SCHWERIN, GUSTLOFF'S FUNERAL
SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 12, 1936
. . . BEHIND every murder stood the same power which is responsible for this murder; behind these harmless insignificant
fellow-countrymen who were instigated and incited to crime stands the hate-filled power of our Jewish foe, a foe to whom we
had done no harm, but who none the less sought to subjugate our German people and make of it its slave - the foe who is responsible
for all the misfortune that fell upon us in 1918, for all the misfortune which plagued Germany in the years that followed.
Those members of the Party and honorable comrades of ours all fell, and the same fate was planned for others: many hundreds
survived as cripples or severely wounded, blinded or lamed; more than 40,000 others were injured. And among them were so many
loyal folk whom we all knew and who were near and dear to us, of whom we were sure that they could never do any harm to anyone,
that they had never done any harm to anyone, whose only crime was that they devoted themselves to the cause of Germany.
In the ranks of those whose lives were thus sacrificed there stood also Horst Wessel, the singer who gave to the Movement
its song, never dreaming that he would join those spirits who march and have marched with us.
And now on foreign soil National Socialism has gained its first conscious martyr - a man who did nothing save to enter
the lists for Germany which is not only his sacred right but his duty in this world: a man who did nothing save remember his
homeland and pledge himself to her in loyalty. He, too, was murdered, just like so many others. Even at the time when on January
30 three years ago we had come into power, precisely the same things happened in Germany, at Frankfort on the Oder, at Köpenick,
and again at Brunswick. The procedure was always the same: a few men come and call someone out of his house and then stab
or shoot him down.
That is no chance: it is the same guiding hand which organized these crimes and purposes to do so again. Now for the
first time one who is responsible for these acts has appeared in his own person. For the first time he employs no harmless
German fellow-countryman. It is a title to fame for Switzerland, as it is for our own Germans in Switzerland, that no one
let himself be hired to do this deed so that for the first time the spiritual begetter of the act must himself perform the
act. So our comrade has fallen a victim to that power which wages a fanatical warfare not only against our German people but
against every free, autonomous, and independent people. We understand the challenge to battle and we take up the gage! My
dear comrade! You have not fallen in vain!
SPEECH OF JANUARY 30, 1937
MEN! Deputies of the German Reichstag! The Reichstag has met today on a day momentous for the German people. Four years
have passed since the greatest national revolution and reformation that Germany has ever experienced began. These were the
four years which I asked for as a trial period....
I do not know whether there has ever been such a thorough revolution as ours, which nevertheless left unmolested numerous
former political functionaries and allowed them to work in peace and paid pensions to its bitterest enemies.
But our policy has not been of much use to us as far as other countries are concerned. Only a few months ago honorable
British citizens felt they must make a protest to us for detaining in a concentration camp one of the most criminal subjects
of Moscow. [Presumably Herr von Ossietzky, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.] I do not know whether these honorable men have
also protested against the slaying and burning of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Spain. We are assured that
the number of people slain in Spain is 170,000. On this basis we would have had the right to murder 400,000 to 500,000 people
in the Nazi Revolution!
The National Socialist program replaces the liberalistic conception of the individual by the conception of a people bound
by their blood to the soil. Of all the tasks with which we are confronted, it is the grandest and most sacred task of man
to preserve his race. This will not lead to an estrangement of the nations; on the contrary, it will lead for the first time
to a mutual understanding. It will also prevent the Jewish people from trying to disintegrate and dominate other people under
the mask of an innocent bourgeoisie.
Within a few weeks the social prejudices of a thousand years were swept away. So great was the Revolution that its spiritual
foundations have not been understood even today by a superficial world. They speak of democracies and dictatorships, and have
not realized that in this country a Revolution has taken place that can be described as democratic in the highest sense of
the word. Does a more glorious socialism or a truer democracy exist than that which enables any German boy to find his way
to the head of the nation? The purpose of the Revolution was not to deprive a privileged class of its rights, but to raise
a class without rights to equality....
There is now only one representative of German sovereignty - the people itself.
The will of the people finds its expression in the Party as its political organization.
Therefore there is only one legislative body.
There is only one executive authority.
Therefore the people is the basis, and Party, State, Army, industry, justice, etc., are only the means of maintaining
In a new penal code, justice will be put for all time into the service of maintaining the German race.
When I took over power there were more than 6,000,000 unemployed and the farmers seemed doomed to decay. Today you-must
admit that I have fulfilled my promises. . .
The Four-Year Plan will give permanent employment to those workmen who are now being released from the armament industry.
It is significant for the gigantic economic development of our people that there is today a lack of trained workmen in many
industries. There will be no strikes or lockouts in Germany, because every one has to serve the interests of the entire nation.
Education of the people will never come to an end, and this education includes the Hitler Youth, the Labor Service, the
Party, and the Army,, as well as books, newspapers, theaters, and films.
The restoration of Germany's equality of status was an event which exclusively concerns Germany herself. We have never
taken anything from any people or harmed any people. In this sense I will deprive the German railways and the Reichsbank of
their former character and place both without reservation under the sovereignty of the Government.
The time of so-called surprises has thus been ended.
I solemnly withdraw the German signature from the declaration, extracted by force from a weak Government against its
better judgment, that Germany was responsible for the War.
The restoration of the honor of the German people was the most difficult and the most audacious task and work of my life.
As an equal State, Germany is conscious of its European task to co-operate loyally in removing the problems which affect
us and other nations. My views concerning these prob- lems can perhaps be most suitably stated by referring to the statements
recently made by Mr. Eden in the House of Commons. I should like to express my sincere thanks for the opportunity of making
a reply offered me by the frank and notable statement of the British Foreign Minister.
I shall first try to correct what seems to me a most regrettable error - namely, that Germany never had any intention
of isolating herself, of passing by the events of the rest of the world without sharing them, or that she does not want to
pay any consideration to general necessities. I should like to assure Mr. Eden that we Germans do not in the least want to
be isolated and that we do not feel at all that we are isolated. Our relations with most States are normal, and are very friendly
with quite a number. I only call your attention to our agreement with Poland, our agreement with Austria, our excellent relations
with Italy, our friendly relations with Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc., and our no less friendly
relations with a whole series of nations outside Europe. The agreement with Japan for fighting the Comintern is a virile proof
of how little the German Government is thinking of isolating itself.
Germany, and I solemnly repeat this here, has declared that there can be no humanly conceivable object of dispute whatsoever
between Germany and France.
The German Government has assured Belgium and Holland of its readiness to recognize and guarantee these States as untouchable
and neutral regions for all time.
From the economic point of view there is not the least reason to assert that Germany is giving up international cooperation.
When I consider the speeches of many statesmen in the last few months, the impression may be obtained that the whole
world is waiting to inundate Germany with economic favors, which we refuse to share. The German people have been making commercial
treaties to bring about a more lively exchange of goods. German foreign trade has increased since 1932 both in volume and
I do not believe that there can be durable economic cooperation except on the basis of a new mutual exchange of goods.
World economics are not suffering from any refusal of Germany to participate in them. When we got into power the world economic
crisis was worse than today.
I fear that I must interpret Mr. Eden's words as meaning that he sees in the carrying out of the Four-Year Plan a refusal
of international relations on the part of Germany. The decision to carry out this plan does not allow of any change. Germany
has an enormous number of people who do not only want to work but to eat. I cannot build the future of the German nation on
the assurances of a foreign statesman or on any international help, but only on the real facts of production.
If Europe does not awaken to the danger of bolshevist infection, commerce will decrease in spite of all the good will
of individual statesmen. Therefore I am not in a position to judge the economic future of Europe as optimistically as Mr.
Eden apparently does. I rejoice at every increase of our foreign trade, but in view of the political situation I shall not
regret anything that will guarantee to the German people their existence when other nations have perhaps become the victims
of bolshevist infection. The British Foreign Minister offers us theoretical prospects of existence, whereas in reality totally
different things are happening - for instance, the revolutionizing of Spain has driven 15,000 Germans from the country and
done great harm to our commerce. Should this revolutionizing of Spain spread to other European countries the damage would
The League of Nations has never been a real league of peoples. A number of great nations do not belong to it or have
left it, without anybody being able to assert that these countries were in favor of a policy of isolation. I think, therefore,
that in this respect Mr. Eden misjudges Germany's intentions and views. I have already tried to bring about a good understanding
in Europe, and I have especially assured the British people and Government how ardently we wish for sincere and hearty co-operation
The division into two parts, not only of Europe but of the rest of the world, is an accomplished fact. It is to be regretted
that the British Government did not decide earlier that a division of Europe must be avoided under all circumstances, for
then we would not have had a Treaty of Versailles.
Secondly, division has been brought about by the proclamation of the bolshevist doctrine, the chief feature of which
is to enforce itself on all peoples. For Mr. Eden, bolshevism is perhaps a thing which has its seat in Moscow, but for us
it is a pestilence against which we have had to struggle at the cost of much bloodshed - a pestilence which tried to make
of our country the same desert as Spain. National Socialism has not sought to conquer bolshevism in Russia, but Jewish International
Moscow Bolshevists have tried to invade Germany and are still trying to. It is not suitable that National Socialist Germans
should ever hope to protect bolshevism or that we should ever accept help from a bolshevist State.
Three times I have made concrete offers for armament restriction or at least limitation. These offers were rejected....
It would be better to mention in the first instance the armaments of that Power which is the basis of the armaments of
all the others. Mr. Eden believes that in future all States should have only that armament which is necessary for their defense.
I do not know whether Mr. Eden has already got into touch with Moscow about the realization of this fine idea or what assurances
he has got there. I must, however, state one thing. It is absolutely clear that the amount of armaments for defense is determined
by the degree of dangers which threaten a country. We cannot imagine anyone outside London being competent to estimate the
strength necessary for the protection of the British Empire. The estimate of our need for protection is decided exclusively
in Berlin. A general recognition of these principles would contribute to a lessening of the tension. Germany is happy to have
found Italy and Japan to be of the same opinion. Nobody welcomed the apparent lessening of the tension in the Mediterranean
brought about by the Anglo-Italian agreement more than we.
Germany has no interest in Spain but the cultivation of those economic relations which Mr. Eden himself has described
as so important and profitable.
Germany has no colonial claims on countries which have taken no colonies away from her. Our sympathies with General Franco
and his Government are in the first place of a general nature, but they are also based on the hope that the consolidation
of a real National Spain may lead to a strengthening of the European economic system. We are ready to do everything which
may lead to a restoration of orderly conditionsin Spain.
During the last 100 years a number of new nations have arisen in Europe which, owing to their incapacity, have been of
no economic importance and almost of no political significance. They have brought into the world new tensions. The new Italian
State, however, is a reality. The German people and the German Reich are also a reality. The Polish people and State are also
The unreasonable division of the world into peoples who have and peoples who have not does not remove or solve problems.
If it is to be the task of the League of Nations only to guarantee the existing state of the world and to safeguard it for
all time, then we might as well entrust it also with the task of guarding the high tide and the low tide, or of regulating
for the future the direction of the Gulf Stream. Its continued existence depends on the extent to which it is realized that
necessary reforms which concern the relations of the nations must be considered and put into practice.
The German people once built up a Colonial Empire, without robbing anyone and without any war. This was taken away from
us. It was said that the natives did not want to belong to Germany, that the colonies were not adminis- tered properly by
the Germans, and that these colonies had no true value. If this is true, this valuelessness would also apply to the other
nations, and there is no reason why they should wish to keep them from us. Germany has never demanded colonies for military
purposes, but exclusively for economic ones. It is obvious that in times of general prosperity the value of certain territories
may shrink, but it is just as clear that in time of distress such value changes. Today Germany lives in a time of fierce struggle
for foodstuffs and raw materials. Sufficient imports are only conceivable if there is a continued increase in our exports.
Therefore the demand for colonies for our densely populated country will again and again be raised as a matter of course.
I should like to express a few opinions on possible ways of bringing about a genuine pacification of Europe, and beyond:-
1. It is in the interests of all nations that individual countries should possess stable political and economic conditions.
This is the most important condition for lasting and solid economic and political relations between the nations.
2. The vital interests of the different nations must be frankly recognized.
3. The League of Nations, to be effective, must be reformed and must become an organ of evolutionary common sense and
not remain an organ of inactivity.
4. The relations of the nations with one another can only be regulated and solved on a basis of mutual respect and absolute
5. It is impossible to make one nation responsible for armaments or another responsible for armaments limitation, but
it is necessary to see this problem as it really is.
6. It is impossible to maintain peace so long as an international, irresponsible clique continues its agitation un-checked.
I greatly regret that the British Foreign Minister did not state categorically that there was not one word of truth in the
calumnies about Morocco spread by these international war agitators. Thanks to the loyalty of a foreign diplomat and his Government,
the immediate clearing up of this stirring case was made possible, but is it not conceivable that on another occasion it might
not be possible to enable the truth to come to light so quickly, and what would happen then?
7. It has been proved that European problems can be solved properly only within the limits of the possible. Germany is
hoping to have close and friendly relations with Italy. May we succeed in paving the way for such relations with other European
countries. The German Reich will watch over its security and honor with its strong Army. On the other hand, convinced that
there can be no greater treasure for Europe than peace, it will always be a reasonable supporter of those European ideals
of peace, and will be conscious of its responsibilities.
8. It would be profitable to European peace as a whole if, in the treatment of the nationalities who are forced to live
as minorities within other nations, mutual consideration were shown for national honor and consciousness. This would lead
to a decisive lessening of tension between the nations who are forced to live side by side and whose State frontiers are not
identical with the frontiers of the people.
In concluding these remarks I should like to deal with the document which the British Government addressed to the German
Government on the occasion of the occupation of the Rhineland. We are convinced that the British Government at that time did
everything to lessen the tension, and that the document in question was intended to contribute to disentangling the situation.
Nevertheless it was not possible for the German Government, for reasons which the British Government will certainly appreciate,
to reply to those questions.
We preferred to settle some of those questions in the most natural way by the practical improvement of our relations
with our neighbors. I should like to state now that complete
German sovereignty and equality have been restored, and that Germany will never sign a treaty which is in any way incompatible
with the honor of the nation and of the Government which represents it, or which otherwise is incompatible with Germany's
vital interests and therefore in the long run cannot be kept. With all my heart I hope that the intelligence and good will
of responsible European governments will succeed, in spite of all opposition, in preserving peace for Europe. Peace is our
When I look upon the work of the past four years my first feeling is of gratitude to the Almighty who made it possible,
and who has blessed our work and enabled us to pass through all obstacles.
I have had three unusual friends in my life. ln my youth, poverty accompanied me for many years. When the Great War came
to an end it was great sorrow that took hold of me and prescribed my path - sorrow at the collapse of our people. Since January
30 four years ago I have made the acquaintance of anxiety as the third friend - anxiety for the people and Reich which have
been confided to my leadership. Since that time it has never left me, and in all probability will accompany me to my end.
How could a man shoulder the burden of this anxiety if he had not faith in his mission and the consent of Him who stands above