Here is part of Hitler's speech at Rheinmetall-Borsig Works, Berlin, on December 10, 1940:
"In this Anglo-French world there exists, as it were, democracy, which means the rule of the people by the people. Now the people must possess some means of giving expression to their thoughts or their wishes. Examining this problem more closely, we see that the people themselves have originally no convictions of their own. Their convictions are formed, of course, just as everywhere else. The decisive question is who enlightens the people, who educates them? In those countries, it is actually capital that rules; that is, nothing more than a clique of a few hundred men who possess untold wealth and, as a consequence of the peculiar structure of their national life, are more or less independent and free. They say: 'Here we have liberty.' By this they mean, above all, an uncontrolled economy, and by an uncontrolled economy, the freedom not only to acquire capital but to make absolutely free use of it. That means freedom from national control or control by the people both in the acquisition of capital and in its employment. This is really what they mean when they speak of liberty. These capitalists create their own press and then speak of the 'freedom of the press.'
In reality, every one of the newspapers has a master, and in every case this master is the capitalist, the owner. This master, not the editor, is the one who directs the policy of the paper. If the editor tries to write other than what suits the master, he is ousted the next day. This press, which is the absolutely submissive and characterless slave of the owners, molds public opinion. Public opinion thus mobilized by them is, in its turn, split up into political parties. The difference between these parties is as small as it formerly was in Germany. You know them, of course - the old parties. They were always one and the same. In Britain matters are usually so arranged that families are divided up, one member being a conservative, another a liberal, and a third belonging to the labor party. Actually, all three sit together as members of the family, decide upon their common attitude and determine it. A further point is that the 'elected people' actually form a community which operates and controls all these organizations. For this reason, the opposition in England is really always the same, for on all essential matters in which the opposition has to make itself felt, the parties are always in agreement. They have one and the same conviction and through the medium of the press mold public opinion along corresponding lines. One might well believe that in these countries of liberty and riches, the people must possess an unlimited degree of prosperity. But no! On the contrary, it is precisely in these countries that the distress of the masses is greater than anywhere else. Such is the case in 'rich Britain.'
She controls sixteen million square miles. In India, for example, a hundred million colonial workers with a wretched standard of living must labor for her. One might think, perhaps, that at least in England itself every person must have his share of these riches. By no means! In that country class distinction is the crassest imaginable. There is poverty - incredible poverty - on the one side, and equally incredible wealth on the other. They have not solved a single problem. The workmen of that country which possesses more than one-sixth of the globe and of the world's natural resources dwell in misery, and the masses of the people are poorly clad.. In a country which ought to have more than enough bread and every sort of fruit, we find millions of the lower classes who have not even enough to fill their stomachs, and go about hungry. A nation which could provide work for the whole world must acknowledge the fact that it cannot even abolish unemployment at home. For decades this rich Britain has had two and a half million unemployed; rich America, ten to thirteen millions, year after year; France, six, seven, and eight hundred thousand. Well, my fellow-countrymen - what then are we to say about ourselves?
It is self-evident that where this democracy rules, the people as such are not taken into consideration at all. The only thing that matters is the existence of a few hundred gigantic capitalists who own all the factories and their stock and, through them, control the people. The masses of the people do not interest them in the least. They are interested in them just as were our bourgeois parties in former times - only when elections are being held, when they need votes. Otherwise, the life of the masses is a matter of complete indifference to them.
To this must be added the difference in education. Is it not ludicrous to hear a member of the British Labor Party - who, of course, as a member of the Opposition is officially paid by the government - say: 'When the war is over, we will do something in social respects'?
It is the members of Parliament who are the directors of the business concerns - just as used to be the case with us. But we have abolished all that. A member of the Reichstag cannot belong to a Board of Directors, except as a purely honorary member. He is prohibited from accepting any emolument, financial or otherwise. This is not the case in other countries.
They reply: 'That is why our form of government is sacred to us.' I can well believe it, for that form of government certainly pays very well.. But whether it is sacred to the mass of the people as well is another matter.
