Now he has got this war. My assurance that from a certain moment onwards we would retaliate for every bomb a hundred-fold if necessary, could not move this man to think of the criminality of his actions. He declares that it did not depress him. He even assures us that the British people, too, had been looking at him with elated gaiety after such air attacks, so that he always returned to London reassured. It may be that Mr.
Churchill was reassured in his decision to continue the war in this way. We, however, are not less determined to throw back for every bomb a hundred if necessary in the future, until the British people get rid of this criminal and his methods. Applause And if Mr. Churchill thinks that from time to time he had to reinforce the power and intensity of his war by propaganda, then we are prepared slowly and emphatically finally to begin this war in that way too.
The appeal of this fool and his vassals to the German people to desert me on May Day, can only be explained by a paralytical disease or the mania of a drunkard. The decision to convert the Balkans into a theatre of war, also has its root in this abnormal mental state. Like a madman, this man has been running all over Europe for almost five years to find anything which would burn.
Unfortunately paid creatures can always be found who open the doors of their countries to these international incendiaries. Having succeeded during the winter, in forcing, by a whole cloud of assertions and falsifications, the opinion on the British people that the German Reich was exhausted by the campaign last year and had come to the end of its powers, he saw himself obliged, to prevent their awakening, to create yet another pyre in Europe.
German Bundestag - Registering to visit the dome of the Reichstag Building
For this purpose he returned to a project of which he had already thought in Autumn and in Spring You remember, men of the German Reichstag, the published documents of La Charite which revealed the attempt to create a European theatre of war in the Balkans as early as the winter of The instigators of this undertaking were Mr. As could be seen from these documents, it was hoped, should this plan against the peace of South East Europe succeed, to mobilize about a divisions in the interests of England.
The sudden collapse in May-June last year upset these plans, but by the autumn of last year, Churchill again started to consider this project. This attempt had become more difficult, because a change had taken place in the Balkans. Owing to the changes in Rumania, that State was finally lost for England. The new Rumania, under the leadership of General Antonescu, began to conduct an exclusively Rumanian policy, without regard to the hopes of British war interests. In addition, there was Germany's attitude itself. When I today speak about this point, I will give, first of all, a short description of the aims of German policy in the Balkans.
First, from the outset, the German Reich has had no territorial or selfish political interests in the Balkans. Therefore, Germany was not at all interested in territorial questions and the internal state of the Balkan countries from any selfish interests. Second, Germany has always endeavored to open up and consolidate close economic relations with these countries. This was not only in the interests of the Reich, but also in the interests of those countries for, if anywhere, the national economies of two trade partners complement each other sensibly, then this was the case between the Balkans and Germany.
Germany is an industrial State and needs foodstuffs and raw materials. The Balkans produce foodstuffs and have raw materials and require industrial products. The result is an opportunity for the fruitful extension of the mutual economic relations. If English and American circles are of opinion that the establishment of trade relations between Germany and the Balkans represents an unlawful penetration of the Balkans by Germany, this is a presumption as stupid as it is impertinent.
Every State directs its economic policy according to its own interests and not according to those of rootless Jewish democratic capitalists. Apart from this, England and America can figure only as sellers, but never as buyers in these countries. It requires the entire economic narrow-mindedness of capitalistic democrats to believe that, in the long run, States can exist which are obliged to buy from someone who neither wants to buy from them nor is in a position to do so.
Germany has not only been selling to the Balkans, but she has also been the largest buyer there, and a good and lasting buyer at that.
She has paid for the products of the Balkans by the work of German industrial workers, and not by bogus currency. It is, therefore, not surprising that Germany has become the most important trade partner of the Balkans, and this is not only in the interests of Germany. Only the really capitalistic-minded brain of Jewish capitalists can form the idea that a State which delivers machines to another country thus acquires domination over it.
It is easier to go without machines than without food and raw materials. The partner who receives wheat and raw materials is perhaps more tied than the other. In this bargain there was no victor or vanquished; there are only partners. Germany has always been most anxious to be an honest partner and to pay with good products and not with democratic bogus money. Third, if you want to speak about political interests at all Germany has had only one interest in the Balkans, namely to see that her trade partners were internally sound and strong.
