This process lasted nearly 2,000 years, until scattered tribes became one Volk, countless lands and states one Reich. Now, the growth process of the German nation can be seen as having essentially come to an end. The Greater German Reich, however, encompasses the entire thousand-year life-struggle of our Volk.
Just as all streams of German blood flow into it, it unites in itself all past traditions, its symbols and banners and, above all, the great men of whom Germans of the past were once justly proud.
For no matter what camp they belonged to in their day, the bold dukes and great kings, the generals and mighty emperors, and around them the shining minds and heroes of the past, they were all merely instruments of providence in the process of creating a nation.
By embracing them with grateful reverence in this great Reich, the glorious richness of German history opens up to us. Let us thank Almighty God that he has blessed our generation and us to witness this time and this hour.
Source: Rede des Führers und Reichskanzlers Adolf Hitler vor dem Reichstag am 30. Januar 1939 [Speech by the Führer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler before the Reichstag on January 30, 1939]. Berlin: M. Müller & Sohn 1939, pp. 5-63.
Translated by Thomas Dunlap