|PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1918-PS
Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. IV. USGPO, Washington, 1946, pp.553-572
Himmler's Address to Officers of the
SS-Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler"
Now I would like to bring another matter to your attention. Very frequently the member of the Waffen-SS thinks about the deportation of this people here. These thoughts came to me today when watching the very difficult work out there performed by the Security Police, supported by your men, who help them a great deal. Exactly the same thing happened in Poland in weather 40 degrees below zero, where we had to haul away thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands; where we had to have the toughness- you should hear this but also forget it again immediately-to shoot thousands of leading Poles, where we had to have the toughness, otherwise it would have taken revenge on us later. We also had to bring in, in this winter of 40 degrees below zero, ten thousands of Germans, and had to take care of their needs-that the women were warm; that, when they bore children, these children did not experience want and destitution; where we had to take care of their horses; where we had to take care of the baggage of these poor Germans from Volkynia; all duties where the proud soldier says: "My God, why do I have to do that, this ridiculous job here . . . !" Gentlemen, it is much easier in many cases-and that I would like to tell you this once, or would like to recall to you, you will gladly admit: in many cases it is much easier to go into combat with a company than to suppress an obstructive population of low cultural level in some area with a company, or to carry out executions, or to haul away people, or to evict crying and hysterical women, or to return our German racial brethren across the border from Russia and to take care of them. I want to tell you: In the entire Waffen-SS we must begin to view the other great activity of the entire SS [Gesamt-SS] and entire police. We must see to it that you consider the activity of the man in green uniform as just as valuable as the activity you yourself are engaged in. You have to consider the work of the SD man or of the man of the Security Police as a vital part of our whole work just like the fact that you can carry arms. You are the ones to be envied, because if you do something, if a unit achieves fame, then one can talk of fame, and it can be decorated. It is much more difficult in many other positions-and with that I do not want to underestimate your achievements; I would be the last one to do that-but, believe me, in many places it is much more difficult, this silent work-compulsion, this silent activity, this standing guard over our ideology, this necessity of remaining steadfast, this necessity of not compromising is very much more difficult in places. Now I want to tell you something else ; I men-tioned before that we absolutely were in danger of suffocating within ourselves, within the leadership corps [Fuehrerkorps] . There did not seem to be a way out. Either we would have become senile or we had to kick the people out too soon. Today, in the future, in time of peace, the possibility does not exist that a man, or a leader, provided he is worth his salt, does not perform valuable work in some position or that satisfactory work is not assigned to him. Of course we will do it in such a way-let there be no doubt about it-that we put the most capable ones into each position. In other words, if there are four company commanders, the most capable one will be promoted to battalion commander, the one who is best fitted for that activity. The other three, or the other 2, will be utilized in some activity which is just as valuable, but for which he is better adapted. In general, everyone should understand that the course of the past two years, which were pure war years with preparation, for war, are of course not completed, education for Political Officers will become much more strongly emphasized. I would like to use this word for once, Political Leader, Political Officer. A period will commence where someone will be platoon leader in the Waffen SS for 3 or 4 years. During that time he will attend this training course or that, and already as a young leader he will come to know the sphere of activity of all other branches in the SS, in courses lasting 6 to 8 weeks. From the beginning it will then happen that mutual understanding sets in, mutual esteem and the absolute conviction that the duties of the other guy are very, very difficult, and are very, very valuable. On the other hand, I will not allow any branch to grow where the leading men, the members of the Fuehrercorps, are not at least reserve leaders of the Armed SS and did not get at least far enough to be able to lead a company as reserve leader. This way coherence will be achieved which is necessary. I believe that you can get an idea from what I said to the men today-and you as leaders can add to it by drawing your own conclusions-what the entire SS will have to do in order to secure our Reich, I mean in the first place with respect to ideology and safe-guarding of the race [Blut] by settlements and extending of our Lebensraum, with respect to the work in colonies, and we shall have garrisons far away in South-Africa, and we shall have garrisons in the Arctic winter, as we have not in Kirkenes, that is up there on the North cape we are also going to have a garrison of a few battalions, we shall have garrisons on the Bug, and we shall now have garrisons in the West, where certainly Metz will not be the most distant western frontier. If we think the right way, some things will be of decisive importance. You would be surprised if I wanted to carry out immediately after the war when peace begins with an iron hand what I indicated today in my class with the men, that we must win the peace and be hard against ourselves. The first two years of peace will be decisive for our future. After victory we must nowhere become megalomaniacs, we must not relax in any respect but we must start an unheard-of education of ourselves. It is necessary, that obedience be granite-like, or else it would be impossible to have distant gar-risons like Kirkenes which at times cannot be reached even by modern means, or colonial garrisons, if the officers there, the leader there, does not act strictly [eisern] in accordance with his orders and would take any consequences rather than disregard in any way an order, a basic order, given.
