I am saying this because there is a danger that those very people who contributed the least to the practical success of German unity are now – as the loudest of declaimers – only too quick to claim the creation of the Reich as their own doing, or to depict the events of 1938 as a matter of course, a development that was long overdue and, unfortunately, only belatedly finally achieved by National Socialism.
As far as these elements are concerned, I would like to say that persevering through this year required uncommonly strong nerves – something of which these midgets have nary a trace! They are the incorrigible old pessimists, skeptics, and indifferentists that we know so well, those who made no positive contribution during our twenty-year struggle, but who now, after the victory, feel compelled to make their critical comments as the appointed experts on the nation’s rebirth.
In a few sentences I will now provide a factual account of the historical events of the memorable year of 1938.
[ . . . ]
On Friday evening [March 11, 1938], I was asked to order German troops to march into that country [Austria], in order to prevent unpredictable turmoil there. By around 10 o'clock at night, troops had already crossed the border in many places. The general invasion began at 6 in the morning [on March 12, 1938] and met with immense enthusiasm from a population that was now finally liberated.
[ . . . ]
The man responsible for the development that gradually turned Czechoslovakia into the exponent of all hostile foreign intentions toward the Reich was Dr. Beneš, who was President at the time. In May of last year, at the instigation of and with the cooperation of certain foreign circles, he carried out the Czech mobilization that was intended, first, to provoke the German Reich, and, second, to damage the reputation of the German Reich abroad.