She has, therefore, done everything possible, by advice and action, by her influence and assistance, to help these countries to consolidate their own existence and their internal order without heed to the particular form of State prevailing there. The prosecution of this effort led to increasing prosperity in these countries and to the gradual growth of mutual confidence.
It was, of course, Mr. Churchill's endeavour to put an end to this peaceful develop meet, and by the impertinent forcing of British guarantees and pledges of assistance upon those countries, to carry elements of unrest, insecurity, mistrust and even quarreling into these European territories.
He was supported by all those obscure persons under British influence who were ready to place the interests of their own nation after the wishes of those who gave the orders.
By these guarantees, first the Rumanian State and then Greece was enticed. I think it has been abundantly proved by now that, behind these guarantees there has never been a real power to give help, but only the effort to drag those countries to the precipice of the policy dictated by selfish interests.
Rumania has paid dearly for that guarantee. Greece, who had the least need for such a guarantee, following the British enticement also agreed to link her fate with England. I believe I owe it to historical truth to say that, even today, a difference must be made between the Greek nation and the small group of people who, inspired by a King subservient to England, were not so bent upon discharging the real task of Statesmanship as to make the aims of the British war policy their own.
I was genuinely sorry, and, to me as a German who has always had the deepest veneration for the culture of that country from which the first light of beauty and dignity sprang, it was particularly painful to witness the development of events without being able to do anything about it. I have learnt from the documents of La Charite how the forces worked, which sooner or later, were bound to thrust the Greek State into immeasurable disaster.
In the late summer of last year Mr. Churchill succeeded in confusing certain circles to such an extent, by issuing platonic promises of guarantees, that a continual chain of violations of neutrality followed. Italy was also concerned. Therefore, she felt induced to make proposals to the Greek Government to put an end to this intolerable state of affairs. Under the influence of British warmongers, this proposal was brusquely rejected and the peace in the Balkans came to an end.
When the bad weather set in, and while the Greek soldiers offered an extremely brave resistance to the Italians, the Athens Government had sufficient time to ponder the possibilities of a reasonable solution. With the slight hope of being able to contribute to such a solution, Germany did not break off relations with Greece.
However, I pointed out then, that I should not be willing to witness, without taking action, the revival of the Salonika ideas of the World War. My warning that the British would be thrown into the sea at once, whenever they tried to set foot anywhere in Europe, was unfortunately not taken seriously. We could see during the winter that England was creating bases for a new Salonika Army. They began building aerodromes and the necessary ground organization, believing that they could occupy the aerodromes very quickly. They eventually sent transports, containing the equipment for an army which, in Mr.
Churchill's opinion, could be sent into Greece within a few weeks. We were not unaware of this, as you know, but watched these activities for many months with great attention, if with restraint. The setback which the Italian Army in North Africa suffered because of a technical inferiority in anti-tank devices, as well as tanks, led Mr.
Churchill to believe that the moment had come to shift the theatre of war from Libya to Greece. He ordered the transfer of his tanks, as well as infantry divisions, consisting mainly of Australians and New Zealanders, to start the coup which would plunge the Balkans into a sea of fire. Churchill thereby committed one of the greatest mistakes of this war. As soon as England's intention to set foot in the Balkans could no longer be doubted, I took the necessary steps to get to this vital place all the forces necessary to oppose any nuisance that gentleman might cause.
I state here expressly that these measures were not directed against Greece. The Duce himself has never asked me to put at his disposal a single division for that purpose, for he was convinced that a quick decision would be arrived at one way or another in the forthcoming favourable season. I was of the same opinion. The march of the German forces, therefore, represented no assistance to Italy against Greece, but a preventive measure against the British attempt to use the Italo-Greek conflict to set foot on Greek soil, thus preparing for a decision along the lines of the Salonika Army of the World War.
