Do you remember the state of Germany and the German people in the days before the aged Reich President von Hindenburg chose Adolf Hitler and his party as the last hope of saving Germany from certain political, social and economic collapse that would lead to chaos? Tens of thousands of factories had closed their gates. Millions of workers and employees lost their jobs and were thrown ruthlessly into the gray misery of mass unemployment. There
seemed no way out. In 1932 our cold-hearted enemy, the Frenchman Clemenceau, said that there were 20 million Germans too many. He seemed to be speaking the terrible truth. There were 7 million unemployed in Germany on the day Adolf Hitler left the Presidential Palace as chancellor of the German people. A third of all working Germans, 21.5 million people including their families, depended on meager public assistance and spent their time without hope of escaping their misery.
Eliminating mass unemployment was the Führer’s first task. He called on the entire German nation to begin a massive battle of work, the success of which is visible to us all today.
By the end of 1933, 2 million citizens had jobs again. By September 1936, the number of unemployed had fallen beneath a million. By 1937 unemployment had vanished. Now the problem was a shortage of workers for the tasks at hand. A shortage of jobs became a shortage of workers! Only 11.5 million Germans had jobs in January 1933. By the spring of 1937, the number had risen to 17.5 million, and by last fall it had risen to 20.1 million. The Reich Labor Front had to be called in to help with the harvest, since workers were lacking. Thanks to the Führer’s rapid and energetic actions, the entire German people is at work creating things that will be immortal.
One of the foundations of National Socialism is the knowledge that only work creates value and prosperity. The well-earned pay envelope has replaced the demeaning dole. Short hours today do not reduce income. Countless workers have risen from the ranks of the lowest paid to well paid
craftsmen. Workers and employees, but also the entire German people, including farmers, businessmen, craftsmen and industrial workers, all of us five years ago were unsure if our income would be enough for our daily needs. We thank the Führer today for guaranteeing our income! The national income in 1932 was 45.2 billion marks. It has grown steadily since than, reaching a level of 68 billion marks in 1937. The entire national income has increased by about 23 billion marks, almost as high as the total of 26 billion marks in wages from 1932. In 1937, wages were 38 billion marks. The income of the German worker has risen by 70%.
The absolute size of income does not by itself give a proper picture of our growing prosperity. Everyone knows from experience that it is less a question of how much one brings home, rather what one can buy. During the great inflation, we got more money but became poorer. We remember when the unions raised wages through constant strikes, etc., that reduced production. It did no one any good that workers received more than 42 billion marks in 1928, since production did not keep up with income. Goods were scarcer than money, and the result was inflation that required still more pay increases. A spiral of wage and price increases resulted, with wages falling steadily behind.
The increase in income since 1933 is different than the false prosperity of the past. Prices have been kept stable, production has greatly increased and speculation has been ruthlessly suppressed, with the result that the increase in income has meant a real increase in purchasing power.
It is no descent into materialism to welcome an increase in prosperity. A people can grow only when its prosperity is assured. That is the Führer’s true goal. When gray misery was the regular guest at the table of most workers, they lacked the courage to begin a family and raise healthy children. A decline in population threatened us in 1932. The birth rate had fallen so low that there was a danger that the death rate, increased through countless desperate suicides, would surpass it.
The unlimited confidence of the German people in their Führer is shown by the fact that even in 1933 numerous citizens found the courage to begin the family they had long postponed. The number of marriages reached record heights. There were 122,000 more marriages in 1933 than in the year before. !934 showed the tremendous success in reducing unemployment. 223,000 more young German men took brides than in 1932. 6,521,400 men and women were married between 1933 and 1937. Nearly 460,000 more families began than in the five years before the National Socialist takeover. That is probably the best proof of the absolute confidence the German people have in the Führer’s policies and in the future of the Reich. The Führer’s main concern is for healthy growth by the German people. That is why he implemented marriage loans of as much as 1000 marks as early as 1933, which are repayable in easy installments. A quarter of the loan is forgiven at the birth of each child. About half of all couples took advantage of these generous loans in 1933. Improvements in the economy were such that only a fifth needed them in 1934. In the past five years, 878,000 loans were made, and reduced as the result of the birth of 708,000 children.
