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What the World Rejected: Hitler's Peace Offers 1933-1939

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What the World Rejected:
Hitler's Peace Offers 1933-1939


by
Dr. Friedrich Stieve



Hitler’s Peace Offers 1933-1939

The author, Dr. Friedrich Stieve, was a much-published German
author long before the ascent of National-Socialism in Germany.
Before the First World War Stieve wrote a book of poems (1908)
and a biography of the mediaeval Italian prince Ezzelino da
Romano (1909); Stieve apparently began writing history in 1916
with Die Politischen Probleme Des Weltkrieges; in 1920
Gedanken über Deutschland was published, apparently a book
reflective of Germany’s unfortunate position at the time.
Thereafter Stieve continued to write about the causes of the First
World War, especially the role of Russia, including Isvolsky and
the World War. During the National-Socialist period Stieve
produced several books on German history, including Die
außenpolitische Lage Deutschlands von Bismarck bis Hitler.

Among the interesting points made here is that Hitler had offered
a non-aggression pact to France three years before he offered it
to the Soviet Union. There were only two ways to make Germany
secure from military encirclement and the threat of a two-front
war: a pact with France or with the U.S.S.R. French
intransigence forced Hitler to take the latter option.

Dr. Friedrich Stieve


Germany's enemies maintain today that Adolf Hitler is the greatest disturber of peace
known to history, that he threatens every nation with sudden attack and oppression, that
he has created a terrible war machine in order to cause trouble and devastation all around
him. At the same time they intentionally conceal an all-important fact: they themselves
drove the Leader of the German people finally to draw the sword. They themselves
compelled him to seek to obtain at last by the use of force that which he had been striving
to gain by persuasion from the beginning: the security of his country. They did this not
only by declaring war on him on September 3, 1939, but also by blocking step by step for
seven years the path to any peaceful discussion.

The attempts repeatedly made by Adolf Hitler to induce the governments of other states to
collaborate with him in a reconstruction of Europe represent an ever-recurring pattern in
his conduct since the commencement of his labors for the German Reich. But these
attempts were wrecked every time by reason of the fact that nowhere was there any
willingness to give them due consideration, because the evil spirit of the Great War still
prevailed everywhere, because in London and Paris and in the capitals of the Western
Powers' vassal states there was only one fixed intention: to perpetuate the power of
Versailles.

A rapid glance at the most important events will furnish incontrovertible proof for this
statement.

When Adolf Hitler came to the fore, Germany was as gagged and as helpless as the
victors of 1918 wanted her to be. Completely disarmed, with an army of only 100,000
men intended solely for police duties within the country, she found herself within a tightly
closed ring of neighbors all armed to the teeth and leagued together. To the old enemies in
the West, Britain, Belgium, and France, new ones were artificially created and added in
the East and the South: above all Poland and Czechoslovakia. A quarter of the population
of Germany was forcibly torn away from their mother country and handed over to foreign
powers. The Reich, mutilated on all sides and robbed of every means of defense, at any
moment could become the helpless victim of some rapacious neighbor.

Then it was that Adolf Hitler for the first time made his appeal to the common sense of
the other powers. On May 17, 1933, a few months after his appointment to the office of
Reichskanzler, he delivered a speech in the German Reichstag, from which we extract the
following passages:

"Germany will be perfectly ready to disband her entire military
establishment and destroy the small amount of arms remaining to her, if the
neighboring countries will do the same thing with equal thoroughness.

“. . . Germany is entirely ready to renounce aggressive weapons of every sort if
the armed nations, on their part, will destroy their aggressive weapons within a
specified period, and if their use is forbidden by an international convention.

“. . . Germany is at all times prepared to renounce aggressive weapons if the
rest of the world does the same. Germany is prepared to agree to any solemn
pact of non-aggression because she does not think of attacking anybody but
only of acquiring security.”

No answer was received.

