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Friday, May 24, 2013

Adolf Hitler: Conquests and hatred of Churchill

Adolf Hitler gave this speech in 1941 boasting of Germany's conquests and expressing his animosity against Winston Churchill.

On May 10 of last year perhaps the most memorable struggle in all German history commenced. The enemy front was broken up in a few days and the stage was then set for the operation that culminated in the greatest battle of annihilation in the history of the world. Thus France collapsed, Belgium and Holland were already occupied, and the battered remnants of the British expeditionary force were driven from the European Continent, leaving their arms behind.

On July 19, 1940, I then convened the German Reichstag for the third time in order to render that great account which you all still remember. The meeting provided me with the opportunity of expressing the thanks of the nation to its soldiers in a form suited to the uniqueness of the event.

Once again I seized the opportunity of urging the world to make peace. And what I foresaw and prophesied at that time happened. My offer of peace was misconstrued as a symptom of fear and cowardice.

The European and American warmongers succeeded once again in befogging the sound common sense of the masses, who can never hope to profit from this war, by conjuring up false pictures of new hope. Thus, finally, under pressure of public opinion, as formed by their press, they once more managed to induce the nation to continue this struggle.

Even my warnings against night bombings of the civilian population, as advocated by Mr. Churchill, were interpreted as a sign of German impotence. He, the most bloodthirsty or amateurish strategist that history has ever known, actually saw fit to believe that the reserve displayed for months by the German Air Force could be looked upon only as proof of their incapacity to fly by night.

So this man for months ordered his paid scribblers to deceive the British people into believing that the Royal Air Force alone -- and no others -- was in a position to wage war in this way, and that thus ways and means had been found to force the Reich to its knees by the ruthless onslaught of the British Air Force on the German civilian population in conjunction with the starvation blockade.

Again and again I uttered these warnings against this specific type of aerial warfare and I did so for over three and a half months. That these warnings failed to impress Mr. Churchill does not surprise me in the least. For what does this man care for the lives of others? What does he care for culture or for architecture?

When war broke out he stated clearly that he wanted to have his war, even though the cities of England might be reduced to ruins. So now he has got his war.

My assurances that from as given moment every one of his bombs would be returned if necessary a hundredfold failed to induce this man to consider even for an instant the criminal nature of his action. He professes not to be in the least depressed and he even assures us that the British people, too, after such bombing raids, greeted him with a joyous serenity, causing him to return to London refreshed by his visits to the stricken areas.

It is possible that this sight strengthened Mr. Churchill in his firm determination to continue the war in this way, and we are no less determined to continue to retaliate, if necessary, a hundred bombs for every one of his and to go on doing so until the British nation at last gets rid of this criminal and his methods.

The appeal to forsake me, made to the German nation by this fool and his satellites on May Day, of all days, is only to be explained either as symptomatic of a paralytic disease or of a drunkard’s ravings. His abnormal state of mind also gave birth to a decision to transform the Balkans into a theatre of war.

For over five years this man has been chasing around Europe like a madman in search of something that he could set on fire. Unfortunately, he again and again finds hirelings who open the gates of their country to this international incendiary.

After he had succeeded in the course of the past Winter in persuading the British people by a wave of false assertions and pretensions that the German Reich, exhausted by the campaign in the preceding months, was completely spent, he saw himself obliged, in order to prevent an awakening of the truth, to create a fresh conflagration in Europe.

In so doing he returned to the project that had been in his mind as early as the Autumn of 1939 and the Spring of 1940. It was thought possible at the time to mobilize about 100 divisions in Britain’s interest.

The sudden collapse which we witnessed in May and June of the past year forced these plans to be abandoned for the moment. But by the Autumn of last year Mr. Churchill began to tackle this problem once again.

The reverses suffered by the Italian Army in North Africa, owing to a certain material inferiority of their tanks and anti-tank guns, finally led Mr. Churchill to believe that the time was ripe to transfer the theatre of war from Libya to Greece. He ordered the transport of the remaining tanks and of the infantry division, composed mainly of Anzacs, and was convinced that he could now complete his scheme, which was to set the Balkans aflame.

Thus did Mr. Churchill commit one of the greatest strategic blunders of this war. As soon as there could be no further doubt regarding Britain’s intentions of gaining a foothold in the Balkans, I took the necessary steps.

Germany, by keeping pace with these moves, assembled the necessary forces for the purpose of counteracting any possible tricks of that gentleman.

Germany had no intention of starting a war in the Balkans. On the contrary, it was our honest intention as far as possible to contribute to a settlement of the conflict with Greece by means that would be tolerable to the legitimate wishes of Italy.

The Duce not only consented to but lent his full support to our efforts to bring Yugoslavia into a close community of interests with our peace aims. Thus it finally became possible to induce the Yugoslav Government to join the Three -- power Pact, which made no demands whatever on Yugoslavia but only offered that country advantages.

Thus on March 26 of this year a pact was signed in Vienna that offered the Yugoslav State the greatest future conceivable and could have assured peace for the Balkans. Believe me, gentlemen, on that day I left the beautiful city of the Danube truly happy not only because it seemed as though almost eight years of foreign policies had received their reward but also because I believed that perhaps at the last moment German intervention in the Balkans might not be necessary.