The total number of births far exceeded that figure. The best evidence for the inner rebirth of our people is that the desire to have children has risen strongly, and that more and more have realized that the future of the German people depends on a large number of healthy children.
But not only the dreadful misery before 1933 reduced the desire of countless Germans to have children. Crass egotism and materialism also played a role. The System Era saw having children as foolish and backward. The transformation that has occurred is clear in the rising German birth rate. In 1932, only 993,000 children were born. Around 6 million were born between 1933 and 1937. The growth resulted in nearly 1.26 million additional children, about the population of the third largest German city, Hamburg!
But more than the birth rate gives us the right to look with pride and confidence to the future. More important still is that these children are growing up healthy, strong and cheerful. The spread of inherited diseases and inferior offspring, which are a heavy burden for the healthy, has been hindered. But everything possible is being done in the new Germany to raise a strong generation. The National Socialist state gives major tax reductions to fathers for each child. Families with three or more children receive payments of 10 and 20 marks monthly. By the end of 1937, 510,000 children were receiving such support. A new law goes into force on 1 April 1938. The previous income boundary of 2400 marks will be abolished, and all insured citizens will be eligible for the payments. The result will certainly be another significant increase in the number of children receiving such support.
The concern for the future of our people goes even further. The NS People’s Welfare organization has established the aid program “Mother and Child,” which has no equal anywhere in the world.
12,000 kindergarten teachers, day care workers and nurses care for 550,000 pregnant women and new mothers. On average, 115,000 children are fed each month, 405,000 children will have had a vacation by the end of 1937 at an NSV establishment and an additional 1.4 million will spend time in the country. If these 1,900,000 children were lined up in rows of twelve, they would reach from Berlin to Leipzig.
In gratitude to the high obligation German mothers fulfill in having healthy children, the “Mother and Child” organization establishes kindergartens to care for countless children while their mothers are at work. It also ensures well-earned rest for mothers. By the end of 1937, 252,000 mothers had received free vacations.
The System Era knew how to praise its social policies, even though they had no goal. National Socialist Germany has policies that will result in a better future. They are supplemented by the work of the Hitler Youth. On the fourth anniversary of the seizure of power, the Reich Youth Leader announced that 7 1/2 million German boys and girls had found their place in the HJ. Over 30,000 doctors cared for their health, sports facilities provided for their physical growth and free time, and special courses provided worldview education. Along with the DAF, the HJ uses the growing National Occupational Contests for the occupational training of the German youth, which will serve them well later in life.
The social policies for working Germans are of a size that casts shame on the dole policies of the Weimar Republic. The crowning achievement is the Führer’s Winterhilfswerk of the German people. This is a truly socialist enterprise that has no equal among the richest nations of the world. The whole German nation undertakes a common fight against hunger and cold.
The Winterhilfswerk is the most beautiful expression of the new German people’s community. It is not the work of a small group of rich people. No, each German, all of us, rich and poor, manual laborers, farmers, and city-dwellers cooperate in fulfilling the Führer’s will: No German may be hungry or cold!
One does not know whom to admire more: the cheerful willingness of those who collect, or the rising amount of the gifts, to which even the poorest contribute their share. The success of the Winterhilfswerk, written permanently into the law of 1 December 1936, demonstrates the efforts of the entire German nation. Gifts of money alone totaled over 920 million marks during the four winters from 1933/34 to 1936/37. An additional 570 million marks of goods were contributed. 50,000 freight cars alone would have been needed for the potatoes contributed in the past years. The three million meters of clothing given out by the WHW would stretch from Berlin to the Middle East. The two million kilograms of coal would form a wall ten meters high around all of Germany. These few examples, and more could be given, prove the strength of the German people’s will to be active socialists
But that is not enough. The social laws in National Socialist Germany have reached extent never even dreamed of by the alleged “socialist” parties. The retirement system was near collapse in January 1933 now has reserves of six billion marks, making pensions for all working Germans secure. The Führer personally ordered a generous canceling of all debts that many citizens had acquired by receiving public support, which would have reduced their income for many years to come. One social measure after another over the past five years proves that National Socialist Germany has practiced a socialism of action.
