Adolf Hitler's Speech on the 21st Anniversary of the National Socialist Party (24 February 1941)
FELLOW PARTY MEMBERS:
The 24th of February is always, and rightly so, a day of vivid memories for us. On this date and from this very hall began the Movement's amazing march to victory, which bore it to the helm of the Reich, to leadership of the nation and its destiny. This day is a great day for me too. Surely, it is seldom that a political leader can stand before the same band of followers that hailed his first great public appearance twenty-one years before, and repeat the same program. Seldom can a man proclaim the same doctrines and put them into practice for twenty-one years without at any time having had to relinquish a single part of his original program. In 1920, when we met for the first time in this hall, many of you must have asked yourselves: "Dear me, a new party, another new party! Why do we want a new party? Don't we have parties enough?"
If the new movement had been or had intended to be nothing but a continuation of the old parties or an addition to existing parties, such an objection would indeed have been justified. There were certainly more than enough parties in those days. But, after all, our movement was something quite different from all the existing and incipient parties of the time. It was a movement that declared for the first time and from the very outset that it had no intention of representing the definite, clearly outlined interests of individual classes. It did not stand for town or farm. It did not represent Catholic or Protestant interests; nor did it represent individual sections of the country. This was a movement which was definitely centered upon the concept of the German people. It was not a class party, sworn to uphold the right or the left, attempting to divide the nation, but one which from its very beginning had no thought for anything but the German people as a whole.
Thus began a heroic struggle, opposed at its inception by nearly all. Nevertheless, the essential objects of the movement embraced the decisive element. Its clear and unambiguous aim did not allow the movement to become the tool of definite and limited individual interests, but raised it above all special obligations to the particular obligation of serving the German nation in its entirety, of safeguarding its interests regardless of momentary dissensions or confused thoughts. Thus, today, after 21 years, I again stand before you.
In those days, we were in the middle of a great collapse; Versailles oppressed us all heavily. With heavy hearts individuals throughout the entire German Reich began to try to find a way out of this profound misery. There were many different views as to the reasons for the collapse. Political mistakes of the most serious kind had undoubtedly been made, not during the war years but many years before. It had been apparent that a storm was brewing. Certain warmongers throughout the world-the very ones who are doing the same thing today-were mobilizing the whole of Europe against Germany.
Although favorable opportunities of opposing these warmongers-and, moreover, of opposing them in good time-had presented themselves, the German government of that time proved a political failure. At the beginning of the Great War, too, the political leadership in both internal and external affairs was as clumsy as possible and, from the psychological point of view, utterly wrong.
However, in one particular sphere no reproach could be leveled against them: They had not wanted the war. On the contrary, had they wanted the war they would certainly have prepared for it differently, and they would have chosen a more favorable time for it. No, their greatest crime-if a mistake can be called thus-was that, although they knew that war was inevitable, they failed to act at the decisive hour and, consequently, at a more propitious time. Military mistakes were made too-many military mistakes. Yet despite all this, one fact remains: the German soldier, unconquered, defied his enemies for over four years.
A unique epic was enacted during these four years. Regardless of the greatness of our present victories or of our victories in the future, the German nation will always look back with deep emotion and inexpressible feelings to the great days of the World War when, alone and forsaken by the whole world, it fought a heroic struggle against an overwhelming superiority in numbers and an overpowering mass of armaments, yet never yielded one inch until the collapse occurred for which not the man at the front but disintegration at home was responsible.
This brings us to the really fundamental and decisive reason, to the actual cause of the collapse which took place at that time. The German nation had for several decades been exposed to gradual internal disintegration. It was divided into two worlds. We are only too conscious of them today, we old National Socialists, for we fought and struggled against them. We stood between these two worlds, and it was out of them that our movement gradually came into being.
You have not forgotten the political conditions of those days, my old party members-the conditions of our political life. You still remember the placards of the two great conflicting ideas-the bourgeoisie on the one side and the proletariat on the other; on the one side nationalism, on the other socialism. Between these two there yawned a gulf which, it was asserted, could never be bridged. The nationalist idea of the bourgeoisie was exclusively bourgeois, and the socialist ideal was exclusively Marxian. The bourgeois ideal was limited to a class; the Marxian ideal was unlimited internationally. But, fundamentally both movements were already sterile. When I first stood before you here, no sensible person believed that there would ever be any clear decision on this point. This, after all, was the decisive issue. This struggle was inevitable if our nation were not to disintegrate completely. One side would have to emerge from it as the decisive victor.