We were all stunned by the news of that coup, carried through by a handful of bribed conspirators who had brought about the event that caused the British Prime Minister to declare in joyous words that at last he had something good to report.

You will surely understand, gentlemen, that when I heard this I at once gave orders to attack Yugoslavia. To treat the German Reich in this way is impossible. One cannot spend years in concluding a treaty that is in the interest of the other party merely to discover that this treaty has not only been broken overnight but also that it had been answered by the insulting of the representative of the German Reich, by the threatening of his military attaché, by the injuring of the aide de camp of this attache, by the maltreating of numerous other Germans, by demolishing property, by laying waste the homes of German citizens and by terrorizing.

God knows that I wanted peace. But I can do nothing but protect the interests of the Reich with those means which, thank God, are at our disposal. I made my decision at that moment all the more calmly because I knew that I was in accord with Bulgaria, who had always remained unshaken in her loyalty to the German Reich, and with the equally justified indignation of Hungary.

The consequences of this campaign are extraordinary. In view of the fact that a small set of conspirators in Belgrade again were able to foment trouble in the service of extracontinental interests, the radical elimination of this danger means the removal of an element of tension for the whole of Europe.

The Danube as an important waterway is thus safeguarded against any further act of sabotage. Traffic has been resumed in full.

Apart from the modest correction of its frontiers, which were infringed as a result of the outcome of the World War, the Reich has no special territorial interests in these parts. As far as politics are concerned we are merely interested in safeguarding peace in this region, while in the realm of economics we wish to see an order that will allow the production of goods to be developed and the exchange of products to be resumed in the interests of all.

It is, however, only in accordance with supreme justice if those interests are also taken into account that are founded upon ethnographical, historical or economic conditions.

I can assure you that I look into the future with perfect tranquillity and great confidence. The German Reich and its allies represent power, military, economic and, above all, in moral respects, which is superior to any possible coalition in the world. The German armed forces will always do their part whenever it may be necessary. The confidence of the German people will always accompany their soldiers.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Adolf Hitler: No more territorial demands

Adolf Hitler gave this speech in Berlin in 1938 where he claimed that the only territorial demand of Germany is the Sudeten territories.

I have attacked all seemingly impossible problems with a firm will to solve them peaceably if at all feasible even at the risk of more or less important German sacrifices.

I am a front soldier myself and I know how terrible war is.

I wanted to spare the German nation this experience and therefore I took up problem after problem with a firm resolve to attempt everything to make an amicable solution possible.

The hardest problem I found, my fellow citizens, was Polish-German relations. We faced the danger here of steering ourselves into, let us say, fanatical hysteria. The danger existed that in this case a conception like inherited enmity would gain possession of our peoples as well as the Polish people.

This I wanted to forestall. I know perfectly well that I would not have succeeded alone if at that time there had been a democracy of western construction in Poland.

For these democracies running over with peace phrases are the most bloodthirsty war instigators.

There was no democracy in Poland but there was a man. With him we succeeded in less than a year in arriving at an agreement which for the duration of ten years basically removes the danger of any clash.

We all are determined, and also convinced, that this agreement will bring about lasting and continuous pacification, because problems in eight years are no different from those today.

We do not have to expect anything from each other. We recognize this. We are two peoples. They shall live. One cannot annihilate the other. I recognize this and we must see it: A State of 33,000,000 people will always strive for an outlet to the sea.

Here the road to understanding had to be found, and it was found.  And it is being widened and expanded.

Of course, down there realities are often grim. Nationalities and little racial groups often fight with each other.

But the decisive thing is: The two administrations and all sensible and reasonable people in both countries have a firm will and a firm resolve continually to improve relations.

That was a great deed of mine, and a real act of peace which‘ weighs more than all the jabbering in the Geneva League of Nations palace.

Now I have tried during this time also gradually to bring about good and enduring relations with other nations.

We have given guarantees for the States in the West. We have guaranteed to all contiguous neighbors the inviolability of their territory so far as Germany is concerned.

That is not a phrase -- that is our sacred will.

We are not interested in breaking peace. We do not want anything from these peoples. It is a fact that these our offers were meeting with increasing acceptance and also growing understanding.

Slowly, more and more nations are departing from the idiotic delusion of Geneva; I should like to say, departing not from collective peace obligations but from collective war obligations.

They are withdrawing from them and they begin to see problems soberly and are ready for understanding and peace.

I have gone farther.

I extended a hand to England. I renounced voluntarily ever again joining any naval conference so as to give the British Empire a feeling of security, not because I could not build more -- and there should be no illusion about that -- but exclusively for this reason: to safeguard permanent peace between both nations.

To be sure, there is here one pre-condition -- it cannot be admitted that one party should say: I do not want to fight you any more and therefore I offer to cut my armaments down to 35 per cent, and that the other party should say from time to time: We will fight again when it suits us.

That won’t do. Such an agreement is morally justified only when both peoples shake hands on an honest promise never to wage war upon each other again.

