"That You May Hear My Voice"
CLIQUE WILL BE EXTERMINATED
By ADOLF HITLER, Fuehrer of Germany
Broadcast to the German People and reported by the Federal Communications Commission, July 20, 1944
Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. X, pp. 631-632.
GERMAN men and women; I do not know how many times an attempt on my life has been planned and carried out. If I address you today I am doing so for two reasons; first, so that you shall hear my voice and know that I personally am unhurt and well and, second, so that you shall hear the details about a crime that has no equal in German history.
An extremely small clique of ambitious, unscrupulous and at the same time foolish, criminally stupid, officers hatched a plot to remove me and, together with me, virtually to exterminate the staff of the German High Command. The bomb that was placed by Col. Graf von Stauffenberg exploded two meters [slightly more than two yards] away from me on my right side. It wounded very seriously anumber of my dear collaborators. One of them has died. I personally am entirely unhurt apart from negligible grazes, bruises or burns.
This I consider to be confirmation of the task given to me by Providence to continue in pursuit of the aim of my life, as I have done hitherto. For I may solemnly admit before the whole nation that since the day I moved into the Wilheimstrasse I have been imbued with one thought only: to do my duty to the best of my knowledge and ability. Also since it became clear to me that war was inevitable and could no longer be postponed I lived practically only in work and worry throughout countless days and sleepless nights.
At an hour in which the German army is waging a very hard struggle there has appeared in Germany a very small group, similar to that in Italy, that believed that it could thrust a dagger into our back as it did in 1918. But this time they have made a very great mistake. The assertion of these usurpers that I was no longer alive is disproved at this moment, as I am talking to you, my dear German fellow-countrymen. The circle that comprises these usurpers is extremely small. It has nothing to do with the German armed forces, and particularly nothing with the German army.
Himmler Made Home Commander
It is a very small clique of criminal elements, which will now be exterminated quite mercilessly.
I order, therefore, at this moment that no civilian authority has to accept any order from an authority that these usurpers arrogantly assume. Secondly, that no military authority and no leader of troops and no soldier should obey any order by these usurpers; that on the contrary everyone is in duty bound either to arrest a person bearing or issuing such an order or to kill him immediately if he offers resistance.
To create order at last, I have appointed Reich Minister Himmler to be commander of the army at home. Into the General Staff I have called Colonel General Guderian to replace the chief of the General Staff, who had to retire for health reasons, and I have summoned another proved leader of the eastern front to be his assistant. In all other Reich authorities there is no change.
Attempts at Sabotage
I am convinced that by stamping out this very small clique of traitors and conspirators we will now at last create that atmosphere in the rear, at home, that the fighting front needs, for it is impossible that in the front line hundreds of thousands and millions of honest men offer their utmost while at home a very small clique of miserable, ambitious types constantly attempts to sabotage this.
This time we will settle accounts in such a manner as we National Socialists are wont.
I am convinced that every decent officer and every brave soldier will understand at this hour what fate would have overtaken Germany if the attempt today had succeeded, Only very few, perhaps, are capable of visualizing the consequences. I myself thank providence and the Lord, not because I have been spared—my life is only care and work for my people—I thank them that I shall be allowed in the future also to carry this burden and to carry on with my work to the best of my abilities, as I have to answer for it with my conscience and before my conscience.
Therefore every German, whoever he may be, has a duty (shouting) to counter these elements at once and with ruthless determination and either to arrest them at once or—should they offer resistance anywhere—to wipe them out at once. Appropriate orders have been issued to all troops. They are being strictly carried out with the obedience typical of the Germany Army.
Once more I may greet with joy especially you, my old fighting comrades, now that I have been again spared a fate that did not contain horrors for me personally, but that would have brought horror over the German people. But we also see here a clear sign of providence that I must carry on with my work and that I shall carry on with it.