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Background: Franz Hofer was Gauleiter of Tirol-Voralberg, a region of Austria, from 1938-1945. An unrepentant Nazi, he survived until 1975. This is his appeal at the very end of the war, published on 30 December 1944. He doesn’t have much in the way of arguments in favor of German victory.

The source: “Bereit zu jedem Einsatz!” Voralberger Tagblatt, 30 December 1944, pp. 1-3. This is taken from a newspaper article available on ANNO, an Austrian project to digitize a wide range of newspapers.


The Gauleiter’s Appeal for the New Year

Ready for Anything!

by Franz Hofer

 

The course of the year 1944 and the approaching new year come at a time at which the outcome of the great German battle for freedom begins to demand the greatest exertions on all fronts.

Franz Hofer

Franz Hofer

If any proof were still needed of the development of political and military events, we see it in Gau Tirol-Vorlaberg. It and its Gau capital are seriously affected by bombing terror through which the war clearly shows its face more clearly from day to day.

The people of Gau Tirol-Voralberg along with their brothers and sisters south of the Brenner, live, fight, and work in full awareness of the responsibility they have at this time for their people and the Reich. Trained in the military spirit in more peaceful days, prepared by the experiences of the war in recent months, educated both militarily and in their worldview, thousands upon thousands stand with the German Volkssturm, and thousands more will join them.

“Readiness is everything!” That is the principle in Gau Tirol-Vorlaberg, to be ready when necessary in our time to fulfill that ancient task for which countless generations of our ancestors carried their swords, fought hard, and bled: to make the border to the south of the German people’s territory an unconquerable bulwark against which any enemy that attempts to pass will break his teeth.

United in this will, whatever the cost, unshakably determined for whatever comes, and filled with the bitter spirit of military resistance that was always the sharpest weapon of the tribes in the mountains, Gau Tirol-Vorlaberg enters the new year. It will do its duty in the future as it has in the past, whatever may come, in order to contribute to the German victory in which we all fanatically believe, to work toward and bravely fight for it, thereby gaining a part in the fruits of this victory.

Heil Hitler!
Franz Hofer
Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter

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