Germany has this will. We all hope that among the English people those will prevail who are of the same mind. I have gone further. Immediately after the Saar had been returned to the Reich by plebiscite, I told France there were no more differences between France and us.

I said: Alsace-Lorraine does not exist any more for us.

These people really have not been asked their opinion in the last few decades. We believe that the inhabitants of those parts are happiest when they are not being fought over.

And we all do not want any more war with France. We want nothing of France, absolutely nothing.

And when the Saar territory was returned to the Reich, thanks to -- I will say so right here -- thanks to France’s loyal execution of the treaties, I immediately gave this frank assurance: Now all the territorial differences between France and Germany are settled.

I no longer see any differences at all. There are two nations. They can live best if they work together.

After this renunciation, irrevocable once and forever, I turned to another problem, solvable more easily than others because a mutual philosophic basis served as a prerequisite for an easier mutual understanding: Germany’s relations to Italy.

Certainly the solution of this problem is my work only partially. The other part is due to the rare great man (Premier Mussolini) whom the Italian people is fortunate to possess as its leader.

This relation has long left a sphere of clear economic and political expediency and over treaties and alliances has turned into a real strong union of hearts.

Here an axis was formed represented by two peoples, both of whom in their philosophical and political ideas found themselves in close indissoluble friendship.

Here, too, I cut the cloth finally and definitely, convinced of my responsibility toward my countrymen.

I have relieved the world of a problem that from now on no longer exists for us.

Bitter as it may be for a few, in the last analysis the interest of the German nation stands above all.

This interest, however, is: To be able to work in peace.

This whole activity, my fellow citizens, is not a phrase that cannot be proved, but instead this activity is demonstrated by facts which no political liar can remove.

Two problems remained.

Here I had to make a reservation.

Ten million Germans found themselves outside the Reich’s confines in two large contiguous regions -- Germans who desired to come back into their homeland. This number of 10,000,000 is not a trifle. It is a question of one-fourth of the number of inhabitants France has.

And if France during forty years did not renounce its claim to a few million French in Alsace-Lorraine, certainly we have a right before God and man to keep up our claim to these 10,000,000 Germans.

Somewhere, my fellow countrymen, there is a limit -- a limit where yielding must cease, because it would otherwise become a harmful weakness and I would have no right to maintain a place in German history if I were simply to renounce 10,000,000 without caring about them. I would then have no moral right to be Fuehrer of the German people.

I have taken upon myself sufficient sacrifices in the way of renunciations. Here was a limit beyond which I could not go. How right this was has been proven, first by the plebiscite in Austria; in fact, by the entire history of the reunion of Austria with the Reich. A glowing confession of faith was pronounced at that time -- a confession such as others certainly had not hoped for.

A flaming testimony was given at that time, a declaration such as others surely had not hoped would be given.

It was then we saw that for democracies a plebiscite becomes superfluous or even obnoxious as soon as it does not produce results democracies hoped for.

Nevertheless this problem was solved to the happiness of the great German people, and now we confront the last problem that must and shall be solved.

This is the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe, but it is a demand on which I will not yield.

Its history is as follows: In 1918 Central Europe was torn up and reshaped by some foolish or crazy so-called statesmen under the slogan "self-determination and the right of nations."

Without regard to history, origin of peoples, their national wishes, their economic necessities, they smashed up Europe and arbitrarily set up new States.

To this, Czechoslovakia owed its existence.

This Czech State began with one big lie and its father’s name was Benes.

This Herr Benes at that time turned up at Versailles and told them that there was the Czechoslovak nation.

He had to invent this lie to bolster up an insignificant number of his own nationals so as to make them seem more important.

I said in the Reichstag on Feb. 20, that this (meaning the Czecho-slovak situation) must be changed. Only Herr Benes changed it differently. He started a more radical system of oppression, greater terror, a period of dissolutions, bans, confiscations, etc.

This went on until May 21, and you cannot deny, my friends, that it was truly endless German patience that we practiced.

This May 21 was unbearable enough. I have told the story of this month already at the Reich’s party convention.

There at last were to be elections in Czechoslovakia. They could no longer be postponed.

So Herr Benes thinks out a way to intimidate Germans there -- military occupation of those sections.

He still keeps up this military occupation in the expectation that so long as his hirelings are there nobody will dare raise a hand against him.

It was an impudent lie that Germany had mobilized. That had to be used in order to cloak the Czech mobilization, excuse it and explain it.

What happened then, you know. The infamous international world set at Germany. Germany had: not called upon one man. It never thought of solving this problem militarily.

I still had hopes that the Czechs would recognize at the last minute that this tyrannic regime could not keep up.

But Herr Benes believed Germany was fair game. Of course, he thought he was covered by France and England and nothing could possibly happen to him.

And if everything failed there still was Soviet Russia to fall back on.

Thus the answer of that man was: No, more than ever, shoot down, arrest and incarcerate all those whom he did not like for some reason. Then, finally, my demands came from Nuremberg.

The demands now were quite clear. Now, for the first time, I said, that at last nearly twenty years after Mr. Wilson’s right of self-determination for the 3,500,000 must be enforced and we ‘shall not just look on any longer.