The people as a whole definitely suffer. I do not consider it possible in the long run for one man to work and toil for a whole year in return for ridiculous wages, while another jumps into an express train once a year and pockets enormous sums. Such conditions are a disgrace. On the other hand, we National Socialists equally oppose the theory that all men are equals. Today, when a man of genius makes some astounding invention and enormously benefits his country by his brains, we pay him his due, for he has really accomplished something and been of use to his country. However, we hope to make it impossible for idle drones to inhabit this country.
I could continue to cite examples indefinitely. The fact remains that two worlds are face to face with one another. Our opponents are quite right when they say: 'Nothing can reconcile us to the National Socialist world.' How could a narrow-minded capitalist ever agree to my principles? It would be easier for the Devil to go to church and cross himself with holy water than for these people to comprehend the ideas which are accepted facts to us today. But we have solved our problems.
To take another instance where we are condemned: They claim to be fighting for the maintenance of the gold standard as the currency basis. That I can well believe, for the gold is in their hands. We, too, once had gold, but it was stolen and extorted from us. When I came to power, it was not malice which made me abandon the gold standard. Germany simply had no gold left. Consequently, quitting the gold standard presented no difficulties, for it is always easy to part with what one does not have. We had no gold. We had no foreign exchange. They had all been stolen and extorted from us during the previous fifteen years. But, my fellow countrymen, I did not regret it, for we have constructed our economic system on a wholly different basis. In our eyes, gold is not of value in itself. It is only an agent by which nations can be suppressed and dominated.
When I took over the government, I had only one hope on which to build, namely, the efficiency and ability of the German nation and the German workingman; the intelligence of our inventors, engineers, technicians, chemists, and so forth. I built on the strength which animates our economic system. One simple question faced me: Are we to perish because we have no gold; am I to believe in a phantom which spells our destruction? I championed the opposite opinion: Even though we have no gold, we have capacity for work.
The German capacity for work is our gold and our capital, and with this gold I can compete successfully with any power in the world. We want to live in houses which have to be built. Hence, the workers must build them, and the raw materials required must be procured by work. My whole economic system has been built up on the conception of work. We have solved our problems while, amazingly enough, the capitalist countries and their currencies have suffered bankruptcy.
Sterling can find no market today. Throw it at any one and he will step aside to avoid being hit. But our Reichsmark, which is backed by no gold, has remained stable. Why? It has no gold cover; it is backed by you and by your work. You have helped me to keep the mark stable. German currency, with no gold coverage, is worth more today than gold itself. It signifies unceasing production. This we owe to the German farmer, who has worked from daybreak till nightfall. This we owe to the German worker, who has given us his whole strength. The whole problem has been solved in one instant, as if by magic.
My dear friends, if I had stated publicly eight or nine years ago: 'In seven or eight years the problem of how to provide work for the unemployed will be solved, and the problem then will be where to find workers,' I should have harmed my cause. Every one would have declared: 'The man is mad. It is useless to talk to him, much less to support him. Nobody should vote for him. He is a fantastic creature.' Today, however, all this has come true. Today, the only question for us is where to find workers. That, my fellow countrymen, is the blessing which work brings.
Work alone can create new work; money cannot create work. Work alone can create values, values with which to reward those who work. The work of one man makes it possible for another to live and continue to work. And when we have mobilized the working capacity of our people to its utmost, each individual worker will receive more and more of the world's goods.
We have incorporated seven million unemployed into our economic system; we have transformed another six millions from part-time into full-time workers; we are even working overtime. And all this is paid for in cash in Reichsmarks which maintained their value in peacetime. In wartime we had to ration its purchasing capacity, not in order to devalue it, but simply to earmark a portion of our industry for war production to guide us to victory in the struggle for the future of Germany...
One thing is certain, my fellow-countrymen: All in all, we have today a state with a different economic and political orientation from that of the Western democracies. Well, it must now be made possible for the British worker to travel. It is remarkable that they should at last hit upon the idea that traveling should be something not for millionaires alone, but for the people too. In this country, the problem was solved some time ago. In the other countries - as is shown by their whole economic structure - the selfishness of a relatively small stratum rules under the mask of democracy. This stratum is neither checked nor controlled by anyone.
It is therefore understandable if an Englishman says: 'We do not want our world to be subject to any sort of collapse.' Quite so. The English know full well that their Empire is not menaced by us. But they say quite truthfully: 'If the ideas that are popular in Germany are not completely eliminated, they might become popular among our own people, and that is the danger. We do not want this.' It would do no harm if they did become popular there, but these people are just as narrow-minded as many once were in Germany. In this respect they prefer to remain bound to their conservative methods. They do not wish to depart from them, and do not conceal the fact.
They say, 'The German methods do not suit us at all.' And what are these methods? You know, my comrades, that I have destroyed nothing in Germany. I have always proceeded very carefully, because I believe - as I have already said - that we cannot afford to wreck anything. I am proud that the Revolution of 1933 was brought to pass without breaking a single windowpane. Nevertheless, we have wrought enormous changes.
I wish to put before you a few basic facts: The first is that in the capitalistic democratic world the most important principle of economy is that the people exist for trade and industry, and that these in turn exist for capital. We have reversed this principle by making capital exist for trade and industry, and trade and industry exist for the people. In other words, the people come first. Everything else is but a means to this end. When an economic system is not capable of feeding and clothing a people, then it is bad, regardless of whether a few hundred people say: 'As far as I am concerned it is good, excellent; my dividends are splendid.'
However, the dividends do not interest me at all. Here we have drawn the line. They may then retort: 'Well, look here, that is just what we mean. You jeopardize liberty.' Yes, certainly, we jeopardize the liberty to profiteer at the expense of the community, and, if necessary, we even abolish it. British capitalists, to mention only one instance, can pocket dividends of 76, 80, 95, 140, and even 160 per cent from their armament industry. Naturally they say: 'If the German methods grow apace and should prove victorious, this sort of thing will stop.'
They are perfectly right. I should never tolerate such a state of affairs. In my eyes, a 6 per cent dividend is sufficient. Even from this 6 per cent we deduct one-half and, as for the rest, we must have definite proof that it is invested in the interest of the country as a whole. In other words, no individual has the right to dispose arbitrarily of money which ought to be invested for the good of the country. If he disposes of it sensibly, well and good; if not, the National Socialist state will intervene.
To take another instance, besides dividends there are the so-called directors' fees. You probably have no idea how appallingly active a board of directors is. Once a year its members have to make a journey. They have to go to the station, get into a first-class compartment and travel to some place or other. They arrive at an appointed office at about 10 or 11 A.M. There they must listen to a report. When the report has been read, they must listen to a few comments on it. They may be kept in their seats until 1 P.M. or even 2. Shortly after 2 o'clock they rise from their chairs and set out on their homeward journey, again, of course, traveling first class. It is hardly surprising that they claim 3,000, 4,000, or even 5,000 as compensation for this: Our directors formerly did the same - for what a lot of time it costs them! Such effort had to be made worth while! Of course, we have got rid of all this nonsense, which was merely veiled profiteering and even bribery.
In Germany, the people, without any doubt, decide their existence. They determine the principles of their government. In fact it has been possible in this country to incorporate many of the broad masses into the National Socialist party, that gigantic organization embracing millions and having millions of officials drawn from the people themselves. This principle is extended to the highest ranks.
For the first time in German history, we have a state which has absolutely abolished all social prejudices in regard to political appointments as well as in private life. I myself am the best proof of this. Just imagine: I am not even a lawyer, and yet I am your Leader!
It is not only in ordinary life that we have succeeded in appointing the best among the people for every position. We have Reichsstatthalters who were formerly agricultural laborers or locksmiths. Yes, we have even succeeded in breaking down prejudice in a place where it was most deep-seated -in the fighting forces. Thousands of officers are being promoted from the ranks today. We have done away with prejudice. We have generals who were ordinary soldiers and noncommissioned officers twenty-two and twenty-three years ago. In this instance, too, we have overcome all social obstacles. Thus, we are building up our life for the future.