But even this was out of the question at the time, for the movements were already beginning to dissolve and to split up. They had lost their youthful élan. On the one side, the bourgeoisie was gradually dividing itself into countless parties, societies, groups, associations, bodies representing municipal and rural interests, house and land-owners, etc. On the other side were the Marxian movements, which were likewise disintegrating more and more rapidly. Majority Socialists, Independent Socialists, Communists, Radical Communists, the Communist Labor Party, Syndicalists, and so forth: Who can still remember the struggle of all these groups against one another?
Every placard was a declaration of war, not only against their opponents but often against their own world as well. The two camps that faced us then must finally have led to the complete dissolution of the German community, and naturally, therefore, to the waste and misuse of the German people's entire strength.
Regardless of the decisions to be made, whether they related to internal matters or foreign policy, whether they were economic or purely internal questions, none of them could be successfully solved unless the whole nation stood solidly united for the purpose.
Versailles confronted us at that time. When I made my first appearance in this hall, my whole political conscience imposed upon me the duty of protesting against this subjection, the most ignominious of all times, and of calling upon the nation to take up arms against it. From the point of view of foreign policy, the dictate deprived the German nation of all its rights and rendered it defenseless. The foreign situation, moreover, also demanded a clear decision. The shameful dictate was intended to enslave the German nation forever. No limits had been set to this slavery. From the very outset they said: "We won't state a definite sum for you to pay, because we ourselves do not know what you are able to pay. From time to time we will fix fresh sums; but you must pledge yourselves immediately to pay everything we determine." And that is what the German governments of those days did.
The fulfillment of these obligations would have reduced Germany to complete ruin forever. And when a Frenchman said that the aim was really to annihilate 20 million Germans, that was by no means mere imagination. It was entirely possible to calculate the time when the German nation would actually number 20 or 3o million less. This enslavement-disastrous even from the purely economic point of view-was now opposed by the Germans, divided into two great camps. Their points of view were completely different; but both placed their hopes in international ideals. The more intellectually inclined camp said: "We believe in a world-conscience, in world justice. We believe in the League of Nations at Geneva." The others were more proletarian and said: "We believe in international solidarity," and things of that sort. But they all believed in something outside their own people-were ever ready to take refuge in the hope that others would come and help them.
The conception of the new Movement, whose fundamentals can be expressed in a single sentence: "The Lord helps those who help themselves," opposed this. That is not only a very pious phrase, but a very just one. For one cannot assume that God exists to help people who are too cowardly and too lazy to help themselves and think that God exists only to make up for the weakness of mankind. He does not exist for that purpose. He has always, at all times, blessed only those who were prepared to fight their own battles. We have seen what can be expected from the help of others. An American President appeared and solemnly declared that if we laid down our arms we should receive this, that and the other thing. We laid down our arms, and the oath was broken and forgotten. When the gentlemen were reminded of it they became very unpleasant. It did not matter how much democratic Germany begged and prayed, she was granted not the slightest relief, not to mention equal justice. Democratic Germany was certainly treated justly: she was treated just as she deserved.
It was in this very town that I began my struggle, my political struggle against Versailles. You know this, you old members of my party. How often did I speak against Versailles! I probably studied this treaty more than any other man. To this day, I have not forgotten it. The Treaty could not be abolished by humility, by submission. It could only be abolished by reliance upon ourselves, by the strength of the German nation.
The days of bitter struggle necessarily led to a selection of leaders. When today I appear before the nation and look at the ranks that surround me, I look at a band of men, real men who stand for something. On the other hand when I regard the cabinets of my opponents, I can only say: "Quite incapable of being put in charge even of one of my smallest groups." Hard times resulted in a selection of first class men who naturally caused us a little anxiety now and then. Everybody who is worth his salt is sometimes difficult to handle. In normal times it is not always easy to get divergent elements to work together instead of against one another. But as soon as danger threatens, they form the most resolute body of men. Just as selection is a natural consequence of war and brings real leaders to the fore among soldiers, so in the world of politics selection is the outcome of struggle. It was a result of this slow development, this eternal struggle against opposition, that we gradually acquired leaders with whose aid we can today achieve anything.
