Goebbels' Last Speech: April 22, 1945

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This is the last of Goebbels’ articles in Das Reich. Two weeks later, he would be dead. Despite the hopeless war situation, he attempts to persuade Germans to keep fighting. Since the distribution system had collapsed by the time of this issue (Russian troops were already attacking Berlin), few people read this final essay.
He was dead within a few days after that. One can hear the Russians gun booming on the outskirts of Berlin. What kind of man could give such a speech while the foes knocked at the door?


The war has reached a stage at which only the full efforts of the nation and of each individual can save us. The defence of our freedom no longer depends on the army fighting at the front. Each civilian, each man and woman and boy and girl must fight with unequaled fanaticism. The enemy expects that, once his tanks have broken through, they will find no resistance. He believes that we will be so disconcerted by his material superiority that we will let things take their course, without caring how they turn out. We must prove the enemy’s hopes wrong. No village and no city may give in to the enemy. The enemy is strong, but not strong enough to hold all the territory of the Reich without our help. If he persuades us to capitulate, he will have an easy time with us. The enemy has laid waste to our cities and provinces through the worst and most terrible bombing terror. As long as we are determined to resist at all costs, we cannot be beaten, and for us not being beaten means to be victorious.

This war of nations demands heavy sacrifice. Still, those sacrifices do not begin to compare with those we would be forced to bring if we lose. The enemy naturally wants to make his battle against the Reich as easy and safe as possible, and hopes to diminish our morale by seductive agitation. That is poison for weak souls. He who falls for it proves he has learned nothing from the war. He thinks it possible to take the easy road, when only the hard path leads to freedom. They are the same doubting souls who have no sense of national honor, and think nothing of living under the clubs of Anglo-American banking Jews, accepting charity from their hands. In other words, they are the rubbish of our nation, who nonetheless give the enemy an entirely false idea of this people. One sees how the English and American newspapers have fun with them, mocking and scorning them, and comparing them with a brave nation fighting for its life. That nation, which has demonstrated heroism and more heroism, has only one wish when reading these accounts: to kill them. They deserve nothing else. One cannot even claim that they do not know what they are doing. They have to know it, for they have been told often enough, even by the enemy, should they not want to believe us.

In the midst of a thousand battles, burdens and defeats, our people stand unbroken. Our hearts are proud when we hear from the enemy the wild fanaticism they encounter, how fathers, mothers and even children gather to resist the invaders, how boys and girls throw hand grenades and mines or shoot from cellar windows without regard to danger. They force the enemy to give them respect. They tie up his forces. They force him to commit his reserves to hold a rebellious city or a village glowing with national fanaticism, thereby slowing his advance until a new defensive line can be built a few kilometers further on. It is an absurd reversal of the facts to claim they are fighting in desperation. The enemy’s attacks are riskier than the methods we use to resist. They have a solid foundation, which will soon make its impact known in the course of the war. A nation that defended its freedom with all its resources has never yet been defeated. Often, however, those that give in from desperation have been defeated.

Our entire war effort requires revolutionary changes. The old rules of war are outdated, and have no use at all in our present situation. This is the age of wars between nations. When whole peoples are threatened, whole peoples must defend themselves. The enemy does not want to take a province from us or push us back to more favorable strategic borders; he wants to cut our very arteries by destroying our mines and factories, destroying our national substance. If he succeeds, Germany will become a cemetery. Our people will starve and perish, aside from the millions who will be deported to Siberia as slave labor. In such a situation, any means is justified. We are in a state of national emergency; it is no time to ask what is normally done! Does the enemy worry about that? Where does international law allow for the tens of thousands of German women tortured and raped in the East, or the tens of thousands of German children who have been murdered in a cowardly and terrible way, or the many who have fallen victim to barbaric enemy bombing terror? All normal ideas of warfare have long since been discarded by the enemy. Only we good natured Germans still hold to them in the mistaken idea that we might thereby bring the enemy to reason.

