SPEECH OF FEBRUARY 15, 1933
. . . IN FOURTEEN years the system which has now been overthrown has piled mistake upon mistake, illusion upon illusion. And that is also true for our foreign policy. Only since the time when through our Movement the world has been shown that a new Germany of resolution and resistance is arising - only since then are we once more regarded with other eyes. If today in Geneva a people fights side by side with us for the freedom of Europe, it is we who have first formed this friendship and not the representatives of the former system.
And now Staatspräsident Bolz says that Christianity and the Catholic faith are threatened by us. And to that charge I can answer: In the first place it is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany. I do not merely talk of Christianity, no, I also profess that I will never ally myself with the parties which destroy Christianity. If many wish today to take threatened Christianity under their protection, where, I would ask, was Christianity for them in these fourteen years when they went arm in arm with atheism? No, never and at no time was greater internal damage done to Christianity than in these fourteen years when a party, theoretically Christian, sat with those who denied God in one and the same Government.
I would ask whether the economic policy of this now superseded system was a Christian policy. Was the inflation an undertaking for which Christians could answer, or has the destruction of German life, of the German peasant as well as of the middles classes, been Christian? . . . When these parties now say: we want to govern for a few more years in order that we can improve the situation, then we say:
No! now it is too late for that! Besides, you had your fourteen years and you have failed. In fourteen years you have proved your incapacity - from the Treaty of Versailles by way of the various agreements down to the Dawes and Young plans. Herr Bolz, too, has given his support to the Young Plan while I have always opposed it.
If today we are told that we have no program, then I answer that for the last two years this other Germany has lived only by making inroads on our thought-world. All these plans for the creation of work, for labor service, etc.- they are not the work of Staatspräsident Bolz, they come from our program of reconstruction from which they have taken them over imperfectly and incompletely.
We are convinced that the restoration to health of our people must start from the restoration to health of the body politic itself, and we are persuaded of the truth that the future of our people, as in the past so now, lies first of all in the German peasant. If he perishes, our end has come; if he survives, then Germany will never go under. There lie the strength and the source of our people's life, the source of our renewal. The towns would not exist at all, if the peasant did not fill them with his blood. The dweller in our countryside may be primitive, but he is healthy.
. . . We want, too, to restore to the German intelligentsia the freedom of which it has been robbed by the system which has hitherto ruled. In parliamentarianism they did not possess this freedom. We want to liberate Germany from the fetters of an impossible parliamentary democracy - not because we are terrorists, not because we intend to gag the free spirit. On the contrary, the spirit has never had more violence done to it than when mere numbers made themselves its master.
No, our wish is that responsible folk should once more be brought together so that every class and every individual should be given that authority over those below and that responsibility towards those above which are essential if one is to build up the life of a community. We do not want so to educate the nation that it lives for ideas and artificial constructions; we want to test all ideas and constructions to discover how far they are capable of serving the nation's life.
I will not build myself a villa in Switzerland, nor will I lay claim to any fund with which to fight criminality in this election campaign. Then after four years people shall judge whether the policy of ruining Germany has come to an end, whether Germany is rising once again.