Another sign of this socialism is the entirely different status of the German worker in factories. The social honor of each working German is guaranteed by law. The state’s representatives ensure that exploiting workers is impossible. The legal working conditions correspond to National Socialism’s high opinion of work. Workers have a right to a vacation and for paid holidays, even hourly and temporary workers. There is nothing like this elsewhere in the world.
The dignity of labor is evidenced by improvements in the appearance of the work place. Wherever one looks in Germany, ugly dark buildings are vanishing. The “Beauty of Labor” movement in today’s Germany is not empty talk or an impossible demand, but living reality. Large sums that formerly would have been wasted in strikes and lockouts have been used since 1933 to improve work places. 23,000 places have been transformed form soulless drudgery to pleasant places to work. 6,000 factory courtyards now offer space for real relaxation, which was not true in the past. 17,000 canteens and lounges, 13,000 shower and changing rooms have been transformed. The dirtier the work, the cleaner the workers. More than 800 community buildings and 1200 sport facilities , including over 200 swimming pools, have been established. The crew quarters in over 3500 ships have also been improved.
The NS Society Kraft durch Freude brings cheer and pleasure to workplaces through concerts and art exhibits. The art exhibits alone introduced more than 2,5 million workers to the creations of true German art. Just five years ago, it was obvious that the great works of German culture belonged to a small group of the upper class. Besides the factory concerns and art exhibitions, the NS Society Kraft durch Freude uses theatrical performances, other concerts, singing and musical groups to introduce the creations of German art to every working German. 22 million citizens have attended theatrical performances, 5.6 million the KdF concerns, and 17 million have found relaxation in more than 40,000 cabaret and variety performances, gaining thereby new strength for their daily work.
Of no less importance is the KdF’s vacation program. Earlier, German workers did not know what to do with their, at best, five days of annual vacation. They could not visit the beauties of the German landscape, much less travel abroad. The NS Society Kraft durch Freude gave German workers the possibility of vacationing at the beach or in the mountains, or to explore the homeland. Over 20 million have participated in KdF trips since 1934. That is more than a quarter of Germany’s population. 19 million citizens participated in 60,000 vacation trips at home. Hand to hand, they would stretch from Berlin to Tokyo. KdF trains have traveled 2,160,000 kilometers, or 54 times around the world. The nine large KdF cruise ships have covered a distance equal to twice the distance from the earth to the moon. They have carried German workers to Madeira, Italy, and Norway, broadening their horizons and giving them unforgettable experiences. Three additional ships will be added the KdF’s own fleet of four. A KdF resort is being built on the island of Rügen. It will not be the only one. A series of other vacation and spa resorts will be built. They will fulfill the Führer’s wishes at the start of the NS Society Kraft durch Freude: to lead a cheerful, creative and strong people to success in the world.
The goal of bringing German culture to the entire German people, regardless of their income, is especially clear with the German radio. Thanks to the people’s radio set, a solid, inexpensive, and capable receiver, the number of radio listeners has risen from around 4 million in 1932 to 9.1 million today. The un-German programming of the System Era has been transformed by National Socialism. Now radio acquaints the German people with the work of their great masters of music and literature. Alongside these artistic programs, the entertaining programming provides for the relaxation of hard-working people.
Clear proof for the rising prosperity of the German people is provided by the growing consumption of foodstuffs and luxury items of every variety. During the prewar year 1913, only a little more than 2.9 million tons of meat were consumed. In 1937, that figure had risen to 3.7 million, up about 5% from 1932. Thanks to the elimination of unemployment, bread consumption increased by about 10%, sugar by 15%. Butter consumption rose from 420,000 to 519,000 tons. Milk production, both for drinking and for making butter and cheese, rose from 23.5 to 25.4 billion liters from 1932 to 1937. Coffee consumption rose from 104,000 to 140,000 tons. Beer consumption has risen from 3.3 to 4.4 billion liters. That is an increase of about 3 billion glasses of beer.
The rise in consumption of luxury items is clear proof of our nation’s growing prosperity. Wine consumption rose from 232.4 million to more than 450 million liters. Many citizens for whom wine was formerly an impossible luxury can now afford a glass of wine. German wine makers have been freed from worries of overproduction. Tobacco consumption, too, has risen from 5.5 billion cigars and 31.3 billion cigarettes to 8.8 billion and 41 billion respectively.
