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Himmler’s Secret Speech to High Officials of the Reich Security Main Office [Reichssicherheitshauptamt or RSHA] (January 30, 1943)

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A year later, on April 20, 1934, the then-Prussian Minister President Göring, following a long meeting of us old party comrades, made me the deputy chief of the Secret State Police. Heydrich became inspector. With this, the political police of the states in all of Germany were in one hand, and we could slowly begin to create a Reich apparatus. It grew in various organizational forms. It was in part the SD, in part the Security Police; at the time it was called the Stapo.

I will not neglect to mention June 30, 1934, with its bitterness, the bitter necessity, the bitter duty. The event had repercussions and brought the attempt by Jewish and other opponents to stir up enmity between us and the Wehrmacht and the party. The Wehrmacht was supposed to break us. At the time, strong nerves, restraint, and intelligence were required, in ample measure, to manage the situation. We managed it.

There came the year 1936, when, on June 17, I became chief of the German police, with the title Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police. Back then, Daluege, now Oberst-Gruppenführer, was truly generous in handing the criminal police under his authority over to Group Leader Heydrich as inherently related to and an indispensable part of a security police. That year, the entire criminal police headed by Nebe came to us. Now the total apparatus was growing. The state apparatus and the SS apparatus grew together more and more. The number of faithful members rose. Together we really managed things very well in the first few years. I spoke for many, many hours with Obergruppenführer Heydrich about all the problems. As the years went by he knew my views, knew the path I wanted to take, knew the goal I had for the organization, how I envisaged the SS as a whole.

Especially during the war years, Heydrich grew into greatness, which I was able to confirm in his obituary to you before the entire German nation and before the public. His greatness – and this I would like to highlight here once more – lay in the fact that he was always first a German and a Germane, that he approached all things as a National Socialist, that for all the ambition and responsibility he had for his Reich Security Main Office, he had all the faithful qualities of a comrade, in that he stood up for you and the men. Let me say that I was not happy about some things. I knew exactly that this person or that person messed something up. Perhaps you are not yet aware today what a loyal boss you had, what he took upon himself. There were cases where I said: "Heydrich, I don't believe that." He didn't lie to me. But at all times, he first, and with infinite chivalrousness, stepped in front of you men. For all the ambition he had for his security police and his Reich Security Main Office, he saw things first of all from the perspective of the total SS. Over the years, he weighed everything very wisely so that this entire apparatus above all never became misanthropic – something that such an apparatus should tend toward by its nature. We always see people only from the negative side. When someone comes to us, he does not come to recount something nice that has happened, but he wants to recount something ugly that has happened. Second, it must be that this entire service – to use this expression for once – of the German nation is never pessimistic, that we will never allow ourselves to be overwhelmed even by bad news – we get practically no good news – and by negative things, that everything will remain solidly locked within our chests. We must be absolutely clear that there can be 1,000 negative things. Everything negative, everything harmful you must report to your commanders, who in turn will report it to me. But when you report something, please, never report it with a tear-choked voice and a downcast head: something terrible has happened; the world has more or less broken apart; National Socialism is destroyed and is already lying in fragments on the ground; we are the only shining bearers of the grail; we still have the grail of the National Socialist Weltanschauung in our pure hands, but all others are really swines. Instead, carry on in the style that Heydrich introduced and with which he corrected a good deal in you; you know that yourself. The bad, the defeats, the setbacks that exist will be soberly recorded and soberly reported, without a downcast head and without priesthood. In reports you say: this I consider probable, that exaggerated; conclusion, this or that situation outside is probably such-and-such; my suggestion for change is this and that. Or: I have no suggestion to make, I merely feel obligated to make this report. But you should not report: the entire movement is in danger, or something else is in danger. We will survive the war. We shall, and of this you may be assured, overcome all our enemies, be they priests or Jews. In this Europe we shall survive the difficulties: that is my firm conviction. Things will still get insanely difficult for us. But we will get through it, and in the end there will be a Germanic Reich.

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