When, on the other hand, I look at the rest of the world, I am obliged to say: "They were simply asleep while this miracle was taking place. Even today they refuse to grasp it. They do not realize what we are, nor do they realize what they themselves are. They go on like a figure of "Justice"-with blindfolded eyes. They reject what does not suit them. They do not realize that two revolutions in Europe have created something new and tremendous. We are fully conscious of the fact that a second revolution, where the assumption of power occurred earlier than it did in our country, proceeded parallel with ours. The Fascist Revolution, too, yielded the same results. Complete identity exists between our two revolutions, not only as regards aims, but also as regards methods. Over and above this there is our friendship, which is more than cooperation with a purpose in view. Nor do our opponents realize yet, that once I regard a man as my friend, I shall stand by him and that in doing this, I have no eye for profit. I am not a democrat and consequently no mental contortionist. Nor am I a war profiteer, but a man who hopes that, at least after his death, common justice will concede that the struggle of his whole life served a single great ideal.
I wish to display no faltering in this matter. There cannot be the slightest doubt that the bond uniting the two revolutions, and especially the bond uniting their two leaders, is indissoluble, and that one will always support the other. Moreover, it is a common enemy whom we shall defeat.
There was a time when Italy, Fascist Italy, which is engaged in the same struggle as we are, which is shut in in the same way as we are, which is as over-populated as we are and, up until now, has been given no better chance of living than we, kept powerful enemies engaged on our behalf. Numerous British ships were engaged in the Mediterranean; numerous British airplanes were engaged in the African colonies. This was a very good thing for us, for, as I told you the other day, our warfare at sea is just, beginning. The reason for this is that we first wanted to train new crews for the new submarines which will now make their appearance on the scene. Let no one doubt that they are about to appear.
Just two hours ago I received a communiqué from the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy stating that the reports of the last two days from our ships and submarines on the high seas reveal that another 215,000 tons have been sunk; that of this total 190,000 tons were sunk by submarines alone, and that this figure includes a single convoy of 125,000 tons which was destroyed yesterday.
From March and April on, those gentlemen will have to be prepared for something very different. They will see whether we have been asleep during the winter, or whether we have made good use of our time. During the long months when we had so few submarines to fight our battles, Italy kept large forces engaged. It does not matter to us whether our Stukas attack British ships in the North Sea or in the Mediterranean; the result is always the same. One thing is certain: Wherever Britain touches the continent she will immediately have to reckon with us, and wherever British ships appear, our submarines will attack them until the hour of decision comes. Thus, except for Germany, only Italy has had a revolution which, in the long run, will lead, must lead and has led to the construction of a new national community.
We had to exercise patience for many a long year, and I can only say: My opponents may believe that they can terrify me with the threat of time, but I have learned to wait, and I have never been idle while waiting. We had to wait ten years after 1923 until we at last came into power. But you old members of the Party know that we accomplished much in those ten years. What did we not achieve; what did we not construct? The movement which came to power in 1933 was different from that of 1923. We had made good use of our time. It is for this reason that such threats do not frighten us. We were never in the habit of setting ourselves a limit and saying: This must be done on March 1, or June 15, or September 7.
It is only the journalists of our opponents who said that this was so. They always knew everything. They said: "If the National Socialists do not come to power by October 1928, they are lost." We were not lost. Again they said: "If the National Socialists do not come into power after the September elections in 1930, National Socialism will be a thing of the past." It was not a thing of the past, although we did not come into power. Then in 1932 they said: "National Socialism is dead. The Fuehrer has refused to enter the cabinet. He does not want any responsibility. He is too cowardly to accept it. We have always said so. We knew it. He shirks responsibility."
These sharp-witted journalists who are now in England-they are no longer among us-knew all about it. Now they said: "August 13 is the turning point; National Socialism is done for." August 13 came-and National Socialism was not done for. A few months later they had to fix a new date. Finally came January 30, 1933. Then they said: "Well, now they have made their mistake! They have gained power, and in six weeks they will be finished-three months at the most. Three months, and that will be the end of them." The six weeks and the three months passed, and still we were not finished.