And again Herr Benes replied: New victims, new incarcerations, new arrests. The German element gradually began to flee.

Then came England. I informed Mr. Chamberlain unequivocally of what we regard as the only possibility of solution.

It is the most natural solution possible.

I know that all these nationalities no longer want to remain with this Herr Benes.

In the first place, however, I speak of Germans. For these Germans I have now spoken and now given assurances that I am no longer willing to look on quietly and passively as this lunatic believes he can simply mishandle 3,500,000 human beings.

I left no doubt that German patience at last was exhausted. I left no doubt it was the way of our German mentality to take things long and patiently, that, however, the moment comes once when this must be ended.

And now, in fact, England and France agreed to dispatch the only possible demand to Czechoslovakia, namely to free the German region and cede it to the Reich.

I am thankful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his trouble and I assured him that the German people wants nothing but peace, but I also declared that I cannot go beyond the limits of our patience.

I further assured him and I repeat here that if this problem is solved, there will be no further territorial problems in Europe for Germany.

And I further assured him that at the moment that Czechoslovakia has solved her other problems, that is, when the Czechs have reconciled themselves with their other minorities, the Czech State no longer interests me and that, if you please, I give him the guarantee: We do not want any Czechs.

But equally I want now to declare before the German people that as regards the Sudeten German problem, my patience is now exhausted.

I now head the procession of my people as first soldier and behind me -- may the world know this -- there now matches a people and a different one than that of 1918.

Errant mentors of those times succeeded in infiltrating the poison of democratic phrases into our people, but the German people of today is not the German people of 1918.

In these hours we will take one holy common resolve. It shall be stronger than any pressure, any peril. And when this will is stronger than pressure and peril, it will break the pressure and peril.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Adolf Hitler: Germany's Intentions

Adolf Hitler gave this speech before the Reichstag in 1938 where he disclosed his intentions against Europe publicly.

Despite the really exemplary discipline, strength and restraint which National Socialists preserved in their revolution, we have seen that a certain portion of the foreign press inundated the new Reich with a virtual flood of lies and calumnies. It was a remarkable mixture of arrogance and deplorable ignorance which led them to act as the judges of a people who should be presented as models to these democratic apostles.

The best proof for showing up these lies is success. For if we had acted during these five years like the democratic world citizens of Soviet Russia, that is, like those of the Jewish race, we would not have succeeded in making out of a Germany, which was in the deepest material collapse, a country of material order. For this very reason we claim the right to surround our work with that protection which renders it impossible for criminal elements or for the insane to disturb it.

Whoever disturbs this mission is the enemy of the people, whether he pursues his aim as a bolshevist democrat, a revolutionary terrorist or a reactionary dreamer. In such a time of necessity those who act in the name of God are not those who, citing Bible quotations, wander idly about the country and spend the day partly doing nothing and partly criticizing the work of others; but those whose prayers take the highest form of uniting man with his God, that is the form of work.

I had a right to turn against every one who, instead of helping, thought his mission was to criticize our work. Foreign nations contributed nothing apart from this spirit, for their rejection was tinged by hate or a spirit of knowing better than we know.

It was the A B C of our creed to find help in our own strength. The standard of living of the nation is the outcome of its total production; in other words, the value of every wage and salary corresponds to the volume of goods produced as a result of the work performed. This is a very unpopular doctrine in a time resounding with cries such as "higher wages and less work."

Next to the United States, Germany today has become the greatest steel country in the world. I could give many more examples. They are documentary proof of the work such as our people never before achieved. To these successes will be added in a few years the gigantic results of the Four-Year Plan. Is it not a joke of history when those very countries which themselves have only crises think they can criticize us and give us advice?

We have given the German nation that weapon of steel which presents a wall at our frontiers against the intentions of the malicious international press campaign.

At the conclusion of the next decade the German people will bear in mind the success of their efliciency and will be filled with a supreme pride. One of these achievements is the construction of a national leadership which is far removed from parliamentary democracy as it is from military dictatorship.

If ever international agitation or poisoning of opinion should attempt to rupture the peace of the Reich, then steel and iron would take the German people and German homesteads under their protection. The world would then see, as quick as lightning, to what extent this Reich, people, party and these armed forces are fanatically inspired with one spirit, one will.

If Great Britain should suddenly dissolve today and England become dependent solely on her own territory, then the people there would, perhaps, have more understanding of the seriousness of the economic tasks which confront us. If a nation which commands no gold reserves, no foreign exchange -- not because National Socialism reigns but because a parliamentary, democratic State was exploited for fifteen years by a world hungry after loot; in other words, if, a nation which must feed 140 people to the square kilometer and has no colonies, if a nation which lacks numerous raw materials and is not willing to live an illusory life through credits, reduces the number of its unemployed in five years to nil and improves its standard of living, then all those should remain silent who, despite great economic advantages, scarcely succeed in solving their own unemployment problems.

The claim for German colonial possessions, therefore, will be voiced from year to year with increasing vigor. These possessions, which Germany did not take away from other countries and which today are practically of no value to these powers, are indispensable for our own people.

