Heinrich Himmlers tal i Posen den 4 oktober 1943
Heinrich Himmlers tal i Posen den 4 oktober 1943, var ett tal Heinrich Himmler höll inför gruppledare inom SS. Talet är ett av de mest citerade och läggs ofta fram som ett bevis för att Den Slutgiltiga Lösningen innebar en utrotningspolicy mot Europas judar och därmed ett bevis Förintelsen. Delar har tagits ur sin kontext och utan hänsyn till språkliga nyanser har valda stycken använts för godtyckliga argument. Talet har därmed varit föremål för kontroverser mellan exterminister och revisionister i diskussioner som rör bevismaterial om Förintelsen.
Citerade stycken i böcker
Himmlers tal den 4 oktober 1943 förekommer i böcker och läggs ofta fram som bevis för att en policy för utrotandet av Europas judar existerade. I sin bok The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 använder Lucy Dawidowicz endast 197 av de totalt 24 000 ord som talet består av. Gerald Reitlinger använder 205 ord ur talet i sin bok The Final Solution.
Språkliga nyanser och tolkningar av ord
Som de flesta språk är även tyska ett språk med många nyanser och variationer som öppnar för olika tolkning och innebörd. Carlos Porters översättning från tyska till engelska visar att talet måste förstås i sin helhet och att vissa begrepp har dubbla betydelser, påminnande om det svenska språkbruket då utrota fattigdomen inte betyder att fattiga människor ska utrotas.
- I Himmlers tal används bland annat orden ausrotten och ausmerzen vilka är fullt möjliga att sätta in i en kontext med betydelsen utrota eller utplåna. Orden umbringen och totschlagen kan bägge användas i betydelsen döda. Umbringen och totschlagen används dessutom av Himmler i sitt tal då han talar om Tredje riket i bildlig mening.
- Ein Volk auszurotten kan användas i betydelsen utrota ett folk, men även i betydelsen bli av med ett slödder, (grupp, anhang etc).
- Umfallen översätts ofta till dö men har även betydelsen falla eller ge upp.
- Ausnutzen översattes under Nürnbergprocessen till exploatera, men kan även användas i betydelsen använda.
Carlos Porter noterar även att talet förefaller vara en transkription av stenografiska anteckningar skriven av någon med mycket lite utbildning, sannolikt med två fingrar. Eventuellt kan talet sedan ha återskrivits ("retyped") inför Nürnbergrättegångarna. Vem som maskinskrev talet efter stenografiska anteckningar är okänt. Talet verkar dock vara komplett och Porter betraktar det som informellt och fullt av sarkasmer och slangord enligt dåtidens talade tyska.
Himmler talar om det tyska folket och dess död på lika symboliskt och bildligt sätt som han talar om judarnas död, död i bemärkelsen mentalt, moraliskt och kulturellt. Om inte tyskarna gör sig fria från judarnas grepp över landet innebär det det tyska folkets död.
Posentalet i engelsk översättning
Översättarens rubriker och noteringar i fetstil och/eller inom vinkelparentes
1919-PS Speech of the Reichsführer-SS at the SS Group Leader Meeting in Posen on 4 October 1943.
Ceremony in Honour of the Fallen
In the months which have past since we last met in June of 1942, many comrades have fallen and given their lives for Germany and for the Führer. Before them, in the forefront -- I ask you to stand in their honour, and in the honour of all our dead SS men and dead German soldiers, men and women -- in the forefront, from our ranks, <let us honour> our old comrade and friend, SS ObergruppenFührerEicke. (The Group Leaders rise from their seats). I ask you to sit.
The situation in the fifth year of the war
I have considered it necessary to call you all together, the High Leadership Corps of the SS and Police, now at the beginning of the fifth year of the war, which will be a very difficult year of the war. Hard-headed, as we always were, in a spirit of respect for the truth with regards to ourselves, there are several things which we wish to discuss at this Troop Leadership Conference. Just as I was accustomed to do in long years of peace, I wish to describe the situation as I see it, in as few words as possible, with regards to our responsibilities and that which we have already achieved and accomplished, as well as with regards to that which stands before us to be accomplished in the future.
The Russian leadership
First, the military situation. I will begin with Russia. When -- I believe it was in 1937 or 1938 -- the great show trials were being held in Moscow, and the ex-Czarist officer and later Bolshevik general Tuchachevski and other generals were shot, we were, at that time, all over Europe, even in the Party and the SS, of the opinion that the Bolshevik system, and therefore Stalin, had made one of its most serious mistakes. We were absolutely mistaken in this judgment of the situation. We can state this, once and for all, in a spirit of full respect for the truth. I believe that Russia could not have withstood the two years of war -- it is now in the third year of war -- had it retained its ex-Czarist generals. It turned -- I'll discuss this first of all -- its political commissars into generals, it sought out those who had grown up through the Red Army as commanders, as generals, so that they could simultaneously act as political commissars. The stubbornest bearers of the will of the Bolshevik... doctrine, I should like to call it, not an ideology ... is, in Russia, simultaneously a commander and leader.
The Attack of 1941
In 1941, the Führerattacked Russia. That was, as we may well say today, shortly, perhaps a quarter or half year before Stalin's enveloping movement prior to his great thrust into Central and Western Europe. I can sketch out this first year with very brief strokes. The attack was effective. The Russian army was driven together into great pockets, destroyed, taken prisoner. We did not then value the mass man as we do now, as raw material, as manpower. Which is not a shame in the end, if one thinks in terms of generations, but it is regrettable today due to the loss of manpower: the prisoners died by the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands from exhaustion, from hunger.
The winter of 1941-1942
Then came the summer and autumn of 1941, the flush of victory which led us almost to Moscow, the winter of 1941-42. The winter of 1941-42, with its consequences, was, on the one hand, the work of Fate, which hit us hard for the first time; on the other hand, however, it was the work of the political commissars, the "politruks", whose severity and relentlessness, whose fanatical, brutal will drove the raw material of the Slavic, Mongolian mass man to the front, and didn't let him get back out again.
The year 1942
In early 1942 then came our attacks in the Crimea, over the Donetz to the Don and to the Volga. The bow of the German front and its allies was drawn taut. The war could have been brought to a close for Russia in 1942 if all had held out. Since according to all calculations, and in all probability, which must not be left out of consideration in war, with which one must still reckon after all, the Caucasus would have fallen into our hands sooner or later. Russia would have been cut off from its chief sources of petroleum, and hunger would have handled its people even more roughly than is the case today. Then came the collapse of our allies. First came the breakthrough among the Rumanians, then the breakthrough among the Italian Army, which was already of very little value even then, then the breakthrough and retreat of the Hungarian units: the total loss of approximately 500 km of front. This loss required the withdrawal of the German front, in order to be able to close it again at all. This loss made the sacrifice of Stalingrad necessary from the point of view of Fate. It is not our intention to reflect upon every detail here today. I am personally convinced that this sacrifice -- that sounds dreadfully harsh when I say so now -- was necessary, since, without the link-up of enemy forces around Stalingrad, it would no longer have been possible to close the German front. That will, I am convinced, be the finding of military historical research 10, 15, or 20 years after the war. At the same time, a very late consolation.
The year 1943
The first great battle for Kharkhov then came early this year. Kharkhov was evacuated under sometimes -- this is known to every one of our units out there -- very peculiar circumstances. At the right time, then, upon the order of the Führer, the tank corps arrived in Kharkhov under the leadership of our old comrade, SS ObergruppenFührerHausser. The deliberate evacuation of Kharkhov was also carried out by Hausser using the tank corps. A glorious campaign of several weeks then began, carried out by this corps in an unusually mobile manner in the open field, a manner I consider truly correct and downright true to type for motorized and tank units. Our tank corps drove the enemy; Sepp Dietrich was the first to break into Kharkhov with his Leibstandarte. Kharkhov was retaken, and the German front was reestablished.
In late spring and summer of this year, we replied to the attacks of the Russians with a big counterattack at Bielgorod. We can report with pride that the only corps which really penetrated the deeply entrenched system of Russian positions was our SS Tank Division, with the Standarte "Deutschland" in front of the old Division "Das Reich". The Russians had built a position 7 km deep, a model and an example such as we Germans ought never to forget: to work hard, to dig in, and build positions. Because the hard work, the sweat poured out in so doing, will save the lives of tens of thousands. We Germans have still not really learned this after four years of war. If we had to give a grade for this like in school, the best the Germans could get for building their positions would be between 4 and 5 <i.e., D or F>. I must acknowledge one thing here: our SS Divisions have learned a great deal over the past 2 years, and generally build their positions very assiduously.
In the middle of this operation on the eastern front came the necessary withdrawal of a great number of divisions to Italy. That was why we could not counter as forcefully as necessary the Russian attack, which we could have terminated with a catastrophe for the Russians if we had had ten more tank divisions, purely on the grounds of strength.
The human potential of the Russians
Here I would like to say a few words on evaluating the total strength of the Russians. An element basic to an overall evaluation is the question of Russian population figures. That is the great riddle. Population estimates for that country, which has been hermetically sealed off for decades, range from 170 to 250 million. I have taken a lot of trouble with this question, and have had studies prepared starting with the first Czarist censuses, that is, the first censuses ever carried out in Russia. At that time, the Bolshevik tendency to conceal everything from Europe and the world -- from the building of a street which is not indicated on any map, to the concealment of large industries manufacturing tanks and airplanes, and which are shown to the European Info-tourist as "tractor factories", while tanks are built in the next hall -- did not yet exist. I had census figures brought to me which were not gathered under this law of camouflage and concealment, decades before the Bolshevik administration. These figures enable one to perceive a certain increase, a gradual growth. We came to the conclusion through our calculations that Russia must have two hundred people, maybe two hundred twenty million at the very most. To describe the calculations in detail at this time would take too long and might also be too boring. I came to the conclusion that the Russians, in addition to the divisions on their Western front, that is, the divisions standing directly opposite us today, have squeezed an additional 4 million soldiers out of the body of their people early this year and over the course of the year. That means 400 times 10,000 men, or 400 new divisions. I calculate this in approximately the following manner: the Russians have already drafted all men born in 1926, and some of the men born in 1927. It is a tragedy according to the laws of nature that Russian men born in 1925 to 1927 amount to 1.5 and 1.8 men respectively, while our men born in the same years amount to only 500,000 to 600,000 <respectively?>, that is, a third of the Russian number.
In addition, the Russians have no doubt added a lot of people to their companies by drafting even younger men, men born in 1928. The Division "Das Reich" reports that, in some cases, the divisions opposing us contained whole companies consisting of 14 and 15 year olds. That is entirely indifferent to the Russians; to them, only the masses count; the masses must be trampled, stuck, and slaughtered. They are -- to use a really brutal expression -- like a pig which has been stuck and must slowly bleed to death. The Russians have doubtlessly further reinforced their army by an additional 1 million men through the incorporation of auxiliary forces, that is, chiefly women and boys in the military and supply units, general staffs, and as auxiliary machine gunners. The Russians have apparently not received any Chinese. They have, however, recruited another 1 million men from their small splinter nationalities, such as the Afghans (2 to 3 million people), Mongols from Outer Mongolia (2 million people), and Kirghis; these people are perhaps not yet exhausted in terms of military purposes. I believe that all in all they have raised another 4 million men for their offensive army.
With regards to the situation as a whole, I am, as you know, an optimist. I know that we will win the war. That is a law of nature. But I have always been rather conservative in my calculations, and I think I can show that I have never made a mistaken prophecy in these matters. I therefore believe that the Russians have lost approximately 2 million men in dead, prisoners, and disabled. We must therefore expect one more desperate total offensive of the Russians in winter, with a strength of 200 divisions, that is, approximately 2 million men. We must and will hold off this attack and this clash.
Absolutely nothing is endless on this earth; the potential of the Russians is not endless either. When these Brussilov offensives, to use the expression, are finally over, the potential of the Russians will therefore be approaching its natural end. Hunger is a serious problem among the Russians. It is interesting that the Russians consider it correct, with the mass man, to keep the officers and commissars physically strong and in a good mood by feeding them an American diet, while little Ivan is fed very shabbily with a bit of bread or similar rubbish. They are fighting the whole war through their brutally trained leadership strata of political officers; officer-comissars or commissar-officers; politruks or subordinate officers; subordinate officers or politruks; it has gradually come to be all one and the same.
The partisan war
Now I come to another aspect of the war in Russia, of which there is so frightfully much talk. When you arrive in the East, in the high staff headquarters, a map on a scale of 1 to 1 million is usually spread out in front of you. Every mine found on a certain date anywhere along railroad tracks thousands of kilometres long is diligently entered with a squiggle on this map on a scale of 1 to 1 million. Every attack, whether an attack on a munitions transport or a cattle theft usual in the district, is entered with a cross or something similar. The result is that a map like that looks all red.
You're tempted to say: "It's hopeless! Give up! There's nothing we can do". But if you transfer the same data to a map on a normal scale, and compare it to the criminal cases in our sheltered German fatherland, still richly supplied with policemen even today, then it sinks to an unpleasant minor matter. But they all tell you -- if you will listen to it -- all the lowest ranking staff members, especially in the communications zone, "It's dreadful! The Central Army Group is cut off from the fatherland for 400 kilometres by a belt of partisans."
When somebody tells you that, just hand him your hanky so he can dry his tears. I always ask such people the question: "Has the Central Army Group suffered from hunger so far?" Answer: "No." "Has their ammunition been cut off?" "No, they've received everything." Of course, the trains are delayed for hours, half a day. "Have their supplies been interrupted then?" "No, the Army Group is receiving its supplies."
