A Struggle of Two Worlds


By ADOLF HITLER, Reichsfuehrer of Germany

Delivered to Arms Workers in Berlin, December 10, 1940

(Extracts available in the United States)

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol VII, pp. 174-177.

MY German Fellow Citizens, Women, My German Workers: I speak very seldom now, first, because I have little time to talk; second, because I believe it is better at this time to act than to speak. We find ourselves amid a controversy which aims at more than victory of one or another country. In fact, it is a struggle of two worlds.

I shall start to give you a short insight into the reasons for this controversy.

Germans, English, Italians and Frenchmen are the core of the nations which stood in war against each other. If I now compare these peoples the following facts are revealed:

Forty-six million English rule and govern a total territory of roughly 40,000,000 square kilometers in this world.

Thirty-seven million French rule and govern a region roughly 10,000,000 square kilometers.

Forty-five million Italians have an area of useful region of hardly half a million square kilometers.

Eighty-five million Germans have a living space of hardly 600,000 square kilometers and these only through their own initiative.

That means that 85,000,000 Germans have 600,000 square kilometers at their disposal upon which they must make a living, and 46,000,000 English have 40,000,000 square kilometers.

This earth, however, was not distributed by Providence or by Almighty God.

This distribution is being taken care of by the peoples themselves and this distribution chiefly took place in the past 300 years at a time when our German people were domestically unconscious and torn apart.

Germany Split in Petty States

Following the outcome of the Thirty Years' War, Germany was split into hundreds of petty States by the Munster Treaty (the peace of Westphalia of 1648). Our people almost exclusively ate up their entire force internally. During this time the rest of the world had been distributed not through treaties or arrangements, but exclusively through force.

England then built its gigantic empire. The second people who had a slight share in the distribution are the Italians, who suffered the same fate as we. The Italian people also used up their entire force in a fight against one another, thus failing even to maintain their natural position in the Mediterranean.

Thus two strong nations suffered extreme shortcomings. One could ask: Is that in any way deciding? Man lives not on phrases, not on declarations, not even on moral philosophies (Weltanschauugen); he lives on what the earth yields him through his labor in the form of foodstuffs and raw materials. Thus what he can work on and can eat. If his own vital basis offers too little, then his life will be poor. The first precondition for the present tensions thus lies in the fact that this world is unjustly distributed.

It is natural that in the life of peoples in general, thingsare developing along the same lines as in their domestic lives. Just as internally developing tensions between rich and poor must be balanced, thus in the life of the peoples one cannot claim everything and leave nothing to others.

Either this one is reasonable and agrees to regulation which is negotiable on common fundamentals or, suppressed and overwhelmed by misfortune, he will one day take what belongs to him.

Considers His Task Long One

This is inwardly the same with people and outwardly the same. Domestically, I put myself to the task of solving these problems with an appeal to reason to bridge the rift between too large wealth on one side and too great poverty on the other through an appeal to insight of all, recognizing, however, that such procedures cannot be carried out between today and tomorrow, but that it is still preferable to bring classes, which have been excessively separated from each other, closer to each other than to bring about such a solution by force.

The right to live belongs to all nations. It won't do for one people to say: "We'll let you others take part in our life." It isn't a question of charity. It is a question of obtaining one's rights.

The essence of every realistic sense of order is to see to it that alms are not given, but instead that rights are established. It isn't a question of doling out alms as an act of mercy to peoples who are short-changed on the distribution of the world, but it is a question of maintaining rights for human beings just as is the case in normal life.

The right to live constitutes a claim of fundamental nature. The right to live includes the right to the soil, which alone gives life. For this claim peoples have even fought when a lack of wisdom threatened to interfere with their relationship, for they knew that even bloody sacrifices are better than the gradual dying off of nations.

When we took over we demanded first national unity, as this was necessary for giving us the necessary strength to satisfy our claims.

Sought German Unity

National unity, therefore, was one of three objectives for us in order, first of all, to organize the entire German strength, to show the German people how great is its strength, in general that it would thus again become conscious of its power, then to make its demands and carry them through. This national unity I expected to attain by an appeal to reason. During that period of nearly fifteen years I was booed from both sides.

One side charged: "You want to pull us who belong to the intelligentsia—to the upper crust—down to the same level as those others." And so at the beginning of our national socialist revolution in 1933 we promulgated two demands. The first demand was that for national unity of our people, in the conviction that, without this decision to bring everybody together, the necessary force could not bemobilized for issuing, and especially for attaining, the necessary German claims to life.

