On Adolf Hitler’s 129th Birthday — “Thanks to Him Alone”
On the occasion of Hitler’s birthday anniversary this year, I am presenting passages from Joseph Goebbels’ speech on the eve of the Führer’s last earthly birthday on April 20, 1945. Everyone knew that final disaster was closing in and Goebbels’ had the unenviable task of saying words to the nation that would honor the 56-year-old Leader and encourage and fortify the people without raising false hopes. He did his usual eloquent job and his speech went out on the airwaves that evening and was printed in the German newspapers the next day. Here is much but not all of the speech.
At the moment of the war when — so it seems — all forces of hate and destruction have been gathered once again, perhaps for the final time, in the west, the east, the southeast, and the south, seeking to break through our front and give the death blow to the Reich, I once again speak to the German people on the eve of 20 April about the Führer, just as I have done every year since 1933. That has happened at good and bad times in the past. But never before did things stand on such a knife’s edge, never before did the German people have to defend their very lives under such enormous danger, never before did the Reich have to draw on its last strength to protect its threatened self.
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This is not the time to speak of the Führer’s birthday in the usual way or to present him with the usual best wishes. More must be said today, and by one who has won the right both from the Führer and the people. I have been at the Führer’s side for more than twenty years. I have seen his rise and that of his movement from the smallest and most improbable beginnings up to the seizure of power, and gave my best efforts to them as well. I have shared joy and sorrow with the Führer, from unprecedented historic victories to the terrible setbacks in the remarkable years from 1939 until now. I stand beside him today as fate challenges him and his people with its last, most severe test. I am confident that fate will give him and his people the laurel wreath of victory. The fact that Germany yet lives, that Europe and the civilized world have not yet fallen into the dark abyss that looms before us, is thanks to him alone.
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Times like those we experience today demand more of a leader than insight, wisdom, and drive. They demand a toughness and endurance, a steadfastness of heart and soul, that appear only rarely in history, but that when they do appear produce the most admirable achievements of human genius. Burckhardt said in his Observations on World History: “The fates of people and of states, of entire civilizations, can depend on whether an extraordinary person can bring forth the proper strength of soul and action. Normal minds and spirits, no matter how numerous, cannot replace such a person.”
Who can deny that only the Führer has the right to feel these words apply to him and his deeds in our and many coming generations? What can enemy statesmen say in response? They have nothing but superior numbers, their stupid and insane destructiveness and their diabolical lust for annihilation, behind which lurk the chaos of the collapse of civilized humanity.
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The most shining culture the earth has ever seen sinks in ruins and leaves only memories of the greatness of an age destroyed by satanic powers. The peoples are shaken by the most severe economic and social crises, which are but foretastes of the terrible events to come. Our enemies claim that the Führer’s soldiers marched as conquerors through the lands of Europe — but wherever they came, they brought prosperity and happiness, peace, order, reliable conditions, a plenitude of work, and therefore a decent life. Our enemies claim their soldiers came to the same lands as liberators — but wherever they come there is poverty and misery, chaos, devastation and destruction, unemployment, hunger and mass death. And what remains of their so-called freedom is a life that no one would dare call decent even in the darkest corners of Africa.
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Opposing this apparently all-powerful coalition of destructive satanic forces brings with it tests and burdens of superhuman nature, but that is not dishonorable — the opposite in fact! To bravely accept a battle that is unavoidable and inescapable, to wage it in the name of divine Providence, to have confidence in it and its eventual blessing, to stand before fate with a pure conscience and clean hands, to bear all suffering and every test, never even thinking of being untrue to one’s historic mission, never wavering even in the most difficult hours of the final battle — that is not only manly, it is also German in the best sense of the word! Would our people not accept this task and not fight for it as if it were the word of God, it would not deserve to live any longer, and would lose any possibility of further life.
What we experience today is the last act of a powerful drama that began on 1 August 1914 and which we Germans gave up on on 9 November 1918 just before the end. That is why we had to begin again on 1 September 1939. What we hoped to spare ourselves in November 1918 we have paid for two- or threefold today. There is no escape — unless the German people surrenders any kind of decent human life and is ready to forever live in a way that would shame even the most primitive African tribes.
