Robert Ley on the Nazi economic recovery (1936)


In 1936 Robert Ley, the head of the German Workers’ Front, addressed an audience on the Nazi economic recovery:


“We have accomplished enormous things in the over three years that we have been in power. I do not believe this evening would be long enough to list all the great successes that we have had. Two facts stand out: The German today has become an entirely different person! Whether worker, craftsman, farmer or member of the middle class, we are all entirely new people! There are a few holdovers from past times, there always have to be museum pieces, after all. They will gradually die out. The broad, large and great mass of our people has changed thoroughly. They have been transformed.

Look at the workers! Look with me into Germany’s factories. I might remind some in this room what they thought three years ago, not only about their party or the government, but of their whole view of life, their views of labor, the fatherland, their people, their community, or about socialism – all these things that have always concerned humanity. They will have to agree that they are of entirely different opinions today.

Germany has been born anew. The Fuhrer said at the last party rally, as he always says, that for him the greatest miracle of the age is how people have changed. Once there was hopelessness, today there is joy and affirmation, once there was general desperation, today there is resurrection and reawakening. Once each was the enemy of his neighbor. Envy, mistrust, and hatred were everywhere; today, everyone tries to do something good for the next person, even if sometimes with too much energy and enthusiasm. Each wants to be a good comrade, loyal, friendly.

I have said this in other speeches, too: It is not that we have no more worries, that everyone is happy, and that people have no more troubles or problems. No, we still face enormous problems, and will continue to face them. The sacrifices demanded of some may be even greater than before. The work required of some is certainly greater than it was before.”