Background: Dr. Robert Ley held a number of positions in Hitler’s Germany. He was Reichsorganisationsleiter (Reich Organization Leader), responsible among other things for much of internal party education. He was also head of the German Labor Front (DAF), the Nazi “labor union.” The speech was given to party leaders, and printed in the Hoheitsträger, a glossy magazine whose circulation was restricted to Nazi political leaders at the local group leader level or above.
This speech was given on 31 March 1939. It is a remarkably bad speech, with little organization and a confused line of argument. Despite the title, it says relatively little about the Jews.
The source: Robert Ley, “Wir oder die Juden...,” Die Hoheitsträger 3 (May 1939), pp. 4-6.
by Robert Ley
In human life, a leader must emerge who can win others with his faith and make them happy. That is where leadership comes from. The same is true of nations. A nation and a race are called to make the others happy. One nation must rise above the others, and raise the others as well.
What we often saw in our meetings before the seizure of power is repeated here. Then we would enter the hall with a small group of supporters. Once, in fact, I was alone: speaker, treasurer, meeting chair, and protection all in one person. We naturally could not hope to win everyone in the hall to National Socialism. We were happy when the mass in the room was moved, when there was lively response and exchange of opinions. We knew that the swastika never released those it came in contact with, not even the most bitter opponent. They complained and fought us, but they had been reached. That is how we move people today.
Roosevelt speaks about us more than anything else, and his men and ministers speak only about us. England always held its reserve, but cannot do so any longer. France is in the same situation. Even the election of the pope stood in the shadow of the swastika, whether the gentlemen liked it or not. I am sure they spoke of nothing else than how to find a candidate for the chair of St. Peter who was more or less up to dealing with Adolf Hitler.
National Socialism concerns the leaders of the world, it moves the peoples. Germany is at the center of the world, and the world asks: “What is Adolf Hitler doing?” That is their nervous question. My party comrades, today the swastika forces the world to take a position for or against us. The world must decide, it has no choice. There can be no compromise. The Jew leads the other world. It is all or nothing. There is no going back.
Our idea is moving the world, it is forcing humanity to choose for us or against us. It forces the Jews from behind their lackeys. They must fight. We want that fight, for we know that if we do not succeed in winning enough ground for our people, everything we have done will be in vain.
Do you think that the Christian Reich would have been strong enough to gain the conquests of the Führer, even if its army were ten times as strong? It was only possible because these 80 million people had been largely freed from that “blessing.” 80 million slaves had become masters, because these 80 million no longer fight about little things.
England built its empire when our cultural history was already 1500 years old. We led the world for a thousand years before English history even began. Then William the Conqueror arrived. He had to be a foreigner, for the English were not able to find one of their own who was able to make history. They built their empire when Germany was going through the 30 Years War, a time when we Germans were stupid enough to fight about Holy Communion and whether one should take one or both elements. As Germans were breaking each other’s heads, these thieves took over the world. Today England’s “prime minister” speaks of our Führer as traitor. Enough of that!
If we look back on our history, we know what the trouble is. We should not begin with the Hohenzollerns or the Wittelsbachs. Our people was already a thousand years old when they arrived. The royal houses thought that history began with them, for example with Wilhelm II. Thank God, our people’s history is thousands of years older than the history of minor royal families, kings, and kaisers. But we have always been able to appreciate what in our past that is truly great, as for example Frederick the Great, one of the best in German history. Frederick was not a great German because he was a Hohenzollern, but rather because he was a man of iron, energy, and toughness who lived only for Germany. We esteem everything great, but cannot allow a few potentates to claim that history began with them. We must take a broad view of history, and see everything that German culture has accomplished. It is childish of England to want to play our baby-sitter. We cannot allow that. We must see our enemies clearly. Their worldview is Christian and negative. Of course Roosevelt does not imagine himself only a liberator of the Christian world; he knows the Jew is at the root of it all.
If the Jew wants to fight, it is fine with us. We have wanted that fight for a long time. There is no room in the world for the Jews any more. The Jew or us, one of us will have to go. We know that the Jew will lose, that he and his devilish, life-denying and destructive doctrines will be destroyed (vernichtet), Look around and see how the emigrants are increasing; even London has noticed. In Rome, they found the smartest Jesuit they had. A brutal butcher sits in Moscow. They form the front, and the Jew is behind them all. That no longer worries us, but we must see what is happening clearly and talk about it openly. Believe me, our enemies in the political confessional churches know that the hocus pocus they show to the world is only a bluff. They bluff anyway, and it depends on whether they can find enough idiots to believe them.
They may say the world is crazy. Well, it is a crazy world, but that is not the decisive thing. The important thing during the decisive battles of the coming months and years is whether or not we can make our people immune to such hocus pocus so that the enemy can no longer reach them. Our people must simply laugh at their doctrines and magic words. Just as we did not overcome Marxism only through negation, so too we will not overcome these enemies only through struggle and explanations. The Führer once said: “If you take an idol from people, you must replace it with a true god.” Our god is the wonderful law of creation, whose amazing unity of all things shows itself in wonderful flowers, in growing trees, in new born children, in the secrets of a mother, in the growth of our people, in work and accomplishment and creation, in life itself. It is the joy we have in everything. How beautiful everything is. Do you feel the same way? I am so happy to be alive.
A priest recently asked me: “But what about eternity...?”
I replied: “A day in National Socialist Germany is better for me than all of your heaven.”
This life is where we build the eternity of the nation. What happens to me when I die? I do not know. One thing I do know. I will return to the earth and will belong again to the wonderful Mother Earth. Isn’t that enough? If only a blade of grass of a flower grows from my grave, that is enough for me. I am happy with what I have done so far. It was both hard and beautiful, and I am thankful for these 48 years. And if I remain alive long enough to finish my work, I can die in peace. Death will hold no terrors for me. I have seen many people for whom it was hard to die. I am sure that we will die in a worthy manner. I hope to have the strength not to die like a weakling, but rather to die with the satisfaction of knowing I have done something. Eternity? I do not want to live forever, but I want my people to live on eternally. I want my people to be eternal, and to live forever so that in 2,000, 3,000 and 100,000 years it will look just as it does today. I do not want it to be bastardized or corrupted, but rather that the same sound race, the same manliness, and the same men are present, that the same battalions of men march through Germany.
When Romulus founded Rome he killed the priests, saying: “I do not want the Romans to fear God.”
The priests then seem to have had the same weapons as their counterparts today: they count on human weakness and cowardice. We, however, build on human courage and manliness. That is the difference. We want to tell the people the truth, not console them with hopes of a better tomorrow. We want to make the world beautiful, to hold high the concept of work. We want to say that one can’t take problems away from people, that life is struggle.
No one has greater reverence for god and creation than we do. The priests do not hate us because we are “godless,” since they get along nicely with the godless in Russia and Spain. They hate us because we are the only ones who believe in god. We are finding god, indeed we have already found him. Where does the desire for god come from, where does faith come from, or true piety, if not from god? I know only one way to tell: If a person quietly and contemplatively faces events. One must be confident and self-assured, not afraid and nervous. Then I can say: “You have a god. You are not worried, you do not run around like chicken with its head cut off, but rather you stay calm.”
Look at our people today, and remember how they were ten or twenty years ago. If that is the measure of whether one believes in god or not, if one faces everything that fate brings, if faces war or peace calmly, if one faces life calmly and lives it the same way, then one has god. To have god means to have a fixed point in life, to have god means to have faith. I do not know what the future will bring, since I am only a man, but I am not concerned. English newspapers write: “Germany will gain no advantage from Bohemia and Moravia.” One doesn’t know which is more astonishing: the Führer’s pace or the peace with which 80 million Germans accept what happens. That means we have god: we are calm, we have faith and confidence — just like the priests always say. Yes, the Führer gave confidence to every German, and therefore peace and faith. We have found god.
We have become a people that believes in god. This is what our idea of life and of affirming life has accomplished, becoming the idea of Germany. We will be able to do everything if that grows from its small beginning into a religion, to something holy to the German people. It will not be a false religious mysticism, but rather it will be frank, honorable, military, manly, disciplined and tough. The Church founded two realms: the sacred and the secular. They claimed that they ruled the sacred, the devil the secular. They ruled counts and kings for two thousand years that way, destroying worlds and building states as they wished. They brought Negroes and Whites together because it suited them and their desire to rule. We are building our new state on the basis of race and community, our race, the German people. We believe that god gave us our blood not to ruin it, but to keep it pure and pass it on to our children and our children’s children. That is eternity. That is our defense against the dark powers of Marxism, Bolshevism, liberalism, Free Masonry and a belief in the Messiah, the Jewish doctrine of salvation. That is a teaching that affirms life. It is the idea of race, blood, and soil, the idea of this life and the beauties of the earth, Mother Earth, that is our fatherland. The world makes sense, nothing is arbitrary. Everything has its meaning, and is related to other things. Everything goes according to plan, each star is in its place, each man has his place, each people has its tasks. We will overcome the doctrines of our enemies. The Jews must know that. We also know both the material and ideological means. Our prayers are better than the biblical prayers. Our idea has seized the people, converting and transforming them; the idea is preached every day, and I must ask you, my party comrades, to continue preaching it day after day. No one is too small or too great to do that. I ask you to speak and preach as you did during the struggle for power;we may not slow down or say: “Today I am a government minister and have a lot to do.” The files won’t go away, but such an attitude will drive the people away.
Remember in all we do that the Führer created the foundation for everything we have today, that he gave the people the weapons, for in the end worldviews, too, are decided by weapons. The Church may say its only weapon is peace. There is no institution more bloodthirsty than the Church. No state, no count, no world ruler has spilled anywhere near as much blood as the Church. It says it was all for a higher cause, and that the end justifies the means. No, that was not for the glory of God, who created humanity so that it could live. It was only for the glory of the pope and to satisfy the power lust of the priests. The Führer drew the proper conclusions, and built an army that today is the best in the world. He built not only a West Front but an East Front, the West was not enough. We have the same wall to the East. We do not want to drive the nation into war, but we do want to put an end to bluffing. Strengthen the propaganda for our idea, particularly in the next weeks, months and years. Go to the villages, from restaurant to restaurant. Do not weary of preaching the idea, for the idea is the main thing. Preach to the people again and again, gradually preparing the people for the final decision. Use all your energy to see to it that the factories produce. County leaders, it is your task to double productivity. The Führer says there will not be war, he does not believe it will happen. We have in fact already won a war — the workers through their industry — and we may not slow down. Our enemies will not succeed. We are watching them carefully, and know know that steel production in France has fallen in the last year from 7 million to 5 million tons, in England from 13 million tons to 10 million. But in Germany it has risen from 19 million to 24 million tons. Those are the statistics we must keep in mind. It is easy for them to approve 50 billion for armaments, but they can’t build cannons with the money, even if it were pure gold, certainly not from banknotes. People have to build them. And even if they succeed in eliminating unemployment, something we have succeeded in doing but they have not, we have rescued the German worker from his weakness as a proletarian creature. That had nothing to do with making him a contented slave, but rather with freeing him from slavery and stupidity. I hope we will continue to care for workers in this way. On the one hand we have to speed up labor, demand more work, since nothing will be given to us. We cannot get by with an 8 hour day, for the cannons have to be built, the coal must be mined, the gasoline and the vehicles have to be produced if we want to prevent war.
On the other hand, we must do everything we can to care for people. The people must have the feeling that the leading men are paying attention to everything, that their lives are not a comfortable, but that they are driving and flying across the country to care for people. Of course they won’t be able to solve every problem. The nation is like a child, and a child does not ask if its mother is rich or poor, but it demands that it be cared for. The people do not serve Adolf Hitler because they understand his brilliance, but rather because they feel safe. We must give the people this feeling. County leaders, that must be your goal, the goal of every local group office and section of your county office. If the local group is an organically living part of the NSDAP, its education will be of a worldview nature. There may be only one school in a Gau,the Gau school. There must be a big Gauschool, and each county must also have its county school in which everything is taught that is necessary for a party leader to understand our worldview. Specialized training is necessary, but the county leader or the Gauleitermust know that he is being trained within the framework of the party and our goals. If we do these three things: not weary of speaking, continue to build our organization, and continue to train in our worldview, then we will meet the challenge.
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