DECEIT AND TREACHERY OF NAZISM
By LOUIS LOCHNER, Foreign Correspondent, Chief of the Berlin Bureau of the Associated Press, 1928-41; reported campaigns in Poland, Holland, Belgium, France, Jugoslavia, Greece and Russia 1939-41
Delivered before the Institute of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., July 10, 1942
Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. VIII, pp. 652-656.
THE other day, in New York, I had the first opportunity since my arrival on the Drottningholm on June 1st to relax a bit. I say it was my first opportunity, for, ever since my arrival I had been dragged from one intelligence office to another, from one luncheon or dinner engagement to another, from one off-the-record talk to another, from one mass meeting to another, and had to write one article after another.
With my family I went to see that charming picture in which Sasha Guitry stars: "Les Champs Elysees." We were reminded of the five months during which we took the Bad Nauheim "cure," in that many a profitable hour had then been spent by us in improving upon our knowledge of French. You see, 138 of us Americans were cooped up there in the same hotel, and I don't know what we would have done to overcome boredom had not some wise person organized what we proudly called "Badheim University." We soon found that there was every sort of college talent in our midst, and soon the place was teeming with language classes—French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Italian,—and with classes in drama, phonetics, biology, history, philosophy, mathematics, and civics. Even I found a group of people willing to listen to a course on the American Constitution which I offered!
Hence Sasha Guitry's picture recalled our Bad Nauheim internment days with its sounds of the beautiful French language.
But in me the picture awakened another memory. It was that of standing two years ago in those same Champs Elysees and seeing the victorious Hitler forces marching past the Arc de Triomphe and on to the Avenue Foch. Then as even now the whole thing seemed incredible to me. Like all the rest of the world I had trusted implicitly in the efficacy of the Maginot Line. I was simply dazed to find myself in a Paris occupied by enemy troops, in a Paris now so dead that I counted only a dozen people on its busiest spot, the Place de 1a Concorde, in a Paris at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of which I saw heartrending scenes of women weeping, old men kneeling down in prayer, young boys and girls silently strewing flowers.
We had entered Paris on the same day that it capitulated—June 14, 1940, after witnessing scenes at the front that have been seared into my soul so that I shall never be able to forget them.
I refer especially to the endless stream of civilian human misery wandering aimlessly over the roads jammed with military, then refugees pathetically carrying with them sometimes the most useless of animals or things to which they were fondly attached—house pets such as scraggy little dogs, underfed cats, scared birds; heirlooms such as a wedding picture in a large frame with the glass already broken, or a seemingly worthless old table loaded on to a baby-buggy filled to the top with clothing and bedding.
I shall never be able to forget the look of bewilderment and utter despair on these simple western European peasant people as they trudged along the road, furtively glancing at our cars that enveloped these unfortunates in a cloud of dust, holding on with their last ounce of strength to thelean cow or skinny horse that they were leading by a rope to they knew not exactly where.
I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, how would you feel if in that endless refugee stream you suddenly saw a hearse, drawn not by horses or propelled by motor, but slowly pulled by some ten or twelve perspiring, dust-bespattered men and women—why? because in that hearse, where otherwise the coffin is placed, there sat a dozen or so little Flemish kiddies who had been made homeless by war's ravages, and for whom the fond parents had no other means of locomotion than this community hearse?
Wouldn't it have wrenched your hearts to witness that sort of scene? We saw old grand-daddies evidently too lame and feeble to walk, moved along the dusty highways in baby-buggies, while the tots to whom they belonged, just about old enough to walk short distances, stumbled along for a while, then were carried again for a distance by tired mothers or fathers. We saw motor cars jammed to capacity with household goods and infants, drawn by fathers, mothers, and grown-up brothers and sisters;—drawn rather than driven because nobody in civilian life anywhere had any gasoline.
Add to this the stench of the battlefields themselves, where men and horses were rotting in the burning May and June sun; add the pitiful lowings of cows whose udders were bursting and paining them as they had not been milked for days; add the nerve-racking roar of the planes above you, the swish of passing bullets, the holocausts of fire wherever shelling did its devastating work, the debris of once beautiful buildings that were brushed aside like card houses by the advancing, ruthless armored cars—add all this and you can understand, perhaps, why my last three years on the other side seem like a nightmare.
Before reaching France we had been in unfortunate Holland. There for the first time our eyes had been opened to the thoroughness with which Hitler had prepared his war, and to the premeditation that gave the lie to all his asseverations of peaceful intentions.
