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_HITLER'S SPEECH OF APRIL 26, 1942_

May 13, 1942

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_HITLER'S SPEECH OF APRIL 26, 1942_

In his speech of April 26, 1942, Hitler requested the 
Reichstag to grant him extraordinary powers to curb 
special privilege and to punish the slackers impeding 
Germany's war effort. Most American press commentators 
have viewed this request as an indication that Hitler feels 
threatened by internal disintegration. The validity  of this 
interpretation is open to serious doubt.
The present level of German war production would not indicate 
any effective decline in German morale, not is there any sign 
that Germany's lack of enthusiasm, present ever since the 
outbreak of war, has noticeably increased. Moreover, Hitler's 
request for more power must have impressed the German citizen 
as essentially meaningless. No German is so naive as to assume 
that Hitler has held, for at least six years, anything less than 
complete power. Even the courts of law, which Hitler 
particularly assails in his speech as defenders of unwarranted 
privilege, have long since been subject to the will of the Party.

An examination of Hitler's new appeal in the broader context 
of Germany's domestic propaganda line suggests a different 
interpretation of its meaning. Ever since the outbreak of 
war, the apathy of the German people was been widely 
recognized. In order to overcome


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the feeling of deep foreboding which was so widespread 
among Germans to whom the sufferings of the past war 
were still a living memory, Nazi propaganda concentrated 
on assuring the home front that it would not suffer in this 
war as it did in the last. The prosperity of the German citizen 
has been repeatedly contrasted to the smaller rations of the 
English and to the utter frightfulness of the Russian citizen's life.

Although this propaganda probably helped to encourage the 
civilian population, there is reason to
believe that it has had a contrary effect in the rank 
and file of the Army. The German press, particularly 
the _Schwarze Korps_, which enjoys a wide circulation 
in the Army, has lately been replete with articles 
condemning the home front for not assuming its full 
share of the burden. Even State and party officials have 
not been spared by the _Schwarze Korps_ in its criticisms 
of life behind the front.

It is apparent that the "home-front-prosperity" line has 
gone too far, and is proving a boomerang. It may have been 
cheering to the new recruit to know that folks back home 
were being cared for, but the soldier who is going through 
the hell of the Russian campaign can find little cheer in the 
assurance that life is relatively normal on the home front. 
The dogged assistance rendered           

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by the Russian civilian population to the Red Army showed 
the German soldier what a "home" front could do it total war.

The articles in the _Schwarze Korps_ and elsewhere have 
represented his point of view. Hitler himself is now taking 
up the cudgels for the common soldier. In his speech he 
describes at length the sufferings of the Army in the Russian 
campaign, in comparison with which the inconveniences on 
the home front are as naught. He went to the front partly to 
show the soldiers that he was sharing their sacrifice. Now 
he is demanding on their behalf that the civilian population 
do the same.

When the nation was growing anxious about the reversal 
in Russia, Hitler took over personal; responsibility from 
the generals. He is now reassuring the Army by assuming 
full responsibility for the conduct of the home front, a 
responsibility previously assigned to the Party.

Hitler's request for new powers means that Germany will 
have to tighten its belt. It is no sign, however, that internal 
disintegration is setting in. Hitler is simply trying to 
overcome the effects of his earlier "home-prosperity" 
propaganda, and to apply in Germany some of the lessons 
in total warfare which the Russian home front has taught him.

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Profoundly conscious of his role as a "world historical 
personality," Hitler rarely speaks to the world without 
discussing at length upon the meaning of the War. His 
interpretations of the War, however, change with its course.

At the outbreak he had conceived the meaning of the conflict 
in terms of issues which were essentially national in 
character. The solution of the English Corridor problem, 
the rectification of the last of the wrongs of Versailles; 
there were the reasons Hitler advanced for going to war. 
After the entrance of the Italians into the conflict, he 
explained the war as a struggle of the Have Not's against 
the Have's for an equal share in the wealth of the world.

In the present speech the latter interpretation is only 
alluded to in passing; the former is totally ignored. Hitler 
speaks now not simply as the leader of the Germans, not 
simply as the leader of the Have Not's but as the leader 
of Europe. The emphasis he places on the necessity for 
European solidarity indicates that the "New Order" concept 
has assured a new centrality in his thinking. this centrality 
clearly derives from his realization that without the full 
mobilization of Europe, he cannot successfully wage the 
two front war which threatens him. Hitler took the gamble 
of being able to defeat his foes one at a 


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time. The fact that Russia's armies are still intact, and that 
the United States is now a full participant presents him with 
the live possibility of the very two front situation which he 
sought to avoid. One may deduce from his high compliments 
to all the European nations which have aided him that he is 
well aware that the resources and manpower of Europe as 
well as those of Germany will be even more necessary when 
both fronts become a reality.

At the same time Hitler does not openly recognize the 
existence of a two front situation. In order to arouse 
his European followers, he concentrates exclusively 
on the Russian menace. He belittles the role of England 
in the war, and argues that she no longer represents a 
force in European politics. He implies, however, that 
the only hope for the survival of her Empire lies in 
cooperation with unified Europe. He ignores entirely 
the prowess of the United States. Our                                              
participation in the war is to him totally  incomprehensible, 
since he "does not see" how the interests of the United 
States are in any way involved in the conflict . He 
likewise argues that the United States will be the 
inheritor of the British Empire. This may be his last 
effort to divide the American people from its leaders 
and at the same time from its British Allies.


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The cardinal sin of Great Britain and the United States, 
according to Hitler, is that they are abettors of the 
Communist revolution. He tries to show that both these 
powers are pursuing a
policy contrary to their own interests as well as to that 
of civilization in general. It is in this effort that he 
arrives at a newly unified philosophy if the war designed 
to appeal to the middle class the world over. He casts 
his argument in terms of the Marxian dialectic, with 
which middle class European thought has been so largely 
tinctured.

The Jews occupy the center of the stage in Hitler's 
new theory. Their aim is, of course, to achieve world 
domination. Democracy provides them with the opportunity. 
In the democracies the Jews, at the expense of the indigenous 
population, are able to arrogate most of the wealth. They 
thus create a large oppressed proletariat which the Jews 
then exploit to subvert the existing social order. When 
revolution comes, the dialectic process reaches its final 
phase, in which the Jews take over political and economic 
power completely and exploit the enslaved peoples. Great 
Britain and the United  States therefore represent the first 
phase of the Jewish-inspired class conflict. Under their 
Jewish leaders they are misguidedly fighting simply to 
preserve the possibility for world revolution. Hence it is 
entirely natural that they should be fighting at Russia's side.

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So intent is Hitler upon convincing the world that the war 
is to be viewed as a gigantic Communist plot, that he 
professes to see no meaning in the war before the outbreak 
of the Russian phase. He must be convinced that he has the 
definitive argument for Germany's present enterprise, for 
he does not, even by refutation, allude to the charges of 
oppression made against him. His entire effort is to 
obliterate from the European memory the nationalist 
issues which played such a large role in his original 
rationale of the war. The propaganda of the United Nations, 
therefore, should take particular pains to keep before the 
European peoples the nature of the tie which binds them 
against Hitler despite their differing conceptions of 
social order.

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