The Vlasov ballyhoo
Then you hear the next prayer. This goes: "We were wrong about the Russians." This song is usually sung by men from some Eastern province, who were over there in their youth, some of whom have written very good books and had a Russian mother, too, and now they tell stories. It is also sung by the little political vagabonds whom we first came to know in the eastern struggle against Poland, whom we rejected at home, and who have now been drafted as soldiers, officers and majors, and are still peddling their intellectual poison under cover of the uniform of our decent German army. Goaded on by this propaganda tendency -- I can't call it anything else -- they tell you so many stories, or write them home by military post (and the stories then trickle down from top to bottom): "Yes, we were wrong about the Russians. The Russians are not at all the robot" (this is the expression used most frequently) "that we thought they were in 1941. Now that we're over here in the East, our eyes have been opened. The Russians are a noble people, and so on and so forth, a collection of all virtues. We just have to educate them as National Socialists, the best thing would be to create a NSRAP or something similar. Then they would" -- this is the next bit -- "form the army of liberation under General Vlasov". Then comes the following, which is a constant claim of General Vlasov: "Russia can only be freed by Russians. Germany has so far never been able to defeat the Russians". So give Vlasov 500,000 or 1,000,000 Russians, arm them well, train them insofar as possible according to German principles, and Vlasov is so noble, that he'll go off against the Russians and kill them for us.
People can blow off a great deal of stuff and nonsense; that wouldn't be so dangerous. But when a piece of nonsense like this has the end effect that a glorious army, looking back on hundreds of years of tradition like the German one, begins to doubt its own strength due to the gossip of politically untrained little officers of higher or lower service grades -- the little bundle of proverbs who talks like this doesn't even notice how devastating it is when he says: "We cannot beat the Russians, they can only do that themselves" -- then that is dangerous. Everybody you ask, "How's the Russian infantry?", will tell you, with pathetic thoughtlessness (since the two things don't go together logically, after all): "The Russian infantry is garbage. We are vastly superior to them." But: Russians can only be defeated by Russians.
I wouldn't have had any objections, if we had hired Mr. Vlasov and every other Slavic subject wearing a Russian general's uniform, to make propaganda against the Russians. I wouldn't have any objections at all. Wonderful.
Brig. Fegelein and the Russian general
Our comrade Fegelein once captured a Russian general like that. Look, they're cheap. They're Slavs. Full of humour, as Fegelein is, Fegelein told his staff: "We'll treat this one real good. We'll act like we're going to recognize him as a General. So, when he comes in, stand up, stand at attention, keep quiet, say 'General Sir, this' and 'General Sir, that', show him how much respect you have for him". Of course, this worked. You don't need to give a Russian general any political ideas, political ideals, or political plans for the future. You can get them cheaper than that, gentlemen. The Slavs are known for that.
The Slav is never able to build anything himself. In the long run, he's not capable of it. I'll come back to this later. With the exception of a few phenomena produced by Asia every couple of centuries, through that mixture of two heredities which may be fortunate for Asia but is unfortunate for us Europeans -- with the exception, therefore, of an Attilla, a Ghenghis Khan, a Tamerlaine, a Lenin, a Stalin -- the mixed race of the Slavs is based on a sub-race with a few drops of blood of our blood, blood of a leading race; the Slav is unable to control himself and create order. He is able to argue, able to debate, able to disintegrate, able to offer resistance against every authority and to revolt. But these human shoddy goods are just as incapable of maintaining order today as they were 700 or 800 years ago, when they called in the Varangians, when they called in the Ruriks <Vikings called in to settle Russia>.
Every Russian, every Slav, likes to hear himself talk. An old story. If you encourage them: "Please tell us, we place the highest value on your opinion. After all, we can only learn from you", then you won't find a single Russian commissar who won't fall for this; it's like tickling them with a peacock feather, just like this. Our Fegelein treated his general that way, and his general told us everything that such a brave, courageous commander really shouldn't ever tell at all, everything from his battery positions to his divisional marching plans and orders (he had a whole offensive army). He gave us everything ripe for the slaughter. It was clear in his mind that after all his blabbering -- he was never asked anything directly, not with a single word -- that he really couldn't go back to Little Father Stalin, even though he wore the Order of Stalin number seven hundred and something, a sort of Great Knight's Cross from over there, which he then gave Fegelein as a gift. Fegelein gave the medal to the Fuehrer, and the Fuehrer gave it back to Fegelein in a very nice silver box. Just thought I'd mention it.
When Fegelein told me the story of the general, I said, "Sure, we can do everything. The man gets promised everything and he'll get it, too. He gets the pension of a German lieutenant general (he's a Russian lieutenant general). He gets good food, liquor, women."
That's really disgustingly cheap. A torpedo costs, what do I know, 10,000 marks, as soon as we fire it. The preliminary concentrated artillery fire for a single division or corps costs many hundreds of thousands. We don't even know whether the fire will be as effective in every case as when we buy just one cheap Russian general.
Of course, it doesn't go like that formally; you don't say, "You get 100,000 marks down, now betray everything to us". Of course, he won't do it. Comrade Slav has a few points of honour here. You have to go about it differently. Let's figure it out. How much pension does he get? 1,500 marks a month, that's 18,000 marks a year. Let him live 10 years, that's 180,000 marks. Miscellaneous expenditure is 20,000 marks. That's 200,000 marks total. It's really cheap if you get a Russian offensive army for it. You can do that with every Russian general, every one. We really shouldn't take them so seriously. If we could do that, then things would go right. But we Germans handle it so badly, I must say, in the state and the armed forces, that even many a Party comrade has walked on that bird's lime and gotten stuck.
Mr. Vlasov has made speeches in Paris, in Brussels, in Berlin. At his feet sat astonished members of the German leadership corps; their mouths hang wide open, their noses fall right down into their mouths out of sheer astonishment: "Golly! That Bolshevik can do simply everything". And they let that butcher's assistant tell them so. I took the trouble to read his whole speech once. I'll write an opinion on this speech, and send it to you in the near future. Mr. Vlasov says: "It's a shame how the Germans treat the Russian people. We Russians abolished corporal punishment decades ago". (Sure, they abolished it. That's why they shoot them now instead. That's just another kind of incentive.) "You Germans re-introduced corporal punishment, oh, how barbarous, how low-down." Everybody in the audience feels ashamed. A few minutes later he claims: "How nationalistic the Russians are, you must appeal to their nationalistic soul". Can't you just see how the victor over Field Marshal Paulus, General X (I no longer recall his name), who was locked up by the GPU for years, beaten, whipped, and tortured, so that he suffers from hip pain even today and has a severe head injury, was victorious over Paulus at Stalingrad out of pure nationalism?
Nobody contradicts him. I though the Russians had abolished corporal punishment. Apparently, among the Russians, only the generals are beaten, to get better results out of them. This Vlasov ballyhoo has gone around Germany without contradiction. Instead of skilfully making propaganda out of it, to disintegrate the Russian army, this propaganda has been turned against us, and has to some extent paralysed the strength of resistance and the will to resist of our own ranks through errors and false notions.
Ruling with a minority
I have felt obligated here to speak of these things quite openly here, with absolutely no rancour against anyone. All the things that we are still doing wrong, that we still can't do right, that is, how to act with regards to foreign peoples, the domination of masses of foreign blood by a small minority of the upper crust, all these things just have to be learned. We of the old Reich, I'm speaking of little Germany, have only been a Reich for 70 years. We have not yet had the opportunity to rule large political minorities, or even majorities, with a German minority, like the Ostmark in Old Austria, with its minority of 12 million Germans, ruling 40 to 50 million members of foreign races in the Balkans. Nor have we had the opportunity to learn to rule millions, hundreds of millions, with a minority, as England does, having learned how for 300 years.
We must take things as they are. We will learn that too; and if we could rise from the dead again in 100 years, we would see that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will already be better at it than we are. I wish to instruct the SS in all these things. I believe that we are best protected from error through our self-assured racial attitude. We must also learn a great deal ourselves. We'll do it, I believe, to put it modestly for once, the least badly, relatively speaking, and with the fewest mistakes.
Psychology of the Slavs
& Now, back to the Slavs! I consider it necessary to speak to each other about this once again. Whether it's Peter the Great or the late Czars, whether it's Lenin or Stalin, they know their own people. They are perfectly well aware that the concepts of "loyalty", "never betraying", "never conspiring", have no place in the Russian vocabulary.
''Whatever people may tell you about the Russians, it's all true. It's true that some of the Russians are fervently pious, and fervently believe in the Mother of God of the Khasans or someplace else, it's absolutely true. It's true that the Volga boatmen sing beautifully; it's true that the Russian of today, in modern times, is a good improviser and good technician. It's true, for the most part, that he's even a lover of children. It's true that he can work very hard. And it's just as true that he is stinking lazy. It's just as true that he is an uninhibited beast, who can torture and torment other people in ways a devil would never permit himself to think of. It's just as true that the Russian, high or low, is inclined to the perversest of things, even devouring his comrades or keeping his neighbour's liver in his lunch bag. It's all part of the scale of feelings and values of the Slavic peoples. It's often purely a matter of chance which lot he draws; and to people who don't know the beast, he is often a very great riddle: what is the fellow up to now? The Russians themselves know each other very well, and have invented a very practical system, whether it was the Czars with the Ochrana, or Mr. Lenin and Mr. Stalin with the GPU or the NKVD. When four Russians get together, with little father, little mother, and their little children, not one of the 4 or 5 knows who is betraying whom at the moment: which one is the informer betraying the father now: is it the mother, or the daughter? And who, in return, is betraying them? In doubtful cases there may be two, even three, informers in this family. I am not exaggerating. This remark is entirely accurate with regards to the city. In the countryside, our comrades who have been over there in the East can confirm that there are still 20 or 30 NKVD informers and agents in every village, even after the withdrawal of the Bolsheviks. This ensures, to an absolute certainty, that no conspiracy can get started, because everything will still be reported to the top by means of this informer apparatus. Then comes the pistol or deportation, and that is how this entire people must be governed.
Heart in the wrong place
It is basically wrong for us to project our whole harmless soul and heart, all our good nature, our idealism, onto foreign peoples. This applies to Herder, who wrote the "Voices of the Peoples", probably in a drunken hour, and caused us, in later generations, such boundless suffering and misery. That applies to the Czechs and Slovenes, to whom, after all, we brought their national feeling. They themselves were absolutely incapable of it; rather, we invented it for them. For the SS Man, one principle must apply absolutely: we must be honest, decent, loyal, and comradely to members of our own blood, and to no one else. What happens to the Russians, the Czechs, is totally indifferent to me. Whatever is available to us in good blood of our type, we will take for ourselves, that is, we will steal their children and bring them up with us, if necessary. Whether other races live well or die of hunger is only of interest to me insofar as we need them as slaves for our culture; otherwise that doesn't interest me. Whether 10,000 Russian women fall down <umfallen> from exhaustion in building a tank ditch is of interest to me only insofar as the tank ditches are finished for Germany.
We will never be hard and heartless when it is not necessary; that is clear. We Germans, the only ones in the world with a decent attitude towards animals, will also adopt a decent attitude with regards to these human animals; but it is a sin against our own blood to worry about them and give them ideals, so that our sons and grandchildren will have a harder time with them. When somebody comes to me and says, "I can't build tank ditches with children <?> or women. That's inhumane, they'll die doing it." Then I must say: "You are a murderer of your own blood, since, if the tank ditches are not built, then German soldiers will die, and they are the sons of German mothers. That is our blood." That is how I would like to indoctrinate this SS, and, I believe, have indoctrinated, as one of the holiest laws of the future: our concern, our duty, is to our people, and to our blood. That is what we must care for and think about, work for and fight for, and nothing else. Everything else can be indifferent to us. I wish the SS to face the problem of all foreign, non-Germanic peoples, particularly the Russians, with this attitude. Everything else is moonshine, a fraud against our own people, and an obstacle to earlier victory in the war.
Russian soldiers on our side
One thing is a matter of course in this war: it is better for a Russian to die than a German. If we use the Russians, then they must be mixed with Germans in a ratio of 1:2 to 1:3. The best thing is to use individual Russians; then you can drive with them in a tank. One Russian with 2 or 3 Germans in a tank, magnificent, nothing wrong. But you must never let one Russian meet other tank-driving Russians, otherwise the boys will conspire. But if you wish to have Russian-only companies for some reason, then be careful, gentlemen -- and that is not just a thought, gentlemen, that is an order, gentlemen -- they must have their informer apparatus, their NKVD, in this company. Then you can sleep in peace. Otherwise, this is one of the earliest warnings I've issued, take care that these sub-humans always look at you; they must always look their superior in the eye. It's like with animals. As long as an animal looks his tamer in the eye, he won't try anything. But have no doubt about one thing: he is a beast. We will able to utilize <ausnutzen> the Russians with this attitude; with this attitude we shall be superior to the Slavs at all times. But not with any other attitude.
The Russian theatre of war today
Now back to the military situation! We are in a foreshortened position today. It is a shame that we had to give up the Donetz Basin. We have given it up. That will in no way decide or influence the outcome of the war at all. It is advantageous to us to have a short, straight front in this way; it will be extended, and must be extended, with all our strength; it will then form our East Wall with the shortest, straightest connections to the rear. All in all, this offers one very great advantage. The enemy has now regained the great area which we previously had to conquer, large expanses of which we seriously damaged. I view the offensive of the Russians this winter with calm. I am convinced that we can hold off this last great lunge of the desperate beast. And then, he wouldn't be a Slav if he didn't suddenly show signs of very severe exhaustion, and I mean intellectual exhaustion.