Just get this, for instance: Holland, as you know, is dotted with canals over which there are bridges of every size and width. Now, as Division X moved into the country say on Road A, that division carried with it "Ersatz" bridges for every canal that had to be crossed until the assigned objective was reached. Hence, if on reaching canal crossing Number 5, this bridge was found to have been blasted by the retreating Dutch, the "Ersatz" bridge was quickly thrown over the gap and the army proceeded almost without loss of time. If Bridge No. 5 was intact, then the "Ersatz" bridge was quickly sent to the rear, to be used elsewhere and also so as not to encumber the advancing army.
Also, we noted how on this Road A, let us say, only Mercedes cars were used, while on Road B, let us say, they were all Opels. In such detail had Hitler prepared his attack on Europe that only one set of repair parts, one type of tires, one corps of mechanics was used on this particular road—of course at a great saving of men and materials. Incidentally, this principle of using only one type of car onone road had struck me even during my first trip to the Polish front in September, 1939.
That was one profound impression we gained. There was no doubt in our minds, Adolf Hitler wanted this war and prepared for it with all the cunning at his command.
But then, as we got into Belgium and France, there was another fundamental lesson we learned: modern warfare depends, in a measure hitherto undreamed-of, upon air power for its efficacy. I cannot emphasize too strongly my belief that the sad story of the Lowlands and of France is chiefly that of the superiority of Nazi air power at that stage of the war. Thank God that superiority is waning rapidly and has in fact already waned, due to our American effort. But two years ago the story was a different one.
Why, my friends, wherever we drove in the German military car to which we were assigned, we saw the German air force above us, while the United Nations just weren't there. We correspondents tried to warn our compatriots by giving a truthful picture of what we observed. We were called pro-Nazi. I say with all the conviction at my command that I never felt myself a truer patriot than when, realizing as a layman that there was something sadly lacking in the United Nations set-up, I conveyed as much of the truth as I could under the terrific obstacles of censorship under which we were working.
Take it from me, ladies and gentlemen: if a fellow has, like myself, been born on Washington's birthday in Abraham Lincoln's home town of Springfield, Illinois, has been educated in the liberal University of Wisconsin, and is now privileged to speak at Thomas Jefferson's great University of Virginia, he just cannot be a pro-Nazi! To have had so lucky a combination of birthday and birthplace and educational facility and emotional outlet entails an obligation ever to remain true to American ideals.
This is what we observed as we swept on with Hitler's army: the Luftwaffe, the German airforce, was everywhere. Standing on a high hill—or, if you please, a miniature mountain—near Ghent, in Belgium, we saw the German troops in action during their successful attempt to cross the river near by. Before the actual crossing was attempted, German artillery got into action to silence the Belgian and French artillery on the other side of the river.
At first the shots fell wide of their mark. Then we noticed how German planes began to hover over the area—unfortunately there were no English or French planes there to drive them off—and within only a few minutes the shots went exactly where they were intended, silencing one battery after another of the opposing forces. The German officers accompanying us said, and we had no reason to doubt their words, that the battle that raged below was conducted by wireless from the scouting planes overhead.
Meanwhile the horrible Stukas, as we learned afterward, were dropping their devastating bombs and, descending with ferocious screeches, were striking terror into the hearts of the reinforcements that were on their way to this battle scene.
More than that, these bombers were far down in the heart of France, bringing confusion and working havoc in the endless columns of French soldiers who were on their way to the northern front. They were blasting railway stations, destroying airports, interfering with marching columns. And the other side had nothing to combat this onslaught effectively!
Again to show you how complete had been Hitler's advance preparations, let me tell you that in bombing the roads along which the French and Belgian troops moved, the Stuka pilots by no means destroyed the roads themselves.
No, they would drop one bomb on this side of the road, the next on that side, and so on. The violence of the repercussion from an exploding bomb was such that men and horses and vehicles, yes even heavy armored cars, were hurled off the roads and telescoped into each other, while the road itself was left intact.
The purpose of this type of bombing was obvious: Hitler wanted the roads for his own blitz drive into the heart of France; that's why he destroyed advancing men and materials, but not the roads themselves!
If there is any one military impression which I have taken here with me as a layman, it is that of the necessity of combating Hitler with airpower and more airpower and still more airpower.
