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Excerpt from Himmler’s Speech to the SS-Gruppenführer at Posen (October 4, 1943)

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Today I requested of the Führer that the SS – if we have fulfilled our task and our duty by the end of the war – should have the privilege of holding Germany’s most easterly frontier as a defense frontier. I believe this is the only privilege for which we have no competitors. I believe not one person will dispute our claim to this privilege. We shall be in a position there to instruct every young age-group in the use of arms. We shall impose our laws on the East. We will charge ahead and push our way forward little by little to the Urals. I hope that our generation will successfully bring it about that every age-group has fought in the East and that every one of our divisions spends a winter in the East every second or third year. Then we never grow soft; then we shall never get SS members who only come to us because it is distinguished or because the black coat will naturally be very attractive in peacetime. Everyone will know that: “If I join the SS, there is the possibility that I might be killed.” He has contracted in writing that every second year he will not dance in Berlin or attend the carnival in Munich, but that he will be posted to the Eastern frontier in an ice-cold winter. Then we will have a healthy elite for all time. Thus we will create the necessary conditions for the whole Germanic people and the whole of Europe, controlled, ordered and led by us, the Germanic people, to be able, in generations, to stand the test in her battles of destiny against Asia, who will certainly break out again. We do not know when that will be. Then, when the mass of humanity of 1 to 1½ milliards lines up against us, the Germanic people, numbering, I hope, 250 to 300 millions, and the other European peoples, making a total of 600 to 700 millions – (and with an outpost area stretching as far as the Urals, or, a hundred years, beyond the Urals) – must stand the test in its vital struggle against Asia. It would be an evil day if the Germanic people did not survive it. It would be the end of beauty and “Kultur”, of the creative power of this earth. That is the distant future. It is for that that we are fighting, pledged to hand down the heritage of our ancestors.

We see into the distant future, because we know what it will be. That is why we are doing our duty more fanatically than ever, more devoutly than ever, more bravely, more obediently and more thoroughly than ever. We want to be worthy of being permitted to be the first SS-men of the Führer, Adolf Hitler, in the long history of the Germanic people, which stretches before us.

Now let us remember the Führer, Adolf Hitler, who will create the Germanic Reich and will lead us into the Germanic future.

Our Führer Adolf Hitler

Sieg Heil!
Sieg Heil!
Sieg Heil!

Source of English translation: Excerpt of Himmler’s Speech to the SS-Gruppenführer at Posen (October 4, 1943). In United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume IV. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946, Document 1919-PS [Speech of the Reichsführer-SS at the Meeting of SS Major-Generals at Posen, October 4th, 1963], pp. 558-59 and 570-72. (English translation attributed to Nuremberg staff.) Edited by GHI staff.

Source of original German text: Auszug aus Himmlers Rede an die SS-Gruppenführer in Posen (4. Oktober 1943). In Internationaler Militärgerichtshof Nürnberg, Der Nürnberger Prozess gegen die Hauptskriegsverbrecher vom 14. November 1945 bis 1. Oktober 1946: Urkunden und anderes Beweismaterial. Published in Nuremberg 1948. Munich: Delphin Verlag, 1989. Volume XXIX: Amtlicher Text – Deutsche Ausgabe, Nummer 1850-PS bis Nummer 2233-PS, Document 1919-PS [Rede Himmlers bei der SS-Gruppenführertag in Posen am 4. Oktober 1943: Ausführung des Gedankens: andere Völker sind als Sklaven für die deutsche Kultur zu betrachten (Beweisstück US-170)], pp. 111-12, 122-23 and 170-73.

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