The Italian theatre of war
Now for Italy, the other theatre of war! There must be no doubt in our minds that the weakness of this people lies in their blood, in their race. In considering this problem, we must distinguish between that which is comfortable or uncomfortable for us today, and that which will be comfortable or uncomfortable for us in the future. Italy was a weak ally, beginning with Greece and Africa, and ending with Russia. There is, after all, no nation which hasn't thrashed the Italians, from whom the Italians haven't taken a beating. The Italians, we can see this right now, will be considered the most contemptible people in the world; no one, no Albanian, no Montenegrin, no Frenchman, no American, no Englishman, no Russian, no German, will have any respect for them, since they have proven themselves everywhere to be cowards, as soldiers, as men. That is the most contemptible judgement that one can hand down against a people and a race. We must therefore distinguish between that which is comfortable for us today and that which would be comfortable for us in the future. If the Italians were a neighbour truly related to us in terms of inner qualities, then it would be magnificent if Italy had remained strong. But with a consistently weak neighbour who has no resistance to anything, the situation as it is, I must say, is much better. It is considerably better. At the moment, it is uncomfortable; it came at an inconvenient time. If the betrayal had come a quarter of a year later, it would have been better for us. But you can't hope for that in war. Fate simply doesn't ask what you want. It throws you heavy punches. In the long-distant future, we will be thankful to Fate and to God that it happened as it did.
The failure of the Italians
I've already said that the Italians have failed everywhere. Pantelleria, to take only one characteristic example, capitulated with 12,000 men after the loss of 36 killed and 120 wounded over the course of six weeks. They had enough water -- the report of the honourable commander of Pantelleria was not true -- for the garrison of 12,000 men, probably for another 10 to 12 days. I personally believe they had enough water for even longer. The island could simply not be taken, every expert says so; even the airplane hangars were underground, built into rock casemates. They simply couldn't be gotten out of there. Something must be said here: the surrender of Pantelleria was tragic insofar as the Duce consolidated the island, exactly as he built the Italian air force, exactly as he created the Italian navy. That navy was his work, his navy. But these people, one can really say, are still Italians after all; the Duce is the only one who embodies and bears in himself the great Roman tradition.
The Italian army in Sicily didn't defend itself. It showed the white flag everywhere, right away. Then came the betrayal. That was very hard for us, since we were in the midst of transporting our divisions. Based on news reports, I was already convinced of the disintegration of Italy one and half years ago. The army was infected with Communism and was sympathetic to the Anglo-Saxons. We couldn't carry out the counter stroke before enough German divisions were over the Alps.
The liberation of the Duce
Next came the real implementation of the armistice. And then came the -- how should I say -- bold stroke of our SS men and the men the Luftwaffe, the liberation of the Duce. I was very happy that the work of the Security Service could be mentioned for once, after all these years, since it is precisely the task of the Security Police and Security Service to work in silence. Their work is never mentioned, cannot be mentioned. Their men die as bravely as our men do at the front, but their work must not be mentioned. That which they provide in terms of important information and documents, the importance of that which they do, can never be mentioned. Thus, it pleased me greatly that the Security Service -- the work of our friend Heydrich, which is being carrying on in a dignified and forceful manner by his successor Kaltenbrunner -- was able to show for once, in public, that it is strong and gets results.
The liberation of the Duce, insofar as I could tell everywhere, met with an unprecedented response in our people, and gave them an unprecedented boost. But it was also interesting because it was taught us that virtues like loyalty and comradeship are values of the mind which are profoundly rooted, not only in the German people, but in the entire European group of peoples. Let us never underestimate the value, the unique eternal value, of this ideal. The manner in which our people reacted to this act of comradeship and loyalty was therefore a shining example and a gleaming proof of this fact.
I will briefly list the individual nations of the Balkans. Croatia, for the moment in serious disorder, is a state made up of <page 30 missing, but text continues apparently without interruption on page 31> 6 1/2 million men, of whom 3 1/2 million are Croats. 2 million are Bratislavs, that is, a kind of Serb, and 1 million are Bosnians. It is a state with very large minorities. Its national leader, Poglawnik, entered office as a result of the difficult conditions imposed upon him by the Italians, and placed at a disadvantage by the fact that he was forced to renounce the largest and most valuable parts of his country. It was obvious that he not enjoy any authority in this manner. Most of the country was occupied by the Italian army. The bands under Mr. Tito -- he has become a sort of popular hero there -- and Mr. Draha Mihailovitsch -- Tito is the Communist man, Draha Mihailowitsch is the Yugoslavian-English-American man -- dominated the situation.
The situation in Slovenia is similar. Albania's independence was now recognized by us. Serbia is naturally the hotbed of conspiracy in the Balkans, yet it is relatively quiet. Greece is also somewhat quieter for the moment.
It is clear that we must concentrate large numbers of troops to the Balkans in order to shield and protect this part of Europe exposed by the collapse of our ally. We must expect attacks there by the Anglo-Americans. <page 32 missing; apparently misnumbered, since the ideas appear to follow>.
It is naturally of interest that the Balkans are one of the principal objects of strife between Russia and the Anglo-Americans. Russia says: that's my sphere. And the Anglo-Americans say: that's our sphere. The best fruits for us will grow out of the perpetual strife between our noble allies.
The other occupied territories
France, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Bohemia, and Moravia -- the situation is known. We must be on the lookout everywhere, that is clear. We must expect acts of sabotage, paratroop attacks, minor rebellions, strikes, insubordination, and irresolution everywhere, even among the favourably-minded elements of the population. In the germanic countries, one thing is quite clear to me: the majority of the people in these germanic countries, in the bottom of their hearts, will only be won over when the die has been cast in the present struggle between the two germanic Empires, that is, the German and British empires, when it is seen who is the stronger. They will then fall to the stronger. It is disagreeable to us that they do not come to us with open hearts. But it cannot be denied that the political preconditions for this did not exist.
There were no great figures -- this is the tragedy of the renewal movements in Holland, in Flanders, in Norway, and in Denmark -- able to win their people over to us and lead them into the germanic political community today, according to their own political laws. It is perhaps -- even probably -- best, from a historical point of view, that this is so difficult. The select few who come to us, and fight in our germanic volunteer units, in our germanic corps (such as the 3rd SS Tank Corps) are naturally some of the most valuable members of the germanic nations. These men, who fought their through to us from out of 30 million germanic people, who were trained among us, will be the old fighters of the greater germanic community.
The sabotage war
We must, of course, anticipate an increase in the most unpleasant forms of sabotage, the use of poisons, explosives, briefly, with everything. These are things that we have to pay attention to, which must be taken seriously down to the minutest detail, but whose objective -- wearing down our nerves and spoiling our good humour -- must never be permitted to succeed. I say this in full awareness that every detail must be taken seriously in this war. But we must consider nothing a tragedy, since all these things do not kill us. They cannot kill us; they are pinpricks, they are unpleasant, they hem us in here and there; but they cannot wound us mortally. Mortally -- I would like to emphasize this here for the first time -- there is only one thing that can hurt us: a weakening of our will to resist. He who, in spirit and determination, refuses to give in, cannot be defeated, unless he can be starved out, which is not the case with us, if he stays strong, as a man and as a soldier, if he has his weapons, and cannot be overcome with these.
The air war
Since the Luftwaffe, which possessed an absolute mastery of the air in the first years of the war, has had to stretch itself out to great theatres of war all over Europe, and it has naturally had to be spread thinner. Since we had to intervene in Italy in battles involving the heaviest sacrifices to protect the security of our supply lines, since neither the Italian fleet nor the Italian air force could protect our supply lines to Africa to any significant degree, we have suffered much attrition in Italy.
The terror attacks on our country have doubtlessly hurt us badly in many places. I am firmly convinced, I would like to say that I can state definitely, that the worst is over, that we have found a tactic to break these air attacks, that, through work, we can multiply our aircraft production and improve our weapons. I am firmly convinced that we will have overcome the chief dangers of the situation by the end of this year or the beginning of the next year, that we will be active again during the coming year.
The naval war
We really had some bad days for a time this year. Fate tested us once again. Just when problems were appearing on the eastern front, just when treason was raising its ugly head in Italy, when the air attacks were getting terrible, the U boat war was interrupted, too.
As always in war, things go back and forth. Sometimes offensive weapons are stronger, sometimes defensive weapons. We just went through a period during which the defensive weapons of the English were stronger, were technically superior to ours. For months, therefore, the U boat war had to be restricted to a minimum. As you have seen from the reports of the last 14 days, we are now active again. Offensive weapons have once again recovered and surpassed the enemy's technical lead, and offensive weapons are now once again at an advantage. That is an example and a lesson that one must never give up, that a cause is only lost -- technically, militarily, spiritually -- when one gives up. If the Reichsmarschall in the air force or marines, if Grossadmiral Doenitz in the navy, had said, after the low point, "There's no point, the others are too powerful, they're better equipped technically, the U boat is out of date, or our air force, or some technical development or other, is out of date", then the enemy would have triumphed. When one does not give in, but rather, as happened here in both cases, gives the order: "Ready for action!" -- then, this example, in both the Air Force and the navy, shows that things can also go right on ahead again. You just have to have the nerves for it.
The domestic front
I now come to another aspect of this war, the domestic front. Some of the German people, namely the older men drafted, are now doing their second four-year world war. The German people were already very tense <nervous or excited: gespannt>, years before the war, because of the armaments, the Four Year Plan <?>, the recovery of Austria <?>, the Sudetenland <?>, and the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia. <Translator's note: why would they be nervous or tense about Austria or Sudetenland, for example? Bohemia and Moravia, yes>.
There can be no doubt that hostile propaganda is now streaming and trickling into the German people from many sides. We are unfortunately unable to screen off hostile broadcasters entirely, or in any manner worth mentioning. The temptation has grown to listen to hostile broadcasters, who achieve better psychological effects than we do, sometimes, unfortunately, very good ones.
As in all cases in which a prohibition or law cannot be given the emphasis of enforcement by executive authority and punishment, the effect of the prohibition is harmful to authority; that is true in this case as well. We have, of course, prohibited listening to hostile broadcasters, but we were not, and are not, able to punish violations of this prohibition in any meaningful way. Today we pay somewhat more attention to it to some extent, since, when Mr. Badoglio committed his piece of piggery, when treason ran amuck in Europe, the result was naturally a wave of defeatism in Germany. Shortly before, after the air attacks on Hamburg, a mood of crisis prevailed in many cities, which were, particularly our beloved capital of Berlin, almost panicky for days, until the mood calmed down and levelled off again.
As a result of listening to foreign broadcasters, talk then circulated through the channels which always exist, even in a great people, "Oh God, we can no longer win the war. Wouldn't it be better therefore", etc. etc. Then came this highly interesting remark: "Ah, a Duce can be arrested, how interesting". When the Duce was arrested I said to myself, now we've really got to watch it. The people who think that's so interesting, they interest me.
Since that time, as you may note from the reports from the Reichsministry of Justice, and you will continue to note over the coming few weeks, Mr. Administrative Advisor so and so, and Mr. Factory Owner so and so, and Mr. Waiter, and Mr. Chauffeur, and Mr. Plumber, and Mr. Employee, have all had their pretty little heads cut off and placed between their feet for damaging the morale of the German people as defeatists, for disintegrating the powers of resistance of the German people, and for treason. It's really not important for us to kill anyone. If we really had to shoot as many people as all that, or as many as I'd have to, it would get increasingly difficult to sign a death sentence.
When I was appointed Reichsminister of the Interior, everybody said (since it's so awfully easy to say), "Mister, hit hard, stay tough. The German people expect terrible severity from you". I'm already severe, I don't need any admonitions. It's very easy to say something like that, but: a death sentence means eternal misery for a whole family; it means bringing shame on a name which was once honourable. Imagine for a moment what it will mean to the children and grandchildren of that family, when it is later said (you must always visualize these things as they will look 10 or 15 years after the war): "The father of this family was beheaded for high treason during the Great War, which involved the fate of the germanic nation". (In the distant future, everything we do today will look heroic. Human weaknesses will then be forgotten. All the cowards will have died off in the meantime, and in the end everybody will be considered a hero). Such a family will be shamed for all time. I know all that. I know how hard it is; and I therefore try to restrict the necessary educational measures.
I know that there's a great deal of theft in Germany, that the concept of private property has been much weakened by suffering, and by the relaxation of all moral standards such as always happens in war, or due to a poor upbringing of the German people in this regard. I can't catch every thief, I'll never catch them all. I don't even want to catch them all, otherwise I'd have to arrest too many thousands of people. I'll never catch every defeatist. I'm perfectly well aware that, in one or two years, when the divisions and regiments withdraw into their garrisons -- some of the older veterans having been wounded up to 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 times, while the rest no longer march with us because they lie under the grass; when, I hope, a still decent part of the old SS once again marches back to Germany, I know that many thousands will applaud us then, and perhaps feel themselves to have been much more heroic than we were, or -- we don't think of ourselves as heroic -- more decent than we were.
It will always be like that. I don't mind. We shouldn't mind either. We should never lose our sense of humour. It is, however, necessary to set an example for the number of cowards who can be found among every people. It is, God knows, unfortunately true that these cowards are always found in the upper, rather than the lower or middle, ranks of a people. Intellect obviously ruins the character in some manner, at least as regards the formation of will and energy. It's enough for me, for such education, if I always grab one out of 100 of the defeatists who later cry "hurrah", and lay his head between his feet. Then the others will shut up for a quarter of a year. Then all the little mommies will say, "For God's sake, don't get yourself killed, don't make us unhappy. Somebody we know was recently beheaded. It's in the newspapers. So just keep quiet, cry 'hurrah' very loud".