The growing prosperity and rising consumption of foodstuffs and luxury items required hard work. A people can only consume what it produces. In the face of this obvious truth, which however only became clear to us after 1933, all the parliamentary resolutions, all the decisions of international conferences and the demands of the international unions become silly talk. The German people have proved that by our own work. Germany has worked untiringly since 1933, producing itself the goods it needs to improve its standard of living.
The rising production in all areas, which has never before been seen, is the fruit of our work. The foundation of our life is agriculture, whose task is to guarantee that the nation is fed. When the Führer took power, agriculture was in a ruinous state. Officers of the court were regular visitors at German farms. The animals and the harvest were seized ruthlessly because taxes and interests had risen to impossible levels that German soil could not meet. Forced auctions drove tens of thousands of German farmers from their land. Desperation prevailed in the villages. As a result of the desperate situation, agriculture could not ensure the feeding of the German nation. The ghost of hunger threatened.
Here too the Führer set to work immediately. Interest and taxes were lowered, and German soil was freed from usurious capital. Between 1927 and 1931 German agricultural debt rose by 2,9 billion marks. From 1933 to 1936 it fell by 800 million marks. The interest burden, which was over a billion marks in 1931/32, was reduced by National Socialist actions to 630 million marks. The crowning achievement was the creation of the Reich Inherited Farm Law, which guaranteed that the German family farm will always remain the wellspring of the nation.
Farmers owe the Führer their deepest thanks for rescuing them from the depths of despair. Their growing income also resulted in new jobs, giving the city population not only food, but work. In 1932 farmers spent only 160 million marks for new construction and 203 million for repairs. In 1933 these figures rose to 186 and 217 million marks respectively. The figures had reached 481 million by 1937. Farmers could afford only 138 million marks for machinery and equipment in 1932. Growing agricultural prosperity allowed them to buy three times as much in 1937 to modernize their farms, 395 million marks. Despite substantial decreases in price for fertilizers, expenditures for them rose from 180 to 700 million marks. The city dwellers had to make some sacrifices to bring German agriculture back from the abyss, but the German farmer is now doing his part to strengthen the German economy through his increased need for construction, industrial products, and craft work.
On the other hand, the value of agricultural production has rising between 1932 and 1937 from 8.7 billion to over 12 billion marks. Even more encouraging, food imports have deceased significantly even though consumption has increased.
Animal production reached a level previously not thought possible. In the last fiscal year, 500 million more eggs, nearly 4 billion liters of milk and 1.2 million more quintals of meat were produced compared to the averages for 1928 to 1932. The Führer’s agricultural policies have led to a decline in German agricultural imports from 25% to 19% of our consumption. We are now much closer to agricultural independence, and more secure from poor harvests or speculative machinations in other countries.
Land used for oil fruits, flax, hemp, hoed crops, and animal feed has increased significantly. Effective use of fertilizers has led to a large increase in fiber plant crops, which has eliminated the need to import them. To increase production even more, 73 flax production facilities are being added to the existing 22.
A program of improving land and winning new land was started in 1933. It has made a major contribution to the increase in agricultural production. Large sections of productive land were won from the sea in Schleswig-Holstein, which offers a secure future for numerous German farming families and farmer’s sons. Wasteland and moors have been transformed into cultivable land. The System government spent only 298 million marks during its last four years on German soil. The National Socialist government, on the other hand, spent 1.30 billion marks during its first four years to expand German agricultural land. The result has been an increase in land of 300,000 hectares, an area six times as large as the Bodensee.
Besides winning new land and guaranteeing the security of German farms, new farms have been created. The new farms established during the System Era [1919-1933] were not large enough to support a family. The average size of new farms today, on the contrary, is sufficiently large to provide a secure existence for the new settlers. National Socialist policies have allowed 75,000 German citizens, mostly racially valuable form workers and sons of farmers, to find room for healthy growth on nearly 300,000 hectares of land. The Reich has also made large sums available to build worthy housing for agricultural workers. German farm workers have healthy, decent housing for a monthly rent of only 12 to 14 marks.