During that trip—one of many for me, for I have been at all fronts that Hitler has erected—I also had many an occasion to observe what the civilian population of Europe suffers while the armies are on the march. At Cambrai, for instance, right across the Franco-Belgian border, we had had to live on dry bread, champagne, and a little canned blood sausage because the entire water supply of the city had been destroyed and all activity had come to a standstill. We even had to wash and clean our teeth in champagne, that being the only liquid available.
In Greece, where I went in May, 1941, one more terrible impression became a memory which haunts me even today: that of the thousands upon thousands of Greek soldiers who were returning, in the shoddiest of clothing, often without shoes, in the burning May and June sun all the way from Albania, where they had bravely defeated the Italians, to southern Greece.
What had happened was this: unlike his procedure elsewhere, Hitler had set his Greek prisoners free immediately. This looked like a humane gesture. In reality he was thereby relieving himself of the responsibility of feeding hundreds of thousands of prisoners in a country entirely dependent upon overseas wheat and other commodities.
So here were these poor devils, footing it over the barren mountain passes, over fields on which they gratefully plucked a blade of grass here and there, at night sleeping on the street of some local German commandery in Greece—at Larissa, for instance, I was witness to such a scene—in the hope that in the morning enough might be left over from the German field kitchen to give them a little helping. It was a pitiful sight which I shall never forget.
I returned then from my trip to Greece convinced in my own mind that the first European country really to starve would be Greece. Alas, I have been right—starvation and even cannibalism are the order of the day in that unfortunate country which gallantly fought off its invader Italy until Hitler's men simply overwhelmed it.
And there was another impression with which I returned: after having seen the unparalleled natural positions of the Metaxes Line, I often wondered how different the story might have been if on the United Nations side there had been proper air protection to work havoc among the German troops as they advanced over lonely mountain passes, and to keep the Greeks properly informed when Hitler tried one of his famous encircling movements which could be detected from the air only, and not from below on the land. Again I for one correspondent drew the inescapable lesson: air power and more air power is the most precious auxiliary to insure the success of the armed forces.
But I must not linger too long over memories of my front experiences. What I imagine you may want to hear more is this: who is this Hitler who has brought so much misery into the world?
I have seen and watched Adolf Hitler ever since 1930 when I encountered him for the first time. He is a rabble rouser if ever there was one. He came into power partly because he was all things unto all men. If he faced aworkers audience he told them about the times when he was down and out, and he had a way of drawing on their emotions that often astounded me. If he encountered a university crowd, his appeal to students and faculty was that they, as intellectuals, should study up on the Treaty of Versailles, realize its iniquities and then turn against the existing republican government for attempting to live up to its provisions. If he was with bankers and industrialists, he conjured up a picture of a Greater Germany, freed from all foreign shackles.
Thus he promised heaven and earth to everybody at a time when Germany was having hard sledding economically, and when men like the late Foreign Minister Stresemann and ex-Chancellor Bruening were given but little encouragement.
In fact, I do not hesitate to express as my deliberate judgment that the French ambassador in Berlin did everything to undermine the Bruening administration and put Adolf Hitler into power, simply because he thought Hitler was a fool and would be easier to handle than the wise and honest Dr. Bruening.
What the world didn't realize at the time and what the devoted adherents to democracy in Germany did not divine at the time was that Hitler was doing exactly what Goebbels cynically admitted after the Nazis had taken over power in 1933: "We utilized the instrumentalities of democracy to put democracy out of business."
There you strike at the root of Nazism: deceit and treachery all along the line. The German people were promised liberty and the full dinner pail and received slavery and deprivation instead. The Austrians, the Sudeten Germans, the Czechs, the Memellanders, the Danzigers—and later all the conquered peoples of Europe—were promised a better world, a so-called New Order. But as soon as the Hitler regime had them in their clutches, the Fuehrer about-faced and made mere slaves out of them.
Having, as Goebbels put it, undone democracy after hoisting himself into power through its instrumentalities, Hitler began a campaign of psychologizing the nation into thinking he was a superman of a kind that the world hadn't seen before.
The result was that, until Hitler since his declaration of war upon the United States has made one psychological blunder after another, his followers began to think of him as a new Christ.
Day in, day out Hitler was pictured by his followers as the perfect man. The children in the schools were taught, "What our Fuehrer does is always right."
May I take you for a moment to a typical Hitler mass meeting, such as I have had to report or at least attend time and again?
