Woweries, Franz Hermann, 1940.
Paraphrased by Scott Slocum, 2006, from the translation of Randall Bytwerk, 2004.
F. H. Woweries
Wilhelm Limpert Publishing House, Berlin SW 68
Words to comrades
by F. H. Woweries
Weapons and world view
combine to form the impact and power of the armed forces.
COLONEL GENERAL VON BRAUCHITSCH 
Wilhelm Limpert Publishing House, Berlin SW 68
This writing is included in the National Socialist bibliography.
Berlin, 5 March 1940 by the chairman of the official party editorial commission for the protection of the National Socialist bibliography.
Circulation: 376-475 thousand.
The “German Primer” is also available in a bound and illustrated edition including 96 pages of text and 8 facing pages, at the price of 1 RM.
All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden.
Berlin SW 68, 1940. Sole creation of F. H. Woweries.
Graphics by H. Schirmer.
Printing by Wilhelm Limpert, Berlin SW 68.
Publishing house number 4024.
Live on high,
And count not the dead —
For thy sake
Have not one too many fallen.
All the nations that fought during the World War honor an “Unknown Soldier.” In Paris, he rests under the “Arc of Triumph.” In London, he sleeps his final sleep under the black marble of Westminster Abbey. But in Berlin, he lives in the Reich Chancellery. Germany is the only country whose “unknown soldier” is not dead, but lives.
-- F. Böök, Swedish Academy, Stockholm
He who would live must fight
And he who would not contend in this world of eternal struggle
Does not deserve to live.
-- Adolf Hitler
We marched silently through a damp, cold night in Flanders. The day began to break through the mists. Suddenly, an iron greeting whizzed over our heads. The small shot pounded into the wet earth between our ranks. Small clouds rose from them, and before those clouds had vanished, a roar from 200 throats answered these first messengers of death--our first Hurrah. Now things began to clatter and thunder, to sing and howl, and each of us pressed forward with fevered eyes; until suddenly, man-to-man fighting broke out in the turnip fields and hedges. In the distance we heard a song coming closer and closer, springing from company to company, and as death gripped us in our ranks, the song also reached us and we carried it on: Germany, Germany over all the world!
When we came back after four days, even our stride was different. Seventeen-year old boys looked like men.
-- The Führer
Let your tools and weapons hold rest!
Lower the barricades!
Lower the flags!
What we would never do
Before the enemy,
Today we do before the Führer.
Take your helmet off --
Raise your hand!
Musicians and drummers,
Ring Glory in the land!
Before the banners
Millions take the oath.
We stand and wait,
Ready to serve you to the end!
I swear this sacred oath to God and the leader of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces; my absolute obedience as a courageous soldier, and my constant readiness to give my life to fulfill this oath.
Comrade soldiers, we are a part of a decision that is only rarely entrusted to our people. It will determine whether our children will live freer, more peaceful and happy lives than all of the German generations before us. It will determine whether three millennia of the shedding of German blood in the West will finally be ended by a German peace. A German peace under Adolf Hitler will be a peace that will last, a peace for all of Europe. Europe has had 70 wars over the past 300 years--wars that brought misery to the greater part of the European peoples. Wars in which millions of our fathers sacrificed their blood for the exhausting achievement of a peace that was betrayed even before it began. Today, we are fighting a total war for a total peace. No sacrifice in this war will be in vain.
Our Führer guarantees that to us--he who sacrificed and suffered as a front-line soldier far more than we. He was not above the role of a front-line soldier--who of us may therefore think himself above it? We wear the field-gray uniform not only because the Reich has called us to it but because we carry in our hearts the knowledge of what this battle will gain for us--a future of unimaginable and happy breadth. The fruit of our victory will be something that other peoples have not achieved over a hundred generations: to bring down the dark forces that stand behind governments, that gain from bloody war. The more we have had to sacrifice, the greater has been their gain. We have put up with them for too long.
To these dark forces, news of the military means little but news of the stock exchange means everything. Their goal is not to serve humanity, but to earn from humanity. Their greed is fed by what working people have created in selfless devotion to the health and prosperity of their community. We fight this war to honor our most precious possessions, our finest traits of character and values of community, and our freedoms of creative labor. Our labor and blood have profited the rulers and speculators of the stock exchange, have built the power of the plutocracy. It is time to put an end to it. As soldiers of the Greater Germany, we bear the weapons that the Führer entrusts to us, and every day we keep them clean and ready. We are not fighting for careless adventure! We are fighting for everything that makes life worth living for a free man on this earth. We are soldiers because we want to determine our own fate, rather than live as slaves in a nation that determines a miserable fate for us.
Ask yourself, comrade, and your inner-self will tell you--we Germans have no choice but to struggle against this unique trial of fate; this cowardly, sham peace. We believe in the holy justice of our struggle. Just as any other Europeans, we have the right to hold our door open for millions of our German brothers and sisters who want to return home. This is a self-evident right for the English and French, and must be our right as well. We believe that no power on earth has the right to keep our door closed. When it is nonetheless closed and all appeals fail, when our endurance of intolerable abuse only invites more abuse; then it is our sacred right to meet force with force. We are led in this battle for honor--for the eternal rights of our people--by men who have themselves experienced and suffered a thousand days as front-line soldiers. They do not act carelessly; they are not adventurers who lead us down this dangerous path. They know well what war is, because they have more than once risked their lives and blood for us. They, and the Führer who leads us all.