Just as for farmers and agricultural workers, the urban population is also being cared for. Although more than enough willing and able workers were available in 1932, and although the housing need was certainly great, the government put workers on the dole and built only 141,265 dwellings. This was an area in which the need for new jobs was particularly clear. Even in 1933, the number of new dwellings rose to 178,000, with particular attention being given to small and mid-sized units for those with limited incomes. This number grew year by year, reaching 340,000 dwellings in 1937, double the number of 1932. In all, National Socialist has built more than 1.4 million new, and above all healthy and affordable, dwellings for the German people since 1933. This is enough to house the entire population of Berlin.
As the result of energetic construction, also encouraged by many major new construction projects for the state and party, the total production of the construction industry has risen from 37.8 billion marks in 1932 to more than 75 billion marks in 1937.
The German money supply, everything from thousand mark notes to copper pennies, would have to be increased by a factor of ten were we to pay for it all in cash. Rather than speaking of money, however, we prefer to speak of accomplishment. The Western European democracies can also talk about enormous increases in the circulation of money, as the Führer pointed out in his speech to the Reichstag on 20 February 1938. In Germany, however, the amount of money in circulation has risen only slightly despite growing production, while the Western European democracies have only strikes and falling production to show for their increase in money in circulation. Conflict between wages and prices is the result in these nations, and the terrors of inflation loom.
Growing prosperity and production led to a growth in traffic. The entirely neglected German highway system had to be repaired and expanded. 40,000 kilometers of highway have been repaired since 1933. That is enough to go all the way around the world! Then there are the Reich Autobahns, the most splendid construction project in the world. 2,000 kilometers were open to traffic by the end of 1937. 1,000 kilometers more will be added yearly, until Germany has a highway network unique in all the world.
Automobile production has reached a level that no one would have thought possible a few years ago.
The number of motor vehicles in Germany has doubled, exceeding the 3 million mark in 1937. Thanks to the growing prosperity, broad circles of our nation can now afford a car. 137,141 of the new vehicles in 1937, well over half, were purchased by workers and employees. 30,015 workers and employees were able to buy a car the previous year. Cars are becoming both better and cheaper. The increase in cars will be even more striking when the Volkswagen comes on the market. Enormous factories are even now being built. The best proof for the quality and good pricing of German cars is the fact that automobile exports have increased by a factor of eight since 1932!
It is not possible here to list the enormous growth in every area of production. There is no branch of industry that has not grown by factors of two to ten. We will restrict our discussion to two critical modern industries: coal mining and steel. Before 1932, coal production was greatly decreasing. Despite that fact, coal was piling up at the mines, with no hope of putting it to use in industry. Now consumption has greatly increased, and coal is also being used to produce the new substitute materials required by the Four Year Plan. The German mining industry can look forward to an assured future.
Despite the claim that Germany is poor in iron ore, mining of this important material for the iron and steel industries rose from 1.3 million tons in 1932 to 9.6 million tons last year. By 1940, the figure will reach about 20 million tons. The Reich Hermann Göring Factory will add an additional 21 million tons by then. This 40-50 million tons will give the German iron and steel industries a secure foundation that earlier experts thought impossible.
The expansion of raw material production has received a significant boost by the return of Austria to the Reich. Austria has rich reserves of copper, lead, graphite, etc. It leads the world in magnesium production. The iron ore mines, now incorporated into the Four Year Plan, are of particular significance to German iron and steel production.
German steel production in 1933 was 9.7 million tons. After five years of hard work, this figure has more than doubled. It will reach 21 million tons in 1938. That will make Germany the second leading steel producer in the world, second only to the United States. If one were to export this enormous among of steel, one would have to fill every German ocean-going ship more than ten times.
The unprecedented revival of economic health has naturally affected the transportation industry. On land, water and in the air it has grown greatly. Since 56 million tons of additional goods are being produced, a major expansion of the German river and canal transportation system is planned. This will improve the already thick network of domestic German water transport. Shipping has also increased significantly. The ship cemeteries once found in German harbors have vanished. At the same time, we have rejuvenated our merchant fleet. One ship after another is being launched from our shipyards, proving to the world the quality of German workmanship and engineering. Before the takeover, only 22,000 tons were under construction. By 1937, 370,000 tons were under construction for German firms, and 350,000 for foreign customers! Another 400,000 tons of orders were waiting. These figures do not even include naval construction. The number of orders corresponds to Denmark’s entire merchant fleet.
