Adolf Hitler About the Armed Forces

by Der Stürmer

For us the army is the representational and actual expression of the strength of a nation for the external defense of its interests.

Open Letter to Brüning of October 14, 1931

The victory of our ideas will convey to the whole nation a political and world-view thinking, which puts the army into a real inner, spiritual relation to the whole folk and hence rescues it from the painful fact of being an alien body within the own folk.

Open Letter to Brüning of October 14, 1931

Only the man is a real one who also defends himself like a man, and a folk is only a real one, which is ready – if necessary – to step onto the battlefield as a folk. This is not militarism, rather self-preservation.

Speech of April 27, 1923 in Munich

Only if the nation’s defense question – which is foremost not a technical one, rather a spiritual one, a question of will – is solved in the sense that the German folk again comprehends that one can only pursue politics with power and again power, is reconstruction again possible.

Speech of May 4, 1923 in Munich

A statesman…who is responsible for the well-being of his folk cannot allow it that Germany is exposed to the danger that perhaps a neighbor could attack it or drop bombs on our industrial works or wage a so-called preventive war simply in order to divert from its own internal difficulties. Only for this reason – and for no other – do we demand armed forces, which suffice for defensive purposes.

Interview of April 3, 1934 in Berlin

There is only one arms-bearer in Germany, and that is the army.

Speech of October 14, 1933 in Berlin

The German youth is given military training in neither the work camps nor in the S.A. and in the subordinate formations, which could tempt them to one day use it. How much more, however, could Germany complain that in other lands year after year millions of recruits receive real military training!

Interview of October 18, 1933 in Berlin

The defense of the Reich’s borders and thus our folk’s life and our economy’s existence today lies with our Reichswehr, which in accordance with the terms imposed on us in the Versailles Treaty is to be viewed as the only really disarmed army in the world. Despite the thereby conditioned smallness and totally insufficient armament, the German folk may look with proud satisfaction on its Reichswehr. Under the most difficult circumstances, this small instrument of our national self- defense has emerged. In its spirit it is the bearer of our best soldierly traditions.

Speech of March 23, 1933 in Berlin

With minute thoroughness the German folk has fulfilled the obligations placed on it in the peace treaty, yes, even the back then approved replacement of our fleet’s ships has – I may say: unfortunately – only been carried out to a small degree.

Speech of March 23, 1933 in Berlin

Although this fleet is small, all of Germany looks on it with joy. For it is the most visible presentative of the German concept of honor and of German respect in the world.

Speech to the fleet in Kiel of March 23, 1933

The German folk has destroyed its weapons. Counting on the loyalty to the treaty by its former war opponents, it has even fulfilled the treaties with downright fanatical loyalty. On the water, on land and in the air immeasurable war material was disarmed, destroyed and scrapped. In place of the former million army came in accordance with the wish of the diktat powers a small professional army with militarily totally insufficient equipment.

Speech of October 14, 1933 in Berlin

This order (of division of the world into victor and vanquished states) finds its worst effect in the forced defenselessness of one nation opposed to the exaggerated armaments of the others.

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

When Germany today raises the demand for actual equal rights in the sense of the disarmament of other nations, then it has a moral right for that through its own fulfillment of the treaties. For Germany has disarmed, and Germany carried out this disarmament under the strictest international supervision.

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

Six million rifles and carbines were turned over or destroyed; the German folk had to destroy or turn over 130,000 machine- guns, the German folk had to destroy huge quantities of machine-gun barrels, 91.000 guns, 38.75 million shells and enormous additional stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. The Rhineland was demilitarized, German fortresses were levelled, our ships turned over, airplanes destroyed, our military system given up and the training of reserves thereby prevented. Even the most necessary weapons of defense were denied us.

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

Germany has disarmed. It has fulfilled all obligations of the peace treaty imposed on it far beyond the limits of any pettiness, yes, beyond any reason. It’s army numbers 100,000 men. The strength and nature of the police are regulated internationally. The auxiliary police assembled in the days of the (National Socialist) revolution has an exclusively political character. In the critical days of the revolt it had to replace the portion of the other police initially presumed by the new regime to be unreliable. After the victorious carrying out of the revolution, it is already in the process of be reduced and will be totally dissolved by the end of the year. Germany thus has a completely justified moral claim that the other powers for their part fulfil their obligations, which result from the Treaty of Versailles.

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

The only nation, which could rightly fear an invasion, is the German one, for which one not only banned offensive weapons, rather even curtailed the right to defensive weapons and prohibited the establishment of border fortifications.

Speech of May 17, 1833 in Berlin

Whoever tries today to counter these undeniable facts with truly pitiful excuses and evasions and to claim Germany had not fulfilled the treaties or had even armed, I must from this position reject his view as untrue and unfair!

May 17, 1933 in Berlin

If one…furthermore…does not count the trained classes of the other armies of the world compared with the militarily totally untrained people (of the S.A., S.S. and Stahlhelm, who solely serve domestic political purposes), if one consciously overlooks the armed reserves of the others, but starts to count the unarmed members of political federations among us, then this represents a procedure against which I must raise the sharpest protest! If the world wants to destroy trust in right and justice, then this is the right means for that!

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

The claim that the S.A. and the S.A. of the National Socialist party have any kind of relation to the Reichswehr in the sense they are militarily trained formations or reserves of the army, is untrue!

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

Germany is furthermore ready without ado to totally renounce offensive weapons, if within a certain time period the armed nations for their part destroy these offensive weapons and their use is banned by an international convention. Germany only has the one wish to be able to preserve its independence and defend its borders.

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

The defensive works of other folk are, after all, built to withstand the heaviest offensive weapons, while Germany demands no offensive weapons, rather only those defense weapons, which in the future as well are not banned, rather permitted to all nations. And here, too, Germany is ready from the outset to make due with a numerical minimum, which stands in no comparison to the gigantic supply of offensive and defensive weapons of our former opponents.

Speech of October 14, 1933 in Berlin

Furthermore, the German government will reject no weapons ban as too restrictive, if it is applied in the same manner to the other states.

Speech of May 17, 1933 in Berlin

The German folk has fulfilled its disarmament obligations in excess. It would now be the turn of the armed states to fulfill the analogous obligations no less so.

Speech of October 14. 1933 in Berlin

Despite our willingness, if necessary to continue to the very end the already completed German disarmament, the other nations cannot decide to simply fulfill the assurances they signed in the peace treaty.

Appeal of October 14, 1933

If anybody in the world can feel threatened, then that is we alone!

Speech of November 10, 1933 in Berlin

So, just as the officers and soldiers of the armed forces obligate themselves to the new state in my person, I will always view it as my highest duty to stand up for the inviolability of the armed forces.

Letter to the Reichswehr Minister of August 20, 1934

It is a unique historical event that such a gracious bond in the service of the folk manifested itself between the forces of the revolution and the responsible leaders of the most extremely disciplined armed forces as well as between the National Socialist party and myself as its leader on the one side and the officers and soldiers of the German Reich army and navy on the other side.

Speech of January 30, 1934 in Berlin