s ethnic groups. Just that for over two decades, the Jewish-Bolshevik leadership has endeavored from Moscow to put not only Germany, rather all of Europe, on fire. Not Germany has ever tried to bring its National Socialist worldview to Russia, rather the Jewish-Bolshevik rulers in Moscow have incessantly undertaken to force their rule upon ours and the other European folks, and this not only intellectually, rather, above all, also in terms of military power.
The consequences of the activity of this regime, however, were in all lands only chaos, misery and hunger.
Conversely, I have endeavored for two decades, with a minimum of intervention and without any destruction of our production, to come to a social order in Germany that not only eliminates unemployment, rather also lets the profit of work flow increasingly to the working people themselves.
The successes of this policy of the economic and social new order of our folk, which, in the systematic overcoming of professional and class contradictions, as final goal strives for a genuine folk community, are unique in the whole world.
It was hence a difficult decision for me, in August 1939, to send my minister to Moscow in order to try there to work against the British encirclement policy against Germany. I did it only out of an awareness of responsibility toward the German folk, above all, however, in the hope to, in the end, nonetheless come to a permanent relaxation and to perhaps be able to reduce the sacrifices otherwise demanded from us.
In that Germany now solemnly assured in Moscow the listed regions and lands - aside from Lithuania - as lying outside all German political interests, an additional special agreement was made for the event that England should manage to actually incite Poland into war against Germany. But here as well, a limitation of German claims took place, which stood in no ratio to the accomplishments of German arms.
The consequences of this treaty, wished for by me myself and concluded in the interest of the German folk, were very difficult, especially for the Germans living in the affected lands.
Far more than half a million German folk comrades - all small peasants, tradesmen and workers - were forced almost overnight to leave their previous homeland in order to escape a new regime that initially threatened them with boundless misery, sooner or later, however, with total extermination.
Nonetheless, thousands of Germans disappeared! It was impossible to ever discover their fate or even their location. Among them are more than 160 men of German Reich citizenship alone.
1 was silent about all this; because I had to be silent! For it was my wish, after all, to bring about a final relaxation and, if possible, a permanent settlement with this state.
Already during our advance in Poland, however, the Soviet rulers suddenly claimed, against the treaty, Lithuania as well.
The German Reich has never had the intention to occupy Lithuania and also not only never put such a proposal to the Lithuanian government, rather, quite the opposite, rejected the request by the Lithuanian government back then to send German troops to Lithuania in this sense as not corresponding to the goals of German policy.
Nonetheless, I submitted to this new Russian demand as well. But it was only the beginning of continuous new extortion, which has since then always repeated itself...
The victory in Poland, which had been won exclusively by German troops, caused me to direct a peace offer to the western powers anew. It fell to rejection by the international and Jewish war agitators.
The reason for this rejection, however, was that, already back then, England still had the hope to be able to mobilize a European coalition against Germany with the inclusion of the Balkans and of Soviet-Russia.
So one decided in London to send Mister Cripps to Moscow as ambassador. He received the clear assignment under all circumstances to resume anew the relations between England and Soviet Russia and to develop them in the English sense. The English press reported about the progress of this mission as long as tactical reasons did not cause it to be silent.
In the autumn of 1939 and spring of 1940, the first consequences also actually already showed themselves. While Russia prepared to militarily subjugate not only Finland, rather also the Baltic states, it suddenly based this process with the equally deceitful as ridiculous claim that it had to protect the lands against a foreign threat and preempt it. But only Germany could be meant by that. For another power could neither penetrate into the Baltic Sea region nor, say, wage war there. Nonetheless, I had to remain silent. But the rulers in the Kremlin immediately went farther.
While Germany in the spring of 1940, in the sense of the so-called friendship pact, pulled its combat forces far back from the eastern border, yes, to a large extent totally denuded these regions of German troops, the assembly of Russian force began already in this period to an extent that could only be viewed as an intentional threat against Germany.
According to Molotov’s personally made statement back then, already in the spring of 1940, there were 22 Russian divisions in the Baltic states alone.
Since the Russian government itself always claimed that it had been called by the populace there, the purpose of its presence there could only be a demonstration against Germany.
While our soldiers now, from May 10, 1940 onward, had broken French-British power in the west, the Russian assembly on our eastern front was continued in a gradually ever more threatening magnitude.