They wanted above all to drag still more nations into the war. Their hopes were based, among others, on two States, Turkey and Yugoslavia. I had attempted to bring about a close collaboration, based on economic ties, with these two States, since my advent to power. Yugoslavia, as far as the Serb nucleus is concerned, had been our enemy in the World War. Yes, the World War started in Belgrade. Nevertheless, the German people had no hatred for the Yugoslavs. Turkey had been our ally in the World War. Its unfortunate result was as heavy a burden for Turkey as it was for us.
Curtains for the Reichstag
The great and ingenious reconstructor of the new Turkey gave his Allies, beaten by fate, the first example of resurrection. While Turkey, thanks to the realistic attitude of her State leadership, preserved her independent attitude Yugoslavia fell a victim to British intrigues.
Members of the Reichstag, and, above all, my old Party comrades, you know how much I endeavored to bring about friendship between Germany and Yugoslavia. I worked for it for many years. I believed I was assisted in my endeavour by some representatives of that country, who seemed to see, as I did, only advantages in our close collaboration When danger drew near to the Balkans, as a result of British intrigues, I intensified my endeavor to preserve Yugoslavia from this fatal entanglement Our Foreign Minister, party member Ribbentrop, with his patience and ingenious persistence, again and again pointed out the necessity of that collaboration, to keep at least that part of Europe out of the war.
He made exceptional and loyal proposals to the Yugoslav Government, with the result that in Yugoslavia, too, the voices in favor of close collaboration seemed to increase. It is, therefore, quite true when Mr. Halifax declares that Germany never intended to make war in the Balkans. On the contrary, it was our earnest intention to prepare the way for closer collaboration with Yugoslavia, and perhaps even to bring about a settlement of the Greek conflict acceptable to Italy. The Duce not only approved of our endeavors to bring Yugoslavia into line with our peace aims, but assisted them by every means.
This Pact made no claims on Yugoslavia, and offered her nothing but advantages. For the sake of historic truth, I must point out that neither this Pact nor the supplementary agreement demanded any assistance whatsoever from Yugoslavia. On the contrary, Yugoslavia received from the Three Powers the solemn assurance that they would not ask her for assistance, and were even prepared to abstain from any transport of war materials through Yugoslavia from the very beginning. At the request of her Government, Yugoslavia also received the guarantee of an outlet under Yugoslav sovereignty to the Aegean Sea, in the case of any territorial changes in the Balkans.
This outlet was to include Salonika. On 25th March, a Pact was signed in Vienna which offered the greatest possible future to the Yugoslav State, and secured peace for the Balkans at the same time. You will understand that on that day I left the beautiful city on the Danube with a truly happy feeling, not only because eight years' labor seemed to yield their reward at last, but because it appeared at the last minute as if German intervention in the Balkans would be rendered unnecessary. Two days' later we were deeply shocked by the news of a coup carried out by a handful of hirelings-a deed which drew from the British Prime Minister the triumphant exclamation: "At last, I have good news to give you.
The German Reich cannot be treated like that. I have indeed wanted peace. Halifax declared with a jeer, as if to praise a triumph of British diplomacy, that this was the reason why we were forced to fight. In face of such malice, I can do nothing but protect the interests of the Reich with such means as, thank God, are at our disposal. The resulting work of art will be short-lived, but during its brief existence is expected to attract four million extra visitors to Berlin.
To meet the architectural and engineering challenges, Christo has hired materials scientists, structural engineers and other specialists to design, test and plan the operation. Early next month he travels to London to tell an audience at the Royal Academy all …. Existing subscribers, please log in with your email address to link your account access. Inclusive of applicable taxes VAT. The only logical purpose of such an operation would be to create a Presidentialist dictatorship, destroying the institutions of stable bourgeois democracy that have enabled the U.
This is where the conspiracy theories really crash and burn. It is eminently reasonable to condemn the Commission and corporate media for failing to pursue that entirely plausible angle. Sign up for our Solidarity Newsletter. Get articles and upcoming events delivered every month. A Reichstag Fire on Steroids? ATC , January-February