Good, let him; we've achieved our objective. We could never storm a fort or a front line position with a person like that anyway. We know that anyway. But the main thing is to keep them from hurting our decent people. Insofar as is necessary, action will be taken brutally and mercilessly. None of us enjoys that. Although we don't like it, you must act mercilessly, gentlemen, without regard to family relationships, or acquaintance, or class, or possible previous earlier service; without regard to whether he is a party comrade or not, when the fate of the nation so requires. Always go after a big fish rather than a little one who's stupid and has been fooled. The domestic front will always be in order if we have the nerve to keep it in order, although it gives us no pleasure to take action personally.
Foreigners in the Reich
We must be also clear in our minds that we have 6 or 7 million foreigners in Germany. There may even be 8 million. We have prisoners in Germany. They are not all dangerous, as long as we strike hard at the smallest minor problem. It's a small matter to shoot 10 Poles today, instead of maybe having to shoot tens of thousands in their place later, and compared to the fact that shooting those tens of thousands would also cost German blood, too. Every little blaze must be immediately stamped out, smothered, extinguished; otherwise, just as in a real fire, a veritable prairie fire, politically and psychologically, may break out among the people.
Communists in the Reich
I don't believe that the Communists will try anything, because their leaders, just like most other criminals in our country, are in concentration camps. Something must be said here: only after the war will it be seen what a blessing it was for Germany -- all humanitarian drivel to the contrary notwithstanding -- that we locked this whole criminal underclass up in the concentration camps -- I'll take care of that myself. If they were running around loose, it would be much harder for us. Particularly since the subhumans would then have their subordinate officers and commanders; they'd have their workers' councils and soldiers' councils. But this way, they're all locked up, and are making grenades, artillery shells, or other important things, and are very useful members of human society.
The situation on the enemy side
Now I would like to give a short overview of the other side. We Germans always see-saw between extremes. Either we are totally exhilarated and applauding enthusiastically, and we can't wait until we have reached all our objectives in a lightning war of 18, 16, or even 15 days; or we let our jaws hang down and whine: "Yes, the enemy is wonderful in everything. The English are doing great. The Russians are doing great; we're the only ones that aren't". At the same time, we completely forget that, on the other side, like everywhere else, they can't do the impossible either.
I would like to list our various enemies quite briefly. Once again, Russia. Here, I can sum up quite briefly. Russia will, in my opinion, when the next great offensives are over, have just about exhausted its human potential. One can, of course, draft sixteen year olds, they can make an early grab at fifteen year olds -- I am absolutely in favour of us doing the same, if the fate of the nation so requires, since it is better for fifteen years to die than for the nation to die -- but one cannot continue endlessly in this direction, since, in the end, with thirteen year olds and twelve year olds one can no longer wage war. Human potential is, in my view, one of the weakest points of the Russians, although it was once their greatest strength. In addition, in my conviction, unprecedented famine now prevails among the Russians, something which can never be correctly evaluated by us. The front line is, however, still better fed than the people behind the front. Nevertheless, it is still very bad in many cases even at the front. The Russian has had great transport difficulties for a long time. These, too, are not yet overcome. I don't believe that the Russians are weak in a material sense; rather, I believe that they will die of hunger and loss of blood.
England has been waging war for four years now. So far, it has suffered no very great losses in blood. In England, however, the constant fear -- the very correct fear -- prevails that, when the U boat war sets in again with full force -- and it will do that for months now, in my view -- the whole equilibrium in food, supplies, and landing possibilities will fall to pieces. Since all the military operations that England and America wish to carry out, will stand or fall on tonnage. The landing operations that they carried out at Salerno doubtlessly cost them half a million tons. I very much doubt whether England can permit itself many such landing operations over the long term. I nevertheless believe that England will undertake landing operations, perhaps even this fall -- they don't have much time left for this -- but certainly early in the year. But there is another thing I believe: when the war for England -- and this applies even more so for America later -- really becomes a matter of the blood of their sons, the war in England and America will be more unpopular that it is already.
America is waging a war on two fronts, even more than England: the Pacific war against Japan, which, fortunately, is a stronger, more warlike ally <than Italy etc.>; and the war in Europe, or the Atlantic. I do not believe that the conditions in America are for the best. One must keep in mind that America still has a great number of Jews, and a brutally plutocratic form of economics. It is hardly conceivable how they push and shove in America. I believe we were still babes in the woods by comparison in 1918. The difficulties and misery gradually appearing before the population in America are furthermore inconceivable. In addition, we have taken Mr. Roosevelt's best electoral propaganda point -- he will certainly be reelected next year -- away from him through the liberation of the Duce.
A "show trial" of Mussolini and fascism was in fact intended to be the central point of his electoral propaganda.
The following applies, however, to both countries: the war will become fearfully unpopular in England and America the moment England and America have to fight somewhere in Europe, whether in Italy, the Balkans, or even France, Denmark, or Norway. This applies especially to America. England fought the last world war using its own people. America, on the other hand, had, I believe, 60 to 70,000 dead in the World War. That was, unfortunately, far too few. I am convinced that if the Americans had suffered 500,000 dead in the World War, they wouldn't have entered the war this time. It will be a difficult psychological point for those gentlemen when the number of dead exceeds that of the World War. Once the number reaches the hundred thousand mark or climbs into the hundreds of thousands, then enormous difficulties will set in for the Americans. The Americans are in fact by no means as brave as they act. On the contrary: the American is by no means a brave soldier; he is well armed, he has very strong artillery, he is well equipped in all things, but he is not a good infantryman.
Political problems on the enemy side
Now come the great political difficulties. England and America are not united. England says: "America, you must help me more in Europe". Naturally, in doing so, each swindler wants to cheat the other. Each is seeking to exploit the strength of the other. America wants England to help defeat Japan. England is trying to exploit the Americans in order to defeat Germany. England is in a situation which is becoming increasingly difficult. Mr. Churchill can't hide this from his countrymen. What is England really fighting for?
And then come the difficulties with Russia. Stalin, a brutal, ice-cold, power politician, says: "I am bearing the chief brunt of the war. Therefore, I want to have the say in Europe. Poland, the Balkans, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, are in my spheres of interest. Germany, when it is defeated, will also be in my sphere of interest". Now they are starting to have a hard time on the other side. The war with Germany really started because they gave guarantees to Poland. That's why Mr. Sikorski had to die too, I believe -- because he clung to this old fairy tale. This naturally caused frightful difficulties for England. So England has now issued an Atlantic Charter as well. But England is in even greater need of Russia as an ally. It is, in fact, its strongest ally on the continent. So while Bolshevik Russia wants to have the say in Europe, England would dearly like -- as it is so beautifully called - to maintain the "balance of power" in Europe, and not let the Bolsheviks into Europe, for God's sake.
It is a chaotic jumble of interests and views, of intentions and plans. Each one wants to exploit and swindle the other for his own plan, and then bring home the harvest for himself. That is a system which will, of course, hold together for a while, but which will certainly collapse one day. The moment the alliance collapses, the power of our enemies will, of course, still be considerable, but not threatening.
The war will be won by the side that continues to hit back, and keeps hitting back, who never surrenders. For us, the end of the war -- once Russia is exhausted and drops out one day, and the war becomes a burden for England and America, will bring us confirmation as a world power <Weltreich>. Because we can really say by comparison -- though there are problems with every comparison -- that the Seven Years War brought Prussia's confirmation as a great European power. That war was carried on for seven years to ensure that the already conquered province of Silesia would remain part of Prussia. This war will ensure that everything annexed to the German Reich, to Greater Germany, and then to the Germanic Reich in the years since 1938, will remain ours. This war is being carried on to keep the path to the East open; so that Germany may be a world power; to found the Germanic World Empire <Germanische Weltreich>. That will be the meaning of this war, whether it lasts 5, 6, perhaps even 7 years. We don't know how long it will last. We don't even even ask how long. It will be carried on by us for as long as it lasts, and it will be carried on with determination and good humour by us for as long as it lasts. It will be won by the side that stands, that doesn't give up or give in <umfallen>, even in the most difficult situations. To ensure that this never happens, is our principal task.
The SS in the war
Now I come to our own development, to the development of the SS over the past few months. The development was, when I look back over the entire war, unprecedented. It has gone ahead at a truly astonishing pace. Let's take a look back at the year 1939. Then we were a couple of regiments, 8 to 9,000 men in police units. We were armed, of course, but only received our artillery regiment as the heavy branch of service to all practice purposes two months before the start of the war. Let us recapitulate the tasks, duties, and missions entrusted to us over the past 4 1/2 years. First, however, I would like to list and once again describe some still further external changes.
The following changes have been made in the Main Offices:
The successor to our fallen comrade and friend Heydrich is our comrade SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner. He is unfortunately sick today. He has phlebitis, but it is not, however, dangerous, thank God. That is why he could not come.
Our old friend Daluege has such a serious heart problem that he is taking a cure, and must now withdraw from active service for 1 1/2 to 2 years. I would like to send a teletype or telegram this evening to our two friends, namely Daluege and Kaltenbrunner, on behalf of all of us. We hope that Daluege will be well again and able to go into action on the front line again in, as I say, approximately 2 years.
On his behalf, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wuennenberg, who previously led the Police Division, and was then designated to lead the 4th SS Tank Corps as Commanding General, who is a General in the Waffen SS and the Police, while heading the Order Police as Chief of the Order Police.
Gruppenfuehrer Breithaupt, as the Chief of the SS Court, has succeeded our old comrade and friend, Scharfe of the SS.
SS Obergruppenfuehrer Hofmann has changed posts. He has given up the Race and Settlement Main Office, and has become the Higher SS and Police Leader Southwest.
SS Gruppenfuehrer Hildebrandt has given up his Upper Section Weichsel and has become Chief of the Race and Settlement Main Office.
SS Obergruppenfuehrer Schmidt has given up the Personnel Main Office at his own request, and has entered my personal staff for Special Tasks. His successor is SS Gruppenfuehrer von Herff.
On of my closest and oldest associates, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, after a severe illness which seriously endangered his life (operation for kidney stone) has, thank God, gotten well again, and is now -- it is the first time anyone has held this position -- the Highest SS and Police Leader for all of occupied Italy. He is therefore responsible for a region with 25 to 30 million inhabitants. SS Gruppenfuehrer Globocnik as the Highest SS and Police Leader for the littoral, as well as several other SS and Police Leaders, will be subordinate to him. He could not come today.
Higher SS and Police Leaders have since then been assigned as follows: in Croatia, Kammerhofer, who, at the request of the Croats, is not called Higher SS and Police Leader there, but rather the Representative of the Reichsfueher SS; this was formerly Meyszner's title in Serbia; it is now Stroob's title in Greece -- I would like to say right away that I am reassigning him to Schimana. You will become the Higher SS and Police Leader in Greece; you will not, therefore, lead the SS Volunteer Division for Galicia. SS Gruppenfuehrer Hanke will become Higher SS and Police Leader in Denmark.
The corps and brigades
In the Waffen SS, since we saw each other last, we have progressed to the next stage of organizational development. At that time, 1 1/2 years ago, we were just forming the 1st SS Tank Corps led by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Hausser, who is now leading operations on the Italian littoral.
In the meantime, the following corps have been created or are being formed:
- the 1st SS Tank Corps under SS Gruppenfuehrer Sepp Dietrich, consisting of the SS Tank Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and the SS Tank Division "Hitler Youth", which is now being formed;
- the 2nd SS Tank Corps under SS Obergruppenfuehrer Hausser, consisting of the SS Tank Division "Das Reich" and the SS Tank Division "Death's Head";
- the 3rd SS Tank Corps, the germanic one, under SS Gruppenfuehrer Steiner, consisting of the Tank Division "Viking", now in the East, and of a new unit now being formed, the SS Volunteer Tank Grenadier Division "Nordland", and the SS Volunteer Tank Grenadier Brigade "Nederland".
- the 4th SS Tank Corps under SS Gruppenfuehrer Krueger, who previously led the Division "Das Reich", consisting of two new divisions, namely, the existing SS Tank Division "Hohenstaufen", which were recruited by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Berger from the 9th Division, together with the 10th Division, in February of this year, over a period of 5 to 6 weeks, and trained and formed by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Juettner.
That was a masterpiece, I can tell you, the greatest piece of daring. It was the most fearful situation that I had seen for several weeks. The old Tank Corps, consisting of the "Reich", "Leibstandarte", and the "Death's Head", were taken away from France.
In the second half of December came the order from the Fuehrer: on 15.2 two new SS divisions are to be recruited in France out of the Work Service Camps from youths born in 1925. You could write a book about it later, and tell the whole story about how difficult that was, but it was done nevertheless.
Those recruits were trained with live ammunition from the very first day, since we never knew whether the English were coming. After 8 weeks, they were already considerably better, and now they have become magnificently good divisions. At the moment, we have been ordered to form the 16th and 17th Divisions by January. We are already mutually occupied with this hard work. The 4th Tank Corps will be formed from the SS Tank Division "Hohenstaufen" (9th Div.), and a new division is to be formed, to be called the SS Tank Grenadier Division "Reichsfuehrer SS". It will be formed from the Brigade "Reichsfuehrer SS" which, we hope, has succeeded in getting out of Corsica today with the last man; - the 5th SS Mountain Corps under SS Gruppenfuehrer Phleps, consisting of the SS Volunteer Mountain Division "Prince Eugene" and a Bosnian Mountain Division (SS Volunteers b.h. Mountain Division) (Croatia), now being formed;
- the 6th SS Volunteer Corps, the Latvian one, under SS Gruppenfuehrer Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, consisting of a Latvian brigade formed in the meantime, and which fought very well on the Volchov (the Latvian SS Volunteer Grenadier Brigade), and a Latvian unit now being formed and soon to be in full strength (the Latvian SS Volunteer Infantry Division), among others;
- the 7th SS Tank Corps, which is now being formed, with an already existing SS Tank Division (10th Division) in France, which has been given the name "Frundsberg", and the (17th) SS Tank Grenadier Division, which was initially given a next very strange sounding, but -- when correctly understood -- very defiant name: "Goetz von Berlichingen". "Frundsberg" and "Goetz von Berlichingen": these names are a declaration of defiance made by us against our enemies, both domestic and foreign.
