Background: The first winter of the Russian campaign had been difficult, but on 13 March 1942 Goebbels was ready to project optimism. The occasion was the anniversary of the Nazi takeover of Austria. Goebbels said this in his diary: “A hundred thousand were present. The excitement is indescribable.... I outline the current situation in crisp sentences and earn a true storm of applause. The Viennese seem to want to show their best side. We do not need to worry about Vienna. The strongest applause followed those passages in my speech that spoke of the indissoluble community of this city and the Reich.
Curiously, this speech was not reprinted in the published volume of Goebbels’s speeches and articles for the period, nor did it get major coverage in other German newspapers.
The source: Joseph Goebbels, “Parole Wiens: Alles für Großdeutschland!,” Wiener Kronen-Zeitung, p. 2, 14 March 1942. The issue is available on ANNO.
by Joseph Goebbels
Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels stepped to the front. Minutes passed before the shouts of Heil quieted and the Reichsminister could begin his speech, constantly interrupted by loud applause.
There is but one thing: Victory at any price!
To the stormy jubilation of the tens of thousands in Vienna and further of the whole population of the Danube and Alpine Gaue, Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels brought the greetings of the Führer and the whole German people on this proud anniversary.
Then he continued: “A few days ago British Prime Minister Churchill received a few Jews from the former Austrian System and with his deep understanding of the souls of Berlin and Vienna declared that there was an unbridgeable contradiction between Berlin and Vienna and that our National Socialist propaganda would never succeed in making this contradiction fade away. (The mass of people responded to Churchill’s foolish statement with loud laughter.) You have provided the answer. I think that it is useless to ask which German city has the best attitude. We have but a single attitude that gives us the strength and determination to bring this war to a great victory, regardless of all its burdens. The Austrians differ from the Prussians in their determination as little as the Bavarians differ from the Saxons or Würrtembergers. In the third year of the first World War one often heard: “Peace at any price.” In the third year of this war the German people says only: “Victory at any price!” (Thundering shouts of agreement toll repeatedly across the square.)
We knew that this war would bring us heavy burdens. We do not wish to avoid them. The Führer has not called us to a comfortable life, but rather to make history with us. And history is being made today. It is true that this war is in some ways harder for the population of the Danube and Alpine Gaue than for the population of the rest of the Reich. Between 1933 and 1938 we learned the social, political, cultural, and economic blessings that National Socialism brought. The population of the Danube and Alpine Gaue had only something over one year.
One People, one Reich, one Führer!
Still it was truly encouraging for all of us that you joined the Reich before the war. I believe that the men and women of the Danube and Alpine Gaue came to us not only to enjoy the blessings of the Reich; they also wanted share its sacrifices. (Once again, stormy applause as the people of Vienna proclaimed that the minister had spoken to them from the heart.) There were, perhaps, a few difficulties when these Gaue joined the Reich in 1938. These difficulties have been wiped away by the blood that so many soldiers from the Danube and Alpine Gaue have shed for the Reich. What in 1938 was only a longing for a Reich, a people, and a leader became reality on the battlefields of this war where they fought alongside Prussians, Bavarians Würrtembergers, Saxons, and all the other German tribes. No one thought himself a Prussian or an Austrian or a Bavarian, but rather all felt themselves only to be German soldiers. (Once again tremendous applause that expressed how deeply the tens of thousands considered this an expression of their own thoughts.)
Amidst recurring new cheers Dr. Goebbels said that the the coming spring and summer will bring Europe decisively nearer to its new structure. “I know,” he continued, “that our enemy does not want to accept that. Their tragedy has always been that they did not take our prophesies seriously, both domestically and internationally. They believed that they could ignore the warnings of National Socialist statesmen. But everything they said has fallen by the wayside. In the long run not one has been able to block effectively the rise of National Socialist Greater Germany. The same is true of the rise of the new Europe. Good things take time. One cannot assume that an empire built over three centuries will fall in three months. But one blow after another will one day bring the British Empire to the ground.
With what great hopes England went into this winter, and what disappointments, what setbacks, what defeats have they had to accept. While the Reich is steadily increasing in its abilities and is finding new strengths from its inexhaustible moral, economic, and military reserves, the British Empire is in a terrible creeping crisis. From the historical perspective it will not be long before the once proud structure collapses, leaving only a political, economic, and military ruin.
Justice comes from sacrifice
Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt do not impress us with their fantastic statistics and their predictions of the future. We know that they can do; even more we know what we can do.”
Dr. Goebbels then spoke of the fear with which our enemy saw the coming spring, but which for us gave new courage and new faith, as our forces that had been restricted during the winter months will once again be available. “None of us deny that the past winter was a hard one,” Dr. Goebbels said. “Our people were burdened with many worries. Heavy sacrifices, hardships and strains burdened above all our soldier on the Eastern Front. Many a fine son, spouse, or father gave his life during this hard winter for the freedom and greatness of his fatherland and his people. In view of the heroic sacrifices of our soldiers, we in the homeland have no reason to complain. And we do not complain, but rather accept willingly everything demanded of us. We know that the sacrifices of the front and the privations and burdens at home together awaken a splendid sense of accomplishment that gives us the right, along with our friends in the Axis, to continue to lead our part of the world.
We must all stand together!
As I am with you today I wish not only to give you all strength, but also to take new strength from you. We must all support each other. In this hard time, you must all stand together, leadership and followers.
Ringing cheers for Dr. Goebbels
This war is for the first time in our history a people’s war in the best sense of the word; it is not only waged by the whole people, but also lead for the whole people. In his last speech at the Sport Palace in Berlin the Führer said he would come out of this war as an even more fanatic National Socialist than he was before. That should be a model and a demand for us all. In this war we want to live National Socialism more than teach it. It should be the foundation of our military leadership. The Führer’s teaching must and will prove itself in this war. You, the citizens of the Danube and Alpine Gaue, are a miracle, since you already live National Socialism even though you learned it in practice for only about a year and a half during peace time.
As I speak to hundreds of thousands of you today on this festive, bright and sunny day, please see me only the translator of the will of our Führer. (He continues accompanied by the ringing and stormy applause of the crowd.)
Join with me in faith in the greatness and immortality of our people, on the shining future of our Reich, and in coming certain victory!”
Last edited: 6 August 2023
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