Without paying any heed the others continued to fill their arsenals with weapons, to pile
up their stores of explosives, to increase the numbers of their troops. At the same time the
League of Nations, the instrument of the victorious powers, declared that Germany must
first pass through a period of "probation" before it would be possible to discuss with her
the question of the disarmament of the other countries. On October 14, 1933, Hitler broke
away from this League of Nations with which it was impossible to come to any
agreement. Shortly afterwards, however, on December 18, 1933, he came forward with a
new proposal for the improvement of international relations. This proposal included the
following six points:

"1. Germany receives full equality of rights.

2. The fully armed States undertake amongst themselves not
to increase their armaments beyond their present level.

3. Germany adheres to this agreement, freely undertaking to
make only so much actual moderate use of the equality of
rights granted to her as will not represent a threat to the
security of any other European power.

4. All States recognize certain obligations in regard to
conducting war on humane principles, or to the elimination of
certain weapons for use against the civilian population.

5. All States accept a uniform general control which will
watch over and ensure the observance of these obligations.

6. The European nations guarantee one another the
unconditional maintenance of peace by the conclusion of nonaggression pacts, to be renewed after ten years."
Following upon this a proposal was made to increase the strength of the German army to
300,000 men, corresponding to the strength required by Germany "having regard to the
length of her frontiers and the size of the armies of her neighbors," in order to protect her
threatened territory against attacks. The defender of the principle of peaceable agreement
was thus trying to accommodate himself to the unwillingness of the others to disarm by
expressing a desire for a limited increase of armaments for his own country. An exchange
of notes, starting from this and continuing for years, finally came to a sudden end with an
unequivocal "no" from France. This "no" was moreover accompanied by tremendous
increases in the armed forces of France, Britain, and Russia.

In this way Germany's position became still worse than before. The danger to the Reich
was so great that Adolf Hitler felt himself compelled to act. On March 16, 1935, he
reintroduced conscription. But in direct connection with this measure he once more
announced an offer of agreements of an extensive nature, the purpose of which was to
ensure that any future war would be conducted on humane principles, in fact to make such
a war practically impossible by eliminating destructive armaments. In his speech of May
21, 1935, he declared:

"The German Government is ready to take an active part in all efforts which
may lead to a practical limitation of armaments. It regards a return to the
former idea of the Geneva Red Cross Convention as the only possible way to
achieve this. It believes that at first there will be only the possibility of a
gradual abolition and outlawry of weapons and methods of warfare which are
essentially contrary to the Geneva Red Cross Convention which is still valid.

“Just as the use of dumdum bullets was once forbidden and, on the whole,
thereby prevented in practice, so the use of other definite arms should be
forbidden and prevented. Here the German Government has in mind all those
arms which bring death and destruction not so much to the fighting soldiers as
to non-combatant women and children.

“The German Government considers as erroneous and ineffective the idea to
do away with aeroplanes while leaving the question of bombing open. But it
believes it possible to proscribe the use of certain arms as contrary to
international law and to excommunicate those nations which still use them
from the community of mankind—its rights and its laws.

“It also believes that gradual progress is the best way to success. For example,
there might be prohibition of the dropping of gas, incendiary and explosive
bombs outside the real battle zone. This limitation could then be extended to
complete international outlawry of all bombing. But so long as bombing as
such is permitted, any limitation of the number of bombing planes is
questionable in view of the possibility of rapid substitution.

“Should bombing as such be branded as a barbarity contrary to international
law, the construction of bombing aeroplanes will soon be abandoned as
superfluous and of no purpose. If, through the Geneva Red Cross Convention,
it turned out possible as a matter of fact to prevent the killing of a defenseless
wounded man or prisoner, it ought to be equally possible to forbid, by an
analogous convention, and finally to stop, the bombing of equally defenseless
civilian populations.

“In such a fundamental way of dealing with the problem, Germany sees a
greater reassurance and security for the nations than in all pacts of assistance
and military conventions.