Our people of that time faced collapse, our economy a destructive dissolution, our agriculture was ruined.

One side could not be convinced and still today there are people who cannot be convinced. But on the whole there is a steady rise in the number of those who recognize that with the disintegration of the German peoples and the body political all classes must perish.

I was also fought from another quarter. These people said we are conscious of our class. Human beings are the products of their upbringing and this unfortunately practically begins with birth. Every one wants to remain within the sphere which he attained through education. I know that whatever was done in three or four or five centuries a single person cannot move within two or three or five years.

The decisive thing is that some one start on the way to remove all this.

Fought Against Versailles

At that time I recognized the following essential: We must establish this German community of interest if we want to expect anything whatever from our peoples. That this was right was apparent from the fact that all of our enemies opposed this.

This national unity was our first demand. Piece by piece and move by move this was realized.

My second demand was: the removal of foreign political oppression as exemplified by the Treaty of Versailles whereby, among other things, our colonies and possessions were taken from us. In other words, my second demand was to fight against Versailles. I said this even when I was still a soldier.

The rest of the world didn't want our national unity, and it was determined to continue the Versailles system. My first lecture was a lecture against collapse, against the Versailles Treaty and in favor of re-election of a strong German Reich. With that I began. What I achieved since then is therefore no new establishment of aims, but the oldest thing imaginable. Herein lies the first reason for the conflict in which we now find ourselves. The other world did not desire our domestic unity because it knew that then the demand for living space for the masses of our people could be converted into reality.

They decided upon retention of this law of Versailles wherein they saw a second Westfalian peace. Added hereto was another reason. I already said that the world was divided up unequally. American and English observers spoke of the haves and have-nots. We English, we Americans, we French are the haves, and whoever hasn't must remain satisfied with not having. To some, I was the representative of the have-nots.

Represents the Have-Nots

Whoever hasn't anything won't get anything either. All my life I have been a have-not. I count myself as one of their number and have fought for them. Now again, I enter the fight as the representative of the have-nots. I will never recognize the claims of others to that which they have gained by force and robbery. In no case will I permit this claim to apply to what has been taken from us.

It is interesting to observe the mode of living of the rich. They had so-called democracy in the Anglo-French world. In reality, capitalism reigns supreme, that is, there's a band of several hundred people who possess immeasurable fortunes and who, because of the peculiar construction of the state, are more or less completely independent and free.

It is said this means rule by the people. But when you look closer, the people as such have not an opinion—it is placed before them. Now, who places this viewpoint before them? Why, it is capitalism!

The slogan of liberty really means freedom of economy—namely, for everybody to grab for himself without state control. Capital first makes the newspapers subservient. The lord of the so-called press is the man who supplies the capital, this press molds public opinion, the papers appear according to political parties, but in reality there is no difference between them.

There's no real opposition—the opposition really holds the same view. These differ as little from each other as they used to differ with us in former times. You remember, no doubt, those old parties. It was the same thing. Usually they are divided up into families. One is Conservative, the other is Liberal and, in a third case, in England, one belongs to the Labor party.

Assails English Classes

In reality all three sit together as members of the same family and agree exactly on their future attitude. Added to this is the fact that the world's chosen people actually constitute one community and that they move and direct all these organizations.

No one might suppose that in lands of freedom and democracy everybody lived in plenty. The contrary is true. Nowhere is the standard of the masses lower.

That's your rich England: 40,000,000 square kilometers controlled by it. In return, for instance, 100,000,000 colonial workers must work in India under a miserable standard of living.

One might think that in England itself at least every individual must share these riches. On the contrary, in these countries differences between classes are the crassest imaginable. Poverty on one hand that baffles description, wealth on the other hand that equally baffles description. England for decades has had two and a half million unemployed.

Rich America has twelve to thirteen million unemployed annually.

What are we to say, then, about ourselves?

After * * * we over here have erected certain barriers it is said immediately: They are terrorizing liberty; in other words, we are terrorizing liberty at the expense of the common weal. These people, to give but one example, have the possibility of pocketing up to 160 per cent dividends from the ammunition industry. They say that if these German methods gain ground and prove victorious all this will stop. They're right. I believe 6 per cent sufficient.

It's natural for the English leaders to say they don't want their world to go under because they fear Germany's new ideas may spring over to England.

They say, "We don't like these methods." What were those methods? I am proud that the revolution occurred in 1933 without a single window being smashed.

They claim in England that we have terrorized liberty. Yes, that's true, namely, when freedom was at the expense of the common weal. Certainly, we won't permit anybody freely to dispose of his earnings if thereby the common weal is interfered with.

Gold No Factor of Value

Those others are right when they say, We can never be reconciled with this world. They are fighting, for instance, for the upkeep of the gold standard, I understand this. They have the gold. Our gold was robbed and squeezed out of us. When I came to power it wasn't malice on my part that prompted me to turn from the gold standard, for there wasn't any there any longer, nor was it difficult for me to carry out this turning away process.

When some one hasn't anything he can easily part with it. And I wasn't unhappy about it, either. Our economic structure is an entirely different one. For us gold is no factor of value, but a factor for subjugating and lording it over peoples. When I came to power I entertained but one hope in which I trusted.

We placed our confidence in the ability of the German people and the intelligence of our technicians, chemists, inventors, organizers of inventors, etc.

Two worlds are in conflict, two philosophies of life. They say we should help to keep up the gold standard—of course for they have the gold and we haven't it. In the course of fifteen years all our gold has been taken away from us.

Should we go to pieces, I asked myself, because we have no gold?

Our capacity for work is our gold, our capital, and with it we will defeat the entire world.

[In the official version of the text of Herr Hitler's speech, according to The United Press, the foregoing passage reads: "If we already have no gold, then we have the power of work, and German power of work is our gold and our capital, and with this gold I can beat any other power in the world."]

I built up my entire economy on the conception of work. Those who have gold have failed completely. You can't get anybody to take the British pounds, even if you throw them after them. Our German mark without gold is worth more than gold.

Our mark, although at first there was no gold whatever, remained stable. Why? My compatriots, because you stood behind us.

If I had said publicly eight or nine years ago that our problem would be where to get enough labor, people would have said I was crazy. But today we have one problem—where do we get workers? Work creates work.

World of Cooperative Labor

What we are reconstructing is a world of cooperative labor, but also a world of cooperative duties. * * * for the first time in our own German history there exists a state which, in principle, has removed all social prejudices as regards appointment to positions.

This applies not only to civil life. I myself am the best document to prove this. I'm not even trained in the laws. Nevertheless I'm your leader. Above all we are feeling into the future. We have countless schools, national, political, educational institutions and Adolf Hitler schools. Adolf Hitler schools into which we bring talented children of our broad masses whose parents can never pay for their children to obtain their own education.

We have generals today who twenty-two or twenty-three years ago were privates or non-commissioned officers.

Our ideal is that every position in the country shall be filled by a true son of the people. We want a state in which birth matters nothing, achievement means everything. For this we are working with tremendous fanaticism. Contrasted with this is the idea of our enemies—a fight for egoism, for capital, for individual and family privileges.

Our enemies know that if they succumb then they have bought all their gold in vain, then family dynasties will be removed, and there will be a collapse.

One of these two worlds must break asunder. The traffic signals are now placed as follows: Gold versus labor.

I want to make our country beautiful. I want the theatres for everybody. For all this I wanted our manpower available—not for armaments.

Realizes the End if Beaten

We have, therefore, greater possibilities to fill this state from the bottom up. That is our aim, that is our joy in life. We are thinking of a state in the future in which every position will be filled by the ablest son of our people, irrespective of his origin.

Contrasting with this there is another struggle, another world where the final ideal is always the struggle for fortune and for capital, a fight for egotism of individuals.

We know perfectly well that if we succumb in this fight that is the end. That other world says, "If we lose then our world capitalistic structure will crumble."

I can also understand if they declare: We want to prevent this under all circumstances. Those are two worlds, and I believe one of these worlds must crack up. If we crack up, the German people should crack with us. If the other world cracks, I am convinced that it will only then become free. For our fight is not directed against Englishmen as men, nor against Frenchmen. We have no quarrel with them. We made no demands.

I demanded nothing from them except the right for Germans to unite, and secondly, to restore what was taken from them.

How often have I stretched out my hand! I was not in any mood to arm. That devours so much labor power. I wanted to use German labor power for other plans. My ambition is to make the German people rich and the German land beautiful. I would like us to have the most beautiful and best culture. * * *

I proposed limitations in certain categories of armament. That was declined. I proposed that the air force be taken entirely out of wars. That, too, was declined. I proposed limitation of the bombing weapon. All that was declined. They said the latter is exactly the weapon with which we want to force our regime upon you. Once it becomes necessary to defend oneself I defend myself with undaunted fanaticism.

I have no responsibility for the World War. But who are the people who today lead England? The same who even before the World War had been inciters.