I should like to refute here the hope that such claims can be averted by granting credits. Above all, we do not wish for naive assurances that we shall be permitted to buy what we need. We reject such statements once and for all. 
You will not expect me to discuss in detail the individual international plans which appear to arouse the varied interests of the various governments. They are too uncertain and they lack the clarity necessary for me to be able to express myself on these questions. Above all, however, take note of my deep-seated distrust of all so-called conferences which may provide interesting hours of conversation for those taking part in them, but generally lead to the disappointment of hopeful mankind.
I cannot allow our natural claims to be coupled with political business. Recently rumors have been cropping up, rumors that Germany was about to revise her opinion concerning her return to the League of Nations. I should like again to declare that in 1919 the peace treaty was forced upon some countries. This treaty brought in its train farreaching inroads upon the lives of the peoples involved. The rape of national and economic destinies and of the communal lives of the nations took place under a cloud of moralizing phrases which, perhaps, tended to salve the uneasy conscience of those who instituted the affair.
After the revision of the map of the world and of territorial and racial spheres, which was as thorough as it was fundamental, had been effected by means of force, a League of Nations was founded whose task it was to crystallize these crazy, unreasonable proceedings and to coordinate its results into an everlasting and unalterable basis of life.
I notice very often that English politicians would be glad to give back to us our colonies if they were not so disturbed by the thought of the wrong and violence which would thus be done to the native inhabitants.
All those colonial empires have not come into being through plebiscites. They are today naturally integral parts of the States in question and form, as such, part of that world order which always has been designated to us, especially by democratic policies, as the "world order of right."
That right the League of Nations now has been ordered to protect. I cannot understand why a nation which itself has been robbed by force should join such illustrious company and I cannot permit the conclusion to be drawn that we should not be prepared to fight for the principles of justice just because we are not in the League of Nations. On the contrary, we do not belong to the League of Nations because we believe that it is not an institution of justice but an institution for defending the interests of Versailles. 
A number of material considerations must, however, be added.
First, we left the League of Nations because -- loyal to its origin and obligations -- it refused us the right to equal armament and just as equal security.
Second, we will never re-enter it because we do not intend to allow ourselves to be used anywhere in the world by a majority vote of the League of Nations for the defense of an injustice.
Third, we believe we will please all those nations who are misled by misfortune to rely on and trust the League of Nations as a factor of genuine help. We should have regarded it as more correct, for instance, in the case of the Ethiopian war, for the League to have shown more understanding for vital Italian needs and less disposition to help the Ethiopians with promises. This would, perhaps, have enabled a more simple and reasonable solution for the whole problem.
Fourth, on no account will we allow the German nation to become entangled in conflicts in which the nation itself is not interested. We are not willing to stand up for the territorial or economic interests of others without the slightest benefits to Germans being visible. Moreover, we ourselves do not expect such support from others. Germany is determined to impose upon herself wise moderation in her interests and demands. But if German interests should be seriously at stake we shall not expect to receive support from the League of Nations but we shall assume the right from the beginning to shoulder our task ourselves.
Fifth, we do not intend to allow our attitude to be determined in the future by any international institution which, while excluding oflicial recognition of indisputable facts, resembles less the acts of a man of considered judgment than the habits of a certain type of large bird [evidently the ostrich]. The interests of nations in so far as their existence or non-existence are ultimately concerned are stronger than formalistic considerations. For in the year 2038 it is possible that new States may have arisen or others disappeared without this new state of affairs, having been registered at Geneva.

Germany will not take part in such unreasonable proceedings by being a member of the League of Nations.

With one country alone have we scorned to enter into relations. That State is Soviet Russia. We see in bolshevism more now than before the incarnation of human destructive forces. We do not blame the Russian people as such for this gruesome ideology of destruction. We know it is a small Jewish intellectual group which led a great nation into this position of madness. If this doctrine would confine itself territorially to Russia maybe one could put up with it. Alas, Jewish international bolshevism attempts to hollow out the nations of the world from its Soviet center.

As I have more than once stated Germany has in Europe no more territorial demands to make of France. With the return of the Saar we trust the period of Franco-German territorial differences is finally closed.

Germany also has no quarrel with England apart from her colonial wishes. However, there is no cause for any conceivable conflict. The only thing that has poisoned and thus injured the common life of these two countries is the utterly unendurable press campaign which in these two countries has existed under the motto "freedom of personal opinion."

The British Government desires the limitation of armaments or the prohibition of bombing. I myself proposed this some time ago. However, I also suggested at the time that the most important thing was to prevent the poisoning of the world’s public opinion by infamous press articles. That which strengthened our sympathy with Italy, if this were possible, is the fact that in that country State policy and press policy tread the same road.

There are more than 10,000,000 Germans in States adjoining Germany which before 1866 were joined to the bulk of the German nation by a national link. Until 1918 they fought in the great war shoulder to shoulder with the German soldiers of the Reich. Against their own free will they were prevented by peace treaties from uniting with the Reich.