From August 1940 onward, I hence believed, in the interest of the Reich, to no longer be able to be responsible for leaving our already so often devastated eastern provinces unprotected against his mighty assembly of forces of Bolshevik divisions.
What the British-Soviet Russian cooperation intended, thereby set in, however, namely: the binding of such strong German forces in the east, that, especially in the air, the German leadership could no longer be responsible for a radical ending of the war in the west.
But this corresponded not only to the goal of British, rather also of Soviet Russian, policy. For both England as well as Soviet Russia have the intention to make this war last as long as possible in order to weaken all of Europe and to put it into ever greater impotence.
Russia’s ominous attack against Romania was likewise supposed, in the final analysis, to only serve the task of getting hands on, or, under circumstances, at least destroying, an important basis of not only German economic life, rather that of all of Europe.
But precisely the German Reich has endeavored since the year 1933 with infinite patience to win the southeastern European states as trade partners. We hence also possessed the greatest interest in their governmental consolidation and order. Russia’s invasion into Romania, the Greek tie to England threatened to transform these regions as well in the shortest time into a general theater of war.
Contrary to our principles and practices, on the urgent request of the Romanian government of back then, itself at fault for this development, for the sake of peace, I gave it the advice to give in to the Soviet Russian extortion and cede Bessarabia.
But the Roman government believed it could present this to its own folk only under the condition that Germany and Italy, as compensation for this, would at least give the guarantee that Romania’s still remaining territory would no longer be touched. I did this with a heavy heart, Above all, already because: If the German Reich gives a guarantee, this means that it also lives up to it. We are neither Englishmen nor Jews.
So I believed, still at the last hour, to have served the peace in this region, even though under the acceptance of a heavy obligation of ours. But in order to finally solve these problems and likewise obtain clarity about the Russian position on the Reich as well as under the pressure of the every escalating mobilization on our eastern order, I invited Mr. Molotov to come to Berlin.
The Soviet foreign minister now demanded Germany’s clarification or consent in the following four questions.
Molotov’s first question:
Should the German guarantee for Romania, in the event of an attack by Soviet Russia against Romania, also be directed against Soviet Russia?
The German guarantee is a general one and one that unconditionally binds us. But Russia has never told us that, outside of Bessarabia, it still has any other interests at all in Romania. Already the occupation of Northern Bukowina was a violation of the assurance. I hence did not believe that Russia could now suddenly have more far-ranging intentions against Romania.
Molotov’s second question:
Russia feels itself threatened anew by Finland, Russia is determined not to tolerate this. Is Germany willing to give Finland no assistance whatsoever and, above all, to immediately withdraw the German troops marching through to Kirkenes as relief
Germany, now as well as before, has no political interests in Finland. A new war by Russia against the small Finnish folk, however, could no longer be viewed by the German Reich government as bearable, all the more so, as we could never believe in a threat against Russia by Finland. But we also do not want at all that a war region could again emerge in the Baltic Sea.
Molotov’s third question:
Is Germany willing to agree that Soviet Russian, for its part, give Bulgaria a guarantee and for this purpose sends Soviet Russian troops to Bulgaria, whereby he - Molotov - wants to declare that they do not have the intention, for example, to eliminate the king for this reason.
Bulgaria is a sovereign state and I do not know that, similar to how Romania asked Germany, Bulgaria had ever asked Soviet Russia for a guarantee at all. I would have to discuss this with my allies.
Molotov’s fourth question:
Soviet Russia needs under all circumstances free passage through the Dardanelles and demands as well for its protection the occupation of a few important strong points on the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. Does Germany agree to this or not?
Germany is willing to give its consent at any time to a change of the Statute of Montreux in favor of the Black Sea states. Germany is not willing to agree to the seizure of Russian strong points on the straits.
I have taken that stance here, which I could alone take as responsible leader of the German Reich, but also as responsible representative of European culture and civilization.
The result was an escalation of Soviet Russian activity directed against the Reich, above all, however, the immediate beginning of the inner hollowing out of the new Romanian state and the attempt, through propaganda, to eliminate the Bulgarian government.