We shall have to do one thing: After the war we shall apply an unheard-of discipline against ourselves as far as external values are concerned they also are important. Whether it concerns our clothes or anything else, because you see, it is a great plus and a great danger at the same time, that what we are doing after the war, during Adolf Hitler's life, will live on for centuries to come, and if we make a mistake, the mistake will live on for centuries, because silly descendants will say: "Yes this is what they did in Adolf Hitler's time, consequently we must act likewise!" If we strike up a wrong tune, this wrong tune will resoundthrough centuries. And mistakes unfortunately do grow in dimension the longer they are continued. Therefore, it is necessary that we train ourselves in the future in an unheard-of way. I believe it is not the right thing for us to do to discuss these worries whichI have with each one of you separately. The one or the other among you who talks here and there like a fool and believes he must talk wildly in the Cassino might say:" For Heaven's sake, those people up there don't know, they have not the slightest idea!" Our idea goes very far and I know exactly what is going on within the troop, know exactly what they think and how they feel. You must also consider the following: I cannot concentrate my mind solely on-now, please don't become conceited-the most splendid part of the SS because it is the most positive part and because the trade you are following is the most positive and most manly, I cannot do that, I must always have the entire SS in my mind.
If I did not see this part, I would deny life to this most positive and most manly part of our activity ; i. e., the Armed SS. I would deny your life. Because this armed SS will live only if the entire SS is alive. If the entire corps is actually an order which lives according to these laws and realizes that one part cannot exist without the other-you are unimaginable without the general SS, and the latter is not imaginable without you. The police is not imaginable without the SS, nor are we imaginable without this executive branch of the state which is in our hands. The Fuehrer-corps is not imaginable without the national-political institutions of education which we are building up now, and vice versa we cannot fill up our ranks without contact with the youth, we cannot exist without the business enterprises. A field which probably is unknown to most of you because nothing has ever been said about it. I want to tell you just a little bit of it: The apartment-building program which is the prerequisite for a healthy and social basis of the entire SS as well as of the entire Fuehrercorps can be carried out only when I get the money for it from somewhere; nobody is going to give me the money, it must be earned, and it will be earned by forcing the scum of mankind, the prisoners, the profes-sional criminals to do positive work. The man, guarding these prisoners, serves just as hard as the one on close-order drill. The one who does this and stands near these utterly negative people will learn within 3 to 4 months * * * and we shall see: In peacetime I shall form guard-battalions and put them on duty for 3 months only-to fight the inferior being [Untermenschentum], and this will not be a boring guard duty, but if the officers handle it right, it will be the best indoctrination on inferior beings and the inferior races. This activity is necessary, as I said, 1. to eliminate these negative people from the German people, 2. to exploit them once more for the great folk community by having them break stones and bake bricks so that the Fuehrer can again erect his grand buildings 'and 3. to in turn invest the money, earned soberly this way, in houses, in ground, in settlements so that our men can have houses in which to raise large families and lots of children. This in turn is necessary because we stand or die with this leading blood of Germany and if the good blood is not reproduced we will not be able to rule the world. Please understand: We would not be able to hold the great Germanic Reich which is about to take shape. I am convinced, that we can hold it, but we have to prepare for that. If we once had not enough sons those who will come after us will have to become cowards. A nation which has an average of 4 sons per family can venture a war: if 2 of them die, 2 transplant the name. The leadership of a nation having one son or two sons per family will have to be faint-hearted at any decision on account of their own experience because they will have to tell themselves; We cannot afford it. Look at France, which is the best example. France had to accept from us a dictate. It could no longer dictate to us because they could not continue. All the things which sometimes seem strange to you be-cause other things were more urgent during the last 2 years, because I could not explain them sufficiently to you, the leaders, ' because sometimes I did not explain them to you in order not to make too public what was just starting life, so that the tender nursling would not be pulled out by people who don't like us. I preferred that very often not even my own troops knew anything about it and let the small nursling secretly grow into a small tree. Then when it is big, nowadays everything is big, now the trees are not being uprooted. Everything that seemed strange to you: "Why do we have to contribute to the spring of life [Lebensborn] ?"" Why do we have to join the saving's cooperative?" "Why do we have to do this and to do that?" If anything like that turns up, I demand from you in future:
In the first place be SS men who have the creed that everything being done is all right. One piece fits the other, even if you don't recognize it beforehand, even if it does not appear at first sight that they fit each other. In the end, everything will be all right. The ultimate aim for those 11 years during which I have been the Reichsfuehrer SS has been invariably the same: To create an order of good blood which is able to serve Germany. Which unfailingly and without sparing itself can be made use of because the greatest losses can do no' harm to the vitality of this order, the vitality of these men, because they will always be re-placed. To create an order which will spread the idea of nordic blood so far that we will attract all nordic blood in the world, take away the blood from our adversaries, absorb it so that never again, looking at it from the viewpoint of grand policy, nordic, blood in great quantities and to an extent worth mentioning will fight against us. We must get it and the others cannot have it. We never gave up the ideas and the aim conceived so many years ago. Everything we did has taken us some distance further on the way. Everything we are going to do will lead us further on the way. It can only be carried and, if everyone of us looks beyond the things he likes in his activity, his company, his regiment-and you are supposed to love it you may be proud of it-looks beyond it towards the great common goal, here the SS, and the SS also is only a means to an end, always the Reich, the ideology, created by the Fuehrer, the Reich, created by him, the Reich of all teutons.