For hours before such a meeting begins, the faithful have been streaming to the scene of the demonstration. The different factories, the government offices, the party headquarters—all must furnish so many participants, and as everybody is catalogued from cradle to grave in Germany, and his attendance at a demonstration checked, there can never be any doubt but that the hall will be packed and that thousands will stand outside to listen to the loudspeakers.
Snappy marches put the crowd in a- receptive mood. Gigantic posters or streamers in strategic parts of the hall hammer away at the slogan of the evening. It may be "We demand colonies," or "We want a New Europe under Adolf Hitler," or, "The Jew is our Misfortune." It all depends upon the occasion.
After this has gone on for about an hour, you suddenly hear excited "heils" at the further end of the hall, and people craning their necks. The first group of sub-leadershas arrived—the local district fuehrer, the chief of police, the head of the local SA, and so on.
After another ten minutes or so, more "heils," more commotion. Now the top hierarchy of the rank of Goering or Goebbels or Himmler proceed suavely through the center aisle as the audience salutes with outstretched hands. Each of these satellites just laps up the moment during which he feels himself a little Hitler.
A near-climax comes when next the flags and standards of all the participating groups are solemnly brought in. These flags and standards with their carriers are arranged as an effective background to the speaker's rostrum.
Excitement has by this time reached fever heat, and the audience is ready for the climax—for the supreme experience of seeing the New Messiah in person. Long before he has reached the hall, the ecstatic, hysterical cries of the followers stationed outside for blocks away, reach our ears. The cries assume organ-like dimensions when finally, at the rear end He, the leader, the fuehrer, the man who has power of life or death over 80 millions, appears.
A searchlight plays upon his lone figure as he slowly wends his way through the hall, never looking right or left, but his right hand raised in salute, his left hand at the buckle of his belt. There is never a smile—this is a religious rite, this procession of the modern Messiah incarnate.
Can you wonder that a people who is thus psychologized after a while forgets by what means this man came into power, how he stole right and left from the Jews, how he had those who disagreed with him put into vile concentration camps, how he set aside all law and made himself the sole law giver, law executor, and law interpreter?
And yet there were and are brave men in Germany who opposed him. Their numbers are growing daily. And every once in a while someone leaves his enchanted circle because he simply cannot stomach Hitlerian godliness any longer. Harvard-bred Putzi Hanfstaengl, who at one time had to play the piano for Hitler much as King Saul had a harpist play to him when the evil spirit overcame him, was one of the first from the intimate circle to skip out. Rudolf Hess much later took a plane for England as all anti-Nazis in Germany shook with laughter. For, here was a man who as nobody else was an exponent of Hitler party philosophy. The Berliner has a way of responding when you tell him something that totally surprises him, "Gee, I'm going crazy." After the Hess episode he changed his rejoinder to, "Gee, I'm going crazy—I'll take a plane for England."
May I offer you just an example or two of exceptionally brave conduct by German opponents of Hitler:
You all recall the name of Dr. Martin Niemoeller, the head, front and shoulders of the oppositional Protestant movement, who has been rotting in a concentration camp now for more than five years, but whose spirit is still unbroken. It was my privilege to hear him make one of the most dramatic speeches to which I have ever listened.
Please remember the circumstances surrounding this episode: Niemoeller was accused of teaching subversive doctrines from his pulpit. This was a silly charge to prefer against a man who had won fame during the First World War as a submarine commander.
"Twice in my life," Niemoeller said, "I have refused obedience. The first time came at the end of the war, in 1918, when the captain in charge of our U-boat unit ordered me to take my little submarine and sink it at Scapa Flow. 'Captain,' I said, 'I cannot do that; I refuse obedience,' I was discharged.
"Today the Reichsbishop advised me that I had been removed from my post; that I may no longer preach, 'Herr Reichsbishop,' I said, 'I refuse obedience. The Bible says
one must obey God more than man. I have a mandate from God, as an ordained minister of the Gospel, to preach. I shall continue to preach!' "
The seed planted by Niemoeller has been sprouting ever since, and brave clergymen, now greatly heartened by what the Lutheran bishops and pastors of Norway have done in opposing Quisling, are continuing the fight.
But let me speak also of that wonderful Catholic bishop upon whom has fallen the mantle of the doughty, fearless, but now very aged and infirm Cardinal Faulhaber—I mean Bishop von Galen of Muenster in Westphalia.
Galen had become so outspoken in his denunciation of Nazism as a doctrine opposed to Christianity that the Gestapo came to arrest him. Now, Muenster is one of the most Catholic cities in Westphalia. The news that the bishop was to be arrested spread like wild-fire, and soon thousands were milling around on the big square before the bishop's palace.