With the help of confused, immature heads in the Romanian Legion, it was possible to instigate in Romania a coup d’état, whose goal it was to overthrow chief of state General Antonescu, produce chaos in the land, in order, through the elimination of a legal authority, to remove the prerequisite for the taking effect of the German guarantee promise.
Nonetheless, I still believed it best to continue my silence.
Immediately after the failure of this enterprise, another reinforcement of Russian troop concentrations on the German eastern border took place. Tank formations and paratroopers were moved in ever increasing number into an ominous proximity to the German border. The German Wehrmacht and the German homeland know that, still up to a new weeks ago, there was not a single German panzer or motorized division on our eastern border.
But if final proof were still required for the, despite all diversion and camouflage, meanwhile arisen coalition between England and Soviet Russia, then the Yugoslavian conflict provided it. While I endeavored to undertake a final attempt for the Balkan’s pacification and, in understanding cooperation with Il Duce, invited Yugoslavia to join the Axis Pact, England and Soviet Russia, in joint work, organized that coup d’état, which in one night eliminated the government back then ready for agreement.
For the German folk can today be informed: the Serbian coup d’état against Germany took place not only, say, under English, rather essentially under Soviet Russian flag. Since we kept silent about this as well, the Soviet Russian leadership, however, went still another step farther. It organized not only the revolt, a few days later it concluded with the new creatures subservient to it the known friendship treaty, which was designed to strengthen the Serbs in their will for resistance against the Balkan’s pacification and to incite them against Germany. And this was no Platonic intention.
Moscow demanded the mobilization of the Serbian army.
Since even now I still believed it better not to talk, the Kremlin’s rulers went still another step farther:
The German Reich government possesses today the documents from which it is proven that Russia, in order to finally bring Serbia into the fight, gave the assurance to deliver via Salonika weapons, airplanes, ammunition and other war material against Germany.
And this happened almost at the same moment, when I myself still gave to the Japanese Foreign Minster Dr. Matsoka the advice to bring about a relaxation with Russia, always in the hope to thereby serve peace.
Only the swift breakthrough by our incomparable divisions to Skoplje as well as the capture of Salonika itself thwarted the intentions of this Soviet Russian-Anglo-Saxon plot. The Serbian pilot officers, however, fled to Russia and were immediately taken in there as allies.
The victory by the Axis powers in the Balkans alone has initially thwarted the plan to entangle Germany this summer in months of fighting in the southeast and meanwhile complete ever more the assembly of Soviet Russian armies, to strengthen their war readiness, and then, together with England and supported by the hoped for American deliveries, to be able to suffocate and crush the German Reich and Italy.
Moscow has thereby not only broken the agreements of our friendship pact, rather betrayed them in a wretched manner!
And all this, while the Kremlin’s rulers, down to the last minute, just like in the case of Finland or Romania, feigned peace and friendship and composed apparently harmless denials.
But just as I was previously compelled by circumstances to again and again remain silent, so the moment has now nonetheless come, when continued looking on would not only be a sin of omission, rather a crime against the German folk, yes, against all of Europe.
Today around 100 Russian divisions stand on our border. For weeks, constant violations of this border have been occurring, not by us, rather likewise in the far north, as well as in Romania. Russian fliers have fun to simply overlook our border unconcerned, probably in order to thereby prove to us that they already feel themselves the masters of these regions.
In the night of June 17/18th, Russian patrols again probed into German Reich territory and could be driven back only after a prolonged firefight.
But now the hour has thereby come in which it becomes necessary to confront this plot by the Jewish-Anglo-Saxon war agitators and the equally Jewish rulers of the Bolshevik Moscow central.
At this moment, an assembly takes place, which in expanse and extent is the greatest that the world has previously seen. In union with Finnish comrades, the warriors of the victor of Narvik stand on the Arctic Ocean. German divisions under the command of the conqueror of Norway, with the Finnish freedom heroes under their marshal, jointly protect Finnish soil. The formations of the German eastern front stretch from East Prussia to the Carpathians. On the banks of the Pruth, on the lower course of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea, German and Romanian soldiers unite under chief of state Antonescu.
The task of this front is hence no longer the protection of individual lands, rather Europe’s security and hence the salvation all.
I have hence decided today to again put the fate and the future of the German Reich and of our folk into the hands of our soldiers.
May the Lord help us precisely in this struggle!
Berlin, June 22, 1941