The facts prove the opposite. Our enemies are even insolent enough to call us barbarians and war criminals because here and there we put up touch resistance with the means we have available. Just recently, British terror fliers who had been shot down after doing their destructive work were attacked by men and women in Berlin, who after their homes had been destroyed were trying to rescue their possessions and dig out the corpses of their parents and children. Their reaction was understandable, but German guards protected them with their weapons. What would happen to a captured German pilot, were he lead through a flaming Moscow? To ask the question is to answer it. Knightly behavior will not accomplish much in this war. The German dreamer must wake up if he does not want to lose his freedom and his life. How long will he wait to do what is necessary? Will he wait until Bolshevist posters appear ordering everyone between fourteen and fifty to show up at a certain spot with clothing and two weeks of food in order to be transported to Siberia? Or until the Anglo-American occupation forces ruin our people through starvation and Typhoid Fever?

Is that an exaggeration? Not at all! It has become grim reality in the occupied territories in the East and West. Only a few romantic souls fail to see it. They have built a world of illusions, and do not want to believe the hard facts and draw the necessary conclusions. They must change their thinking, and as fast as possible. Someone once said that he did not know which people could be beaten to death, but he did know that the German people had to be beaten to life. What kind of blow will it take to finally wake these people from their illusions, to persuade them to give up their fantasies and errors, for their own good even if not for that of everyone else? What will persuade these obstructionists and defeatists to defend themselves?

The enemy is out to get us all. The London papers recently reported that Anglo-American officers viewed with contempt the owners of the houses where they were quartered. They were buying German-English dictionaries in order to parley. Only the domestic servants refused to behave in so unworthy a manner. What can one say about such creatures? Beating them seems the only possible solution. Thank God, these are isolated events. What can a German think about people who have had their property destroyed and who have been told they will be tortured in the manner of the Middle Ages, who still want to have a pleasant conversation with their conquerors?

Why do we mention these examples? In order to protect healthy people against infection. Were they to succumb, it would all be over. We would have no salvation, no future. We must help ourselves if we are to receive any help at all. It is more than naive to hope that the enemy will help us. We still have enough means and opportunities to defend ourselves and to bring the war to a successful conclusion if we only use them. This is the center of our efforts.

Each must start with himself, banishing all weakness and lethargy. He must stand firm and give an example to others, he must be on guard when he hears defeatism. He must be a man and act, work, and fight until we have overcome the gravest crisis of this war. We do not know how long that will take, only that it is necessary if we wish to live. That is true for every German, whether at the front or at home. No one can leave it to everyone else. We are all in the same boat that is plowing through the storm. No one can sit in a corner grumbling and complaining, making only critical remarks to the helmsman and the other passengers. Who can hold it against the rest when he who apparently shows no regard for the rest is tossed overboard to ease the strain on the rest, both physically and because they have wearied of a professional complainer who is endangering their efforts to save themselves? That is how things are.

We can no longer pay any heed to weariness, weakness, and delicacy. What we want, and what the intentions of our devilish enemy are, has been said often and clearly enough during the war. It does not need to be repeated. Everyone knows it. Developments have confirmed it, not contradicted it. There is no hope that the weaklings are right correct in their cowardly excuse that things will be only half as bad as we fear. If the enemy’s agitation deceives us into surrender, things will be much worse than we predicted. We must draw the proper conclusions, coolly, calmly, without complaining, but also with determination. Raising the white flag means giving up the war and shamefully losing one’s life. There is no reason for doing that. To the contrary, that would only help our enemy to win a cheap victory, and for at least a while cover up the growing crisis in his coalition.


VIDEO: GOEBBELS' LAST SPEECH




The results are easy to see. They would affect us only, and sooner or later would result in the complete destruction of our nation. No one is willing to accept that fate. We must therefore fight on, resisting at all costs, even under the toughest and bleakest conditions. We fought for years almost without risk. That was not particularly commendable. The risk was entirely on the enemy’s side. They overcame the danger. Who thinks that we cannot do the same? He should buy a noose and do to himself what he thinks is going to happen to our whole nation.

We still live and breathe, and have mountains of resistance left in us that we only need draw upon. Never have we believed so passionately in Germany as today, when the Reich has before it a crisis of unparalleled seriousness. One may not judge a sick person’s chances of recovery by his fevered delusions. Rather, every possible means must be used to reduce the fever and waken the body’s natural defenses, to give the patient courage so that he does not lose the will to live. One must strengthen his defenses so that they can bring him through the critical moments. Any other behavior is foolish and dangerous. A fourteen-year-old lad crouching with his bazooka behind a ruined wall on a burned out street is worth more to the nation than ten intellectuals who attempt to prove that our chances now are nil. The fighting lad acts instinctively in the right way, the intellectuals act in a false and illogical way because they give up since things do not seem in balance.