As you know we have countless schools, national political educational establishments, Adolf Hitler schools, and so on. To these schools we send gifted children of the broad masses, children of working men, farmers' sons whose parents could never have afforded a higher education for their children. We take them in gradually. They are educated here, sent to the Ordensburgen, to the Party, later to take their place in the State where they will some day fill the highest posts....
Opposed to this there stands a completely different world. In the world the highest ideal is the struggle for wealth, for capital, for family possessions, for personal egoism; everything else is merely a means to such ends. Two worlds confront each other today. We know perfectly well that if we are defeated in this war it would not only be the end of our National Socialist work of reconstruction, but the end of the German people as a whole. For without its powers of coordination, the German people would starve. Today the masses dependent on us number 120 or 130 millions, of which 85 millions alone are our own people. We remain ever aware of this fact.
On the other hand, that other world says: 'If we lose, our world-wide capitalistic system will collapse. For it is we who save hoarded gold. It is lying in our cellars and will lose its value. If the idea that work is the decisive factor spreads abroad, what will happen to us? We shall have bought our gold in vain. Our whole claim to world dominion can then no longer be maintained. The people will do away with their dynasties of high finance. They will present their social claims, and the whole world system will be overthrown.' I can well understand that they declare: 'Let us prevent this at all costs; it must be prevented.' They can see exactly how our nation has been reconstructed. You see it clearly. For instance, there we see a state ruled by a numerically small upper class. They send their sons to their own schools, to Eton. We have Adolf Hitler schools or national political educational establishments. On the one hand, the sons of plutocrats, financial magnates; on the other, the children of the people. Etonians and Harrovians exclusively in leading positions over there; in this country, men of the people in charge of the State.
These are the two worlds. I grant that one of the two must succumb. Yes, one or the other. But if we were to succumb, the German people would succumb with us. If the other were to succumb, I am convinced that the nations will become free for the first time. We are not fighting individual Englishmen or Frenchmen. We have nothing against them. For years I proclaimed this as the aim of my foreign policy. We demanded nothing of them, nothing at all. When they started the war they could not say: 'We are doing so because the Germans asked this or that of us.' They said, on the contrary: 'We are declaring war on you because the German system of Government does not suit us; because we fear it might spread to our own people.' For that reason they are carrying on this war. They wanted to blast the German nation back to the time of Versailles, to the indescribable misery of those days. But they have made a great mistake.
If in this war everything points to the fact that gold is fighting against work, capitalism against peoples, and reaction against the progress of humanity, then work, the peoples, and progress will be victorious. Even the support of the Jewish race will not avail the others.
I have seen all this coming for years. What did I ask of the other world? Nothing but the right for Germans to reunite and the restoration of all that had been taken from them - nothing which would have meant a loss to the other nations. How often have I stretched out my hand to them? Ever since I came into power. I had not the slightest wish to rearm. For what do armaments mean? They absorb so much labor. It was I who regarded work as being of decisive importance, who wished to employ the working capacity of Germany for other plans. I think the news is already out that, after all, I have some fairly important plans in my mind, vast and splendid plans for my people. It is my ambition to make the German people rich and to make the German homeland beautiful. I want the standard of living of the individual raised. I want us to have the most beautiful and the finest civilization. I should like the theater - in fact, the whole of German civilization - to benefit all the people and not to exist only for the upper ten thousand, as is the case in England.
The plans which we had in mind were tremendous, and I needed workers in order to realize them. Armament only deprives me of workers. I made proposals to limit armaments. I was ridiculed. The only answer I received was 'No.' I proposed the limitation of certain types of armament. That was refused. I proposed that airplanes should be altogether eliminated from warfare. That also was refused. I suggested that bombers should be limited. That was refused. They said: 'That is just how we wish to force our regime upon you.' ...