German Minister of War's speech on official commemoration day ceremony in Berlin State Opera House, 3/1935
Gathering in memory of the great army of the past, the members of which gave their lives for the Fatherland in the Great War, as well as of the martyrs of National Socialism to whom the New Reich owes its existence. Fallen enemy soldiers should also be honnoured. No blame accrues to the German nation for the instigation of or for her conduct during the war. The German soldier was only doing his duty and can now offer the enemy his hand in reconciliation. The two sides must show mutual respect and acknowledge the honour and rights of individual nations. Never before in history has a people sacrificed so many and sufffered such deep sorrow as the Germans did in the Great War. Thus the debt of gratitude owed by the survivors has never been greater. It is important that the young who did not experience the Great War understand the meaning of the sacrifice made and the testament left. German youth must live up to the words of one soldier, doomed to die, who wrote that he would fight and die for a great and noble Germany in which modesty, fidelity and honour were valued. Today's youth must complete the work begun by that soldier and millions like him. Now, after 15 years, answers may be found to the questions, "What purpose did the suffering serve?", "Why so many sacrifices?". The last 15 years have been years of no resistance, in which excuses have been found for the situation, in which people have been content to remain powerless and in which all idea of "Fatherland" has been absent. More recently healthy life forces have begun to stir, providing the people with the idea of a strong state. Only the class stuggle nearly prevented the breakthrough to a new Germany. This is where the Armed Forces, able to stand aside from political confusion, could step in and lay the foundations on which a heaven-sent architect could build. This man then appeared with his strength of will and sharpness of mind. The NSDAP and von Hindenburg were aiming for the same goal. Then on 30/1/1933 everything good and strong in Germany united in a movement towards a New Germany - that is to say the traditional values of the Army united with the rejuvenating force, the NSDAP. Tenets of National Socialism: recreation of foreign respect for Germany; creation of Socialist way of life. Hitler has created a united people and state. German worker will have a place in the New Order. New foreign policy designed to ensure that Germany gains her rightful place in a new peaceful Europe. Repeal of law prohibiting build up of German forces, and reintroduction of National Service. The Army is becoming a national school in which the youth can be educated to love his fatherland. Importance of remembering the great German soldiers of the past, including Hindenburg and Ludendorff. Basis of Army is personal trust in Hitler. The world must now accustom itself to the fact that Germany wishes to retake her rightful position among the great nations, and that she will never again sign a treaty which undermines her honour, security or natural rights. Europe cannot afford another war; the New Order in Europe may be established in a friendly way.