|PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 19I9-PS
Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. IV. USGPO, Washington, 1946, pp.616-634
Speech of the Reichsfuehrer-SS at the
The 1941 attack
In 1941 the Fuehrer attacked Russia. That was, as we can well see now, shortly,-perhaps 3 to 6 months-before Stalin prepared to embark on his great penetration into Central and Western Europe. I can give a picture of this first year in a few words. The attacking forces cut their way through. The Russian Army was herded together in great pockets, ground down, taken prisoner. At that time we did not value the mass of humanity as we value it today, as raw material, as labour. What after all, thinking in terms of generations, is not to be regretted, but is now deplorable by reason of the loss of labour, is that the prisoners died in tens and hundreds of thousands of exhaustion and hunger [p. 3]
It is basically wrong for us to infuse all our inoffensive soul and spirit, our good-nature, and our idealism into foreign peoples [p. 22]. This is true since the time of Herder who clearly wrote "Voices of the Nations" [Stimmen der Voelker], in a state of drunkenness, thereby bringing [p. 23] on us, who come after him, such immeasurable sorrow and misery. This is true for instance, of the Czechs and the Slovenes to whom we gave their consciousness of nationality. They were just not capable of it themselves; we had to discover it for them.
One basic principle must be the absolute rule for the SS man: we must be honest, decent, loyal, and comradely to members of our own blood and to nobody else. What happens to a Russian, to a Czech does not interest me in the slightest. What the nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take, if necessary by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death [verrecken-to die-used of cattle] interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our Kultur; otherwise, it is of no interest to me. Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch interests me only in so far as the anti-tank ditch for Germany is finished. We shall never be rough and heartless when it is not necessary, that is clear. We Germans, who [p. 24] are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals, will also assume a decent attitude towards these human animals. But it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and give them ideals, thus causing our sons and grandsons to have a more difficult time with them. When somebody comes to me and says, "I cannot dig the anti-tank ditch with women and children, it is inhuman, for it would kill them," then I have to say, "You are a murderer of your own blood because if the anti-tank ditch is not dug, German soldiers will die, and they are sons of German mothers. They are our own blood." That is what I want to instil into the SS and what I believe have instilled into them as one of the most sacred laws of the future, Our concern, our duty is our people and our blood. It is for them that we must provide and plan, work and fight, nothing else. We can be indifferent to everything else. I wish the SS to adopt this attitude to the problem of all foreign, non-Germanic peoples, especially Russians. All else is vain, fraud against our own nation and an obstacle to the early winning of the war.
Foreigners in the Reich
We must also realize that we have 6 to 7 million foreigners in Germany. Perhaps it is even 8 million now. [p. 43] We have prisoners in Germany. They are none of them dangerous so long as we take severe measures at the merest trifle. It is a mere nothing today to shoot 10 Poles, compared with the fact that we might later have to shoot tens of thousands in their place, and compared to the fact that the shooting of these tens of thousands would then be carried out even at the cost of German blood. Every little fire will immediately be stamped out and quenched, and extinguished,-otherwise-as in the case of a real fire-a political and psychological surface-fire may spring up among the people.
The Communists in the Reich
I don't believe the Communists could attempt any action, for their leading elements, like most criminals, are in our concentration camps. And here I must say this-that we shall be able to see after the war what a blessing it was for Germany that, in spite all the silly talk about humanitarianism, we imprisoned all this criminal sub-stratum of the German people in concentration camps: I'll answer for that. If they were going about free, we should be worse off. For then the sub-humans would have [p. 44] their NCOs and Commanding Officers, then they would have their councils of workers and military. As it is, however, they are locked up, and are making shells or projectile cases or other important things, and are very useful members of human society.
The SS in war-time
Now I come to our own development, to that of the SS in the past months. Looking back on the whole war, this development was fantastic [p. 51]. It took place at an absolutely terrific speed. Let us look back a little to 1939. At that time we were a few regiments, guard units [Wachverbaende] 8 to 9,000 strong, -that is, not even a division, all in all 25 to 28,000 men at the outside. True, we were armed, but really only got our artillery regiment as our heavy arm two months before the war began. We will recapitulate which tasks, which duties, and which assignments we have been given in the last 41/ 2 years. But first I would like to enumerate and make known once more some outward changes.
