SPEECH OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1930
. . . THIS election means that the circle is now complete. And the question at this time is: what are the aims of this opposition and its leaders?
It is a fight for an idea - a Weltanschhauung: and in the forefront stands a fundamental principle: Men do not exist for the State, the State exists for men. First and far above all else stands the idea of the people: the State is a form of organization of this people, and the meaning and the purpose of the State are through this form of organization to assure the life of the people. And from this there arises a new mode of thought and thus necessarily a new political method.
We say: a new mode of thought. Today our whole official political outlook is rooted in the view that the State must be maintained because the State in itself is the essential thing; we, on the other hand, maintain that the State in its form has a definite purpose to fulfill and the moment that it fails to fulfill its purpose the form stands condemned. Above everything stands the purpose to maintain the nation's life - that is the essential thing and one should not speak of a law for the protection of the State but for the protection of the nation: it is of this protection that one must think.... In the place of this rigid formal organization - the State - must be set the living organism - the people. Then all action is given a new untrammelled freedom: all the formal fetters which can today be imposed on men become immoral directly they fail to maintain the people, because that is the highest purpose in life and the aim of all reasonable thought and action.
If today our action employs among its different weapons that of Parliament, that is not to say that parliamentary parties exist only for parliamentary ends. For us Parliament is not an end in itself, but merely a means to an end . . . we are not on principle a parliamentary party - that would be a contradiction of our whole outlook - WE ARE A PARLIAMENTARY PARTY BY COMPULSION, UNDER CONSTRAINT, AND THAT COMPULSION IS THE CONSTITUTION. The Constitution compels us to use this means. It does not compel us to wish for a particular goal, it only prescribes a way - a method, and, I repeat, we follow this way legally, in accordance with the Constitution: by the way laid down through the Constitution we advance towards the purposes which we have set before us.
Never can Constitutions determine for all time the content of a purpose, especially when this content is not identical with the vital rights of a people. If today the Constitution admits for its protection laws which are headed, 'Laws for the Protection of the Republic,' then it is demonstrated that the most which our present Constitution can prescribe is nothing but the protection and the maintenance of a form, and that does not touch the maintenance of the nation, of a people. This purpose is therefore free: this is the goal which we proclaim and to which we shall attain. . .
From blood, authority of personality, and a fighting spirit springs that value which alone entitles a people to look around with glad hope, and that alone is also the condition for the life which men then desire. And when that is realized, then that too is realized for which today the political parties strive: prosperity, happiness of the individual, family-life, etc. First will come honor and then freedom, and from both of these happiness, prosperity, life: in a word, that state of things will return which we Germans perhaps dimly saw before the War, when individuals can once more live with joy in their hearts because life has a meaning and a purpose, because the close of life is then not in itself the end, since there will be an endless chain of generations to follow: man will know that what we create will not sink into Orcus but will pass to his children and to his children's children. And so this victory which we have just won is nothing else than the winning of a new weapon for our fight.... IT IS NOT FOR SEATS IN PARLIAMENT THAT WE FIGHT, BUT WE WIN SEATS IN PARLIAMENT IN ORDER THAT ONE DAY WE MAY BE ABLE TO LIBERATE THE GERMAN PEOPLE....
Do not write on your banners the word 'Victory': today that word shall be uttered for the last time. Strike through the word 'Victory' and write once more in its place the word which suits us better - the word 'Fight.'