When the Gestapo informed the bishop that he was under arrest, he asked that he be excused for a moment while he changed clothes. The Gestapo, unaware of his intentions, acquiesced. To their dismay, however, Galen emerged from his room a few minutes later, dressed in the full regalia of an officiating bishop, with robe, mitre, and high bishop's headgear.
"That won't do," the officials said. "We cannot take you to jail that way."
"All that I have said and done," von Galen replied with dignity, "I have done as a prince of the church. Hence I shall leave this building in your custody in my official robes, and only in those robes."
The Gestapo was so flabbergasted that it desisted from arresting the clergyman, and the episode ended by the bishop's stepping out on the balcony and bestowing the apostolic blessing upon the thousands outside.
All these men who oppose Hitler must, of course, work most carefully. The Gestapo is ubiquitous. It and the strict regime of censorship which Dr. Goebbels' so-called ministry of propaganda and public enlightenment exercises makes it exceedingly difficult for the opposition to organize.
We on our part ought to do all possible to help this submerged opposition by intelligent radio broadcasts from here, the radio being one of the few means left for contacting the German world.
A further proof that an opposition is at work in Germany may be found in what I am about to reveal to you: among the documents which in the course of time I have smuggled through to this country are the secret instructions, covering a period of at least half a year, issued to the German press.
Every editor who received these instructions was put under oath not to reveal them. And yet there were German men of the pen who were so shocked at the lies that Goebbels expected them to tell, at the censorship which the regime imposed upon them, at the interference with freedom of thought and expression which this meant, that at risk of life and limb they nevertheless communicated these instructions to me, hoping that by knowing what the Goebbels machine was doing, I might outwit it and give a true picture of conditions in Germany.
I have picked at random the instructions of May 29, 1941, because they refer to our President's declaration of a state of emergency. The proclamation you will recall, was read in the presence of the Latin American diplomatic corps.
Here are the instructions:
"Continue to harp on the Roosevelt speech. Point out that the only new thing in it was the proclamation of a state of emergency. This means that Roosevelt is meddling with the American peoples' lives in a dictatorial way. Thoughclaiming to fight dictatorship he shows himself no longer to be a democrat.
"To emphasize that South America is being threatened by us, Roosevelt conceived the idea of inviting the South American diplomats to hear his address. They know, however, that it is really the USA which threatens South America. To them we must make clear that we are protecting them against the USA.
"As to the claim that Germany invaded the Balkans, we shall in due time throw light, by the publication of documents, upon the role played by Colonel Donovan.
"One Berlin paper was permitted for special reasons to report the American president's speech on the first page and with a double column head. This does NOT mean that other papers may do so.
"Don't report the rationing of eggs.
"Point out that the USA can't produce enough steel, and that only 22% of the production is available for war purposes.
"It is forbidden to refer to the Daily Mirror charge that German spies prepared the Crete action.
"The Kaiser is ill. This fact may not, however, be published. Even in the 'death notices' column nothing may be published on this subject without special permission."
I have a whole stack of these secret instructions. When one reads them one is appalled at what the German people have been told about us and about other peace-loving, law-abiding nations. Unfortunately the average German hears nothing except what is said over the government-owned radio and the government-controlled press.
Hence, however, you and I may sympathize with the brave souls in Germany who dare oppose Hitler tyranny, don't for one moment deceive yourselves into thinking that American war effort is unnecessary, that Hitler will fall of his own weight, that the anti-Nazis are going to upset the German state without your having to do anything about it. Fact is that the Gestapo in Germany is so well organized and is so omnipresent that a good long time will elapse before the "anti" elements can do anything decisive.
Why, as we were leaving Berlin, the Gestapo was moving whole families out of houses at strategic street intersections and filling them with dyed-in-the-wool, honest-to-god-Nazi families—why? Because in the first floor front room of each of these houses the Gestapo was planting machine guns in order to kill off mercilessly anybody who dared start any overt act against the regime. What chance, then, does the opposition in Germany have so long as Hitler remains undefeated?
No, my friends, we must be unrelenting in our effort to inflict a smashing blow upon the Hitler regime. He's a "tough customer," I assure you. But from what I have seen and experienced, he is by no means invulnerable.