Changes in Personnel
The following changes have taken place at the Main Offices: Our comrade, SS Lieutenant General Kaltenbrunner has succeeded our fallen friend Heydrich. Unfortunately he is ill today. He has phlebitis, but it is, I am glad to say, not dangerous. That [p. 52] is why he could not come.
Our old friend Daluege has such severe heart trouble that he has to undergo courses of treatment and now has to retire from active service for 1 1/ 2 to 2 years.-I would like this evening to send our two friends, Daluege especially, and Kaltenbrunner too, a teleprint or a telegram in the name of all of us. As I have said, we may hope that Daluege will have recovered in about two years, and can then return to the front and get into harness.
SS Lieutenant General Wuennenberg is in charge as his deputy. He has been in charge of the police division up till now, and was then appointed to be Officer Commanding IVth SS armored corps. He is General of the Waffen-SS and the police, and is in charge of the uniformed regular police [ordnungspolizei] as their Head.
SS-Gruppenfuehrer Breithaupt has succeeded our old comrade and friend Scharfe as Chief of the SS-court of justice.
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Hofmann has made a change. He has given up the Main office for race and settlement [Rasse-u. Siedlungshauptamt] and has become Senior Executive SS and Police Officer [Hoehre SS-und Polizeifuehrer] for the South-West.
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Hildebrandt has left Oberabschnitt Weichsel, and has become Chief of the Main Office for race and settlement [p. 53].
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Schmidt has left. the Head Office for Personnel at his own request and has joined my personal staff for special duties. He is succeeded by SS-Gruppenfuehrer von Herff.
One of my closest and most long-standing colleagues, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, has now, I am glad to say, recovered completely from a severe illness which greatly endangered his life-( it was an operation for removing stones from the kidney) -and is now,-this is a new appointment-Supreme Executive SS and Police Officer for the whole of occupied Italy. He therefore has charge of 25 to 30 million people. Under him he has SS-Gruppenfuehrer Globocnik as Senior Executive SS and Police Officer for the coastal area. He too could not come today.
Senior Executive SS and Police Officers have since been appointed as follows: for Croatia-Kammerhofer, who on, account of the Croatians is not called Senior Executive SS and Police Officer, but Commissioner of the Reichsfuehrer SS; for Serbia, Meyszner was appointed earlier, for Greece-[ p. 54] Stroob at the moment but-I would like to tell you this now-1 am transferring him from there to Schimana. Officials in Greece will become Senior Executive SS and Police Officers, and thus not command the Galician SS-Volunteer Division. SS-Gruppenfuehrer Pancke is to become Senior Executive SS-and Police Officer for Denmark.
Chief of the Anti-partisan Units [ Bandenkampf-Verbaende]
In the meantime I have also set up the department of Chief of the anti-partisan units [p. 57 ]. Our comrade SS-Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach is Chief of the anti-partisan units. I considered it necessary for the Reichsfuehrer SS to be in authoritative command in all these battles, for I am convinced that we are best in a position to take action against this enemy struggle, which is a decidedly political one. Except where the units which had been supplied and which we had formed for thispurpose were taken from us to fill in gaps at the front, we have been very successful.
It is notable that, by setting up this department we have gained [p. 58] for the SS in turn a division, a corps, an army, and the next step, which is the High Command of an army or even of a group-if you wish to call it that.
Regular uniformed Police and the Sipo
Now to deal briefly with the tasks of the regular uniformed police and the Sipo. They still cover the same field. I can see that great things have been achieved. We have formed roughly 30 police regiments from police reservists and former members of the police-police officials as they used to be called. The average age in our police battalions is not lower than that of the Security battalions of the Armed Forces. Their achievements are beyond all praise. In addition, we have formed Police Rifle Regiments by merging the police battalions of the "savage peoples". Thus we did not leave these police battalions untouched but blended them in the ratio of about 1 : 3. That is why we have, at the present moment of crisis, a far greater stability than could be seen among the other units made up of natives or local inhabitants.
I now come to other individual great spheres of activity, of which it is important for you all to know [p. 63] We have huge armament works in the concentration camps. This is the sphere of activity of our friend SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. Every month we put in many millions of hours of work for armaments. We tackle the most thankless tasks. and-I must give this its [p. 64] due-whether in the concentration camps, in Pohl's industrial works, or outside at the offices of the Senior Executive SS and Police Officers or in the workshops of the Head Office of SS administration, one thing is obvious : wherever we are, we are SS-men. Where things are in a bad way, we act. I want every subordinate trained to this end. We want to help, unhampered by quibbles regarding authority, for we want to win the war. What we are doing, we are doing for Germany. Whether it is a question of building a road, if a tunnel is not going ahead somewhere, or if it is an invention which for sheer red-tape does not come to fruition, or anything else; where we can get to work, we get to work. What we are doing in our armament works will be a remarkable and noteworthy achievement, even if we can only assess it and prove it when the war is ended.
