Adolf Hitler's Speech for the Heroes' Memorial Day (15 March 1942)
When we celebrated in 1940 for the first time the Memorial Day of the Heroes of our people in this hall, the German people and its armed force after decades of most humiliating enslavement was again fighting for their freedom and future against the old enemies.
The defenseless impotence of the German Reich could not keep them calm just as little as the economic misery, enforced upon us, could satisfy them.
In these days, a trial is being held in France, the characteristic result of which (?) does with no mention clarify (?) the guilt of these responsible, but (deals) exclusively with the insufficient preparation for this war. The trial is being held in a mentality, which we understand as consequential matter, of course, but it is most suitable, more than everything else to fulfill (?) the causes of this new war.
In 1918, the statesmen of England, France and of America responsible for the war were decided, that Germany under no circumstances should rise to a pact with equal rights neither in the economic nor in the political sphere. And this intention has refused all additional measures as unjustified by pointing out that the dictated peace (?) was objective and this was done with selected phrases.
The German people, however, doubting its leadership and its self-confidence found no means to change its fate, which could not be gained by humility, with pleading (?) negotiations but only by uniform willpower and courage.
The result of both realizations was the state of enforcement imposed upon us, not only of a freezing nature in a political, military way, but especially destructive economically. (Text not quite clear.)
One of the most bankrupt populace experienced the continuing decline of its economical foundation and with it the collapse of its existence. It could be anticipated that after a short period of force of superior numbers, originating in its material misery, it had to give way again and again and with it the German Reich could no longer escape the decay of ... destruction administered by its own men and forces; we proceeded to action (?). This economical collapse of the German people consisted in its exterior ... if he did not do that, it did not bring any benefit to its enemies either (?). (Text not quite clear.)
We know from them ... that the impoverishment of the German nation was in no way equal to the economic souring of the so-called victors. So the states which in their leadership are entirely Jewish-capitalistic, said: We will not only catch up the figures of the German Reich, but we will even surpass them, in spite of and up to all the products and treasures of this earth.
But even this development was not able to instill a clear view of the true necessities of the future into the life of all peoples who were directed by the leadership of our old enemies, which was for the most part dominated by Jewish elements. As soon as the National Socialists had taken over the power, they began to find fault with the model economic and social measures of Germany, to take out the old hatred, in order to prepare their peoples for the new declaration of war and to make them ready for it.
We know today that as far back as 1935 and 1936 the determination for the new war has been made in England, France and especially in the United States in the alone responsible Jewish circles and the political leadership stratum which is following in their footsteps. We are able now to see the staggering spectacle which turns in the accusation of the deceived and heavily beaten peoples not against the powerful intention of the inducement of this war itself, but only against the lax, and thus in their eyes degenerated armed preparation. Just this strange and enigmatic ... teaches us how necessary after the refusal of the German disarmament offers and offers of agreement the military preparation of the German people had been, in order to oppose the second attack against its liberty with more success as they had been able to muster in the first world war, 1914.
When, therefore, in 1940, we celebrated the memorial of the heroes of our people for the first time, we did so with the proud feeling to have won the first act of this encounter, which had been forced on us against our will. With the greatest confidence we can hope that we will also be successful in the second.
In reality even in 1941 the events of a fighting year were behind us which were of great historic significance. In a victory march without parallel and with the right of the conqueror the continent was cleansed of all enemy forces. Italy stepped in this fight for our existence as a true ally to our side. Whatever was the lot of the German armies in these campaigns, it is pale against those things that had to be accomplished and to be solved by our Wehrmacht and our Allies in the last year. Only today we recognize the whole extent of the preparations of our enemies, today we see the action of the Jews who pull the strings, who, divided all over the earth, unified the common attack of a conspiracy of the Plutocracies and of Bolshevism to a society with common interests, and who hoped to be able to destroy all of Europe. That fate helped us to withstand this coalition of Jewish Marxism and Capitalism on all battlefields, we have to thank with all our hearts ... without whose protectional human force, all diligence and all suffering would be in vain.
And behind us is a year, not only of the greatest fight in human history, but also of the hardest trials of our own people, a trial which has been withstood, that can be said now, by the front as well as by the people at home. That the German is not afraid of man and demon, has often been proved in history. This time he was tried not only by the force of human words, as well as by an endless blood stream of the most primitive peoples but in excess of that by the most horrible hardship of nature.