And so they kept on fixing new dates for our downfall, and now, in wartime, they are doing exactly the same thing. And why not? They are the same people, the same prophets, the same political diviners who prophesied the future so wonderfully when they were here. Now they are employed as assistants in the British Ministry of Information and the British Foreign Office. They always know exactly that on such and such a date the Germans will be finished. We have experienced that more than once. You all know what they said. I need only refer to the celebrated utterance of a great British statesman whom you in Munich know by sight-Mr. Chamberlain. A few days before April 9, of last year, he said: "Thank God, he has missed the bus." I can remind you of another-the British Commander-in-Chief-who said: "A few months ago I was afraid, now I am afraid no longer. They have missed their opportunity. Besides, they only have young generals. That is their mistake and their misfortune; it is the same with all their leaders. They have lost their opportunity. It is all over." A few weeks later this general had departed. Probably he too was too young.
Today they are doing exactly the same thing. They always fix final dates. In the autumn they said: "If they don't land now, all is well. In the spring of 1941 Britain will transfer the offensive to the Continent." I am still waiting for the British offensive. They have transferred the offensive elsewhere, and now, unfortunately, we must run after them wherever they happen to be. But we shall find them wherever they run. And we shall strike them where they are most vulnerable.
Thus, 21 years of a dauntless struggle for our Movement have passed. After 13 years we at last came to power. Then came years of preparation of our foreign policy, of gigantic work at home. You know that it is all an exact repetition of what happened in the party. We asked nothing of the world but equal rights, just as we asked for the same rights at home. At home we demanded the right to meet freely, the right which the others possessed. We demanded the right of free speech, the same right as a parliamentary party as the others held. We were refused and persecuted with terrorism. Nevertheless, we built up our organization and won the day.
In the same way, I appeared before the world and said: "I ask for no more than the others have. I am prepared to disarm to the limit." I constantly made new proposals, but we were ridiculed and our demands were refused, exactly as they had been at home. I wanted to negotiate for everything. There can be no better way of achieving anything for a people than by negotiating. It costs less, and, above all, no blood is shed. Who would be so mad as to take by force anything that he could get by reason?
But there are things which must be left to Germany, because she must live. Others have no right to cut us off. It was monstrous for a nation that already possessed 15 million square miles to take another million square miles from another nation. It is intolerable for us to be the puppets of other nations and to have them prescribe for us, for example, what economic policy we are to pursue. We are carrying out the economic policy which is most advantageous to the German people. I am not persuading the others. If they want to sit on their money bags, let them do so. But when they say: "You do the same," I shall take care not to buy dead gold with the productive power of German workmen.
I purchase the necessities of life with the productive power of German workmen. The results of our economic policy speak for us, not for the gold standard people. For we, the poor have abolished unemployment because we no longer pay homage to this madness, because we regard our entire economic existence as a production problem and no longer as a capitalistic problem. We placed the whole organized strength of the nation, the discipline of the entire nation, behind our economic policy. We explained to the nation that it was madness to wage internal economic wars between the various classes, in which they all perish together.
Of course, a fundamental social principle was necessary to achieve this. It is today no longer possible to build up a state on a capitalistic basis. The peoples eventually begin to stir. The awakening of the peoples cannot be prevented by wars. On the contrary, war will only hasten it. Such states will be ruined by financial catastrophes which will destroy the foundations of their own former financial policy.
The gold standard will not emerge victorious from this war. Rather, the national economic systems will conquer. And these will carry on among themselves the trade that is necessary for them. Whether this does or does not suit a few gold-standard bankers in the world is quite immaterial. And if some of these gold bankers declare: "We cannot tolerate your trading with this or that country," it is none of their business. In future the peoples will decline to accept rules as to their trade policy laid down by a few bankers. They will follow the policy which is best adapted to their needs.
In this respect we can look to the future with confidence. Germany is an immense factor in world economy, not only as a producer but also as a consumer. We certainly have a great market for our goods. But we are not only seeking markets; we are also the greatest buyers. The Western world wants, on the one hand, to live upon its empires and, on the other hand, to export from its empires as well. That is impossible because in the long run the nations cannot carry on one-sided trade. They not only have to buy, but also have to sell. They can sell nothing to these empires. The peoples will therefore trade with us in the future, regardless of whether this happens to suit certain bankers or not. Therefore we will not establish our economic policy to suit the conceptions or desires of bankers in New York or London.
Germany's economic policy is conducted exclusively in accordance with the interests of the German people. In this respect I am a fanatical socialist, one who has ever in mind the interests of all his people. I am not the slave of a few international banking syndicates. I am under no obligation to any capitalist group. I sprang from the German people. My Movement, our Movement, is a German people's Movement, and it is only to this German people that we are obligated.