We believe firmly that as long as we conduct ourselves with generosity and a will for peace, that the Almighty will not withhold his blessings from us. We have the blessing that allowed the Führer to lead Germany out if its deepest misery, forward to the building of our Greater German Reich. We believe that the Lord God--who did not allow us to perish after 1918, but rather gave us the Führer--will also be with us in the future. We will defeat our foreign enemies just as we have defeated our domestic enemies, including Judah and the Treaty of Versailles. We have been victorious in the past because we were willing to fight and sacrifice, because we were confident of victory even in our greatest trial. Because we hold to this tradition, we believe that we will continue to be victorious, come what may.
That which has cost us dearly, we value twice as much. We believe that when we face the hardest trials, we are nearest to our final test of fate. My fellow German, is your heart strong enough, despite all of its misery and sorrow, to leave your sons a strong Reich that is a world power? You and I and those we love back home, all of us know that we cannot avoid this battle to secure our blood, our children and our industry--even if it somehow seemed possible. We feel, man for man, that in bearing arms we carry out a mission given by God to Germany’s great Führer.
Our motivation is completely different from that of England’s heads of government who began this war. The morals of those statesmen are revealed in their ownership of the British armaments and poison-gas industries. Their world order earns its money in human blood. It should be destroyed! Each year, millions of pounds in profits flow from the Vickers armaments industry to the family of former Prime Minister Balfour. Its profits rose from 530,000 pounds in 1932 to 1,500,000 pounds in 1938. In Britain, 181 conservative members of parliament have 775 highly-paid positions on boards of directors! That is plutocracy.
Plutocracy fears our socialist example. No leader of the new Germany owns stocks! No German Reichstag representative is a member of a board of directors. Such dealings are prohibited. The program of the NSDAP says clearly and concisely: “Because of the great sacrifice in property and blood that any war demands from the people, personal enrichment through war is a crime against the people.” This is the spirit that makes the new German order a model for all decent people, that puts our program into the view of the watching world.
We struggle for the freedom of labor against the tortures of plutocracy; for Strength Through Joy against the exploitation of labor; and for the common good of the workers against the Jewish stock-exchange dictatorship. Wherever we cross a border in this war, Jews and other exploiters flee. Where we enter by fighting, we make way for freedom and productive labor. Where we win, the good fortune and honor of workers wins. We are fighting to make labor--rather than theft or exploitation--the foundation of a person’s honor. We want nations to exchange what they produce, not be subject to capitalist interests. We want the good of a people to come before profits, the freedom of labor to come before economic war. Our mission is to free Europe totally--in all areas of life!
The “either/or” of this war is “either money or blood.”
In this Reich, we have eighty million people of the same type, united by National Socialism. We have a Führer blessed like no other by the Almighty, and we have officers and soldiers victorious a thousand times in the World War. In short, we have the largest population, the best soldiers, and the best leader. These are three strengths from God who directs the fate of nations; three gifts of fate which shall now bear fruit for our people; and all that we require for victory!
Still, some technocrats will ask “what about raw materials?” Comrade, what are raw materials without people? First ask about people! The unified feeling and unified spirit of a whole people is more important than raw materials and technology. Before the four-year plan for the economy, the Führer had a four-year plan for the people. Before mobilizing the treasures of the earth, he mobilized the treasures of blood.
A marked characteristic of German blood has always been its military strength. Even without weapons, when we hear a march we feel a military spirit rising in our hearts. For centuries the world has exploited this strength. In war, the most desired, the most important and decisive “raw material” has been the German soldier. One Hapsburg deserter was the single, miserable exception that proved the rule. The rule is that German soldiers are the best--when we want to be.
So these three factors--Führer, people and military strength--are our war resources, comrade! German war resources! Either we will use these resources with determination, faith and a clear vision of what our people and our children deserve--thus proving ourselves worthy of fate’s great gifts--or else we will fail, and a hundred generations of our children will suffer as the exploited slaves of foreign powers. However great our sacrifice--whatever it takes in blood and wealth, time and strength--our benefits of victory will be all the greater.
The possessions that other states have gained in the world, they have gained with the help of German soldiers, officers and weapons. No state and no political leader in the last two thousand years of Europe’s history has won campaigns or victories without the aid of German strength. In fact, when Germans have been defeated, it has generally been by their own countrymen. From the victory of the German-blooded Marshall Findram for Poland over the Order of Knights at Tannenberg in 1410, to the desperate order “Send in the Germans!” by British Admiral Seymour during the Chinese Campaign of 1900 at the German-built fort at Peiho; the blood Germans have shed for others cannot be measured. Throughout history, the world has called brave men out of Germany--men who had been abandoned by their fatherland, by their people’s community. Despite that, they remained brave soldiers and models for the world. Whatever the enemy, white or black, Germans have been victorious.
In this war, too, our enemies will draw their troops from wherever they can. But history has proven that we Germans will be victorious if we are as unified and as brave as our fathers. Over eighty-million Germans in three-hundred nations are now awakening, pulling together their strength under one Führer for one Reich. This is an enormous concentration of power! Just look back at what a few thousand German soldiers have accomplished in the world! The difference is that now, for the first time, that power is unavailable to our enemies--it is exclusively our own.
Our enemies cite as grounds for war only Germany’s reincorporation of the East, while they ignore Russia’s corresponding actions. It is through such a double standard that other states have sapped German achievements from Germany. For too long we have given other states, free of charge, the unending strength of our farmers and soldiers, workers and inventors, explorers and great minds; without due regard for our people’s own good. We have not had the holy egotism that would have allowed each German to say: “My own people first. My homeland first, then the world!” (B. V. Selchow). For centuries, other nations have taken what they wanted from our achievements--but woe to the German governments that dared to demand anything in return. We only claim the right of unification with our ethnic comrades, a right self-evident for any other nation. We and our children will no longer be fools in the service of others. We will proclaim our highest achievements in every area of human life!
England has colonies 105 times as large as its homeland, France 22 times, Holland 60 times, and Belgium 80 times as large. Our state is the poorest of all in terms of land. Considering the size of our population, the extent of our abilities (in every area of culture), and the bravery of our soldiers; it is a shameful injustice that we are the proletarians of the world! A man does not need an advanced degree to see this--any man of character can see it and apply his strength to end it. The earth is not only for the wealthy--what others have, we should have also! That is why we are fighting.
In recognition of the countless gifts that our fathers and brothers have given to the world, we are demanding a just order of nations in Europe. We are waging war for Europe’s peace; not only to recover from our political past, but to build a new peace abroad like the one the Führer has established at home. We are leading our people out of the horrors of civil war and into the peace of the people’s community. Our weapons and this war are only our latest contributions to the prosperity of nations. We are continuing a history in which, whenever we have crossed a border, whether in war or in peace, we have brought more than we have taken, given more than what was required of us.
“Who can equal us?” Ludendorff asked of our work in Poland during the World War, pointing out correctly that “Poland is in our debt.” Today, we find that Poland is still in our debt: this year’s harvest in former Polish territory will be much higher than it was before. We could do the same in England. In 1688, four regiments from Brandenburg occupied England and brought the English a king they declared to be their savior. If we are able in our own time to destroy the Jewish capitalism that rules England, the English will again be grateful! Again, we will bring them back to their senses!
What the new Germany brings to Europe is more than what we demand, more than the colonies we will regain.
Wherever we are, we German soldiers have the right to move about proudly and freely. We do not come to beg nor to disgrace ourselves by plundering or exploiting. Rather, in the occupied territories we should conduct ourselves in a way that is worthy of the world-wide fame of German achievement. If we conduct ourselves in the way honest people in all nations expect of us--in the German way--then all of the Jewish attempts to soil our image will be washed away. The propaganda of atrocity will vanish with no effort at all.
The Jews and all of our enemies know a thousand ways to deceive. Our manliness faces its greatest test abroad. Be resolved to be true to yourself, whatever the temptation. While the disbeliever enjoys the moment, the believer does without (and waits for his true reward). Where we disgrace ourselves in the eyes of foreigners, they will cease to respect and honor us. They will begin to say: “The Jews were right when they warned us about the Germans!” We will either be seen as the conquerors of another people or as traitors to our own people, depending on our actions! We soldiers are the first ambassadors of the Great German Reich, and our nation will be seen as we are seen. We will be respected only as long as our actions stand up to examination. In examining our actions, we must be comrades and teachers to one another. No real comrade will ignore others’ mistakes, nor dismiss others’ comments on his own.
Ernst Moritz Arndt, a preacher of the German wars of liberation, taught of military manliness by saying that “...even in the greatest need, a soldier should never ask for more than food and shelter to protect himself from the weather, hunger and thirst. And this he should ask and accept in a friendly way. A soldier who would rather be a thief than an honest man should be driven away or shot like a dog, to serve as an example and deterrent. No German soldier should become rich through war, neither in silver and gold nor in lust and revelry. Rather, justice should be his goal, and honor and virtue his greatest rewards. War should be his holy work to rescue freedom. If he profits from it, he becomes a robber.”
Your civilian experience is no basis for questioning the manly experience or instruction of a German officer--even if you are older or think you have accomplished more in life than your commander. It is not his age or occupation that justifies his right to instruct you as a soldier; but his position in the military’s long tradition of achievement and sacrifice.
A man’s objection to instruction is a sign of his inner weakness. His ability to silently accept instruction proves that he is a soldier. Discipline is a community treasure that must not be wasted. Military training spares us many difficulties later in life, even though we are adults and have learned much already. You may think that your path is clear enough to dispense with further training; that you have come to fight, rather than be trained. My friend, that sounds good, but it is wrong. After we win this war, we will need leadership more than ever. We will need to care for others as well as ourselves. Our opportunities as brave and capable German people will be greater than ever. Countless new tasks will await us.
War is a test before victory, a duty before rights, a time in which we select leaders for peace. We do not select them out of alliance or personal friendship, but out of trust and respect for their obedience, bravery, and character. We select them for their ability to carry out their orders--without false acquiesce, but with strength--even when they are dangerous or difficult to understand.
A man earns his right to leadership (in war or peace) when he ignores his own feelings and reservations, pays no heed to what he knows or to his own private interests, and acts in the greater interest. Our examples and models--the Führer and his associates, the Reichleiter and other party leaders--have earned this right. Like the Führer himself, most of them excelled as front-line soldiers during the World War. Front-line soldiers, regardless of their military rank, created National Socialism; and through it, our Reich. National Socialism’s idea--its world-view of blood and soil--grew from the blood of three million who died for Germany in the great battles of the World War. It was while he was recovering from war wounds that the Führer resolved to become our leader. His plan of leadership has worked well in the past, and will surely work as well in the future.
A leader keeps control of himself and his inner and outer enemies. In battle or on the domestic front, both our inner and outer enemies look us in the eyes, and they are equally dangerous. If we master them, we are free. During the period of struggle from 1919 to 1933, we fought the domestic enemies of desperation, political strife, class struggle, and class confusion. In this war, we are mastering both our internal and external enemies, and thus demonstrating--both in our accomplishments and in our military achievements--our moral right to rule.
Before there can be a ruling people, there must be a ruling man. Thank God, the ruling man in the new Germany does not come from a particular class or a particular family. For us, the ruling man is someone who can rule himself. Because he has command of himself, he can command others and be obeyed. The path to leadership is open to a man who is capable and worthy--either a soldier or a worker. This is proven in the military by the many promotions of tested NCOs to the ranks of officers and chiefs, and in civilian life by the promotions of workers through the NSDAP vocational competitions. Comrade, your path to advancement in the new Germany will never be better than now, during the war! The requirement is not an advanced education, but personal bravery and practical experience.
A few words on bravery. First of all, it is not the same as recklessness! Avoidable losses are not sacrifices, but mistakes; and will diminish any victory. Bravery requires thought, consideration of the goal, and a courageous decision. Bravery begins with a question like “what can I achieve if I leave cover?”, or “what I can destroy before the enemy destroys me?” and then continues with action.
Self-education in bravery is a never-ending process of learning through example and self control. There is always the opportunity to learn bravery, whether in war or peace. Few have it as a gift, so most must consciously learn it. For many, bravery is the result of victory over weakness. The more we know our weaknesses, the better we can learn to be brave. When weakness or cowardice attacks, we can resist it and ask it what it is good for. Its answer must be that it is good for nothing, that it is the beginning of all evil. Then we can find our answer to cowardice: that it is good to be brave! Remember, comrade, both the question and the answer! It is the answer of a great man who finds faith as he joins the attack.
Bravery has a place, too, in mechanized war. We may bravely face the death of “an honorable soldier in an open battle” but we may hesitate against another kind of foe. We find a hundred “ifs” and “buts” when we are faced with gas, mines, bombs, darkness, dark-skinned enemies, or water. Away with this false cleverness! Men determine the outcome, not machines; and means can be found to overcome the worst of them. It is a man with real courage who looks into the abyss with eagle’s eyes. There are a thousand means, but only one death; a thousand possibilities, but only one character. Explosives and steel are no better than gas, and the English blockade is no more humane than negroes with knives in their mouths. The value of a man’s life is not determined by the manner of his death. Be prepared for the unexpected, and you will overcome it in advance. Your burden in war cannot be chosen--only your resolve to bear it and overcome it.
It is a man’s final sacrifice that determines whether he has lived a whole life. A real man strives for a whole life by overcoming and defying death, by laughing at it as our ancestors taught us in the Edda, or by seeing it as one who fell during the World War wrote in a letter: “I am free to risk everything. My eternity belongs to God, my life to the fatherland. I am joyful and strong.”
You may ask, comrade, “After the war, will we be rich or poor?” but the war only asks of success or defeat. Defeat causes the poor to be poorer still, and those with only a few possessions to lose them all. Defeat brings unemployment, slavery, deportation, even chaos. War makes no distinctions--everyone who is defeated, rich or poor, loses everything.
Anyone who says “I have nothing to lose!” is a liar or a fool. The truth is that we will keep our possessions only as long as we defend them; and the same for our hope (although our hope is by far more important). During the last war Germany’s poorest son was her best, because he was not afraid to let go of his private possessions for the sake of victory. The peace that was lost twenty years ago withheld his just reward, but our new peace will guarantee it to those who, like him, remain loyal and brave.
Friend, this war is not a matter of losing, but of gaining--for everyone! The former German state withheld its resources from most of us, and would have rather burned or thrown them into the sea than sold them to us. But our Reich is socialist, which means that our nation’s gains will benefit everyone. What the money-sack powers withheld, we will now share. Poor people and poor countries alike are convinced that our victory will lead to a new prosperity for all. “Rich or poor?” comrade, is a question that this war will solve not only for us, but for all of Europe!
During the weeks of waiting, every young couple must have asked whether it was a good time to marry and have children. Life itself gave the answer “yes!” The greatest thing in this war is that the “yes” was so clear.
In terms of marriages, 100,000 more German couples married in the war year of 1939 than in the peaceful year of 1938! Their optimism stood in contrast to the decline of 1914 (the first year of the World War) in which there were 500,000 fewer marriages than in the peaceful year before.
In terms of births, there were 1.6 million children born in Germany in 1939--300,000 more than in England and France together, and three times more than in France alone. Most French soldiers on the Maginot Line have neither brothers nor sisters. They have more coffins than cradles, but we have laughing life. Even before the first battle, they are dying. Even before our final victory, we have the weapon of life. In England the birth rate is falling, but here it is rising. They are hopelessly in decline, but we are faithfully growing. In a hundred years, Germans will number more than 100 million in Europe, compared to only 5 million English!
Do not think it reckless to marry and have children during the war. Marriages and births prove our long-range confidence--our assurance of victory.
The man who lives on in his children only half dies. The woman who has her husband’s children defeats his death. When war kills the last of a line, a hundred die at once--but when there are children, the line lives on. For those who already have children, remember that one helps another--not only in the household, but in the nation. A growing population makes for a growing economy. As we learned in the years of progress, work is a way to happiness; and each child’s birth is a milestone. You may doubt that, friend, as you think of the burdens imposed on you by others--but forget those doubts! Learn to have faith that our new age will overcome the past, and that our present battles will come out well in the end. Our sacrifice will make our children free. The greatness of our victory will lead to an even greater people--everyone working to bring in the great harvest.
Below is a page from The Führer’s military paybook in the World War. It lists his battles as a front-line soldier--his achievements as the first soldier of the Reich. Our own war proves the danger of his military service--the first man who died on the Western Front in 1939 was, like him, a corporal on courier duty. What other nation has such a statesman?
The Führer is fulfilling a mission. He is giving it his life. Our battle is his, and his battle is ours.
We have taken an oath, sworn in faith to the Führer, and thus we are bound to the Führer’s mission of peace for Europe. The Führer has shown his intent by making peace with Russia, even though our enemies wanted war. He might have fulfilled this mission within Germany, had not Europe out of envy and baseness chosen to sacrifice itself rather than tolerate Germany’s rise. Germany’s freedom, and Europe’s, now depend upon a German victory.
Comrade, your life and my life belong to the Führer’s great mission of peace. To separate ourselves from the Führer would be to separate ourselves from our own lives. It would mean our common death, for all eternity. To fulfill our mission to our last breath will make us immortal, for our flag is greater than death. How small, how tiny, how filthy in character are those who would attempt to separate us from the Führer given to us by God! How they underestimate us, and how contemptible they are! They attack us not only through force, but through their trifling leaflets. They try to make us as base as themselves, but they only justify our burning hatred against them. Stopping them will be as good for the world as it will be bad for them (and their Jewish underworld).
I am a German. I believe in my people, their honor, and their future. I believe in justice for them, and I am fighting for this justice, for their freedom, and for a better peace than the cursed and hateful peace of the past. I believe and affirm this in the name of my people, before the entire world.
-- Adolf Hitler
If we feel that this war is for the better ordering of Europe, for its liberation from warmongers and the murderers of nations; then we must also see that Europe is waiting for us. Not the envious, everyday Europe with its money-ruined politicians; but the other Europe. Not the England with its royal stockholders in poison gas, but the people’s England. No Rothschild will transform the blood of our battles into stock certificates--nobler values are now taking the stage.
We are not imposing our world view upon others, but fulfilling a law of nature for ourselves: our right of ethnicity. An ethnic group’s right to life is truly a godly law, and there is no higher law on earth!
Ireland has struggled for this right. For 750 years, it fought relentlessly against Great Britain. Its sacrifice in blood and wealth were unparalleled, its hardness was unlimited, and the proud sorrow of its ethnic warriors was nameless. In 1921, three million Irish people were victorious over a world power, resisting all attempts to repress them. In the south of France, over 600,000 Italians struggle for this right! In Slovakia, neither the jails of Hungary nor Czechoslovakia could stop Father Hlinka until he had gained this freedom for his people.
World power and world stock exchanges, world fleets and a world church are not enough to hinder the victory of ethnicity. They can only mock the doctrine of human equality, silence the doctrine of humanity. The right to be a people is the sacred affirmation of billions. Whatever dark powers strive for world domination (among them World Jewry and World Freemasonry), ethnicity will defeat them all! The victory of ethnicity is certain wherever blood awakes. As the Irish tortured the English, so will people rise up everywhere. How many ethnic groups in Europe want justice and peace? Comrades, the world is waiting for us! We must march forward from our own ethnic victory to proclaim one people, one Reich, one Führer! We must bring true peace to the peoples, opposing a world of enemies to bring forth a victory of ethnic freedom!
During the campaign in the East at the beginning of this war, the Führer had only to speak a single word and 200,000 left their homeland, where they had been for centuries. In the midst of the war, over distances as great as that from Tilsit to Vienna, in temperatures as low as forty below zero; they left the rich, black soil of the Warthegau, their homes and possessions, to follow his call.
The Führer is calling all of the people, and they are coming. They are traveling 80 kilometers a day with horses and wagons carrying wife and children, hay and food--and because Hitler needs iron, the old oven. The Führer is calling the Baltic Germans--for centuries forgotten as outposts of the Reich--and they are coming! In an independent referendum there, 100% voted for their people, despite war and hatred. In Tyrolia, nearly 200,000 people’s comrades stood up and were counted in the middle of the war!
These are the miracles of a new world, in a renaissance of ethnicity. These are the expressions of a faith that has no borders! The people believe in their ethnicity and in us, Hitler’s soldiers, whose victory will bring them peace. Comrade, never disappoint their faith; but recognize the law of the higher power, and fulfill it. Give thanks to the Creator for these fruitful times! Stand fast and fight for the right of ethnicity--the highest, healthiest form of human life!
Be thankful for those “old timers” who are still with us (and remember that you, too, will be old one day!). With the military experience of our veteran soldiers, we won the Polish campaign in only 18 days with light losses. In 1914 the approach alone took 18 days! General Ludendorff wrote of the major battles in the east in 1916: “the oldest soldiers fought with the same devotion as their younger comrades next to them.” Our old heroes proved their invincibility in the World War. Now their field-gray camaraderie among our splendid, young soldiers gives us double cause for faith in victory. Together, the courage of the young and the experience of the old have put us ahead!
History will say the same of our skilled workers on the home front. Their accomplishments have equaled those who bear weapons, and their work with armaments has put them in danger every day. Even though they do not serve with the troops, they should feel our camaraderie and appreciation--for we depend upon them. On the battlefield of labor, they have won victories for us since before the first shot was fired. They have stood like rocks against the sea, and their daily labor has made the German economy unassailable. Those of military age may serve the community either at the front or in industry. Both are of great value to us, and both are giving their full effort to the war.
We also hail the silent heroism of our women, above all in the world! We greet you, German women and mothers, who today (perhaps not for the first time) serve as soldiers on the home front! We greet you, fighters of the heart! Dear comrades, let those of us wearing the gray helmet always see your loving faces at home--brave, undaunted and faithful. Seeing you so, we always know that we will win, in life or death. We believe in you, and are immeasurably proud of you. With your support, and under a Führer whose life has always been marked by the sign of victory, we are able to fight as never before. We believe in you, and you may believe in us--in the example of our old, and the allegiance of our young!
It is easy for a man to feel that he is in an unfit situation. Boasting sounds big, but is really small: “if I was only in the right place instead of this boring little...” Comrade, a man does not ask for the details of his service--he only serves. Prussia’s great honor grew from the Potsdam Honor Guard into a nation-wide courage and character--a true accomplishment.
It is artificial for a man to seek greatness in small things, or to involve himself too much in personal feelings. Living such a life, a man becomes multi-faceted only in monotony. In the military we refuse to go by personal feelings, because those feelings would weaken our ability to follow orders. We do not choose our orders nor doubt them--the fact that they are given is proof enough of their necessity. If we were to doubt them, we would lose a strength we could not regain. We test our military value by that strength.
Comrade, your situation is not what matters, but what you make of it. Even an experience that seems inconsequential is an opportunity to develop your abilities. Any man who fails to recognize that--whether in the bunker or during an attack--has no right to complain about anything except his own weakness, lack of ability, and indecisiveness. Every experience you have, even the worst, can be multiplied by your personal, decisive force and made valuable. It depends upon your ability. Only an incapable man complains that he is “above” this or that situation.
Even the smallest bunker is a world--your world. It takes more than the little entertainments (a puppy, a game of cards, a book) to get you through the day. I heard of a so-called “joke” that the first casualties on the West Wall were “hand injuries from overexertion playing cards.” I was there on the West Wall, and I am telling you that it was a foolish joke--unedifying and banal in light of the hours we stood watch, wet and cold under the threatening barrels of the artillery. We spent weeks adjusting to the insidious nature of technical warfare and the frequent (if ineffective) attacks of enemy shells. We made quiet sacrifices: respecting the common quarters (where everyone should feel at ease), refraining from smoking indoors, washing outdoors, sleeping in unfamiliar beds, rising for nighttime test alarms, fetching mail and water from kilometers away, changing the guard, digging holes, listening at our posts, watching in constant rain, in minefields and cable ditches, among deserted livestock and in the empty streets of evacuated villages. Here, according to our abilities, we found a hundred ways each day to laugh, to be commanders in the smallest space, to remain cheerful each day in the eyes of our comrades, and to keep ourselves and our equipment at the highest readiness.
Comrade, whether you are in a bunker or on the attack, at post or in command, what matters is what you make of your situation. No situation is unfit. On the battlefield, each group leader is a commander, and each commander is a king. Each soldier in a bunker guards the security of the greatest German fortification.
However early we rise, the cook is already up. However far we march, the food is there at march’s end. The more arduous the day, the louder we call for food from the field kitchen, which Ludendorff called “a blessing everywhere.” Comrade, consider what our supply system does for us every day, and how rarely it is a cause for complaint. Yet how rarely we are thankful for it, and how ready we are to mutter and complain. If we had known the shortages our fathers suffered, we would not be complaining today.
Some think that the quality of a meal depends on its quantity of meat. That is incorrect, friend, as countless great men have witnessed! The notion that meat alone provides nourishment and strength is nonsense. Nature teaches us differently: the horse finds his strength without meat, the pig his fat from an unroasted diet. Let us learn from them! Meat alone does not determine the value of soup, or butter the value of bread.
“But a stew every day?” some might complain. Friends, the important question is “how many stomachs do we need to fill every day?”
One more thing, about “commissary grub.” Germany after 1918 hated the military, and therefore hated commissary food (even though there was a shortage of food in general). Respect for the one requires respect for the other--it is a shortcoming in human and military self-esteem to carelessly refer to your food as “commissary grub.” To be careless is to be contemptuous. To regard your holy food carelessly is unworthy and unmilitary. Do not wait to respect your food until it is too late and you have none--value it always!
It was not a National Socialist, but a French officer during the World War (Lieutenant Desgranges) who said that “Invisible veils conceal these rulers, who seek only money and shadows.” The mythology of an invisible enemy is as ancient as it is modern. Just as magic served the legendary Alberich, technology now serves the deception of our invisible enemy, who conceals his harmful intent. In our world-wide struggle against the powers of money, our invisible enemies are pursuing a secret war.
In the first year of the war, the invisible enemy made his murderous intentions clear in an attempt to assassinate the Führer in Munich. We learned two lessons from that murderous attack: 1) that the enemy is everywhere, and 2) that everywhere we are his superior. We learned to be alert everywhere, even far behind the visible front. We are watching the borders, the bridges and the depots conscientiously by day, and even more by night. We will not allow any means of battle, however small, through our front!
One of the arts of a warrior is to detect the hidden enemy and keep him in sight. Only a naïve civilian believes that the enemy is only to be seen at the front lines. You know, comrade, that wherever you are: “the enemy is listening!” If our dead comrades of the Great War could speak, they would warn us: “I died because one of you could not keep silent!” The Führer has said “how often there were complaints that people could not keep silent! How hard it was to keep even the most important secrets from the enemy! Irresponsible statements were carelessly passed on. Industry and the military were damaged by leaks of secret information. Loose talk lost battles.” You know, comrade, the enemy has a thousand ears listening for idle chatter.
And the enemy has a thousand radio transmitters aimed straight for our hearts and minds. Anyone who listens to them lets himself be shot through the heart and mind. We must beware of these dreadful weapons. Listening to enemy radio is spiritual self-mutilation! Anyone who risks such damage--whether from disobedience or stupidity--risks his community and his victory. No verdict against him can be too harsh. We cannot fight these broadcasts directly, but we can refuse to listen to them. Think of how disheartening it would be for the enemy to broadcast every day, but to have no one listening!
You must use your strength and obedience to resist these attacks, to remain firm and unreachable. You know the order against listening. It is for your own good, comrade; and it is the smart thing to do, now more than ever. It will protect your fighting morale and your pure will for victory--possessions that are as important as weapons, and for which there are no substitutes.
This war is hardly suited for storm attacks while singing the national anthem--its nature is fundamentally different. Still, when a man can sing the laughing affirmation “That can’t bother a sailor” (or as my company sings, “That can’t bother the infantry”) he has an important advantage. This hit song had less serious beginnings, but at the front (in the “war of nerves,” as it might be called) it has become a million-fold assertion that “we won’t let life get us down.” The spread of this song throughout the military, and happily through all circles of society, reveals the life-affirming strength of our positive world view. People with weak nerves don’t sing so freely. We do because we are self-aware, strong, and free.
Another of our little songs can also be a healthy response to an everyday annoyance; and its effectiveness has reached the domestic front, as well. Written by an unknown soldier, it speaks to the spirit of both fronts saying “We won’t let life get us down. don’t worry. don’t worry, Rosemarie.” It is an affirmation of laughing determination that cannot be shaken by anything. It is a “yes” to the challenge of meeting every difficulty.
Things are different in Paris. There, the highest government offices offered a prize to the man who could write a new hit song for the soldiers. They pulled the last, tired poet from the boulevard; like the last, tired horse from the stables. They pulled out the busty, old canteen singer Madelon Elan for inspiration. Old tricks, moth balls, and dust. The common people watched and froze. Madelon’s tired charms had no effect. Paris has its troubles. Still, they tried the old poet again. “No,” he said, and the song “No, you will not win” got the state prize. Now the French should sing it: “Non, vous ne gagnerez pas.” That truly cannot bother us!
Here, too, we are the stronger force, and they are the weaker. Not only since the war began, but since the “Marseillaise” was dedicated to a German general and set to a German tune. Just as England’s royal song would not exist but for the German “barbarians.” Fundamental strengths are revealed in song. On this field, too, we are superior--“Don’t worry!”
Only a few words, friend, but a big request--a matter of the heart for our silent comrades, the horses. You know the unpleasant command: “Supply detachment, march!” We heard it in the Austrian mountains, in the Sudetenland, and in the hills of the west. After 20 kilometers it was burden, after 40 a torture, and on longer marches it seemed impossible (although nothing is impossible for the man who wants to do it!). Under such aggravation, it is not so bad to grumble, but it is bad to reach for the whip. Taking your anger out on your horses will do nothing to improve your situation, but will only hurt theirs. Think of what they carry for you, and what you would have to carry if they failed. Be a good comrade to your horses in the field--feed them, care for them, and treat them with respect. They will thank you with their eyes.
“Life has given us more than most--let us see if it will also demand more!” This affirmation came from Brigade Leader Ernst Wurche, who fell in the East. It was recorded by his comrade Walter Flex in his book Wanderer Between Two Worlds.
On a battlefield position we had retaken from the Moroccans, I found a picture that had been carried by one of our fallen ones. It caused me to think about the letter that Flex wrote to Wurche’s mother on the soldierly death of her son, his comrade: “He could never have achieved anything greater had he lived.” That same day, my bunker comrades wondered why I asked for the addresses of their loved ones. I asked out of the desire and hope that the news their loved ones received of them would always be brave and good, even though it might be hard.
Only a weak spirit sees a war’s losses as greater than its spiritual gains. Those who understand the gains in character that come about through a People’s War affirm the old statement: “War is the father of all things!” It is not the battle itself that widens or matures a man’s view, but his response to his completely changed situation. A serious environment raises serious questions, and a man who considers and answers them can make great changes for the good, despite war’s horrors and hardness. Every military victory can lead to a thousand victories of the heart. What would our victory mean to the Reich without our spiritual gain? Nothing. Only in moral strength may we aspire to profit from war. Only in peace may we win victory.
Even during the collapse of 1918, the undefeated German soldier, who had triumphed a thousand times, did not forget Germany’s mission--the mission of today’s German soldier that “we must carry the light into a dark world” (Hans Zöberlein, 1931, Faith in Germany).
Having such faith in such a mission, a man can attain the highest human strength, stronger than fate. It might sound impossible to be stronger than fate, but it is as easy as giving more help than you receive, more than you are asked, and more than you alone can give. What you or the man alongside you can no longer do, camaraderie will do for you both. The effort of one contributes to the success of both, the success of both contributes to the success of the troop, and so on. From small-scale camaraderie grows large-scale camaraderie. From personal camaraderie grows community--the people’s community, the German socialism that is the expression of our faith and the goal of our struggle:
A flourishing people and a powerful Reich,
Stronger than fate,
Following the supreme law
Of the community before the self.
At the beginning of the esteemed anniversary of the National
Socialist revolution, our hearts turn to the German people and their future.
We want to serve you,
We want to fight for you,
To fall if we must,
But never to give up,
Must and will triumph!
-- The Führer, 1/30/1940.
 Walther von Brauchitsch was the Commander-in-Chief of the German armed forces from 1938-1941.
 The “unknown soldier” reference is to Adolf Hitler.
 The German word “Führer” could be translated as “Leader,” but has been left in German because of its widespread usage as a reference to Adolf Hitler.
 The induction oath of German soldiers.
 The Reichstag was the German Parliament.
 Wikipedia: NSDAP stands for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, that is the Nazi party.
 Wikipedia: Strength Through Joy was a Nazi labor and recreation organization, Kraft durch Freude (KdF).
 Teutonic Order of Knights.
 The German word “Reich” could be translated as “Empire,” but has been left in German because of its widespread usage as a reference to the German military state during the World War II.
 Wikipedia: Erich Ludendorff was born on a farm near Posen, Prussia (now Poznań, Poland) and served as a German Army officer during World War I.
 Wikipedia: In the revolution of 1688, the Dutch aristocrat and Protestant William III of England took the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland from Roman Catholic King James II of England. William III was in command of a large, Dutch army and had popular and Parliamentary Protestant support. William’s wife Queen Mary II of England was the daughter of the deposed King James II. Both William and Mary were grandchildren of Charles I of England, who in turn was the second son of James VI, King of Scots and Anne of Denmark. In short, the revolution of 1688 replaced a Roman Catholic king with a Protestant king of the same family. It also shifted significant power from the monarchy to the Parliament.
 Wikipedia: Ernst Moritz Arndt 1769-1860, was a German poet and patriot.
 Wikipedia: The Edda are collections of poetically-narrated folk tales of Norse Mythology and Norse heroes.
 Wikipedia: “a corporal on courier duty” was the rank and posting of Adolf Hitler during World War I.
 Wikipedia: Father Hlinka spoke against the forced union of the Slovaks with the Czechs in the 1920 Treaty of Trianon.
 The distance from Tilsit, Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia) to Vienna, Austria is nearly 500 miles.
 Wikipedia: Warthegau or Reichsgau Wartheland was the name given by Nazis to the territory of Greater Poland which was occupied, annexed and directly incorporated into the German Reich after defeating the Polish army in 1939.
 Wikipedia (Sudetenland): another reason ethnic Germans left their homelands (e.g. in the Sudetenland) was to escape ethnic persecution. They were reportedly persecuted before the war for their association with the Nazi aggression in Europe, and after the war were forced out.
 Wikipedia: Potsdam was the site of the royal courts of Prussia and the German Empire, and the place in which a ceremonial handshake in 1933 between Hindenburg and Hitler symbolized a coalition of the military and the Nazi party.
 Wikipedia: In the epic poem Nibelungenlied, Alberich was the dwarf king who guarded the treasure of the Nibelung. He was overcome by the hero Siegfried. Among Alberich’s technologies was a cloak of invisibility. In Richard Wagner’s operatic series The Ring of the Nibelung, Alberich forged a magic ring that gave its owner the power to rule the world. The ring was eventually won by Siegfried, but when Siegfried was betrayed and slain, it was returned by the Valkyrie Brünnhilde to the Rhine river, from where its gold had been stolen.
 Time Magazine, April 15, 1940, also reported this French songwriting contest, which was held to remedy the fact that the first seven months of the war hadn’t produced a song to succeed World War I’s favorite, Madelon. There were 484 submissions, 20 of which were selected by jury for public judging in Paris. First prize went to Bonjour les Demoiselles (“Hello young ladies / Thanks to you, and you, and you / Life is beautiful...”), written by Private Roger Bernstein and Jean Vogade. Second prize went to Gemelle à Gamelin (“From Gamelin’s mess tin all the troop eats soup...”), written by Jean Rodor (a veteran of World War I) and Corporal Paul Durand. The second song refers to Maurice Gustave Gamelin, the commander of the French military in 1940 (from Wikipedia).
 Wikipedia: The Marseillaise was written in 1792 by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle at the request of Baron de Dietrich, mayor of Strasbourg, France, following France’s declaration of war on Austria and Prussia [i.e. Germany]. Its original title was War Song for the Rhine Army, named in honor of the French army garrison in which the composer served. The composer supported the French monarchy, but the song was nevertheless adopted and sung by the Army of the French Revolution on the march from Marseille to Paris--thus gaining its name The Marseille Song.
 Wikipedia: The British national anthem God Save the Queen does not refer to German “barbarians” but only to enemies in general in its second verse: “O Lord, our God, arise, scatter thine enemies, and make them fall. Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks, on thee our hopes we fix: God save us all.” The first German national anthem was apparently sung to the tune of God Save the King with the words Heil dir im Siegerkranz (Hail, you in the victory circle).