In addition, we have formed still more brigades and assault brigades. In the future, when everything squeezed out of the Waffen SS, and the manner in which the Waffen SS gave of itself, can finally be described in detail, it will seem a considerable performance.
Chief of the anti-partisan units
In the meantime, I also created the Office of the Chief of the Anti-Partisan Combat Units. The Chief of the Anti-Partisan Combat Units is our comrade SS Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach. I considered it necessary that the Reichsfuehrer SS should be the commanding officer, in keeping with his authority, for all these combats, since I am convinced that we are in the best position to concern ourselves with the outspokenly political struggle carried on by our enemy. We've been successful insofar as the units available to us, and formed by us, weren't repeatedly taken away to plug up gaps in the front.
It should be noted that the creation of these offices, in the order of division, corps, army, has led to the next stage, namely, that of Supreme Command of an army or even of a group, if you want to call it that, for the SS.
Order Police and Security Police
Now briefly on the tasks of the Order Police and Security Police. They have remained within the same framework. What was achieved, I can only say, is enormous. We have formed approximately 30 police regiments out of police reservists and former "police soldiers", or police officials, as they were formerly called. The average age in our police battalions is no less than in the Security Battalions of the Wehrmacht. The performance is magnificent, surpassing all praise. We have also formed police regiments by combining previously formed police battalions of "native peoples". That is, we no longer left these police battalions by themselves, but we mixed them in a ratio of 1:3. That is why we have achieved much greater stability with them than with any of the other domestic or native units, precisely in the present time of crisis.
The tasks of the Security Police, just like those of the Order Police, have grown together with the expanding geographical territory. It is precisely in this connection that we will only be able to talk about our accomplishments after the war. It will certainly be entertaining to be able to speak to our counterparts in the Secret Service and lay our cards on the table on both sides. Life is not being made easy for us by the other side. At the same time, you should never forget that the fortunate situation in which we now find ourselves, in having occupied many parts of Europe, also involves the disadvantage of having millions of people, and dozens of foreign nationalities, under us, and therefore against us. Everyone who is a convinced Communist is automatically against us; every Freemason, every democrat, every convinced Christian, is against us. These are the ideological enemies opposing us all over Europe, all of whom the enemy has for himself. Nationalism, correctly or incorrectly understood -- in France, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, or Serbia -- is against us. The enemy can therefore exploit this ground, which has been magnificently well prepared for him, for his acts of sabotage and parachute activities at any time.
We didn't have these problems until now, except in the Caucausus and in Iran, which is very far away.
Our dear English and American adversaries are already on the continent. They have southern Italy, we have northern Italy. Now we'll see some fireworks. I'm glad of it. It will be a wonderful opportunity for us to show what we are capable of in this area. It will be our first chance to meet the English in this field with the same weapons for once. The only foreign people the English have under them are the Irish. The Irish, however, are so Catholic, and so preoccupied with religion, that despite their national hostility to England they are kept calm, neutralized by the Church, so that we cannot use them. An opportunity is now appearing for the first time. You can be sure we will not fail it to make use of it.
Tasks as Reichsministers of the Interior
In addition to all everything else we've achieved in this time, I can not keep silent about the fact that I have become Reichsminister of the Interior. I have a little bit more work. I view my responsibilities as falling into the following general groups: - restoration of the authority of the Reich, which has, to a great extent, been lost;
- decentralization of tasks not of importance to the Reich. To keep the Reich in hand, while calling upon all the creative powers slumbering in the German people under German self-government;
- radical elimination of corruption or misconduct throughout this entire apparatus and in every case. I will proceed ruthlessly. If somebody has done something wrong and if I catch him, he's coming before the Khadi <judge>, big or little, since such a case, exorcised and carried out in public, does not harm respect for the state and party, but strengthens it, because then everybody says: "All kinds of respect. Decent. If somebody's a rascal, throw him out". That applies just as much to us within the SS. I am now coming to a few things which, as is my custom, I will state clearly. It is quite clear that human shortcomings are found everywhere. Organizations distinguish themselves only through the following: one organization conceals them and thinks it has to cover them up with the famous blanket of Christian brotherly love, so as not to hurt its prestige. Another organization cleanses itself brutally. It says, "He was a swine, we've shot him", or "We've locked him up", or, in any case, "We threw him out".
Then it says, <page misnumbered; sentence follows without interruption> "Now, get busy and blabber about it or do something else." That gives it the right to say: "If anybody else among you is a swine, then he's going to get the same". As Reichsfuehrer SS, as Chief of the German Police, and now as Reichsminister of the Interior, I would have no moral right to proceed against any racial comrade, nor could we bring forth the strength to do so, if we did not take care to cleanse our own own ranks brutally. You can be sure that I will do this as Reichsminister of the Interior. You can also be sure that I will not go off at a madman's clip, and then maybe pull the bridle so hard that the nag falls down on his hindquarters; rather, the bit will be pulled slowly and gradually, so the horse will be brought to a decent pace again.
SS - economic operations
I'm now coming to a few other great individual areas of responsibility, which you must all know something about. We have gigantic armaments industries in the concentration camps. That is the responsibility of our friend SS Group Leader Pohl. We put in many millions of manhours on armaments each month. We tackle the most ungrateful problems, and I must admit that whether it's in Pohl's concentration camps or his economic operations, whether outside among the Higher SS and Police Leaders or in the factories of the SS Administrative Main Office, one thing is obvious: we are SS men wherever we are. If something is in a bad way, get right down to it. Educate every subordinate in this direction for me. We want to help without being hindered by jurisdiction, since, after all, we want to win the war. Whatever we do, after all, we're doing for Germany. Whether it involves the building of a street or tunnel isn't going ahead somewhere; whether it's an invention which can't come into existence due to sheer bureaucracy, or whether it's something else: wherever we can lend a hand, we're going to do it. Whatever we achieve in our armaments factories will be a considerable accomplishment, one which is worth seeing, even if we can only describe and estimate it at the end of the war.
The evacuation of the Jews
I want to mention another very difficult matter here before you in all frankness. Among ourselves, it ought to be spoken of quite openly for once; yet we shall never speak of it in public. Just as little as we hesitated to do our duty as ordered on 30 June 1934, and place comrades who had failed against the wall and shoot them, just as little did we ever speak of it, and we shall never speak of it. It was a matter of course, of tact, for us, thank God, never to speak of it, never to talk of it. It made everybody shudder; yet everyone was clear in his mind that he would do it again if ordered to do so, and if it was necessary.
I am thinking now of the evacuation of the Jews, the extirpation <Ausrottung> of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that's easy to say: "The Jewish people will be extirpated" <wird ausgerottet>, says every Party comrade, "that's quite clear, it's in our programme: elimination <Ausschaltung> of the Jews, extirpation <Ausrottung>; that's what we're doing." And then they all come along, these 80 million good Germans, and every one of them has his decent Jew. Of course, it's quite clear that the others are pigs, but this one is one first-class Jew. Of all those who speak this way, not one has looked on; not one has lived through it. Most of you know what it means when 100 bodies lie together, when 500 lie there, or if 1,000 lie there. To have gone through this, and at the same time, apart from exceptions caused by human weaknesses, to have remained decent, that has made us hard. This is a chapter of glory in our history which has never been written, and which never shall be written; since we know how hard it would be for us if we still had the Jews, as secret saboteurs, agitators, and slander-mongers, among us now, in every city -- during the bombing raids, with the suffering and deprivations of the war. We would probably already be in the same situation as in 1916/17 if we still had the Jews in the body of the German people.
The riches they had, we've taken away from them. I have given a strict order, which SS Group Leader Pohl has carried out, that these riches shall, of course, be diverted to the Reich without exception. We have taken none of it. Individuals who failed were punished according to an order given by me at the beginning, which threatened: he who takes even one mark of it, that's his death. A number of SS men -- not very many -- have violated that order, and that will be their death, without mercy. We had the moral right, we had the duty to our own people, to kill this people which wanted to kill us <dieses Volk, dass uns umbringen wollte, umzubringen: translator's note: it is unclear whether the writer is referring to the Jews as a race, or to the Jews as saboteurs, agitators, and slander-mongerers; see above>. But we don't have the right to enrich ourselves even with one fur, one watch, one mark, one cigarette, or anything else. Just because we eradicated <ausgerottet> a bacillus, after all, doesn't mean we want to be infected by the bacillus and die. I will never permit even one little spot of corruption to arise or become established here. Wherever it may form, we shall burn it out together. In general, however, we can say that we have carried out this most difficult task out of love for our own people. And we have suffered no harm to our inner self, our soul, our character in so doing.
The attitude of the SS man
In describing what we have done in this one year, in a -- I would almost like to say -- statement of accounts, for all of us, and before us all, there is one thing I must neither overlook nor neglect: the significance of the SS Man's attitude. Here, I believe, we have endured decently, generally and on the whole, as in all other things as well. The attitude of our brave leaders and men was proper in desperate situations at the front, where they, in the darkest hours, in the very darkest hours, grew out beyond themselves, in life and in death, in this heroic great death, which has continued over the last 10 weeks. The attitude of our men was, generally and as a whole, good throughout the partisan war, even in the remotest areas. Their attitude was also good in the homeland.
Because my attitude is more important than what I say. The people, the little man, in the misery of his heart and with fear in the pit of his stomach, is already looking at our attitude in many cases today, asking: "How does the SS Man stand? What's his facial expression? Does he look miserable? Does he let his jaw sag?" Or: "How does this SS batallion march to the front?" Or: "How did the police guard act during the scuffles in the Balkans or in Russia? Or: "How does the SS man act during an air raid? Does he stick around, or does he take to his heels? Is he the one who prevents a panic and helps dig people out?" Or contrariwise: "Is there an SS Leader or SS Man who claims special rights, who travels by car where he isn't entitled, who lives better than other people, who does no extra duty and takes every Sunday off, whose wife makes endless demands, who gets herself in a twist and won't do this and won't do that, and makes unreasonable demands while others are being bombed?" Or are our wives the hardest-working, the most modest, the bravest, those who never criticize, who hold their heads high at all times?
In general and as a whole, our attitude was good. There is still room for improvement in our ranks. To say this is part of the duty of a Commander or Group Leader. I would like to head this chapter "We, Ourselves".
The principle of selection
We have arisen through the law of selection. We have selected from the average of our people. Our people arose through the dice game of Fate and history in long primaeval times, over generations and centuries. Foreign peoples swept over this people and left their hereditary material in them. Channels of foreign blood flowed into this people; yet this people has nevertheless, through horrifying misery and frightful blows of fate, still had, in their blood vessels, the strength to endure.
Thus, this entire people has been drenched in, and is held together by, Nordic-Faelisch-<?>-Germanic blood; so that in the end one could, and still can, continue to speak of a German people. Out of this people, the result of diverse mixtures of hereditary factors, such as was available after the collapse which followed the years of the struggle for freedom, we have now consciously attempted to select the northern Germanic blood, since we could assume that this part of the blood was the bearer of the creative and heroic, of the life-maintaining qualities of our people. We examined the outward appearance on the one hand, and then revised that outward appearance in terms of new requirements on the other hand, through more and more samples, both physical and intellectual, both of character and soul.
We repeatedly sought out and rejected that which was not suitable, that which did not adapt to us. As long as we possess the strength to do so, this Order will remain healthy. The moment we forget the law of the racial foundation of our people, the law of selection and severity with regards to ourselves, then the germ of death will lie within us; in that moment we will perish, just as every human organization, every prime of life in this world, comes to an end at last. To enable this flourishing and bearing of fruit to continue for as long and as blessedly as possible, and -- don't be alarmed -- for as many thousands of years as possible, must be our aspiration and our inner law. For that reason, it is our duty, whenever we meet and whatever we do, to remember our principle: blood, selection, severity. The law of nature is precisely this: what is hard, is good; what is strong, is good; that which endures out of the struggle for existence, both physically and in terms of will and soul, is good -- always viewed from the vantage point of time.
Naturally, somebody can rise to the top for a while -- this has often happened in history -- through swindling and cheating. For nature, for the fate of the earth, for the fate of the world, that doesn't matter. Reality, that is, nature, fate, purges the swindler after a time -- not viewed in the ages of men, but in the ages of the world. Never to deceive ourselves, but rather to remain genuine at all times, that must always be our endeavour; that is what we must advocate and inculcate in ourselves, in every young man, and in every one of our subordinates, over and over again.