The Clearing out of the Jews
I also want to talk to you, quite frankly, on a very grave matter. Among ourselves it should be mentioned quite frankly, and yet we will never speak of it publicly. Just as we did not hesitate on June 30th, 1934 to do the duty we were bidden, and stand comrades who had lapsed, up against the wall and shoot, them, so we have never spoken about it and will never [p. 65] speak of it. It was that tact which is a matter of course and which I am glad to say, is inherent in us, that made us never discuss it among ourselves, never to speak of it. It appalled everyone, and yet everyone was certain that he would do it the next time if such orders are issued and if it is necessary.
I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. It's one of those things it is easy to talk about-" The Jewish race is being exterminated", says one party member, "that's quite clear, it's in our program-elimination of the Jews, and we're doing it, exterminating them." And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an A-l Jew. Not one of all those who talk this way has witnessed it, not one of them has been through it. Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500 or 1000. To have stuck it out and at the same time-apart from exceptions caused by human weakness-to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be [p. 66] written, for we know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves, if-with the bombing raids, the burdens and the deprivations of war-we still had Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators and trouble-mongers. We would now probably have reached the1916/17 stage when the Jews were still in the German national body.
We have taken from them what wealth they had. I have issued a strict order, which SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl has carried out, that this wealth should, as a matter of course, be handed over to the Reich without reserve. We have taken none of it for ourselves. Individual men who have lapsed will be punished in accordance with an order I issued at the beginning, which gave this warning ; Whoever takes so much as a mark of it, is a dead man. A number of SS men-there are not very many of them-have fallen short, and they will die, without mercy. We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us. But we have not the right to enrich ourselves with so much as a fur, a watch, a mark, or a cigarette or anything else. Because we have exterminated a bacterium we do not want, in the end, to be infected by the bacterium and die of it. I will not see so much as a small area of sepsis appear here or gain a [p. 67] hold. Wherever it may form, we will cauterize it. Altogether however, we can say, that we have fulfilled this most difficult duty for the love of our people. And our spirit, our soul, our character has not suffered injury from it.
The bearing of the SS-man
If I make a statement for us all and in the presence of all of us of all that we have done this year in the form of-I would almost say-a statement of accounts, then there is one thing that I must not overlook and pass over: the significance of the bearing of the SS-man.
The Principle of Selection
We are a product of the law of selection. [p. 70]. We have made our choice from a cross-section of our people. This people came into being aeons ago, through generations and centuries, by the throw of the dice of fate and of history. Alien peoples have swept over this people and left their heritage behind them. Alien blood-streams have flowed into this people, but it has, nevertheless in spite of terrible hardships and terrible blows of fate, still had strength in the very essence of its blood to win through. Thus this whole people is saturated with, and held together by Nordic-Phalian-Germanic blood, so that after all one could, and can, still speak of a German people. From this people, of such varied hereditary tendencies, as it emerged from the collapse after the years of the battle of liberation, we have now consciously tried to select the Nordic-Germanic blood, for we could best expect this section of our blood to contain the creative, heroic and life-preserving qualities of our people. We have gone partly by outward appearances, and for the rest have kept these outward appearances in review by making constantly new demands, and by repeated tests both physical and mental, both of the character and the soul. Again and again we have sifted out and cast aside what was [' p. 71] worthless, what did not suit us. Just as long as we have strength to do this will this organization remain healthy. The moment we forget the law which is the foundation of our race, and the law of selection and austerity towards ourselves, we shall have the germ of death in us, and will perish just as every human organization, every blossom in this world does some time perish. It must be our endeavour, our inner law, to make this blossoming and fructifying last for our people as long as possible, bringing as much prosperity as possible, and-don't be alarmed-if possible for thousands of years. That is why, whenever we meet and whatever we do, we must be mindful of our principle : blood, selection, and austerity. The law of nature is just this: What is hard is good; what is virgourous is good; whatever wins through in the battle of life, physically, purposefully and spiritually, that is what is good-always tak-ing the long view. Of [p. 72] course sometime-and this has happened often in history-someone can get to the top by deceit and cheating. That makes no difference to nature, to the fate of the earth, to the fate of the world. Reality, that is, Nature, Fate, removes the impostor after a time-time not reckoned in generations of man but in historical periods. It must be our endeavour never to deceive ourselves, but always to remain genuine, that is what we must continually preach and instill into ourselves, and into every boy and each one of our subordinates.
