Adolf Hitler's New Year’s Proclamation to the National Socialists and Party Comrades (1 January 1943)

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German Volk! National Socialists! Party Comrades!

For the fourth time, destiny forces me to direct my New Year’s Proclamation to the German Volk at war. In these four years, it became clear to the German Volk that this fight, which was forced on us by our old greedy enemies, as so many times before in German history, is truly a question of life or death. When, in earlier centuries, dynastic disputes filled the world with the clamor of war, then the results and consequences of such a struggle were often quite limited for the victor and for the defeated.

In spite of this, after the decay of the first German Reich during many centuries, our Volk-because of its internal fragmentation and its resulting impotence-fell from its former position of commanding respect in Europe and, for a long time, became a cultural fertilizer for the outside world.

Countless millions of Germans were forced to leave their homeland in order to earn their daily bread elsewhere. Although they were not conscious of this, they helped to build up that continent that now tries to invade Europe a second time.

Had the German Volk continued to wage the struggle with iron determination, instead of believing Wilson’s untruthful, hypocritical phrases in the year 1918, then the hostile environment would already have collapsed at the time.

That this did not happen not only brought unspeakable economic misery over our Volk and tore millions of Germans from the homeland but it also was the cause of this present war. Because we know that in 1939 London and Paris thought that the German Volk would shortly lay down its arms again of its own accord, as it did once before. The German Volk and the rest of the world should know, however, that this event was unique in German history. If English and American Jews tell us that it is the intention of the Allies to take its children away from the German Volk, slaughter millions of young men, split up the German Reich, and make it the defenseless victim of its capitalist or Bolshevik environment for all time, then they do not need to tell us this, because we already know it anyway. Now this outside world does not seem to realize that National Socialist Germany is not suited for such an experiment, that it will neither be defeated nor will it capitulate. Instead, filled with the spirit of the greatest times in our history, it is determined to end this fight with a clear victory. The strongest guarantor of these sentiments and the strength of will necessary for this is the National Socialist Party with its organizations and, above all, the Volk educated by it.

We have the right to believe in this victory, thanks to our own strength, the courage of our troops, the loyalty and work of our homeland, and thanks to the activities of the allied brave nations in Europe and Asia.

If the German Wehrmacht and the allied states have managed in the past year to drive back even further the Bolshevik fronts threatening Europe, then the German homeland, with its men and women in the cities and in the countryside, has by the same token accomplished something unique under the most difficult circumstances. The German and allied soldiers, as well as our German economy, have not only enormously expanded the Lebensraum of fighting Europe, but they have also already opened it up for themselves to a great extent.

It was possible to secure food for us, thanks above all to the work of the German peasant and the German peasant’s wife. The millions who work for our industry have not only supplied our armies with the necessary materiel but they have also created the conditions for starting our armament as planned on a much larger scale. We have been informed often enough about what America plans to do in this respect through the windy babble of its main warmonger. We are also aware of what it can actually do and has actually accomplished.

What Germany and Europe will in the end accomplish will not remain concealed from our enemies in the coming year.

A review of this year of great successes and mighty battles obliges the German homeland to think of its soldiers first. Wherever they stand, they add new pages of honor to the annals of German history. The glorious battles they have fought are made public by special announcements and Wehrmacht reports. However, the homeland cannot fully appreciate what they have to suffer and bear. And to this front of fighters also belongs that front of men and women who work as helpers at the front or behind it. Especially in the east, unimaginable things are demanded of them and done by them. Alas, by taking upon themselves these worries, privations, sacrifices, and sufferings, they spare the Reich much greater misfortune. They protect it and guard it against the horrors of a war which the homeland has only begun to experience even during the heaviest bombardments.

The start of the New Year obliges me to thank the homeland and the front, in the name of the German Volk, for their heroism and the work that has been done. For I am only one of the many members of this Volk. What raises me above the throng of my Volksgenossen is only the honor to be allowed to be their Fuhrer. For the rest, their suffering is my suffering, just as my pride and joy will one day be the pride and joy of the entire Volk. The individual must and will pass away, as in all times, but the Volk must live on. That we will dedicate all our forces to it in this coming year, this will be our pledge on January 1, 1943. Only then we may dare to ask our Lord, as always, that He continue to grant us His assistance. The winter may be difficult, but it cannot hit us any harder than it did last year. Afterwards, the hour will come when we will line up again and concentrate our forces to secure freedom, the future, and the life of our Volk. Some day, one power will be the first to fall in this struggle. We know that it will not be Germany. The German Volk will hold the battlefield this time. And then, finally, that long peace will come that we yearn for, for the great building up of our Volksgemeinschaft, which will be the only worthy expression of thanks to our dead heroes.

Adolf Hitler