The SS after the war
One thing must be clear, one thing I would like to say to you again today: the true forging together of our Order, this Order which we built up over ten long years, the fundamental principles of which we founded ten years before the war, and in which it was educated, will only begin when the war is over. That will still remain to be accomplished by us -- if I may say so, we, the old fighters -- in twenty exhausting years of hard work after the end of the war, to create a tradition of 30, 35, 45 years, that is, a generation. This Order will then march into the future, young and strong, revolutionary and effective, to fulfil its task of providing the germanic people with a superior stock <Oberschicht> capable of binding this germanic people and this Europe together and holding them together, producing the intellects that required by the people, in economics, farming, politics, and as soldiers, statesmen, and technicians. In addition, this superior stock must be so strong, so filled with life, that each generation will be capable, without question, of sacrificing two or three sons from each family on the battlefield, yet nevertheless ensure the passing on of the bloodline.
The virtues of the SS man
I now wish to speak of the most important virtues which I began to preach and to inculcate in this Order, in the entire Allgemeine SS -- since that is the basis of the Order -- years ago, and which are of such decisive meaning and importance now, precisely in the 5th year of the war.
So far, thank God, no case has occurred in our ranks in which a reputable SS Man was disloyal. Let one thing be the guideline here: should anyone in your circle of comrades ever be disloyal to the Fuehrer or the Reich, even if only in thought, you must ensure that he is expelled from the Order, and we will ensure that he is expelled from life. Since everything, I already said this and I'll repeat it once again today, everything can be pardoned in this world, but there is one thing which cannot be pardoned among germanic people, and that is disloyalty. It would be unpardonable, and it is unpardonable. Cases like the Badoglio affair in Italy should, and never will, happen in Germany. The name Badoglio will in the future be a term of abuse for bad dogs, for four-legged mongrel curs, just as in ancient times Thersites was a term of abuse for traitors. We can only say one thing, and say it again and again: let the German people, every one of its men and every one of its women, prove, through unprecedented, unconditional loyalty, that this German people is worthy of living in the era of an Adolf Hitler, for which people the Fuehrer arose and dedicated his life, filled with care, filled with responsibility, and filled with work for our germanic German people.
Obedience is required and given in the soldier's life, morning, noon, and night. The little man always obeys, or almost always. If he doesn't, he's locked up. The question of obedience among the bearers of higher honours in the State, party, and army, and even here and there in the SS, is more difficult. I would like to state something here clearly and unequivocally: that the little man must obey is a matter of course. It is even more a matter of course that all SS high-ranking SS Leaders, that is, the entire Group Leadership Corps, should be a model of unconditional obedience.
If anybody believes that a command is based on mistaken perceptions on the part of a superior or on mistaken information, it is a matter of course, that he -- that is, every one of you -- has the duty and the responsibility to speak out, stating his reasons manfully and truthfully, if he is convinced that they mitigate against the command. But once the superior or Reichsfuehrer SS involved -- in most cases, it the Group Leadership Corps which is concerned -- or, even, the Fuehrer, has decided and has given an order, it must be carried out, not just to the letter and to the text, but in keeping with the intent. Whoever carries out the order must do so as a loyal trustee, as the true representative of the authority giving the order.
If you ever believe that an order is mistaken or even wrong, then there are two possibilities: if you don't believe that you can take responsibility for an order, then you must state honestly: "I cannot take responsibility for it, I wish to be discharged from carrying out the order". In most cases, you will be ordered to carry it out anyway. Either that, or your superior will think: "His nerves are shot, he's weak". Then he might say, "OK, you can retire from service".
But orders are holy. If the generals obey, then the army will obey, too, as a matter of course. The holiness of an order becomes more and more important with the increasing size of our territory. To enforce an order in our little Germany isn't at all difficult. To carry out an order when we have garrisons on the Urals -- as we will have one day, of that I am convinced -- that will be a good deal harder. In this case, it will not always be possible to verify that the order has been carried out. Verification, among us, must not and never will consist of enforcement by a commissar, as in Russia. The only commissar we have must be our own conscience, our faithfulness to duty, loyalty, obedience. If you set this example, gentlemen, then every subordinate will follow your example. But you will never be able to demand obedience if you do not first show the same obedience to authority yourselves, unconditionally and without restriction.
I don't think there is much need for admonitions on bravery among us, since our Fuehrer is brave, and our men are brave. For curiosity's sake, however, I would like to give you a contrasting example: an example of how things are done among the Russians; I would also like to express a few thoughts in this regard. I heard the following story from an Estonian officer who was incorporated into the Red Army with his Estonian company, but who succeeded in escaping: a unit of the Red Army carried out an attack which was repulsed by the Germans. Afterwards, the unit commissar ordered the officers to a conference. The officers had had to report to the dugout, in a prescribed manner, that is, at attention. The commissar kept on working quietly and let the officers stand at attention for a long time. When one became restless and began to fidget, the commissar just looked up and said, "You seem quite tired". Then he asked, "Does anyone of the gentlemen have anything to say about the attack?" One officer replied that the German resistance was too strong, that attack at this position was impossible. The commissar drew his pistol, shot the officer, and then simply asked, "Does anyone else have any comments"? Half an hour later, they carried out another attack.
Look, that's an example of the kind of bravery we don't want, and that we don't need. The "commissar" ordering us to attack must be our own bravery, our own loyalty, our own obedience. There is an enormous difference.
In our ranks, we live according to our germanic laws, one of which, a really beautiful one, says, "Honour is compulsion enough." With foreign peoples, we must apply Asiatic laws. We must never lose sight of that. If we have one of our blood before us, a Norwegian or Dutchman of good racial stock, then we can only win his heart over to us according to our, that means his and our, totally germanic laws. With a Russian or Slav, from a racial point of view, we should never even try to apply our holy laws to them, but rather the tried and tested laws of the Russian commissar.
I would like to bring up another issue here, which is part of the topic of bravery. I mean civil courage, which is sometimes not quite as it should be. I know really a lot of my best SS leaders, who would storm any bunker, any fort, unconsciously, automatically, without thinking about it, but who, if they had to demote a subordinate, for example -- I think I already mentioned this earlier in my remarks -- they do this for me to see; but then when the time for enforcement comes, they act like astonished Central Europeans and say, "Quite incomprehensible, my dear fellow. Dreadfully sorry. I'll have to speak to Berlin about it right away. Another piece of piggery from the Main Staff Office. Of course, in Berlin, it's all theory..." It would be better to have civil courage beforehand, and say, "You, you're demoted, get out". No, gentlemen, it doesn't work like that. In the future -- I think I already said this once -- I'll have to send all such people back to the commander involved and say: "Ah, that was your mistake; the demotion was an error. Now you get your valuable employee back again". This is, in fact, an element of bravery, so-called civil courage. And I would like to educate my leadership corps in it where it is lacking.
Part of bravery also consists of faith, and here, my Group Leaders, we won't be outdone by anyone in the world. Faith wins battles, faith gets victories. We don't want men in our ranks who are pessimistic, who've lost their faith. It doesn't make any difference what his job is, whether he's a member of the General SS, in economic life, in a government position, somewhere in the Waffen SS, on the front (that doesn't usually happen), or whether he's on staff at the front, or somewhere else in the communications zone, in the homeland, in the police, or in the Security Police or Order Police. People who are so weak that they've lost their faith will be rejected by us, we don't want them. He who has lost the strength to believe shall not live among us in our ranks.
I come now to a fourth virtue, which is very rare in Germany, truthfulness. One of the greatest evils, one which has become widespread in the war, is untruthfulness in communications, reports, and data sent by subordinate positions in civilian life, in the state, party, and army, to superior positions. The communication, the report, is the basis for every decision. It is really true, that, in the war, one can now assume in many sectors that 95 % of all reports are lies, or only half-truths, or are only half-correct.
This begins with troop strength reports. I'll take an everyday example. If somebody is asking for reinforcements, he gives his "fighting strength" as his "troop strength". If he's even cleverer, he'll give the "trench strength". Of course, that's even less: "I have only 200 men left". Frightful! Only 200 men.
If anybody is sly enough to say, "What's your supply strength?" he'll see that there are 1300 men eating in the regiment concerned. I must say: these are remarkable ratios. Very odd. 200 men are fighting, while 1100 men are the huge tail wagging behind this little head. How peculiar.
If somebody wants weapons, on the other hand, he says, "I have a troop strength of 3,000 men, but not nearly enough weapons. I need vehicles and weapons".
If somebody needs material, mines or anti-tank cannons, for his positions, then the position becomes 25, 30, 35 kilometres long. It stretches out like a rubber band. But if he's supposed to occupy it and somebody says, "Your division is so strong, you could occupy at least 25 kilometres", then the division shrinks, and suddenly he says, "I can only occupy 7 kilometres".
Then there are the famous communications "on military grounds". It used to be that when somebody closed a Jewish company or took away a Jew, a Mr. Paymaster So and So reported, "What, do you want to impair the defensive strength of the German people? You're sabotaging the war effort". In reality, the Jew bought off the paymaster with a fur coat. Today, if we take 800 Jewish women away from a company, along comes a gentleman and says -- so as not to insult him, let's call him by a title which doesn't even exist -- Mr. "War Advisor", who's just had a pair of brand new boots made by the company, and he says, "I must report that you have seriously harmed war production".
Or: sometimes, when I see proposals for promotions and decorations, there's no activity anywhere which isn't decisive to the war effort. It's astonishing. Look here. I believe, if we want to be able to look each other in the eye, we must succeed in obtaining absolute and unrestricted honesty. Otherwise, management becomes impossible. Nothing can be managed if, for example, every Higher SS and Police Leader, and every division and corps commander, conceals 500 or 1000 men from us. If 17 divisions each have 1000 men too many today, then the German people are being deprived of a division. If every division has just 300 trucks too many per division, then two divisions could be motorized out of the surplus. These are things we can't be responsible for.
I now come to another matter on the subject of truthfulness. In both war and peace, it must be so -- and this will be a particular object of education in peacetime -- that we SS men no longer need to make written contracts; but rather, among us, just as in former times, a man's word and handshake must be equivalent to a contract; an SS Man's handshake, if necessary, must be of greater value than a surety for one million or more. The handshake or given word of an SS man, if necessary, must be proverbially safer than a mortgage on the most valuable property of another man. It must be so!
If we make contracts, we must keep them. If I make a contract with an agent, even if he is a contemptible character, then I keep the deal. I stand for this attitude without condition. When I decree that anybody in the General Gouvernement who informs on a Jew concealed in some hideout gets one third of the Jew's fortune, it often later happens that a Secretary Hueber or an Unterstuermfuehrer Hueber, a person who -- if he can get away with it -- indulges in unauthorized private travel, who orders anything from a new pencil to a new telephone, that is, somebody who never saves, suddenly starts to save for the German Reich. He says for example, "The Jew has 12,000 RM. Why should I give 4,000 RM to the Pole who turned him in? No, I'll save the money for Germany. The Pole gets 400 RM". In this manner, a subordinate goes off on his own bat and breaks the word of a whole organization. These are things that must be impossible.
If we give our word, it must be kept. If the Reichsfuehrer promises somebody protection for his organization -- as is often the case in the Balkans -- then this promise must be kept. We, precisely we of the SS, must earn a reputation for contractual loyalty all over the world such as to gain the greatest value for Germany in so doing, that is, faith through trust. Many people will then come to us who won't go to official agencies. There's always a lot of confusion in the Balkans. That's really our big advantage. If they were united, it would be terrible. There's confusion in the Caucasus, there's confusion in Russia. We can only -- and that's only part of the lesson -- take constant care that the territories occupied by us, and the peoples governed by us, never unite, that they remain disunited at all times: if they united, they would, of course, only be against us. So if we promise protection to a splinter group which comes to us, then it must be out of the question for any member of the SS or the police, that is, the Order as a whole, to go and break our given word. Our word must be holy.
Justice! Gentlemen, it is always very important to me that justice must never be to the letter alone, but unrestricted justice, in terms of intent, not words or form. At the same time, I'm coming to a matter which is not quite right among us. To our sorrow, as you know, many regrettable legal matters come before me in legal cases. I have every judgement against a SS Leader or police officer laid before me, and sometimes I note the manner in which my officers judge each other, time after time. You know the proverb of the crow that tried to cover itself with another bird's feathers...
It's such a habit for an officer not to hurt another officer. Gentlemen, Germany could learn from the old Prussian army in this regard. An organization remains healthy as long as it feels an unwavering pressure, an irresistible drive, to keep itself clean. A corps must be trained and educated to say to someone who has done something wrong "You must turn yourself in". Or, if it's more serious: "You must be punished for the sake of justice. You don't belong here in our ranks, or at least not in your present position in our ranks. It's wartime; you can go off and clear your name by serving as a common enlisted man and rise up through the ranks again. But you don't belong in our ranks in your present position". Now, instead of this impulse -- one cannot really call it by any other name -- to cleanse one's own ranks, as was still the custom in the old army under Wilhelm I, an impulse to act like a bunch of lawyers has spread throughout all organizations in Germany. There's no more talk of cleansing, expelling, purging anyone; rather, everybody is somebody or other's else's lawyer; it's like a trade union. Everybody acts on the principle of: "Well, you never know, you might do something wrong yourself one day. So just be careful! If you cover up for him, he'll cover up for you".
It's a great setup. You can falsify history like that for a while, gentlemen; you can manipulate your way upwards like a con-man. But one day, when tough times come along and there's pressure from Fate, then an organization like that collapses because of it. So I want you as judges, and you as High Leadership Corps of the SS, to ensure that such things are no longer covered up. If a little man and a big man are on trial or involved in some legal matter, I don't want to see the little man get punished and then hear people say of the big man, "He was only marginally involved". Of course, the officer is only marginally involved. In a case like that, you should say, "You have the higher rank, therefore you have the greater insight. Consequently, you must be more strictly and severely punished". It's the little man who is marginally involved. If he hadn't had his superior's example, he wouldn't have done it.