For one thing, Hitler is losing his psychic sense for divining the sentiments of the German people. The Hitler who foolishly declared war upon the American people, who pleaded for winter furs and woolens after having previously boasted that "General Winter" would be his ally in Russia, and who ended the worst winter that Germany experienced in centuries by telling the Germans that another winter of war lies ahead—that Hitler is no longer the spell-binder, the hypnotist of the earlier days in which I have known him.
Secondly, Hitler is confronted with a number of serious bottlenecks.
One of his worst bottlenecks is transportation. He is beginning to pay dearly for his egotism in neglecting the railways and favoring the Adolf Hitler super-highways which are to carry his fame to the four corners of the globe.
Let our bombers, now stationed on the British Isles, strike at German railway centers, engines, and moving freight trains, and Hitler will have been hit at one of his most vulnerable points.
A second bottleneck is man power. The German people had been promised, when Hitler conquered Greece, that Macedonian tobacco, would reach the Reich in untold quantities. Well, he hasn't the labor power to raise tobacco, and three to five cigarettes filled with everything but good tobacco are now the daily ration of the "victor."
He promised after the seizure of the Ukraine that wheat, another indispensable raw material, would come regularly from there. But in February, during our Bad Nauheim internment, we read German official press releases to the effect that nothing substantial may be expected from the Ukraine until 1943!
When Denmark was invaded, the talk in Germany, assiduously fostered by the Nazis, was that now Danish bacon and ham and eggs would be diverted from England and come to Germany. But since then the German people have had to be told that overseas fodder is lacking in Denmark, wherefore there must be wholesale slaughter of cattle and after that—nothing!
So Hitler has his third bottleneck besides that of transportation and man-power: the lack of raw materials wherewith to continue his fight. The frantic efforts to take the Kerch peninsula. and then move eastward were predicated upon the crying necessity of his getting hold, if he can, of the Caucasian oil.
Not only does Hitler lack man-power to till the soil and take care of all the many other civilian needs of the population—a lack which he tries to compensate by the wholesale bringing to Germany of labor from the occupied, starving countries which he has subjugated—but he lacks man-power even for the gigantic war machine that is necessary to hold under the heel an area extending from northern Norway all the way to Irun on the Spanish frontier, and from the Atlantic coast all the way east into the far Russian steppes. Daily more and more people are being combed out of the industries at home and caught by the moloch war.
Before the present war started, about 24 million German men were engaged in gainful occupations.
Today, only about 11 millions are left in civilian life to work long hours. Over nine million women have been pressed into work to take the places of men at the front. They have been augmented by about 1 1/2 million prisoners
of war, by over two million foreign laborers, and, more recently, by several million children from ten years upward who have been sent out into the country to help bring in the harvest.
With their fathers, husbands, and sweethearts gone, the women at home have also been reduced to virtual slavery, and this, too, at a time when food is scarce, when everything, literally everything is rationed—and how!—and when the long absence of fats is severely undermining public health.
We who were at Bad Nauheim didn't really awaken to the food situation till we came to Lisbon, so gradual has the deterioration in Germany been. Severe rationing set in from the first day of the war, but the proportions it attained by the time we left in May were appalling.
Bread has become so vile that we at Bad Nauheim invariably took the center out of our rolls since they reminded us too much of putty. And one member of our group with an artistic bend of mind even modelled a statue out of this puttylike bread and let it dry and harden.
Twice a week we had nothing for lunch except a plate of soup with a diminutive piece of meat in it. A sirloin steak such as I have been eating here since my arrival was easily two weeks' meat ration. On two other days there was no meat at all—only stale-tasting vegetables, stale because they lacked condiments and fats. Solely on three days was a very thin slice of meat served. We were lucky if twice a month we received either two oranges or one orange and one apple. Yet we were given 150% rations as compared with the ordinary German rations! We wondered how can this German nation hold out indefinitely when such a shortage of food obtains?
I repeat, Hitler is slipping. Some day the crash is bound to come. But it will not come unless our nation joins in an all-out effort; unless every man, woman and child gets behind the crusade against Hitlerism with the greatest effort the world has known.
That's why I tried to give you an unvarnished picture of the situation; that's why I tried to tell you what a powerful machine Hitler's war machine is.
But because I have infinite faith in our ability and earnestness as a nation, and because I realize, more fully perhaps than any of you, for you have not lived under the Hitler system, that the Nazis must go, I close with this assurance of my unshakeable conviction:
Hitler CAN be beaten, Hitler MUST be beaten, Hitler WILL be beaten!