“The German Government is ready to agree to any limitation which leads to
abolition of the heaviest arms, especially suited for aggression. Such are, first,
the heaviest artillery, and secondly, the heaviest tanks. In view of the
enormous fortifications on the French frontier such an international abolition
of the heaviest weapons of attack would ipso facto give France 100 percent
security.

“Germany declares herself ready to agree to any limitation whatsoever of the
caliber-strength of artillery, battleships, cruisers, and torpedo boats. In like
manner the German Government is ready to accept any international limitation
of the size of warships. And finally it is ready to agree to limitation of tonnage
for submarines, or to their complete abolition in case of international
agreement.

“And it gives further assurance that it will agree to any international
limitations or abolition of arms whatsoever for a uniform space of time."
This time again Hitler's declarations did not find the slightest response.
On the contrary, France made an alliance with Russia in order to increase her
preponderating influence on the Continent still further, and to augment to a gigantic degree
the pressure on Germany from the East.

In view of the evident destructive intentions of his opponents, Adolf Hitler was therefore
obliged to take new measures to ensure the safety of the German Reich. On March 3,
1936, he occupied the Rhineland, which had been without military protection since
Versailles, and thus closed the wide gate through which the Western neighbor could carry
out an invasion. Once again he followed the defensive step which he had been obliged to
take with a liberal appeal for general reconciliation and for the settlement of all
differences. On March 31, 1936, he formulated the following peace plan:

1. In order to give to future agreements securing the peace of Europe the character of
inviolable treaties, those nations participating in the negotiations do so only on an
entirely equal footing and as equally esteemed members. The sole compelling reason
for signing these treaties can only lie in the generally recognized and obvious
practicability of these agreements for the peace of Europe, and thus for the social
happiness and economic prosperity of the nations.

2. In order to shorten in the economic interest of the European nations the period of
uncertainty, the German Government proposes a limit of four months for the first
period up to to the signing of the pacts of non-aggression guaranteeing the peace of
Europe.

3. The German Government gives the assurance not to add any reinforcements
whatsoever to the troops in the Rhineland during this period, always provided that the
Belgian and French Governments act in the same way.

4. The German Government gives the assurance not to move during this period closer
to the Belgian and French frontiers the troops at present stationed in the Rhineland.

5. The German Government proposes the setting up of a commission composed of the
two guarantor Powers, Britain and Italy, and a disinterested third neutral power, to
guarantee this assurance to be given by both parties.

6. Germany, Belgium, and France are each entitled to send a representative to this
Commission. If Germany, France, or Belgium think that for any particular reason they
can point to a change in the military situation having taken place within this period of
four months, they have the right to inform the Guarantee Commission of their
observations.

7. Germany, Belgium, and France declare their willingness in such a case to permit this
Commission to make the necessary investigations through the British and Italian
military attaches, and to report thereon to the Powers participating.

8. Germany, Belgium and France give the assurance that they will bestow the fullest
consideration to the objections arising therefrom.

9. Moreover the German Government is willing on a basis of complete reciprocity with
Germany's two western neighbors to agree to any military limitations on the German
western frontier.

10. Germany, Belgium, and France and the two guarantor Powers agree to enter into
negotiations under the leadership of the British Government at once or, at the latest,
after the French elections, for the conclusion of a 25-years non-aggression or security
pact between France and Belgium on the one hand, and Germany on the other.

11. Germany agrees that Britain and Italy shall sign this security pact as guarantor
Powers once more.

12. Should special engagements to render military assistance arise as a result of these
security agreements, Germany on her part declares her willingness to enter into such
engagements.

13. The German Government hereby repeats its proposal for the conclusion of an airpact to supplement and consolidate these security agreements.

14. The German Government repeats that should the Netherlands so desire it is willing
to include that country too in this West-European security agreement.