The same Churchill who even in the World War was the meanest war inciter, the late Neville Chamberlain, who then incited twice as much, and a clique belonging thereto, and of course the people who believe they can incite nations against each other with the profit of a Jericho. Against this I now have armed the German people.

I was determined to rear our structure in the world, to widen our position and, secondly, to arm at home that the German soldier must no longer stand alone on a front, lonely and the victim of superior forces.

Then I did everything humanly possible to avoid a conflict. I made offer after offer to the English, but there wasn't anything to be done—they wanted war. For seven years Churchill said "I want war." Now he has it.

I believe their awakening has already begun. Eighteen days—and the State which wanted to hack us to pieces, before Berlin, was removed. Then came the British attack upon Norway. * * * Then within a few days we secured this Norwegian position. And then they wanted to be faster in Holland and Belgium. This led to the unloosening of an offensive which was looked forward to by many of our men, especially older men, with grave concern.

But within six weeks this campaign was also finished. No power in the world can remove us from there against our will. Now my fellow-citizens, the sacrifices.

Compares World War Sacrifices They are very hard for individuals, but if we add and judge by sacrifices of the World War, how incomparably small are they. * * * Because for the first time men did not march with the feeling of having a smaller number of arms of inferior quality.

Our arms are better in every field. That's the difference between this and the World War.

In this fight the munitions problem has never been a problem at all. * * * Today we are armed for any eventuality. England may do what she will—she will sustain harder hits with each weapon.

She will receive a heftier blow every new week, and if she wants to gain a foothold somewhere on the Continent, then we will meet again. And I hope we haven't forgotten anything and the British will remember everything.

I did not want aerial warfare. We launched no night attacks, but then that great strategist Churchill decided to launch unrestricted air warfare, beginning at Freiburg. I waited one month for them to cease this sort of combat. I waited two months, three months—but now we are conducting the war as they want it.

We now accept the challenge; we shall conduct it to a finish.

During the entire Polish campaign we did not conduct this sort of fight. * * * I wanted military objectives attacked only at the front; to fight against soldiers, not against women and children. That's why we did not do it.

We did not do it in France, either. When we attacked Paris; only Parisian armaments objectives were singled out. Then, however, it occurred to that great strategist Churchill to begin unlimited air warfare at night. * * * But not a single munitions plant was put out of action. Many unhappy families, however, were struck.

Boasts of "Reprisals"

I could no longer take the responsibility before the German people of letting our own people perish while strangers were spared. Thereupon this warfare, too, had to be conducted.

And it will now be fought. It will be conducted with all the determination and courage at our disposal. We determine the hour for this conflict. I decide in such matters. * * * We do not desire to achieve any successes of prestige but want to be guided solely by matter-of-fact military considerations.

Whatever must be done will be done, but anything beyond that we want to avoid. Beyond that we all have but one hope, namely, that the hour will come when common sense will again triumph and peace return.

I can fight today because I know the entire German people stands behind me. I am today guardian of its future life, I act accordingly. * * * My own life, my own health cuts no figure in this connection. I know that they'll stand behind me in this spirit and above all the German armed forces, man for man, officer for officer.

The world must take cognizance of one thing: there will be no defeat in Germany, either military or economic on the grounds of time. Whatever may happen, Germany will emerge victorious from this fight. I am not a man who, once he is engaged in a fight, breaks it off to his own disfavor. I have proven this in my life. * * * When I entered political life I told my followers that in our lexicon and in my lexicon there is no such word as capitulation.

All these fools who imagine that there could be rifts here have forgotten the Third Reich is no longer the Second Reich. Equally united stand the German people today. Here my thanks go before all to the German worker and the German farmer. These two enabled me to prepare this fight and, from the standpoint of munitions, to create preconditions for holding out.

These two also create the possibility for me to carry through the war no matter how long it may last. I especially thank also the German frau—those countless women who must in part take on the heavy work of men, who in so many positions replace men.

This fight not only is a struggle for the present but especially a fight for the future. * * * We are decided more and more to tear down barriers restraining the individual from unfolding his possibilities, acquiring that place which he deserves. * * *

The others fought their fight only for the damned plutocracy, those few dynasties which administer the capital market for those few hundred who, in the last analysis, direct these people. * * * When this war is over the, great work of creation is to begin in Germany.

Then the German people will cease manufacturing cannon and will begin works of peace and reconstruction.

* * *

This time will come again when we will struggle trustfully together for this great Reich of peace, work, prosperity and of the culture we desire to rear and shall rear.