BEFORE THE MUNICH COURT

SPEECH OF MARCH 27, 1924

WHEN did the ruin of Germany begin? You know the watchword of the old German system in its foreign policy: it ran - maintenance of world peace, economic conquest of the world. With both these principles one cannot govern a people. The maintenance of world peace cannot be the purpose and aim of the policy of a State. The increase and maintenance of a people - that alone can be the aim. If you are going to conquer the world by an economic policy, other peoples will not fail to see their danger.

What is the State? Today the State is an economic organization, an association of persons, formed, it would seem, for the sole purpose that all should co operate in securing each other's daily bread. THE STATE, HOWEVER, IS NOT AN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION, IT IS A 'VOLKIC' ORGANISM. The purpose, the aim of the State is to provide the people with its food-supply and with the position of power in the world which is its due. Germany occupies in Europe perhaps the most bitter situation of any people, Militarily, politically, and geographically it is surrounded by none but rivals: IT CAN MAINTAIN ITSELF ONLY WHEN IT PLACES A POWER-POLICY (MACHTPOLITIK) RUTHLESSLY IN THE FOREGROUND.

Two Powers are in a position to determine the future development of Europe: England and France. England's aim remains eternally the same: to balkanize Europe and to establish a balance of power in Europe so that her position in the world will not be threatened. ENGLAND IS NOT ON PRINCIPLE AN ENEMY OF GERMANY, IT IS THE POWER WHICH SEEKS TO GAIN THE FIRST PLACE IN EUROPE. The declared enemy of Germany is France. Just as England needs the balkanization of Europe, so France needs the balkanization of Germany in order to gain hegemony in Europe. After four and a half years of bitter struggle at last through the Revolution the scale of victory turned in favor of the coalition of these two Powers, with the following result: France was faced with the question: Was she to realize her eternal war-aim or not? That means: Could France destroy Germany and deprive it of all the sources whereby its people was fed? Today France watches the ripening to fulfillment of her age-old plan: it matters not what Government will be at the helm in France: the supreme aim will remain - the annihilation of Germany, the extermination of twenty million Germans, and the dissolution of Germany into separate States....

The army which we have formed grows from day to day; from hour to hour it grows more rapidly. EVEN NOW I HAVE THE PROUD HOPE THAT ONE DAY THE HOUR IS COMING WHEN THESE UNTRAINED BANDS WILL BECOME BATTALIONS, WHEN THE BATTALIONS WILL BECOME REGIMENTS AND THE REGIMENTS DIVISIONS, when the old cockade will be raised from the mire, when the old banners will once again wave before us: and then reconciliation will come in that eternal last Court of Judgment - the Court of God - before which we are ready to take our stand. Then from our bones, from our graves will sound the voice of that tribunal which alone has the right to sit in judgment upon us. For, gentlemen, it is not you who pronounce judgment upon us, it is the eternal Court of History which will make its pronouncement upon the charge which is brought against us. The judgment that you will pass, that I know. But that Court will not ask of us: 'Have you committed high treason or not?' That Court will judge us ....who as Germans have wished the best for their people and their Fatherland, who wished to fight and to die. You may declare us guilty a thousand times, but the Goddess who presides over the Eternal Court of History will with a smile tear in pieces the charge of the Public Prosecutor and the judgment of the Court: for she declares us guiltless.