Whether things balance or not depends on us alone. The final account of the war will depend on the whole efforts of the involved nations. The German people can yet make an unprecedented contribution. It will thereby earn the victory. In 1918, we gave up at the last minute. That will not happen in 1945. We all have to see to that. This is the foundation of our ultimate victory. It may sound improbable today, but it is nonetheless so: Final victory will be ours. It will come through tears and blood, but it will justify all the sacrifices we have made.


REALTED




Goebbels: Master Propagandist


"Arguably the most gifted of Hitler’s henchmen, Joseph Goebbels was an enigmatic genius whose successful manipulation of mass political opinion was unprecedented. His rise to power, and that of the Nazi Party itself, will forever stand as one of history’s most terrifying examples of the reach of propaganda, a tool with which Goebbels’s name is virtually synonymous. In their fascinating documentary, the filmmakers provide a rare and chilling glimpse into a brilliant but toxic mind. Rejecting commentary, they allow Goebbels to speak for himself (in the voice of Kenneth Branagh), via the extensive diaries that he kept from 1924 to1945. Rare clips from German film and television archives illustrate the readings. At a time when much of our news and entertainment media is controlled by a handful of corporations, The Goebbels Experiment is a cautionary reminder that equal access to the machinery of ideas may be society’s most critical goal."

FOUR PROVOCATIVE, ASTONISHING DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT NAZI GERMANY


THE GOEBBELS EXPERIMENT

Arguably the most gifted of Hitler's henchmen, Joseph Goebbels was an enigmatic genius whose successful manipulation of mass political opinion was unprecedented. His rise to power, and that of the Nazi Party itself, will forever stand as one of history's most terrifying examples of the reach of propaganda, a tool with which Goebbels's name is virtually synonymous.
A rare and chilling glimpse into a brilliant but toxic mind, this fascinating documentary allows Goebbels to speak for himself (in the voice of Kenneth Branagh), via the extensive diaries that he kept. Rare clips from German film and tv archives illustrate the readings. At a time when much of our media is controlled by a handful of corporations, The Goebbels Experiment is a cautionary reminder that equal access to the machinery of ideas may be society's most critical goal." (from The New York Times)

FIRESTORM

After suffering heavy losses of aircraft during attacks on German factories, Winston Churchill orders cities to be targeted in order to smash German morale and reduce the number of workers available for the Nazi war machine. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians are killed as incendiary bombs turn Hamburg, Dresden and other cities into tornados of fire. Now, a new debate is underway over this lethal bombing campaign. Were these relentless aerial attacks on German cities, which killed so many and destroyed so much, a necessary tactic in the war against Hitler? Or was it an act of revenge by the Allies?
Using rare film footage (much of it in color) and stirring interviews with historians, former bomber pilots and survivors of the destruction, this extraordinary film brings to light the devastating bombing campaign against Nazi Germany.

THE REICH UNDERGROUND

While Germany sustained relentless bombing by the Allies, the Nazis undertook a bold gambit to turn the war back in their favor. Building an extensive tunnel system deep underground to house armament factories, Nazi leaders raced against time to produce the deadly new weapons they hoped would bring Germany final victory.
Long forgotten after the victorious American Army sealed them off from intruders, the sprawling underground labyrinths are reopened for the first time in decades. Using previously unreleased film material and exclusive interviews, the story of the Underground Reich provides a glimpse into awesome worlds hidden beneath the earth.

TELEVISION UNDER THE SWASTIKA

Legend has it that television began in the United States in the 1950s but in reality its origins hark back much further. Nazi leaders, determined to be the world's first broadcasters, began Greater German Television in 1935.
Making use of film footage discovered in the catacombs of the Berlin Federal Film Archive, this fascinating film explores the technology behind this new medium and the programming the Nazis put on it. Interviews with high-ranking Nazis as well as ordinary people, cooking shows, sporting events and cabaret acts are some of the stunning finds seen here; it's required viewing for anyone interested in the history of television, the intersection of media and propaganda, and the inside story of Nazi Germany.

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'
==========

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'

==========

Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
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========

Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

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Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city

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Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]

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Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

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Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians