Hitler explains his political agenda (1933)


Hitler explains his political agenda in a speech to the Reichstag from March 1933, given a few weeks after his appointment as chancellor:


“With this political purification of our public life, the Government of the Reich will undertake a thorough moral purging of the body corporate of the nation. The entire educational system, the theater, the cinema, literature, the Press, and the wireless – all these will be used as means to this end and valued accordingly. They must all serve for the maintenance of the eternal values present in the essential character of our people. Art will always remain the expression and the reflection of the longings and the realities of an era.

The neutral international attitude of aloofness is rapidly disappearing. Heroism is coming forward passionately and will in future shape and lead political destiny. It is the task of art to be the expression of this determining spirit of the age. Blood and race will once more become the source of artistic intuition…

Our legal institutions must serve above all for the maintenance of this national community. The irremovableness of the judges must ensure a sense of responsibility and the exercise of discretion in their judgments in the interests of society. Not the individual, but the nation as a whole alone, can be the center of legislative solicitude. High treason and treachery to the nation will be ruthlessly eradicated in the future. The foundations of the existence of justice cannot be other than the foundations of the existence of the nation.

The government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, is creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life. The advantages of a personal and political nature that might arise from compromising with atheistic organizations would not outweigh the consequences which would become apparent in the destruction of general moral basic values. The national government regards the two Christian confessions as the weightiest factors for the maintenance of our nationality. It will respect the agreements concluded between it and the federal States. Their rights are not to be infringed. But the government hopes and expects that the work on the national and moral regeneration of our nation which it has made its task will, on the other hand, be treated with the same respect…

Great are the tasks of the national Government in the sphere of economic life. Here all action must be governed by one law: the people do not live for business, and business does not exist for capital. But capital serves business, and business serves the people. In principle, the Government will not protect the economic interests of the German people by the circuitous method of an economic bureaucracy to be organized by the State, but by the utmost furtherance of private initiative and by the recognition of the rights of property…

The salvation of the German farmer must be achieved at all costs…

We are aware that the geographic position of Germany, with her lack of raw materials, does not fully allow economic self-sufficiency for the Reich. It cannot be too often emphasized that nothing is further from the thoughts of the government of the Reich than hostility to exporting. We are fully aware that we have need of the connection with the outside world, and that the marketing of German commodities in the world provides a livelihood for many millions of our fellow-countrymen.

Protection of the frontiers of the Reich and thereby of the lives of our people and the existence of our business is now in the hands of the Reichswehr which, in accordance with the terms imposed upon us by the Treaty of Versailles, is to be regarded as the only really disarmed army in the world. In spite of its enforced smallness and entirely insufficient armament, the German people may regard their Reichswehr with proud satisfaction. This little instrument of our national self-defence has come into being under the most difficult conditions. The spirit imbuing it is that of our best military traditions.

The German nation wishes to live in peace with the rest of the world. But it is for this very reason that the Government of the Reich will employ every means to obtain the final removal of the division of the nations of the world into two categories. The keeping open of this wound leads to distrust on the one side and hatred on the other, and thus to a general feeling of insecurity…

The Government of the Reich, which regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attaches the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See [the Vatican] and is endeavouring to develop them.

We feel sympathy for our brother nation in Austria in its trouble and distress. In all their doings the Government of the Reich is conscious of the connection between the destiny of all German races. Their attitude toward the other foreign Powers may be gathered from what has already been said. But even in cases where our mutual relations are encumbered with difficulties, we shall endeavour to arrive at a settlement. But in any case the basis for an understanding can never be the distinction between victor and vanquished.”