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Hitler’s Letter to Colonel Walther von Reichenau on Germany’s Situation with Respect to Foreign Relations (December 4, 1932)

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The military means and possibilities open to East Prussia are, in my view, inadequate for a lengthy resistance with any prospect of success. Moreover, on the basis of the present political situation there will in my view be no military support from the Reich. I consider the impression of a speeding-up of German rearmament as the most serious danger. It is conceivable that France is no longer in a position to sabotage the granting of a theoretical equality of rights to Germany. In this case the succeeding period will be the most dangerous epoch in German history because the practical, technical, and organizational rearmament will have to follow on from the granting of theoretical equality. If ever there was a reason for a preventive war then it would be in this case for an attack by France on Germany. Such a military act alone would create the new facts which are desired and the same world, which today bestows its theoretical benevolence upon us, would be wary of trying to correct the fait accompli by force of arms.

France cannot wish for anything better than to leave the first step in this new measure to a third party. It can devise reasons and pretexts for it at any time.

Thus, as I have already emphasized, I consider the threat of this attack to be acute and believe that it would be advisable to reckon with its onset at any moment!

However at present there is no possibility of Germany intervening in such a conflict. The reason for this does not lie in the lack of the necessary armaments but much more in the total unsuitability of the German people for such a task thanks to its intellectual, moral, and political decline.

The German nation at the present time consists of two ideological camps of which one must be excluded from any military service for the present state. According to the last Reichstag elections [6.11.1932], the ideological breakdown of our people is as follows:


6 million

Social Democrats

7.4 million


4 million

State Party etc.

1 million

National Socialists

12 million

German National People's Party (including Stahlhelm)

  3 million

German People's Party

  1 million

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