Letter from the Reichstag Bank president to Hitler (1932)

In August 1932, Hjalmar Schacht, the president of the Reichsbank, wrote to Adolf Hitler, expressing his support – and some advice with regards to economic policy:

“Dear Herr Hitler,

I hope that you will allow me to use this form of addressing you, as the only purpose of my letter is to assure you of my unchanging sympathy in these times of great trials. I realise that you are not in need of consolation. The rise to a total of 14 million votes cast for you, the perfidious counterblow by the other – theoretically stronger – side, and the loss of the votes of political profiteers, all these are things which could not seriously surprise you.

But what you could perhaps do with in these days is a word of most sincere sympathy. Your movement is carried internally by so strong a truth and necessity that victory in one form or another cannot elude you for long. During the time of the rise of your movement, you did not let yourself be led astray by false gods. I am firmly convinced that now, when you are forced into a position of defence for a short time, you will likewise resist the temptation of an alliance with false idols. If you remain the man that you are, then success cannot elude you.

You know that I do not intend to give you any tactical advice, as I admit absolutely to your superiority in this field. But perhaps as an economist, I may say this: if possible, do not put forward any detailed economic program. There is no such program on which 14 million could agree. Economic policy is not a factor for building up a party, but at best collects interest. Moreover, economic measures vary with time and circumstances. It merely depends on the spirit out of which they are born. Let this spirit be the deciding factor.

Wherever my work may take me to in the near future, even if you should see me one day within the fortress – you can always count on me as your reliable assistant. I felt the need of writing the above to you, as in our time so few understand that everything depends on inner strength.

With a vigorous ‘Heil!’
Hjalmar Schacht
August 29th 1932