Today we can announce that winter is behind us which was harder than it has been in central and eastern Europe for the past 140 years. Truly, our soldiers and those of our allies have been weighed in the last four months by fate and have been tried for their real inner value. But they have withstood the trial in such a fashion that hardly anyone will be ready to doubt that whatever fate will bring for us, it will be easier than that what is behind us.
After four months, in Summer, the German Wehrmacht, after the successful finish of the Balkan war of 1941, has started the march into the vastness of the Russian space. Battles were fought and victories won which in the far future will be valued as the greatest deeds of glory. Together with their brave allies they had attacked everywhere new Russian armies, had beaten them, eliminated them, in order to ... new masses of men. In four months an endless road was put behind them, in an offensive which in its depth and in its broad expanse has no equal in history.
Sooner than any experience or scientific knowledge had anticipated, a winter broke upon our army which now gave the adversary four months time, to bring about on his part the turning point in this fateful struggle. It was the sole hope for the potentates of the Kremlin, in this behavior of the elements of nature which even they had never experienced, to inflict the Napoleonic fate of 1812 on the German Wehrmacht. In superhuman struggle, under the exertion of the last forces of body and soul, the German and allied soldiers have withstood these trials and thus have conquered the hordes.
History will be able to confirm some months from now if the sacrifice of hecatombs of Russian lives in this struggle was a right or wrong action from a military stand-point.
We know one thing already today: The Bolshevist masses which were not able to conquer the German and allied soldier in the winter, will be beaten in every direction in the summer. The Bolshevist colossus which we only recognize now in all its cruel danger, this is our unchangeable resolution, must never again touch the dangerous territories of Europe, but will find its final frontier in a great distance away from them.
We all recognize the tragic greatness of the time in which we live. A new world is formed.
While in the Far East the heroic Japanese, just as much provoked, maligned, and economically throttled as the German and Italian peoples, are destroying the democratic-capitalistic fortresses, so is Europe now experiencing the creation of the conditions necessary for its real independence, for it is intolerable that the lives of hundreds of millions of people culturally of the highest standard ..., should forever be dependent on the will of a small, truly criminal combination of Jewish-capitalistic, international conspirators and on the public opinion forced by them on some few countries who thus remain hostile against Europe. Therefore, there can be only one solution, which is, to continue this fight until a permanent peace has been guaranteed, i.e., until the destruction of the enemies of such a peace has been accomplished.
By solemnly proclaiming this resolution we shall come the closest to doing justice to the victims and sacrifices demanded by the war of 1914-1918, by the battle of the national socialistic movement, by the inner resurrection of our people, and, finally, by the present war, and to those victims and sacrifices which are still to be demanded by the events to come.
We Germans do not care how the people in the rest of the world formulate their lives. However, the attempt of such nations who from outside of this continent are continuously meddling in strictly European affairs, and especially in matters concerning our own people, alone, will now forever be spoiled and made impossible.
The form of living to which the ... world, or the American President are used, does not concern us Germans. But his intention to fashion the German, or even the European world according to his needs, in other words, to do away with our own kind of world, which we have come to love, and to replace it by one which we hate and which is foreign to us, will not only be frustrated, but, on the contrary, his own world will perish in the attempt. And as regards the intention to punish Europe with Bolshevism, I have once before stated, that the same country which has sold itself to Bolshevism the most will probably be the first to become its victim.
The German people are today sufficiently enlightened regarding this bestial doctrine, and above all, are strong enough to resist effectively this deadly danger to our existence.
Aware of the great year which is behind us, which will be followed by one at least equally as great, we think of our heroes, and of those of our brave allies, past and present, determined to see to it that these sacrifices were not in vain and will not be in vain. We could not celebrate this occasion any more sincerely than by realizing that today's generation has again become worthy of the great periods in the past, in regard to its soldiers on the front, as well as in regard to its men and women in the homeland. Whatever fate may yet ask of us, the years ... of this fight will, in spite of all, be shorter than the years of that ... peace which will be the result of today's struggle. But to make this peace so that it will do justice to the sacrifices of our soldiers who came from all classes of our people, that is the future task of the national socialist state, for all of them died for the eternal German people, for a common Greater Germany, and for a better union among the nations of our continent.
May therefore God give us the strength to continue to do our duty and with this prayer we bow in homage before our dead heroes, before those whom they have left behind in bereavement, and before all the other victims of this war.