The SS after the war
One thing must be clear, one thing I would like to say to you today: the moment the war is over, we will really begin to weld together our organization, this organization which we have built up for 10 years, which we imbued and indoctrinated with the first most important principles during the 10 years before the war. We must continue to do this-we,-if I may say so, we older men-for twenty years full of toil and work, so that a tradition 30, 36, 40 years, a generation, may be created. Then this organization will march forward into the future young and strong, revolutionary and efficient to fulfill the task of giving the German people, the Germanic people the super-stratum of society which will combine and hold together this Germanic people and this Europe, and from which the brains which the people needs for industry, farming, politics, and as soldiers, statesmen and technicians, will emerge. In addition this super-stratum must be so strong and vital that every generation can unreservedly sacrifice two or three sons from every family on the battlefield, and that nevertheless the continued flowing of the bloodstream is assured.
The Virtues of the SS-Man
I will speak now of the most important virtues which I began years ago to preach and to impress on this organization, on this whole General-SS [Allgemeine-SS]-for that is the basis of this organization-and which are just now in the 5th year of war of such decisive significance and importance.
In the way of practical duties for the Senior SS executive and [p. 103] Police Officers I see above all one task, which applies at the same time to the Heads of the Main Offices as well. For me the Senior SS Executive and Police Officer is the representative of the Reichsfuehrer-SS in his area. It would be an evil day if the SS and police fell out. It would be an evil day if the Main Offices, performing their tasks well meaningly but mistakenly made themselves independent by each having a downward chain of command. I really think that the day of my overthrow would be the end of the SS. It must be, and so come about, that this SS organization with all its branches-the General-SS which is the common basis of all of them, the Waffen-SS, the regular uniformed police [Ordnungspolizei], the SIPO, (with the whole eco-nomic administration, schooling, ideological training, the whole question of kindred), is, even under the tenth Reichsfuehrer-SS one bloc, one body, one organization. Alas if we do not bring them together. Alas if the individual main offices, the individual chiefs had a false conception of their duty here, if they believed they were doing a good thing, whereas in fact they were taking the first step toward the end. We have come a long way on the road to amalgamation, In the hard battles of this year the Waffen-SS has been welded together in the bitterest hours from the most varied divisions and sections, and from these it formed: bodyguard units [Leibstandart], military SS [Verfuegungstruppe] Death's head units, and then the Germanic SS. Now when our "Reich", Death's Head Cavalry Divisions and "Viking" Divisions were there, everyone knew in these last weeks: "Viking" is at my side, "Reich" is at my side, "Death's Head" is at my side,-" Thank God", now nothing can happen to us.-The regular uniformed police and Sipo, General-SS and Waffen-SS must now gradually amalgamate too, just as this is and [p. 105] must be the case within the Waffen-SS. This applies to matters concerning filling of posts, recruiting, schooling, economic organization, and medical services. I am always doing something towards this end, a bond is constantly being cast around these sections of the whole to cause them to grow together. Alas, if these bonds should ever be loosened,-then everything-you may be sure of this-would sink back into its old insignificance in one generation, and in a short space of time. It could then be said that that would be no pity ; if it wasn't worth keeping alive, it should come to an end. That is right. I would not hear of anything being kept, even if it is my, our SS which is so dear to us, if it was not worth keeping alive.
Only I think that we could not be answerable for it toGermany, and to Germania, for this Germanic Reich needs the SS organization. She needs it at least for the next few centuries. Then, in a hundred, a thousand, or two thousand years another form will surely be found. When we are dead and gone, some remnant of us with a few of our fundamental ideas will pull throughand carry on. Out of this will grow something new again, just as here and there we took over, and now bear, a torch from the time of the Teutons, from the age of chivalry, from the Vehmic organization, and from the [p. 106] Prussian army, in order to light a great light from it. It will be just like that later on. I believe that today we could not afford to let anything happen to this SS. That is why I urge one thing on all of you, on you, my heads of the main offices, my Senior Executive SS and Police Officers, and on this whole corps of Gruppenfuehrers, the highestgradation in this hierarchy of the SS organization: Always see the whole, always look at the whole organization, never at your branch of it only, or only your Oberabschmitt but always see the SS, and above it the Germanic Reich, and above that our Fuehrer who has created and is still creating this Reich.