Our economic policy, I repeat, is determined solely by the interests of the German people. From this principle we shall never depart. If the rest of the world says: "War," I can only say: "Very well. I do not want war, but no one, however peaceable, can live in peace if his neighbor intends to force a quarrel."
I am not one of those who sees such a war coming and starts whining about it. I have said and done all that I could; I have made proposal after proposal to Britain; likewise to France. These proposals were always ridiculed-rejected with scorn. However, when I saw that the other side intended to fight, I naturally did that which as a National Socialist of the early days, I did once before: I forged a powerful weapon of defense. And, just as of old, I proclaimed that we should be not merely strong enough to stand the blows of others but strong enough to deal blows in return. I built up the German armed forces as a military instrument of state policy, so that if war were inevitable, these forces could deliver crushing blows.
Only a few days ago, an American general declared before an investigating committee in the House of Representatives that in 1936 Churchill had personally assured him, "Germany is becoming too strong for us. She must be destroyed, and I will do everything in my power to bring about her destruction."
A little later than 1936, I publicly issued a warning against this man and his activities for the first time. When I noticed that a certain British clique, incited by the Jews-who are of course, the fellows who kindle the flames everywhere-was intentionally provoking war, I immediately made all preparations on my part to arm the nation. And you, my old Party comrades, know that when I speak it is not a mere matter of words, for I act accordingly. We worked like Titans. The armaments we have manufactured in the past few years are really the proudest achievement that the world has ever seen. If the rest of the world tells us: "We are doing likewise now," I can only reply: "By all means do so, for I have already done it. But above all, don't tell me any of your tales. I am an expert, a specialist in rearmament. I know exactly what can be made from steel and what can be made of aluminum. I know what achievements can be expected of men and what cannot be expected. Your tales do not impress me in the least. I enlisted the strength of the whole German nation in good time to assist in our arming and, if necessary, I shall enlist that of half Europe. I am prepared for all impending conflicts and consequently face them calmly." Let the others face them with equal calm.
I place my confidence in the best army in the world, in the best army which the German nation has ever possessed. It is numerically strong, it has the finest weapons and is better led than ever before. We have a body of young leaders who have not merely proved their worth in the present war but, I can well say, have covered themselves with glory. Wherever we look today, we see a bodyguard of chosen men to whom the German soldiers have been entrusted. They in their turn are the leaders of soldiers who are the best trained in the world, who are armed with the finest weapons on earth. Behind these soldiers and their leaders stands the German nation, the whole German people. In the midst of this people, forming its very core, is the National Socialist Movement which began its existence in this room 21 years ago,-this Movement the like of which does not exist in the democratic countries, this Movement whose only pendant is fascism. Nation and army, party and state are today one indivisible whole. No power in the world can loosen what is so firmly welded together. Only fools can imagine that the year 1918 can be repeated.
We encountered the same ideas among our plutocrats at home. They, too, always hoped for internal disruption, dissolution, civil war of German against German. Exactly the same ideas are encountered today. They say: "There will be a revolution in Germany in six weeks." They do not know who is going to make the revolution. There are no revolutionaries among us. Thomas Mann and others like him went to England. Some have already left England for America, because England is too close to their revolution's future field of operations. They are establishing their headquarters far from their future field of battle. Nevertheless, they assert that the revolution will come. Who will make it? I do not know. How it will be made, I do not know either. All I know is that in Germany there can be, at the most, only a few fools who might think of revolution, and that they are all behind iron bars.
Then they said: "Winter, General Winter is coming, and he will force Germany to her knees." But, unfortunately, the German people are "winter-proof." German history has passed through I do not know how many tens of thousands of winters. We will get through this one, too.
Then they say: "Starvation will come." We are prepared against this, too. We know the humanitarian sentiments of our British opponents and so have made our preparations. I believe that starvation will reach them before it reaches us.
Then they said: "Time is on our side." But time is only on the side of those who work. No one has been harder at world than we. Of that I can assure them. In fact, all these vague hopes which they are building up are absolutely childish and ridiculous.
In general, I should like to add one thing: The German people can look back upon many thousands of years of development. Its history goes back 2000 years. For 1000 years there has been a German Reich, a Reich which actually contained only Germans. During this time our people survived the most astounding blows of fate. It will also survive everything that the present or the future may bring. Indeed, it will do so even better, because it is my belief that there has always been a German people and, for more than 1000 years, a German Reich, but there has never before been German unity nor the compact organization of our people that we possess today, and there has not always been the leadership which the German people possesses today.
And so, in all due modesty, I have just one more thing to say to my opponents: I have taken up the challenge of many democratic adversaries and up to now I have always emerged the victor from the conflict. I do not believe that this struggle is being carried on under different conditions. That is to say, the relation of the forces involved is exactly the same as before. In any case I am grateful to Providence that this struggle, having become inevitable, broke out in my lifetime and at a time when I still feel young and vigorous. Just now I am feeling particularly vigorous. Spring is coming, the spring which we all welcome. The season is approaching in which one can measure forces. I know that, although they realize the terrible hardships of the struggle, millions of German soldiers are at this moment thinking exactly the same thing.
We now have a year of incredible successes behind us-also of severe sacrifices, not as a whole, but certainly individually. We know, however, that these successes have not been gained without effort. Countless German men staked their lives at the front with the greatest bravery and are still doing so unflinchingly. What so many of our men are achieving in our regiments, in our tanks, in our airplanes, in our submarines, on our ships and everywhere else in our formations is without parallel. Better and braver soldiers have never existed.
We old National Socialists are particularly proud of them, for we are nothing but a party of ex-soldiers-the ex-soldiers of the Great War. We returned from that war with our hearts burning with rage and fury, but, at the same time, heavy and sore, deeply conscious of the shame that had been inflicted upon our brave people. We who went through the whole struggle of the Great War can best realize what our soldiers are achieving today.
I can only say to our soldiers that our hearts, the hearts of all the old National Socialists, are with them. They are soldiers' hearts. How many of us were riddled with bullets in the Great War! How many were wounded! How many fought in the ranks! With flaming hearts, all of them watched the campaigns of our armies in the past year. Every single battlefield meant so much to them. It was a tremendous satisfaction to them to see that that for which through long years of terrible misfortune they had once shed their blood, and yet had not been able to achieve, was at last an accomplished fact. How proud they are today of their sons, of the young soldiers of the Third Reich. No one is more fitted to tell them this than the old party members, those old soldiers, who, when they returned from the Great War, refused to endure the disgrace they found at home and immediately began a new struggle within the country, the struggle against the destroyers of our country and of our home. Thus, we; National Socialists are now facing a new year of struggle. We all know that it will bring great decisions.
We look to the future with unshakable confidence. We have passed through the hardest school known to men. We know that the untold sacrifices we have made cannot have been in vain, because we believe in supreme justice. What have we not done in past years? How we have toiled, how we have labored, always with but one end in view: Our nation! Millions have devoted their lives to it; hundreds and thousands have sacrificed them for it.
Providence has not led us along these amazing paths in vain. On the day that the party was founded I recalled that our nation once gained immense victories. Then it became ungrateful, disunited, sinned against itself. Thereupon it was punished by Providence. We deserved our defeat. If a nation forgets itself as completely as the German nation did at that time, if it thinks that it can shake off all honor and all good faith, Providence can do nothing but teach it a hard and bitter lesson. But even at that time we were convinced that once our nation found itself again, once it again became industrious and honorable, once each individual German stood up for his nation first and not for himself, once he placed the interests of the community above his own personal interests, once the whole nation again pursued a great ideal, once it was prepared to stake everything for this ideal, the hour would come when the Lord would declare our trials at an end.
If fate should once more call us to the battlefield, the blessing of Providence will be with those who have merited it by years of hard work. When I compare myself and my opponents in other countries in the light of history, I do not fear the verdict on our respective mentalities. Who are these egoists? Each one of them merely defends the interests of his class. Behind them all stands either the Jew or their own moneybags. They are all nothing but money-grubbers, living on the profits of this war. No blessing can come of that. I oppose these people merely as the 0 champion of my country. I am convinced that our struggle will in the future be blessed by Providence, as it has been blessed up to now.
When I first entered this hall twenty-one years ago, I was an unknown, nameless soldier. I had nothing behind me but my own conviction. During the twenty-one years since, a new world has been created. The road leading into the future will be easier than the road from February 24, 1920, to the present. I look to I the future with fanatical confidence. The whole nation has answered the call. I know that when the command is given: "Forward march!" Germany will march.