This was painful enough, but there must be no doubt about one thing: Political separation from the Reich may not lead to deprivation of rights, that is the general rights of racial self-determination which were solemnly promised to us in Wilson’s fourteen points as a condition for the armistice. We cannot disregard it just because this is a case concerning Germans.

In the long run it is unbearable for a world power, conscious of herself, to know there are citizens at her side who are constantly being inflicted with the severest sufferings for their sympathy or unity withthe total nation, its faith and philosophy.

We well know there can scarcely be a frontier line in Europe which satisfies all. It should be all the more important to avoid the torture of national minorities in order not to add to the suffering of political separation, the suffering of persecution on account of their belonging to a certain people.

That it is possible to find ways leading to the lessening of tension has been proved. But he who tries to prevent by force such lessening of tension through creating an equilibrium in Europe will some day inevitably conjure up force among the nations themselves. It cannot be denied that Germany herself, as long as she was powerless and defenseless, was compelled to tolerate many of these continual persecutions of the German people on our frontier.

But just as England stands up for her interests all over the globe, present-day Germany will know how to guard its more restricted interests. To these interests of the German Reich belong also the protection of those German peoples who are not in a position to secure along our frontiers their political and philosophical freedom by their own efforts.

I may say that since the League of Nations has abandoned its continuous attempts at disturbance in Danzig and since the advent of the new commissioner this most dangerous place for European peace has entirely lost its menace.

Poland respects the national conditions in the Free City of Danzig and Germany respects Polish rights.

Now I turn to Austria. It is not only the same people but above all a long communal history and culture which bind together the Reich and Austria.

Difficulties which emerged in the carrying out of the agreement of July 11, 1936, made essential an attempt to remove misunderstandings and obstacles to final reconciliation. It is clear that whether we wished it or not an intolerable position might have developed that would have contained the seeds of catastrophe. It does not lie in the power of man to stop the rolling stone of fate which through neglect or lack of wisdom has been set moving.

I am happy to say that these ideas correspond with the viewpoint of the Austrian Chancellor, whom I invited to visit me. The underlying intention was to bring about a détente in our relations which would guarantee to National Socialist sympathizers in Austria within the limits of the law the same rights enjoyed by other citizens.

In connection with it there was to be an act of conciliation in the form of a general amnesty and better understanding between the two States through closer and friendlier relations in the various spheres of cultural, political and economic cooperation. All this is a development within the framework of the treaty of July 11.

I wish to pay tribute to the Austrian Chancellor for his efforts to find together with me a way which is just as much in the interests of both countries as in that of the entire German people whose sons we all are regardless of where we came from. I believe we have thus made a contribution to European peace.

Our satisfactory relations with other countries are known to all. Above all it is to be mentioned our cooperation with those two great powers which, like Germany, have recognized bolshevism as a world danger and are therefore determined to resist the Comintern with a common defense. It is my earnest wish to see this cooperation with Italy and Japan more and more extended.

The German people is no warlike nation. It is a soldierly one which means it does not want a war but does not fear it. It loves peace but it also loves its honor and freedom.

The new Reich shall belong to no class, no profession but to the German people. It shall help the people find an easier road in this world. It shall help them in making their lot a happier one. Party, State, armed forces, economics are institutions and functions which can only be estimated as a means toward an end. They will be judged by history according to the services they render toward this goal. Their purpose, however, is to serve the people.

I now pray to God that He will bless in the years to come our work, our deeds, our foresight, our resolve; that the Almighty may protect us from both arrogance and cowardly servility, that He may help us find the right way which He has laid down for the German people and that He may always give us courage to do the right thing and never to falter or weaken before any power or any danger.

Long live Germany and the German people.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Frederico Laredo Bru: Regarding United Hemisphere Defense

Frederico Laredo Bru gave this speech at the second meeting of the Foreign Ministers at Havana in 1940.

Excellencies, for the second time the unusual responsibility that places in your worthy hands the destiny of twenty -- one nations entreats you urgently to put solemnly into words the anxious but firm will of free America.

The first [Pan-American consultative] meeting, held in Panama following the agreements of Buenos Aires and Lima, was an important landmark in inter-American relations. The records of that conference bear witness that the momentous agreements, strengthened by continental friendship, binding us to each other and maintaining our countries in their traditional adherence to laws and rules, have given life and success to their democratic institutions, and, even now in the midst of disconcerting events, make our relations with other countries peaceful, decent and respectable.

This time you have elected to meet in Havana, capital of one of the last republics to constitute itself in this hemisphere, but one which never was remiss in asserting characteristically American ideals, based on liberty, peace and international justice. These very same ideals inspired the heroic decisions and immortal exploits of our illustrious men -- companions of Washington, Bolivar, Hidalgo, San Martin, Sucre, Artigas, Petio and Duarte among others -- who fought indefatigably to the end for the independence of the Cuban people. 

Certainly, this great assembly does not evoke the historical memories lent to your first meeting in Panama by the fact that that occurred in the legendary city where was held the very first conference of American countries, called by Simon Bolivar to resist the designs of foreign regimes anxious to re-establish their lordship over these lands, where, eventually, right would triumph.