There's another thing I want. I want clear responsibility. That's another element of truthfulness. I always feel sick when I ask "Who decided that?" and I get an answer like, "Oh, the So and So Ministry Main Office". So I say, "OK; and who, pray tell, is Mr. Ministry?" That's what I want to know. I was born that way, I've got great curiosity. I want to know which Untersturmfuehrer, Obersturmfueher, Hauptsturmfuehrer, Sturmbannfuehrer was it? Who was it in the Main Office? Was it Mr. Meyer, or Mr. Huber? Who made the decision?
Of course, a lot of people say, "I've got a great boss, my Main Office boss or my Higher SS and Police Leader is a real good man. Since he's so decent, he always covers up for his subordinates". And since all these little wretches look so tremendously brave behind their superior's back, they say, "The Old Man will look out for us, he'll go off like a big tiger and fight for us before the Reichsfuehrer". So I no longer want to read that the "So and So Main Office So and So has decided"; rather, gentlemen, I want to know whether it was Mr. Sturmbannfuehrer Meyer or Lehmann. If the decision was correct, then he can only be proud not to be just a government employee someplace in the background.
We don't want to see just the big ones covering themselves in glory. The little man should get some glory, too. Besides, there's also a really positive side too. You and me, we'll sometimes become alert to someone who never attracted any attention at all, who has never even been noticed for all his hard work, and we'll be able to say: "Damn! That was really a great job! The report is concise, but it means something. That man must have eyes like a hawk. I'll have to take a closer look at him". We'll discover a lot of good brains in our ranks this way; we'll be glad to have opened the way for somebody with talent, maybe sometimes even a genius.
If a decision is wrong, though, then I don't want the top-ranking commandant to cover up a piece of nonsense out of sheer frivolity and maybe fight a battle to the death with his comrade from another Main Office or Upper Division, just because he says: "It's our jurisdiction. That the decision is nonsense, makes no difference. If it was my Main Office that made the mistake, then it has to be defended".
I also want us to act correctly with regards to other offices, gentlemen. I believe that I can say of myself that when I go ahead, I set a good example. If I'm wrong, I say so, I'm wrong. My God, our authority can't be so small-minded that we can't admit that. We all have so damn much work to do, that out of one hundred decisions a certain percentage of wrong, badly thought out, or half-baked decisions must be made. That's human. I'd rather have the work get done, and the decisions be made; rather than one man making five perfectly correct decisions, I'd rather have somebody else make one hundred decisions in the same period of time, of which five may be wrong; since the other 95 are still correct. Since mistakes may be made, I admit them; I don't defend nonsense "for the sake of Germany".
You say: "Yes, we made a mistake. That will be improved or corrected, without any loss of our prestige". That's how it's got to be with us; and we want to go ahead and set a good example. I've also given orders to this effect in the Ministry. The individual should stand forward by name; we're not a joint-stock company. Because of the Jews, it became a habit with us to do all business in the form of joint-stock companies; but nobody knew who the joint-stock company was, or which Jew was "Mr. Ltd." or "Mr. Inc.". I don't want a "Mr. Ministry", but I do want administrative advisors, secretaries, etc., and, among us, I want SS Leaders, Untersturmfuehers, or Obersturmfuehrers, or maybe even a Standartenfuehrer, if he's clever enough. But I want to know them all by name. So let's all start doing that. We want to eliminate anonymity, and substitute clear responsibility. Whatever I do, I am responsible for it: we must educate even the lowest-ranking Unterscharfuehrer to this, but we must start with the higher leadership.
I now come to a fifth point: sanctity of property, honesty, sincerity. I must say that these things have gotten very murky in Germany; we have become -- if I say this now in a closed room, it's because it's only intended for this small group of people -- a very corrupt people. We should not, and need not, however -- I want to mention this -- take it so tragically, so pessimistically. Many people say, "Oh, the Finns are an honest people". Yes sir. Do you know why they're so honest? Not because they've got simply fantastic moral inclinations, but because they had laws for 300 years, that anybody who stole one Finnish mark should have his hand hacked off. And that was so painful and so distressing that the whole people, as a result of such measures and such education, gradually became honest. We're not going to start doing that here, but, gentlemen, we must always take care to begin with ourselves. We will never succeed in bringing the pestilence called corruption under control, not even within our own ranks -- it's not so bad yet -- unless we persecute all signs of incipient corruption in our ranks without exception and without restriction, without asking "Who is it?", and without saying "But... but...". We must persecute them with barbarous severity, demoting all corrupt men, depriving them of office and decorations, and exposing them before their subordinates.
At the same time, that which really deserves the name of corruption is not so bad in our ranks. There are, however, little things that nobody notices any more and which are now called "getting something organized". For example, a family lives in the East. They've got more than enough workers already. They grab this Russian, that Russian, maybe a Russian girl. That's terrific, really magnificent. The missus doesn't have to do anything any more, she no longer cooks or beats carpets. What for? We're a master race. Nobody asks who pays for these workers; they'd be better utilized in an armaments factory. For a while, at first, before Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl got them -- Eicke had already gone into front line service -- this was true even in the concentration camps, due to the confused relationships of authority. A lot of families had a prisoner here, and a prisoner there; other families even got all new furniture and I don't know what all else. We've still got old cases pending, and we're going to clear these old cases up, right down to the last detail, without mercy. Because it's stealing to claim workers to which one is not entitled, when the work isn't really a necessity of life. 100 men used solely on the grounds of comfort in such work today, are a loss for German armaments.
In addition to what I've already said, however, confusion arises with regard to this question because of the misery in which we have been living since 1936-1937 <?>. Since that time, we no longer have all the necessary consumer goods which the human heart desires, and which we would like to have, such as silk, stockings, chocolate, or coffee. Hazy conditions are the result. We don't want to be hangmen here. There's a lot of temptation: can you buy it, can't you, maybe you can get it in France, or Belgium, or someplace else if you pay extra. These are things which make education difficult, of course. So I'm not concerning myself with all these moot questions which many people take for granted in this epoch of misery. I'm simply saying today that that the strictest conceivable standards will be established for the SS the moment normal conditions are restored after the war. If we do that for 20 years in peacetime, we'll achieve a faultless attitude on all these matters in the future through education.
I'd like to mention one more thing. To me, it's obvious that the old fighters, the longer they have fought for the movement, the greater is their duty to act decently in all things. When somebody comes to me and says, "But he's an old fighter", then I must answer, "Mister, please excuse me, but did we really fight for the Third Reich just so we could wreck <totschlagen> it ourselves, destroying <umbringen> through violence the respect that the people once had for us?"
It is precisely the old Nazi who, when he slips, must be caught and punished; who, in really serious cases, must pay with his life. We can take no account of past service. If we punish him, and the others talk about it, we save 99 others. But if we look the other way, saying, "He's an old Nazi", "He's an old SS Leader, you can't sentence leaders", then the next 99 will be guilty in the same case, and the whole organization will gradually suffocate because of it.
The word "comradeship" is used with great frequency. Comradeship is generally quite good among us, especially among the front line troops. I would, however, since I am speaking of comradeship, like to all one thing: avoid any disputes amongst yourselves. Disputes are unproductive.
Differences of opinion are productive, if they are managed factually. Disputes, rancour, anger, and backbiting are unproductive, and paralyse the strength which we owe the Fatherland. They cost nervous energy which we need for other things, namely, for the fulfillment of our duties.
I must perhaps make another request, that disputes between higher leaders not be carried out at my expense. In many cases, the Reichsfuehrer has to play postman, since the two gentlemen are no longer speaking to each other. So one of them writes a letter to the Reichsfuehrer SS, then the other one writes a letter, too. Then the Reichsfuehrer has to write to both of them, and so on. It would save stamps, and be much simpler, it would save us all time, if the gentlemen would write to each other, and sit down together for once. In most cases, almost all cases, it turns out that if they speak their mind, if they take the time to discuss it, the matter is settled. If they don't take the time for it, if one says, "I don't have time, I can't see him this afternoon, besides, we can't agree on whether he visits me or I visit him, let's meet someplace neutral, the best thing is to meet by an old oak tree, or something like that". If they can't reach an agreement like that, since these are all matters of prestige -- a man has his prestige after all, especially when his person is involved -- then they can never even discuss the matter.
But then they write letters to each other for weeks and weeks, months and years, just to get mad every time and wait for the other man to do something. Then some little wretch comes along and says, "I've got a real great number with my Old Man, if I tell him the other guy was naughty again, he'll say: he's representing my interests, he's a good Unterstuermfuehrer, he's in the right."
I'd like to tell you something: beware of such subordinates, beware of such companions. Let us all beware of men who kindle disputes and don't advise reconciliation between German people. Everybody who decorates himself with cheap laurels in this manner, as especially brave representatives of their Ministry, their section, their division, would best be removed from office immediately for encouraging quarrelsomeness and character defects. These are things -- I would like to draw your attention to this -- that we want to eradicate <ausmerzen> from our entire Leadership Corps.
I have already briefly spoken on the subject of willingness to take responsibility. Situations will arise in this war requiring tremendous willingness to take responsibility. At this point, I'm not thinking of what I said before, that responsibility must be clearly stated, that the individual must stand up and be counted instead of remaining anonymous; rather, I am now thinking of another kind of responsibility, namely, a willingness to take responsibility even when, gentlemen, it really has nothing to do with you. I would like to say something here about the famous matter of jurisdiction. Our friend Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, in Italy, has just introduced something in the local Italian office: he said, "The man with jurisdiction is the man who can get it done." That's really true. In particular, there are men who say, "Of course, I'm responsible for that, but I can't get along with the person I have to deal with, he doesn't like me, he turns me down. So I'd rather see that nothing gets done in this matter."
Somebody else who isn't competent, of course, could certainly get something done, because he's friends with the man on the other end. But he's not allowed to negotiate. The man with the authority would rather do nothing for the SS than see something get done by somebody who doesn't have the authority. I think you understand what I mean. Look, we must be generous here, right up to the hilt. The main thing is, something's got to be done. It's the same thing in battle: if an important hill has to be taken, it doesn't matter whether the 995th Division or the 998th has authority to do it. The main thing is, it has to be taken; then afterwards, they can always say, "OK, it's in your sector now; of course, we took it, but please be so kind as to occupy and hold it; don't let it be taken away again, or else we'll have to take it again".
That which must be accomplished for Germany and for the SS must be accomplished by the person who is able to do it, whoever can get it done, and that person must possess an uttermost love of responsibility.
8) Hard work
I would like to say another word about hard work. Lets teach all our men, today during the war and later in peacetime, that no work is undignified. It often happens that, as soon as one becomes, let's say, an Unterscharfuehrer, of course, he can't carry suitcases any more, he can't do this and he can't do that any more. He can only stand around and supervise. That's the way it is now.
For example, if a leader goes out with his wife, of course, he can't carry a package in uniform; it's better to let his wife do it. It's almost like in the Orient with us. Maybe we should make it a law that the wife with the package should also walk three steps behind. These attitudes have already become really traditional, and I don't want to see them adopted by us. I would like us to issue a motto for us, namely this, that for men and women of this Order, this racial community of the SS, the word "work" will be writ large; that no work done for Germany is shameful, be it with axe or spade or with the pen, whether in agriculture, in the home or factory, or whether with the sword or plough.
I am of the heretical opinion that we will be a poor people after the war, thank God. I find that downright encouraging. If we were really rich and well-off, we would probably not last long. We would collapse from sheer megalomania. We wouldn't know whether we were coming or going from sheer conceit. Because the war costs a lot of money, and because we must finance everything ourselves, I therefore truly believe that we will be a poor people. We will therefore have to work again. Above all, we must keep people from saying: "Servant girl, oh, no, no German girl can do that, that's for foreigners". We would end up like the ancient Romans, bringing over slave nationalities by whom we would be racially contaminated.
These are some of the great problems which are already weighing down upon me and which concern me more than a lot of things in this war. The war must be carried on to the end; we'll win it after all, we just don't need to make mistakes. The other questions, however, winning the peace, winning over people's hearts again, letting them relax again after the war, and then getting them back to work immediately, educating them; these questions will be much more difficult at times. I believe, as I said, that the German people, at the end of the war, will be, not pauperized, but poor; that we will have to be very productive and work very hard. I hope we won't be so rich that we can only gobble meat until our teeth fall out, and commit other acts of nutritional stupidity; but rather, that all these things will be regulated by life itself.
I also believe that the evils of the bombing war will lead to a dispersion of the great cities, so that we will be driven out onto the land a bit by our gracious God. Many people will then say: "It's not so bad on the land at all; I've got a goat, somebody else has a pig, we've got a few potatoes." That would be a very good start. Besides, we won't suffer so many hard blows. That's really good for the immediate future. We would never have been willing to spend the money required to tear down the cities. Now they've been torn down by Fate, and we will probably rebuild them more rationally with more open spaces.
We must recognize these things in time, and apply education correctly from the outset. When you, as commanders, discover childish military vices such as an UnterscharFührerthinking that he doesn't have to work, then you must intervene. Sometimes it goes so far -- not, thank God in our divisions -- that soldiers no longer dig in. They seem to think: a Master Race doesn't dig in. It allows itself to be killed, but it doesn't dig in. I want these things to be eradicated <ausrotten> as radically as possible among us, so that they cease to be a habit.
9) Avoidance of alcohol
We really need waste no words on the subject of alcohol, we know that. With the hundreds of thousands of men that we're losing in the war, we can't afford to lose still more men, physically or morally, through addiction to alcohol and self-destruction. Here as well, the best comradeship which you can extend to your subordinates is the greatest, most merciless severity. Crimes committed under the influence of alcohol must be punished twice as severely. Leaders who allow their subordinates to hold drinking parties in their companies will be punished. I must request that this be carried out everywhere.