When the war is won,-then, as I have already told you, our [p. 112] work will start. We do not know when the war will end. It may be sudden, or it may be long delayed. We shall see. But I say to you now, if an armistice and peace comes suddenly, let no-one think that he can then sleep the sleep of the just. Get all your Commanders, Chiefs and SS-Fuehrers attuned to this; only then, gentlemen, shall we be awake, for then, so many others will fall into this sleep. I am going so to rouse the whole SS, and keep it so wide awake that we can tackle reconstruction in Germany immediately. Then Germanic work will be begun immediately in the General-SS, for then the harvest will be ripe to be taken into the granary. We shall then call up age-groups thereby law. We shall then immediately put all our Waffen-SS units into excellent form, both as regards equipment and training. We shall go on working in this first 6 months after the war, as though the big offensive were starting on the next day. It will make all the difference, [p. 113] if Germany has an operative reserve, an opera-tive backing, at the peace or armistice negotiations, of 20, 26 or 30 SS-divisions intact.
If the peace is a final one, we shall be able to tackle our great work of the future. We shall colonize. We shall indoctrinate our boys with the laws of the SS-organization. I consider it to be absolutely necessary to the life of our peoples, that we should not only impart the meaning of ancestry, grandchildren and future, but feel these to be a part of our being. Without there being any talk about it, without our needing to make use of rewards and similar material things, it must be a matter of course that we have children. It must be a matter of course that the most copious breeding should be from this racial super-stratum of the Germanic people. In 20 to 30 years we must really be able to present the whole of Europe with its leading class. If the SS, together with the farmers,-we together with our friend Backe, then run the colony in the East on a grand scale, without any restraint, without any question about any kind of tradition but with nerve and revolutionary impetus, we shall in 20 years push the national boundary [Volkstumsgrenze] 500 kilometers Eastwards.
I requested of the Fuehrer today, that the SS--if we have fulfilled our task and our duty by the end of the war--should have the privilege of holding Germany's most Easterly frontier as a defence frontier [p. 1141. I believe this is the only privilege for which we have no competitors. I believe not one person will dispute our claim to this privilege. We shall be in a position there to exercise every young age-group in the use of arms. We shall impose our laws on the East. We will charge ahead and push our way forward little by little to the Urals. I hope that our generation will successfully bring it about that every age-group has fought in the East, and that every one of our divisions spends a winter in the East every second or third year. Then we shall never grow soft, then we shall never get SS members who only come to us because it is distinguished or because the black coat will naturally be very attractive in peace-time. Everyone will know that: "if I join the SS, there is the possibility that I might be killed." He has contracted in writing that every second year he will not dance in Berlin or attend the carnival in Munich, but that he will be posted to the Eastern frontier in an ice-cold winter. Then we will have a healthy elite for all time. Thus we will create the necessary conditions for the whole Germanic people and [p. 1151 the whole of Europe, controlled, ordered and led by us, the Germanic people, to be able, in generations, to stand the test in her battles of destiny against Asia, who will certainly break out again. We do not know when that will be. Then, when the mass of humanity of 1 to 11/2 milliards lines up against us, the Germanic people, numbering, I hope, 250 to 300 millions, and the other European peoples, making a total of 600 to 700 millions -( and with an outpost area stretching as far as the Urals, or, a hundred years, beyond the Urals)-must stand the test in its vital struggle against Asia. It would be an evil day if the Germanic people did not survive it. It would be the end of beauty and "Kultur", of the creative power of this earth. That is the distant future. It is for that that we are fighting, pledged to hand down the heritage of our ancestors.
We see into the distant future, because we know what it will be. That is why we are doing our duty more fanatically than ever, more devoutly than ever, more bravely, more obediently and more thoroughly than ever.' We want to be worthy of being permitted to be the first SS-men of the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, in the long history of the Germanic people, which stretches before us. Now let us remember the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, who will create the Germanic Reich and will lead us into the Germanic future. [p. 116].
Our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler