Rudolf Hess Speaks – Volume Five: Soldiers
translated from three speeches by Rudolf Hess between 1936 and 1937.
The first speech was directed at officers of the National Political Course of the armed forces. The second speech was delivered on the occasion of the launching of the training ship “Horst Wessel”. The third speech deals with the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Treaty.
Officers of the German Armed Forces!
When earlier a politician spoke to soldiers or the other way around a soldier to politicians, then the speaker could generally figure in advance that the audience would be somewhat reversed, if not downright distrustful.
This was especially so in the period of the in-between-Reich, of that most unsoldierly time in German history. For the politician in general everything that even smelled of soldierly views, disciple, obedience, responsible, in short everything soldierly, was as painful and repulsive as holy water to the devil. On the other side, for the opposite reasons, for the healthy soldier the politician – because the politician back then in his whole thinking and action revered what the soldier despised – was a highly unpleasant manifestation, if not a torment. It must have often seemed a provocation, if soldiers spoke before politicians or politicians before soldiers, and I am imagine that it often took a lot of courage – or audacity as well!
My officers! I stand before you, however, without having the feeling of the one or the other. However, I also have the conviction of being no politician of the kind before 1933. Therefore, I speak before you, too, with real joy, as I also know, that it also, for example, brings joy to the General Field Marshal of the Armed Forces, to speak before an auditorium of so-called politicians and political leaders. Certainly, these politicians and political leaders of today are in the majority soldierly people, men with soldierly thinking, feeling and action. Just as I myself am again and again proud to be able to say that I was a soldier throughout the whole time of the Great War, that I experienced the most concentrated soldierdom as a front-fighter in the most fierce battles of the west and absorbed it into me.
The purpose of my speech before you is to deepen the understanding for the great organization through which the political desire in the new Reich is conveyed to the folk – to deepen the understanding for the NSDAP, which has became the bearer of the political strength of the masses, just like the armed forces are the bearer of the military might of these masses. Both prevent chaos in their area, both manifest themselves creating order, giving direction and making conform. This understanding of the political organization, this knowledge of its working, its structure, the integration of its branches, is all the more important for the soldier – but also for anybody who otherwise leads in an area -, since this organization indeed bears the name party, but is so infinitely more than a party of once, because it manifests itself in and encompasses all conceivable areas and touches the bearers of the rest of the nation’s life.