15. In order to stamp this peace-pact, voluntarily entered into between Germany and
France, as the reconciliatory conclusion of a centuries-old dispute, Germany and
France pledge themselves to take steps to see that in the education of the young, as
well as in the press and publications of both nations, everything shall be avoided which
might be calculated to poison the relationship between the two peoples, whether it be a
derogatory or contemptuous attitude, or improper interference in the internal affairs of
the other country. They agree to set up at the headquarters of the League of Nations at
Geneva, a joint commission whose function it shall be to lay all complaints received
before the two governments for information and investigation.

16. In pursuance of their intention to give this agreement the character of a sacred
pledge, Germany and France undertake to ratify it by means of a plebiscite if the two
nations.

17. Germany expresses her willingness, on her part, to establish contact with the states
on her south-eastern and north-eastern frontiers, in order to invite them directly to
conclude the pacts of non-aggression already proposed.

18. Germany expresses her willingness to re-enter the League of Nations, either at
once, or after the conclusion of these agreements.

At the same time, the German Government again expresses as its expectation that, after
a reasonable time and by the method of friendly negotiations, the question of colonial
equality of rights and that of the separation of the Covenant of the League of Nations
from its foundations in the Versailles Treaty will be cleared up.

19. Germany proposes the setting up of an International Court of Arbitration, which
shall be responsible for the observance of the various agreements and whose decisions
shall be binding on all parties.

After the conclusion of this great work of securing European peace, the German
Government considers it urgently to endeavor by practical measures to put a stop to the
unlimited competition in armaments. In her opinion this would mean not merely an
improvement in the financial and economic positions of the nations, but above all a
diminution of the psychological tension.

The German Government, however, has no faith in the attempt to bring about universal
settlements, as this would be doomed to failure from the outset, and can therefore be
proposed only by those who have no interest in achieving practical results. On the
other hand it is of the opinion that the negotiations held and the results achieved in
limiting naval armaments should have an instructive and stimulating effect.

The German Government therefore proposes that future conferences shall have one
clearly defined objective.

For the present, it believes the most important task is to bring aerial warfare into the
moral and humane atmosphere of the protection afforded to non-combatants or the
wounded by the Geneva Convention. Just as the killing of defenseless wounded, or
prisoners, or the use of dumdum bullets, or the waging of submarine warfare without
warning, have been either forbidden or regulated by international conventions, so it
must be possible for civilized humanity to prevent the senseless abuse of any new type
of weapon, without running counter to the object of warfare.

The German Government therefore puts forward the proposal that the immediate
practical tasks of this conference shall be:

1. Prohibition of dropping gas, poison, or incendiary bombs.

2. Prohibition of dropping bombs of any kind whatsoever on open towns and villages
outside the range of the medium-heavy artillery of the fighting fronts.

3. Prohibition of the bombarding with long-range guns of towns more than 20 km.
distant from the battle zone.

4. Abolition and prohibition of the construction of tanks of the heaviest type.

5. Abolition and prohibition of artillery of the heaviest calibre.
As soon as possibilities for further limitation of armaments emerge from such
discussions and agreements, they should be utilized.

The German Government hereby declares itself prepared to join in every such
settlement, in so far as it is valid internationally.

The German Government believes that if even a first step is made on the road to
disarmament, this will be of enormous importance to the relationship between the
nations, and to the recovery of confidence, trade, and prosperity.
In accordance with the general desire for the restoration of favorable economic
conditions, the German Government is prepared immediately after the conclusion of
the political treaties to enter into an exchange of opinions on economic problems with
the other nations concerned, in the spirit of the proposals made, and to do all that lies
in its power to improve the economic situation in Europe, and the world economic
situation which is closely bound up with it.

The German Government believes that with the peace plan proposed above it has
made its contribution to the reconstruction of a new Europe on the basis of
reciprocal respect and confidence between sovereign states. Many opportunities for
such a pacification of Europe, for which Germany has so often in the last few years
made her proposals, have been neglected. May this attempt to achieve European
understanding succeed at last!

The German Government confidently believes that it has opened the way in this
direction by submitting the above peace plan."

Anyone who today reads this comprehensive peace plan will realize in what direction
the development of Europe, according to the wishes of Adolf Hitler, should really have
proceeded. Here was the possibility of truly constructive work, this could have been a
real turning-point for the welfare of all nations. But once more he who alone called for
peace was not heard. Only Britain replied with a rather scornful questionnaire which
avoided any serious consideration of the essential points involved.

Incidentally, however, she disclosed her actual intentions by setting herself up as the protector
of France and by instituting and commencing regular military staff conversations with the
French Republic just as in the period before the Great War.

There could no longer be any doubt now that the Western Powers were following the old path
towards an armed conflict and were steadily preparing a new blow against Germany, although
Adolf Hitler's whole thoughts and endeavors were directed towards proving to them that he
wanted to remain on the best possible terms with them. In the course of the years he had
undertaken numerous steps in this direction, of which a few more shall be referred to here. He
negotiated the Naval Agreement of June 18, 1935, with Great Britain, which provided that the
German Navy should have a strength of 35% of that of the British Navy. By this he wanted to
demonstrate that the Reich, to use his own words, had "neither the intention nor the means,
nor was it necessary" to enter into any rivalry as regards naval power, such as had had so
fateful an influence on its relations to Great Britain in the well-remembered days before the
Great War.

He assured France on every possible occasion of his desire to live at peace with her. He
repeatedly renounced in plain terms any claim to Alsace-Lorraine. On the return to the Reich
of the Saar territory as the result of the plebiscite, he declared on March 1, 1935:
"It is our hope that through this act of just compensation, in which we see
a return to natural reason, relations between Germany and France have
permanently improved. Therefore as we desire peace, we must hope that
our great neighbor is ready and willing to seek peace with us. It must be
possible for two great peoples to join together and collaborate in opposing
the difficulties which threaten to overwhelm Europe."

He even endeavored to arrive at a better understanding with Poland, the eastern ally of the
Western Powers, although this country had unlawfully incorporated millions of Germans in
1919 and had subjected them to the worst oppression ever since. On January 26, 1934, he
concluded a non-aggression pact with her in which the two Governments agreed "to settle
directly all questions of whatever sort which concern their mutual relations."

Thus on all sides he opposed to the enemy plans his determination to preserve peace and
strove to protect Germany in this way. When however he saw that London and Paris were
arming for an attack, he was once more obliged to undertake fresh measures of defense. The
enemy camp, as we have seen above, had been enormously extended through the alliance
between France and Russia. In addition to this the two powers had secured a line of
communication to the south of the Reich through Czechoslovakia having concluded a treaty
with Russia which put her in the position of a bridge between east and west.

Czechoslovakia, however, was in control of the high-lying country of Bohemia and
Moravia, which Bismarck had called the citadel of Europe, and this citadel projected far
into German territory. The threat to Germany thus assumed truly overpowering proportions.
The genius of Adolf Hitler found a way of meeting this danger. The conditions in German
Austria, which under the terror of the Schuschnigg Government were tending towards civil
war, offered him the opportunity of stepping in to save the situation, and to lead back into
the Reich the sister nation to the south-east that had been sentenced by the victorious
powers to lead the life of a hopelessly decaying "Free State." After he had thus established
himself near the line of communication between France and Russia mentioned above, a
process of disollution set in in the mixed state of Czechoslovakia, which had been
artificially put together from the most diverse national elements, until after the liberation of
the Sudetenland and the secession of Slovakia, the Czechs themselves asked for the
protection of the German Reich. With this the enemy's bridge came into Adolf Hitler's
possession; and at the same time direct connection was made possible with Italy, whose
friendship had been secured some time previously.

While he was gaining this strategic success for the security of his country, Adolf Hitler was
again endeavoring with great eagerness to reach a peaceable understanding with the
Western Powers. In Munich directly after liberation of the Sudeten Germans, approved by
Britain, France, and Italy, he made an agreement with the British Prime Minister, Neville
Chamberlain, the text of which was as follows:

"We have had a further meeting to-day and have agreed in recognizing
that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance
for the two countries and for Europe.

We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval
Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to
war with one another again.

We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method
adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two
countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove
possible sources of difference and thus to contribute to assure the peace
of Europe."
September 30, 1938.

Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain."

Two months later, on Hitler's instructions, the German Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop,
made the following agreement with France:

"Herr Joachim von Ribbentrop, Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, and M.
Georges Bonnet, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, acting in the name and
by the order of their Governments, are, at their meeting in Paris, on
December 6, 1938, agreed as follows:

1. The German Government and the French Government fully share the
conviction that peaceful and good-neighborly relations between Germany
and France constitute one of the most essential elements for the
consolidation of the situation in Europe and the maintenance of general
peace. The two Governments will in consequence use all their efforts to
ensure the development of the relations between their countries in this
direction.

2. The two Governments recognize that between the two countries there is
no territorial question outstanding, and they solemnly recognize as final the
frontiers between their countries as they now exist

3. The two Governments are resolved, while leaving unaffected their
particular relations with other Powers, to remain in contact with regard to all
questions concerning their two countries, and mutually to consult should the
later evolution of those qualities lead to international difficulties.
In token whereof the representatives of the two Governments have signed
the present Declaration, which comes into immediate effect.

Done in two original Documents in the French and German language respectively,
in Paris, December 6, 1938.

Joachim von Ribbentrop,
Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs
Georges Bonnet,
Minister for Foreign Affairs"

According to all calculations one should have been able to assume that the way was clear
for collaborative reconstruction in which all leading powers would participate, and that the
Fuehrer's endeavors to secure peace would at last meet with success. But the contrary was
true. Scarcely had Chamberlain reached home when he called for rearmament on a
considerable scale and laid plans for a new and tremendous encirclement of Germany.
Britain now took over from France the leadership of this further encirclement of the Reich,
in order to obtain a substitute for the lost Czechoslovakia many times its value. She opened
negotiations with Russia, granted Poland a guarantee and also Rumania, Greece and
Turkey. These were alarm signals of the greatest urgency.

Just at this time Adolf Hitler was occupied with the task of finally eliminating sources of
friction with Poland. For this purpose he had made an uncommonly generous proposal by
which the purely German Free City of Danzig would return to the Reich, and a narrow
passage through the Polish Corridor, which since 1919 had torn asunder the north-eastern
part of Germany to an unbearable extent, would provide communication with the separated
area. This proposal, which moreover afforded Poland the prospect of a 25-year nonaggression pact and other advantages, was nevertheless rejected in Warsaw, because there it
was believed, conscious as the authorities were of forming one of the principal members of
the common front set up by London against Germany, that any concession, however minor,
could be refused. This was not all! With the same consciousness Poland then started to be
aggressive, threatened Danzig, and prepared to take up arms against Germany.

Thus the moment was close at hand for the attack on the Reich by the countries which had
been brought together for the purpose. Adolf Hitler, making a final extreme effort in the
interests of peace, saved what he could. On August 23rd, Ribbentrop succeeded in reaching
an agreement in Moscow for a non-aggression pact with Russia. Two days later the German
Fuehrer himself made a final and truly remarkable offer to Britain, declaring himself ready
"to enter into agreements with Great Britain", "which... would not only, on the German
side, in any case safeguard the existence of the British Empire, but if necessary would
guarantee German assistance for the British Empire, irrespective of where such assistance
might be required". At the same time he was prepared "to accept a reasonable limitation of
armaments, in accordance with the new political situation and economic requirements".
And finally he assured once again that he had no interest in the issues in the west and that "a
correction of the borders in the west are out of any consideration."

The reply to this was a pact of assistance signed the same day between Britain and Poland,
which rendered the outbreak of war inevitable. Then a decision was made in Warsaw to
mobilize at once against Germany, and the Poles began with violent attacks not only on the
Germans in Poland, who for some time had been the victims of frightful massacres, but on
Germans in German territory.

But even when Britain and France had already declared war, as they intended, and Germany
had overcome the Polish danger in the east by a glorious campaign without a parallel, even
then Adolf Hitler raised his voice once more in the name of peace. He did so although his
hands were now free to act against the enemy in the west. He did so, although the fight
against him personally was proclaimed in London and Paris, in immeasurable hate, as a
crusade. At this moment he possessed the supreme self-control to proclaim in his speech of
October 6, 1939, a new plan for the pacification of Europe to public opinion throughout the
world. This plan was as follows:

"By far the most important task, in my opinion, is the creation of not only a
belief in, but also a sense of, European security.

1. For this it is necessary that the aims of the foreign policy of each European State
should be made perfectly clear. As far as Germany is concerned, the Reich
Government is ready to give a thorough and exhaustive exposition of the aims of
its foreign policy. In so doing, it begins by stating that the Treaty of Versailles is
now regarded by it as obsolete, in other words, that the Government of the
German Reich and with it the whole German people no longer see cause or
reason for any further revision of the Treaty, apart from the demand for adequate
colonial possessions justly due to the Reich, involving in the first place a return
of the German colonies.

2. This demand for colonies is based not only on Germany's historical claim to her
colonies, but above all on her elementary right to a share of the world's resources
of raw materials. This demand does not take the form of an ultimatum, nor is it a
demand which is backed by force, but a demand based on political justice and
sane economic principles.

3. The demand for a real revival of international economic life coupled with an
extension of trade and commerce presupposes a reorganization of the
international economic system, in other words, of production in the individual
states. In order to facilitate the exchange of the goods thus produced, however, a
new system of markets must be found and a final settlement of currencies
arrived at, so that the obstacles in the way of unrestricted trade can be gradually
removed.


The most important condition, however, for a real revival of economic life in
and outside of Europe is the establishment of an unconditionally guaranteed
peace and of a sense of security on the part of the individual nations. This
security will not only be rendered possible by the final sanctioning of the
European status, but above all by the reduction of armaments to a reasonable
and economically tolerable level. An essential part of this necessary sense of
security, however, is a clear definition of the legitimate use and application of
certain modern armaments which can at any given moment strike straight at
the heart of every nation and hence create a permanent sense of insecurity. In
my previous speeches in the Reichstag I made proposals with this end in view.
At that time they were rejected - presumably for the simple reason that they
were made by me.

believe, however, that a sense of national security will not return to Europe
until clear and binding international agreements have provided a
comprehensive definition of the extent to which the use of certain weapons is
permitted or forbidden.

The Geneva Convention once succeeded in prohibiting, in civilized countries
at least, the killing of wounded, the ill-treatment of prisoners,
war against noncombatants, etc., and just as it was possible gradually to achieve the universal
observance of this statute, a way ought surely to be found to regulate aerial
warfare, the use of poison gas, of submarines etc., and also so to define
contraband that war will lose its terrible character of a conflict waged against
women and children and against non-combatants in general. The growing
horror of certain methods of modern warfare will of its own accord lead to
their abolition, and thus they will become obsolete.

In the war with Poland, I endeavored to restrict aerial warfare to objectives of
military importance, or only to employ it to combat resistance at a given point.
But it must surely be possible to emulate the Red Cross in drawing up some
universally valid international regulation. It is only when this is achieved that
peace can reign, particularly on our densely populated continent a peace which,
un-contaminated by suspicion and fear, will provide the only possible
condition for real economic prosperity. I do not believe that there is any
responsible statesman in Europe who does not in his heart desire prosperity for
his people. But such a desire can only be realized if all the nations inhabiting
this continent decide to work together. To assist in ensuring this co-operation
must be the aim of every man who is sincerely struggling for the future of his
own people.