But if in Havana you do not find an opportunity for such prestigious recollection, you will find at least a people the apostles of whose political faith exerted themselves to stress the necessity of promoting international common feeling; a people whose independence was kneaded not only by the blood of its sons but also by the blood and the encouragements of other continental peoples.

Marti was one of the forerunners of this movement, and this sentence of his was fittingly selected by his countrymen to be engraved on the bronze fence encircling the Tree of American Fraternity: "It is the hour of recounting and the united march and we must go forward in closed formation, like the silver ore in the base of the Andes." 

America is constituted by States of similar political organization hatched in the warmth of the same afflictions. Its analogous enthusiasms had created, by living together in a sympathetic neighborhood, an atmosphere of fraternal regionalisms which would have permitted our hemisphere to keep itself within its geographical unity and its peaceful traditions, away from conflicts not directly affecting it. We lived decorously in peace, and aimed at keeping that peace. Our aspirations could not have been nobler nor our behavior more specifically transparent.

We envied nobody anything; our sole preoccupation was thriving on our democratic institutions, which we considered good enough to consolidate our well-being in safety. We endeavored to succeed in our own behalf and also to become serviceable to others. We proclaimed the worthiness of lawful acquisitions over brittle conquests by force and violence.

Unfortunately, this regime of quiescence and confidence does not seem assured of further continuance. Nobody with an honorable conscience can deny that the Western Hemisphere is entering a new life of alarms and threats. From October of last year -- the date of your former meeting -- to the present time, humanity has gone through on its march, gradually becoming dizzy and senseless, toward the destruction of whatever constituted the highest aims of civilized man. 

It seems as if divine predestination forces us Americans, the heirs of Western culture, to be definitely the sole custodians of an international morale which becomes dim and deteriorates with the ruin of great peoples and the dramatic, contemptuous silence of the highest virtues, of which yesterday mankind was proud.

This sacred mission that the American continent assumes through setting itself up as trustee for the remainder of betrayed civilization -- civilization pushed to the edge of the precipice -- is the aim that reunites you today in order to defend and harbor it, relieving it from the utter rejection that might harass it to its last corners in the New World.

The dangers, you know well, Excellencies, increase day by day, and our America will be lucky if, due to its miraculous isolation, it can continue to avoid profound reactions to the distressing events we are living through. The fiendish fate which has befallen scientific instruments created by human wisdom for friendlier, more effective intercourse between individuals and peoples turns them into a tragic admonition for our countries, which trusted that their remoteness and manifest lack of interest in illegitimate ambitions would keep them out of the roving conflict that respects no right which is weakly claimed, nor forgives the justified abstentions of those who have not made out of covetousness for another’s possessions their ideals for national aggrandizement.

Upon this bleak present reality, that nevertheless cannot, withal, cloud the hopes of daybreak in the hearts of its men of good will, America has made itself ready for a protective preparedness and for a progressive defense of its common rights, which is the only policy proper to maintain it in its own peaceful life and insure it permanent enjoyment of its own felicity.

Men from the north, the south and the center, solidly joined together and consecrated every one by the blessed equalizing religion of America, welcome! The government and people of Cuba, in stretching toward you sincerely hospitable arms, earnestly hope for the success of your diificult task.

So, while other countries may vegetate around the margins of the law of nations, trusting only in force, we Americans proceed perfectly renewed within our traditional concepts of regional independence, reciprocal consideration and fraternal solidarity: the indestructible bases of the relations of this hemisphere.

Excellencies, I have the honor to proclaim inaugurated the second meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Haile Selassie: The position of Ethiopia

Haile Selassie gave this speech after Ethiopia was threaten by Fascist Italy in 1935.

Five months before the pretext found in December in the Ualual incident, Italy had begun the armament of her colonies, armament which since has been intensified and increased by the continuous sending of troops, mechanized equipment and ammunition during the entire duration of the work of the Council of the League of Nations and the work of the arbitration board.

Now that the pretext on which they planned to make war upon us has vanished, Italy, after having obtained from the powers their refusal to permit us to purchase armaments and ammunition which we do not manufacture and which are necessary to our defense, seeks to discredit the Ethiopian people and their government before world opinion.

They characterize us as a barbarous people whom it is necessary to civilize. The attitude of Italy will be judged by history. We will see whether it is the act of a nation that prides herself as being the epitome of civilization to make an unjust attack on a pacific people, recently disarmed and which placed all their confidence in her promise of peace and friendship which the civilized nation had previously given in a treaty made on her own initiative seven years before, to be exact, August 2, 1928.

Italy seeks to justify the unworthy act which she prepares to commit against our people. To this end, instead of replying to the legal argument which we have presented to demonstrate the violation of our territory, and the armed and illegal occupation of our territory by Italian troops, her government presents at the last moment a documentation against our people patiently and slyly assembled by numerous paid agents distributed throughout our territory under the guise of diplomatic representatives.

It is not the place or the moment here to reply legally or quarrel with Italy on their accusation, which as yet is known to us only by hearsay. To this memorandum, presented on September 4 to the League of Nations, which as yet has not had time to reach us, our government is able to reply point by point and to answer the league on all these accusations formulated at the last hour against us and to sustain the court of world opinion which now ought to judge.