Now to the practical tasks, and then I will finish. Beginning with myself, I already told you that, in the Reichsministry of the Interior, I see the practical work before us as consisting of strengthening the authority of the Reich, and in defending domestic morale and conduct. In the field of the Waffen SS, the main thing is to train leaders and Unterfuehrers in sufficient numbers for the purpose of new formations, since I see that we will have to intervene on an increasing basis among foreign nationalities. We will therefore need Leaders and Unterfuehrers. These new formations will be the responsibility of the SS Main Office during the initial recruiting stage; during the second stage of training and armaments, they will be the responsibility of the SS Leadership Main Office.
Another task, of particular concern to our Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, will be the increasing and strengthening of our armaments works and armaments efforts; the task of the Order Police will to mop up the East, since the reduction in territory involved will release gendarmerie and staff strengths, even if we only cover the territory using the present strengths. The main thing is to mop up mercilessly, completely. Many will weep, but that doesn't matter; there is a lot of weeping already. We must economize on strength, since we will need intervention reserves here and there in this troubled Europe. The work of the Security Police will increase in significance, since the war of nerves, of psychological warfare, will reach a climax in the fifth and sixth year of the war.
For the Higher SS and Police Leaders, in terms of practical tasks, I see a task which also applies in particular to the Main Office. To me, the Higher SS and Police Leader is the representative of the Reichsfuehrer SS in his sector. Woe, if the SS and Police ever have a falling out. Woe, if the Main Offices ever become independent from each other with regards to their subordinates through well a well-intended, but incorrect, notion of their responsibilities, each with its own hierarchy of authority.
That would, I firmly believe, be the end of the SS, if anybody ever shoots me out of hand. It must and shall be, that this Order of the SS, with all its great sectors -- the whole basis of the Allgemeine SS, Order Police, Security Police, general economic management, training, ideological education, the whole genealogical question -- shall form one block, one body, one order, even under the decimated Reichsfuehers SS. Woe, if we fail to bring that about. Woe, if the individual Main offices, the individual chiefs, ever get a false idea of their tasks here; if they believe they are doing good, when in reality they are taking the first step towards ruin. We have come a long way on the path towards fusion. In the bitterest hours of the hard struggle of this year, the Waffen SS was merged together from the most diverse divisions and units, out of which it formed the Leibstandarte, the reserves, Death's Head units, and finally the Germanic SS. When our Divisions "Das Reich", "Death's Head", Cavalry and "Viking" fought together just recently, everyone knew, especially in the past few weeks: "The 'Viking' is with me, the 'Reich' is with me, the 'Death's Head' is with me"; nothing can happen to us, thank God."
The Order Police and Security Police, the Allgemeine SS, and Waffen SS must now gradually merge, j�t as it is and must be within the Waffen SS. This is already happening in the area of appointments to office, recruiting, training, economic affairs, and medical treatment. I'm always doing something to accomplish this purpose; over and over again, a band is being wrapped around this bundle of shoots, to allow it to grow together. Woe, if these bands should ever loosen, since everything -- you may well believe it -- would sink back into its old meaninglessness in a generation, in the shortest period of time. One could then say: that wouldn't be a shame; if it is incapable of living, let it die. That is true. Nor would I ever wish to keep anything alive, even my -- our -- SS, which is so dear to us, if it is incapable of living. I simply believe, however, that we could not bear responsibility for it before Germany, before the germanic world; because this germanic Reich needs the Order of the SS. It will need it for at least the next few centuries. Another form for it will certainly be found in one hundred, a thousand, two thousand years. When we're finished, some remnant will be saved and maintained by us, together with a few basic ideas. Something new will arise from that remnant, just as we held out our hand to grasp the torch held out to us, here and there, from the age of the germanic tribes, from the age of chivalry, from the Vehmic organizations <secret medieval courts similar to American vigilante committees; anti-French resistance organizations under the occupation of the Rhineland>, from the Prussian army; we are now the bearers of that torch, for the purpose of kindling a great Light. Thus shall it be in later times. Today, I believe, we cannot afford to anything happen to this SS. I therefore urge one thing to you all, you, my Main Office Chiefs, my Higher SS and Police Leaders, to the entire corps of Group Leader, to the highest level of hierarchy of the Order of the SS: always look at the whole, always see the Order as a whole, never just look at your own sector, never just look at your own Upper Section, but always look at the SS, and above that, the germanic Reich, and above that, our Fuehrer, who created this Reich and who is still creating it.
Party and army
Unity, which is more important than ever in Germany today, must be a Sacred Commandment to us, even if we may get angry over something or other once in a while. We need complete unity with the Party and with all its institutions. Fortunately, unity with the SA already exists. The new Chief of Staff Schepmann also views the creation of peace and harmony between old Party organizations as his most important task. We need unity with the armed forces. We know that, as political soldiers, we think that many things in various units of the armed forces are out of date, unattractive, or incorrect. Always look at the positive; consider it your task to win men over; be a missionary. Don't look at the negative; don't look at what you don't like, but try to win men over who are often thirsting for a message. Try to make them understand the meaning of the war, and of the tasks that you are carrying out. Teach them about the racial question. We are, after all, fortunate enough to be able to say that we know all about that. That is what gives us our strength, that which makes us invulnerable to crisis. Take the trouble to communicate and propagate these thoughts. Every company chief to whom you communicate our ideas will become stronger, and his company will become stronger. Every division commander not rejected or insulted by you, but rather won over, will be a relentlessly uncompromising fighter in this war, with 15,000-20,000 men behind him. That means he'll hold the front; because it's the heart that holds the front; not the body, not the weapons, not the cannons.
There is another point I want to mention here. We have already thinned our ranks very seriously. Where we can still spare a man, we want him out. After long hesitation, I have agreed that SS Obergruppenfuehrer Sachs, who came to me with this plan, should create a school for SS Helferinnen in Oberehnheim. I must say that this newest SS institution of the SS is also making very good progress so far. I have set myself the task in this respect of creating a form which was neither an institution for clerks, nor one for merry-making. The German people, with all its values, must after all succeed in calling into being an institution similar to the Finnish Lottas. We must attempt to achieve -- through a selection of these girls, so that truly the most valuable will come to us, as well as through an awakening of their feeling of honour -- that which cannot be achieved through compulsion, not through curfews, punishments, and all other kinds of compulsion.
In this connection, gentlemen Obergruppenfuehrer and Gruppenfuehrer, it is your job, each of you, to make an effort to send us every valuable young girl of your acquaintance or from among your blood relatives, just as we used to recruit men for the Waffen SS and Junkers for the Leader career. Our comrade and friend Waldeck has behaved ideally in this regard, and has sent us his daughter. He is now going to send us his second daughter. The Upper Section which has helped the most in this new area has been Hoffmann's Upper Section Southwest. This will help us achieve one thing: every girl that we can use, will replace one man. A bit of nonsense occurred in one office, since soldiers and SS Men are, after all, very stubborn. There, the commander said: "I'll let these girls train SS Men as communications assistants in the communications service, then I'll send the girls away; I don't want girls in my unit". That is, of course, not really the purpose of the institution; rather, the purpose is the other way around, to use the girls to replace the men. But I think that generally that will all be straightened out. I am now asking you to treat these girls with all your chivalry, all your sense of justice, all your concern; take care that this institution remains sacred; act with all the nobility which, in other respects, really exists in our ranks. I don't want any jokes here; these are our daughters; they're the sisters of SS Men, and are intended to be the brides of younger SS Men and Leaders.
When I met these girls, I said that when a man wants to marry one of them and he finds out she was an SS Helferin, he mustn't say: "No, for God's sake, it's out of the question". Rather, when a man wants to marry one of them and he finds out she was an SS Helferin, he must say, "Yes, I can marry her, she's all right". That's how it must be. That is how the girls must behave; that is how you commanders must look out for them, and enforce this attitude with regards to your subordinates.
The immediate future will, I believe, bring very heavy burdens; we will have a hard winter, a hard early year, before us. The assault in the East will be bitter as never before. The partisan war will increase. As soon as the thaw permits, landings and air attacks by the English and Americans will increase as well. This winter, the motto must be: "Stand, resist, have faith, hit back, fight, never give in". That is the main thing.
Whatever it takes to end the war and achieve victory, one thing must be clear in our minds at all times: a war must first be won spiritually, in terms of will and soul; after that, physical, bodily, material victory is only a result.
Only he who capitulates, only he who says, "I've lost my faith, my will to resist", can lose; because he has laid down his weapons. He who fights and resists stubbornly, until an hour past the conclusion of peace, has won. We need all the stubborness we possess, all the obduracy that distinguishes us so absolutely; all our tenacity, all our obstinacy, all our pig-headedness. We want to show the English, the Americans, and the Russian sub-humans that we are tougher; that we, precisely we, the SS, will be those who stand forever. We wish to be the ones who return to fight again and again, whenever the opportunity arises, even in the 5th and 6th years of the war, with good humour; not with faces as bitter as the dead, but with humour, will, and drive. If we do that, many others will follow our example, and will stand as well. In the last analysis, we must have the will, and we have it, cooly and soberly to kill <umbringen> anyone who, in any position, no longer wishes to go on fighting in Germany -- that can happen under stress. It is better to put a certain number up against the wall than to allow a breach to be opened anywhere in our lines. If we are prepared spiritually, in terms of will and intellect, then we will win the war according to the laws of history and of nature; because we incorporate the higher human values, the higher, more powerful values of nature.
As I said already, our work will begin after we've won the war. We don't know when the war will be over. It can happen suddenly, it can take a long time. We'll see when it happens. But I am already predicting to you today, when armistice and peace suddenly come along, let no one believe that he can simply fall back and sleep the sleep of the just. Make sure all your commanders, chiefs, and SS Leaders understand this: because, gentlemen, if we once relax, a great many others will fall into the same sleep as well. I'm going to wake up the SS so thoroughly, and keep it so wide awake, that we can go straight to work building Germany. The germanic work will then begin immediately in the Allgemeine SS; the harvest is ripe, and ready to be carried to the granery. We'll recruit the young by conscription. We'll put all our Waffen SS units in top shape in terms of armaments and training. For the first half year after the war, we'll work as if the big attack were coming the very next day. It will be decisive for Germany to have an operative reserve of 20, 25, or 30 intact SS divisions at the negotiations for peace or an armistice.
When the final peace comes, then we'll be ready to proceed with our great work of the future. We will colonize; we will educate the young in the laws of the Order of the SS. I consider it absolutely crucial to the life of our people that concepts such as "ancestors", "grandchildren" and "future" not be taught as external matters, but that they become a part of our being. It must be a matter of course for us to have children, without question, without the need for offer premiums and material incentives. It must be a matter of course that the greatest number of descendents should issue from this Order, from this, the racial upper stratum of the germanic people. We must be truly capable of supplying the leadership stratum for all of Europe in 20 or 30 years. If the SS, together with the farmers, if we, together with out friend Backe, then colonize the East, in bold strokes, without inhibition, not inquiring about traditional methods, with revolutionary drive and impetus, then we'll be able to extend the racial borders of the Reich by 500 kilometres to the East in 20 years.
I asked the Führer today to grant the SS -- if we fulfill our tasks and duties until the end of the war -- the privilege of maintaining the outermost German border to the East in a military sense. I believe this is the only privilege in which we need fear no competition. I don't believe that anyone will dispute us this privilege. There, we will be able to train every age group in the practical use of weapons. We will dictate our laws to the East. We shall burst forth and press gradually onwards to the Urals. I hope that our generation succeeds in enabling every age group to fight in the East, so that every divisions spends a winter in the East every two or three years. Then we'll never grow soft; we'll never have uniform-bearers who only come to us because it's comfortable, because the black uniform naturally looks very attractive during peacetime. Everybody will know that if he joins the SS, there will always be a possibility of getting killed. He'll know he won't be dancing in Berlin or celebrating Carnival in Munich every other year; rather, he'll be stationed on the Eastern border in an ice cold winter. This will ensure us a healthy selection for all time. This will enable us to create the preconditions for the entire germanic people and for all of Europe, led, ordered, and trained by us, the germanic people, over generations, to resist the fateful struggle with an Asia certain to break forth once again.
We don't know when that will be. When the "mass man" arises on the other side with 1 to 1.5 billion people, then the germanic people with its, I hope, 250 to 300 million people, together with the other European peoples, for a total of 600 to 700 million people, on a perimeter extending the Urals, or, in one hundred years, extending over the Urals, will carry on its battle for life against Asia. Woe, if the germanic people should fail to resist in this struggle. That would be the end of beauty and culture, of the creative power of this earth. That is the distant future. That is what we are fighting for: it is our duty to pass on the heritage of our ancestors.
We see into the future because we know the future. That is why we do our duty more fanatically than ever, with greater faith than ever before, more bravely, more obediently, more decently than ever before. We want to be worthy of being the FührerAdolf Hitler's first SS Men in the long history of the germanic people, a history which stands before us.
Now let us honour the Führer, our FührerAdolf Hitler, who created the germanic Reich, and who will lead us into the germanic future.
Our Führer Adolf Hitler
- CODOH - Speech of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler at Posen 4 October 1943 Translation of Document No. 1919-PS, Nuremberg Trial, Translated by Carlos Porter
- CODOH - Denying the Holocaust :The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory Deborah Lipstadt, New York: The Free Press, 1993. ix + 278 pages.
- CODOH - The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question": Extermination or Ethnic Cleansing?