To achieve this great end, the leading nations on this continent will one day
have to come together in order to draw up, accept and guarantee a statute on a
comprehensive basis which will ensure for them a sense of security, of calm, -
in short, of peace.

Such a conference could not possibly be held without the most thorough
preparation, i. e. without exact elucidation of every point at issue. It is equally
impossible that such a conference, which would determine the fate of this
continent for many years to come, could carry on its deliberations while
cannons are thundering, or mobilized armies bringing pressure to bear upon it.
Since, however, these problems must be solved sooner or later, it would
surely be more sensible to tackle the solution before millions of men are first
uselessly sent to their death, and billions of dollars' worth of property
destroyed.

The continuation of the present state of affairs in the west is unthinkable. Each
day will soon demand increasing sacrifices. Perhaps the day will come when
France will begin to bombard and demolish Saarbrücken. The German artillery
will in turn lay Mühlhausen in ruins. France will retaliate by bombarding
Karlsruhe, and Germany in her turn shell Strassburg. Then the French artillery
will fire at Freiburg, and the Germans at Kolmar or Schlettstadt. Long-range
artillery will then be set up, and from both sides destruction will strike deeper and
deeper, and whatever cannot be reached by the long-range artillery will be
destroyed from the air. And that will be very interesting for certain international
journalists, and very profitable for the aeroplane, arms, and munition
manufacturers, etc., but appalling for the victims. And this battle of destruction
will not be confined to the land. No, it will reach far out over the sea. To-day
there are no longer any islands.

And the national wealth of Europe will be scattered in the form of shells, and
the vigor of every nation will be sapped on the battlefields. One day, however,
there will again be a frontier between Germany and France, but instead of
flourishing towns there will be ruins and endless graveyards."

The fate of this plan was the same as that of all the previous appeals made by Adolf
Hitler in the name of reason, in the interests of a true renascence of Europe. His
enemies paid him no heed. On this occasion also no response was forthcoming from
them. They rigidly adhered to the attitude which they had taken up in the beginning.
In the face of this series of historical facts is there any need for further details as to the
question of why they did so? They had created Versailles, and when Versailles threatened
to collapse they wanted the war, in order to follow it with an even worse Versailles.
The reproaches which they make today to Adolf Hitler and Germany, recoil one and
all on those who make them, and characterize their actions.

They are the disturbers of peace, they are the ones who meditate the forcible oppression of
other peoples and seek to plunge Europe in devastation and disaster. If if were not so, they
would long ago have taken the hand that was stretched out to them or at least have made a
gesture of honestly wishing to cooperate in a new order, and thus spare the nations "blood,
tears and sweat" in excess.

World history is the world court; and in this case as always when it reaches its decision it
will pronounce a just verdict.
 
SATchives said:
According to all calculations one should have been able to assume that the way was clear
for collaborative reconstruction in which all leading powers would participate, and that the
Fuehrer's endeavors to secure peace would at last meet with success. But the contrary was
true. Scarcely had Chamberlain reached home when he called for rearmament on a
considerable scale and laid plans for a new and tremendous encirclement of Germany.
It is said that, if Hitler had been as brutal as they depict him to be, he would have won the war. Here in Greece, the National Socialists are depicted in a much more negative manner than in the US, yet everyone here forgets that the Germans let 100.000 POWs go back to their homes after the end of the Invasion of Greece. They also forget how it was US and British blockades that starved Athens, not German ones. Unfortunately, Greece is one of the most heavily xianised nations on Earth and communism is also rampant here because of this.
 

Al Jilwah: Chapter IV

"It is my desire that all my followers unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against them." - Satan

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