And now, my young Comrades, you must understand one thing: in the year 1919, I took up a struggle which appeared nearly hopeless at the time. An unknown man who undertook to rid a world of resistance, to tear down walls of prejudice. Prejudice at times is worse than divine force.
A man took a stand against all the bearers of public life back then, against the parties, against their press, against the whole system of capitalist fabrication of public opinion. I led this struggle until the final seizure of power.
You must understand one thing: that at this moment I could have only one wish, namely, that if this war is indeed inevitable, that it still be fought during my lifetime, because I am the man who possesses the greatest authority with the German Volk. And moreover, because I believe that based on the experiences of my life, I am the most able to strengthen the nation in this battle and to lead it into this battle. Thus, once I became aware that England was determined to fight this battle, I did not capitulate, but in an instant determined to do everything to prepare Germany to hold its own in this most difficult struggle for its existence. And my appeal to the German nation was not in vain. I labored in these years to build up armament for the German Volk. I subordinated everything to the one thought: how can Germany be made strong? How can its armament be made powerful? I was determined to do nothing by half-measures, but to stake everything on one throw. I knew that this struggle would determine whether Germany will be or will not be.
It is not a question of a system. It is a question of whether these 85 million people, in their national unity, can carry through on their right to life or not.
If yes, then the future of Europe belongs to this Volk. If no, then this Volk shall perish, shall sink back, and it will no longer be worthwhile to live in this Volk.
Faced with this alternative, I was determined to employ all means-down to the last-in this struggle. The nation understood this. Millions of men never spoke of it. Still all thought the same. And throughout this period, nobody ever reproached me for this enormous mobilization of public means for the one goal: national armament. I also wished that, if the hour was to come and come it would, the German soldier should not set out against the enemy as, regrettably, this has been the case far too often in Germany’s past.
This phrase, “the best weapons for the best soldier in the world,” has profound meaning. The best soldier must and will despair once it dawns on him that, in spite of his valor, the effectiveness of his arms does not suffice to force the victory. Therefore, I was determined to do my utmost to secure for us the best arms. And, before German history, I may be faulted on many a thing, but on one topic assuredly not: that I had not done my utmost, what was humanly possible, to prepare the German Volk better for this struggle than, regrettably, it was prepared in the year 1914. In this, I found the support of countless people, men of the state, the Party, and in particular the Wehrmacht. They walked by my side. And thus we were able, in barely seven years, to make the German Wehrmacht once more the world’s best. And, for my person, I have always been convinced that for us Germans there are only two possibilities: either we are no soldiers or we are the world’s best. There is no in-between.
Adolf Hitler - speech at the annual rally of young officer cadets at the Berlin Sportpalast December 18, 1940