Developments with the railroad are equally as impressive. Increasing competition with trucking has given a remarkable spur to the railroad system. The speed of rail transportation has increased. Modern passenger trains with every convenience attain speeds undreamed of only a few years ago. The Reichsbahn has nearly doubled its business since 1932.
The German airlines have won a world reputation in recent years, the result of their reliability and speed. The number of passengers has nearly tripled since 1932. 326,000 domestic and foreign passengers flew on German aircraft in 1937. The air network is being expanded. The length of the air mail routes alone has increased during five years of National Socialism from 31,000 to 62,000 kilometers, with a yearly increase in kilometers flown from 9 to 18 million kilometers.
The great improvements in the German transportation system have resulted in a growing stream of foreign visitors. The pulsing life in Germany is drawing more and more visitors to the Third Reich. The number of overnights by foreigners has risen from 2.7 million in 1932 is far above 7 million in 1937. These foreigners, who often come to Germany with false ideas, see with their own eyes the work of the Führer and the remarkable efforts of the German people. They return home as the best witnesses of the greatness and strength of the German Reich.
These accomplishments and successes are only a part of the great economic, social, and cultural achievements of the past five years. But they are cast into the shadows by the political accomplishments of this most eventful period in German history. Every last German today knows that Germany’s reconstruction, in which each of us participated, was only possible because the Führer brought together all the strength of the nation in pursuit of a single goal: To make Germany free and strong!
The Führer has repeatedly reminded the German people that strong policies are the absolute prerequisite to our economic, social and cultural health. Only intentional hostility and stupidity can still deny that the Führer was right in every respect.
Worried souls prophesied disaster when Germany withdrew from the League of Nations on 21 October 1933. Today the complete insignificance and impotence of the Geneva League is clear to all. The Führer has replaced the system of “collective security,” which never did anyone any good, with direct negotiations between leaders and states. The naval accord with England, the German- Japanese-Italian Anti-Comintern Pact, which dealt a devastating blow to World Bolshevism, and the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis are today the strongest guarantee of European peace. They are persuasive proof of the correctness of German peace policy.
With great joy and thanksgiving, Germany celebrated the powerful referendum victory in the Saar on 13 January 1935. It was easy for our German brothers to decide to return to a united and strong Reich instead of an impotent and fragmented one. Step by step, calmly and with assurance, the Führer went his way. He tore up the shameful treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, erasing forever from German history the shame of the war guilt lie. Jubilation without precedent ran through Germany on 16 March 1935, as the Führer re-armed Germany by introducing universal military service. For 17 long years we were a defenseless nation, a nation without honor. Now our borders and our accomplishments are protected by a strong people’s army, a strong air force guards the Homeland, a fleet guards our commerce. Our brothers abroad are proud witnesses to a national will that preserves the honor and the existence of the nation. Less than a year has passed since German soldiers marched into the demilitarized Rhineland on 7 March 1936, to the indescribable jubilation of the population. German rivers, the German railroad, and the German Reich Bank are free from all the tricks of demeaning international control.
And now the Führer has fulfilled the ancient longing of all Germans. A Reich of 75 million Germans now exists. People joined people. Words are not enough to express what each of us feels who is of good heart and will. We all know one thing: this wonderful rise is solely the result of our Führer’s efforts. He believed unshakably in the strength of his people. He brought an inexhaustible national strength to life. He gave back to entire people its belief in itself.
The disgrace of Versailles is abolished,
Germany is free and strong, great and united.
Has a leader ever done more for his people?
With warm hearts and unshakable loyalty, we want to stand with the Führer. He has done everything for us, giving us his faith and his strength, his days and his nights. The Führer gave us the great blessing of a united, strong respected German Reich. We want to thank him on election day. Our “Yes” is the oath of 75 million German people who are moved to their depths:
One People, One Reich, One Führer! On 10 April 1938, all Germans will say
Comment by Nina Jones: This is from a National Socialist pamphlet that circulated before the 1938 election, which included Austria too… a referendum that asked one simple question, whether the people would support the idea of a single list of National Socialists to fill every member position of the Reichstag, to which there were more than 800… 99.5% of the German people came out to vote and 98.9% of them, voted “Yes.”
A similar result occurred in Austria, with 99.71% of the Austrian people joining in, where 99.73% of them voting “Yes” as well.