Our delegation at Geneva has received our formal instructions to demand of the Council of the League of Nations the institution of an. international commission of inquiry, the only organ competent to decide such a question after having heard both parties to the dispute.

The Ethiopian people are firmly attached to peace, but they are at the same time animated by a deep love of country. Whatever may be the state of disarmament in which they unjustly find themselves through the diplomatic manoeuvres of Italy, our people are jealous of their independence and know how and will use even swords and spears in defense of the acres they have cultivated and which they love.

We do not want war. Ethiopia puts her confidence in God, and she knows His justice transcends that of man. She knows that the modern methods of war invented by men to dispose of others have never been a true symbol of civilization.

She gives thanks to those statesmen who, in spite of the immensity of their problems, have given months of their efforts to assure the maintenance of a peace which the demands of Italy disturb.  

The Ethiopian Government, the Ethiopian church and all her people pray to God that he may assist and direct them in their efforts for the maintenance of peace. Ethiopia is conscious of having always fulfilled all her international obligations and having until now made all the sacrifices compatible with her honor and dignity to assure a peaceful solution of the present conflict.

She wishes and hopes with all her heart that an amicable and peaceful settlement, in accordance with right and justice, will intervene, and the officers of the Council of the League of Nations, in conformity with the pact, will compel all the nations of the world, great and small, who hold peace as their ideal to halt this crisis which threatens to stop all civilization.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Maxim Litvinov: The League of Nations

Maxim Litvinov gave this speech at Geneva as the first delegate of Soviet Russia to the League.

The organization of peace! Could there be a loftier and at the same time more practical and urgent task for the cooperation of all nations? The words used in political slogans have their youth and their age. If they are used too often without being applied they wear themselves out and end by losing potency. Then they have to be revived and instilled with new meaning. The sound and the meaning of the words "organization of peace" ought now to be different from their sound and meaning twelve or fifteen years ago. Then to many members of the League of Nations war seemed to be a remote theoretical danger, and there seemed to be no hurry as to its prevention. Now, war must appear to all as the threatening danger of tomorrow. Now, the organization of peace for which so far very little has been done, must be set against the extremely active organization of war. Then many believed that the spirit of war might be exorcised by adjurations -- by resolutions and declarations. Now, everybody knows that the exponents of the idea of war, the open promulgators of the refashioning of the map of Europe and Asia by the sword, are not to be intimidated by paper obstacles. Members of the League know this by experience. 

We are now confronted with the task of averting war by more effective means. The failure of the Disarmament Conference, on which formerly such high hopes were placed, in its turn compels us to seek more effective means. We must accept the incontestable fact that in the present complicated state of political and economic interests, no war of any serious dimensions can be localized and any war, whatever its issue, will turn out to have been but the first of a series. We must also tell ourselves that sooner or later any war will bring misfortune to all countries, whether belligerents or neutrals. The lesson of the World War, the results of which both belligerents and neutrals are suffering from to this day, must not be forgotten. The impoverishment of the whole world, the lowering of living standards for both manual and brain workers, unemployment, the robbing of all-and-sundry of their confidence in the morrow, not to speak of the fall in cultural values, the return of some countries to medieval ideology -- such are the consequences of the World War, even now, sixteen years after its cessation, making themselves acutely felt.

Finally, we must realize once and for all that no war with political or economic aims is capable of restoring so-called historical justice and that all it could do would be to substitute new and perhaps still more glaring injustices for old ones, and that every new peace treaty bears within it the seeds of fresh warfare. Further we must not lose sight of the new increase in armaments going on under our very eyes, the chief danger of which consists in its qualitative still more than in its quantitative increase, in the vast increase of potential destruction. The fact that aerial warfare has with such lightning speed won itself an equal place with land and naval warfare is sufficient corroboration of this argument.

I do not consider it the moment to speak in detail about effective means for the prevention of impending and openly promulgated war. One thing is quite clear for me and that is that peace and security cannot be organized on the shifting sands of verbal promises and declarations. The nations are not to be soothed into a feeling of security by assurances of peaceful intentions, however often they are repeated, especially in those places where there are grounds for expecting aggression or where, only the day before, there have been talk and publications about wars of conquest in all directions, for which both ideological and material preparations are being made. We should establish that any State is entitled to demand from its neighbors, near and remote, guarantees for its security, and that such a demand is not to be considered as an expression of mistrust. Governments with a clear conscience and really free from all aggressive intentions, cannot refuse to give, in place of declarations, more effective guarantees which would be extended to themselves and give them also a feeling of complete security.

I am by no means overrating the opportunities and means of the League of Nations for the organization of peace. I realize, better perhaps than any of you, how limited these means are. I am aware that the League does not possess the means for the complete abolition of war. I am, however, convinced that with the firm will and close cooperation of all its members a great deal could be done at any given moment for the utmost diminution of the danger of war, and this is a sufficiently honorable and lofty task whose fulfilment would be of incalculable advantage to humanity.