If it is manly and German as Führer of a great and brave people to depend wholly on oneself in this struggle, relying on one’s own own strength and certainty as well as the help of God in the face of an enemy who threatens with overwhelming numbers, to fight rather than to capitulate, then it is just as manly and German for a people to follow such a Führer, unconditionally and loyally, without excuse or reservation, to shake off all feelings of weakness and uncertainty, to trust in the good star that is above him and us all.
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The world speaks of loyalty as a German virtue. How could our people have withstood the tests of this war without it, and how could it survive the war’s coming end without it? For it is ending! The war is nearing its end. The insanity that the enemy powers have unleashed on humanity has gone beyond all bounds. The whole world feels only shame and disgust. The perverse coalition between plutocracy and Bolshevism is collapsing! Fate has taken the head of the enemy conspiracy [U.S. President Roosevelt had died the week before]. It is the same fate that the Führer escaped on 20 July 1944, amidst the dead, the wounded and the ruins, so that he could finish his work — through pain and trials it is true, but nonetheless as Providence ordained.
Once more the armies of the enemy powers storm against our defensive fronts. Behind them is the slavering force of International Jewry that wants no peace until it has reached its satanic goal of world destruction. But its hopes are in vain! As He has done so often before, God will throw Lucifer back into the abyss even as he stands before the gates of power over all the peoples. A man of truly timeless greatness, of unique courage, of a steadfastness that elevates the hearts of some and shakes those of others, will be His tool. Who will maintain that this man can be found in the leadership of Bolshevism or plutocracy? No, the German people bore him. It chose him, it by free election made him Führer. It knows his works of peace and now wants to bear and fight the war that was forced upon him until its successful end.
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German history is not rich in great statesmen. But where one has appeared he usually had something to say and give not only to his own people, but to the world. What would there be European about Europe had not German kaisers and kings, counts and generals and their armies repeatedly withstood the onslaughts from the east! Usually only a disunited continent stood behind them that either did not understand or even fell upon Germany in the midst of its saving work for Europe. Why should it be any different today? At the present state of things, it is difficult to understand this great battle between peoples. One thing, however, can no longer be disputed: If there had been no Adolf Hitler, if Germany had been led by a government like those in Finland, Bulgaria, or Rumania, it would long since have become the prey of Bolshevism. Lenin once said the path to world revolution leads though Poland and the Reich. Poland is already in the possession of the Kremlin, despite all the attempts of the Anglo-Americans to conceal it. If Germany had followed, or would follow, what would become of the rest of our continent?
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If the world still lives, and not only our world but the rest of it as well, whom has it to thank other than the Führer? It may defame and slander him today, persecuting him with its base hatred, but it will have to revise this standpoint or bitterly regret it! He is the core of resistance to the collapse of the world. He is Germany’s bravest heart and our people’s most passionate will. I permit myself to make a judgment that must be made today: If the nation still breathes, if it still has the chance of victory, if there is still an escape from the deadly danger it faces — it is thanks to him. He is steadfastness itself. I have never seen him fail or falter, or weaken or tire. He will go his way to the end, and there awaits not the end of his people, but rather a new and happy beginning to an era in which Germandom will flourish as never before.
Listen, Germans! Millions of people look to this man from every land on the earth, still doubting and questioning whether he knows the way out of the great misfortune that has befallen the world. He will show the peoples that way, and we look to him full of hope and with a deep, unshakable faith. We stand behind him with fortitude and courage: soldier and civilian, man, woman and child — a people determined to do all to defend its life and honor. He may look his enemies in the eye, for we promise him that he does not need to look behind him. We will not waver or weaken. We will never desert him, no matter how desperate and dangerous the hour. We stand with him, as he stands with us — in Germanic loyalty as we have sworn, as we shall fulfill. We do not need to tell him, for he knows and must know: Führer command! — We will follow! We feel him in us and around us. God give him strength and health and preserve him from every danger. We will do the rest.
Our misfortune has made us mature, but not robbed us of our character. Germany is still the land of loyalty. It will celebrate its greatest triumphs in the midst of danger. Never will history record that in these days a people deserted its Führer or a Führer deserted his people. And that is victory. We have often wished the Führer in happy times our best on this evening. Today in the midst of suffering and danger, our greeting is much deeper and more profound. May he remain what he is to us and always was — Our Hitler!
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Source: Carolyn Yeager